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morosely

When you do something morosely, you do it in a sullen, moody way. When you sit on the couch, sighing and looking sad because you didn't get invited to your friend's party, you are sitting there morosely.

Morose means gloomy or in a bad mood, so whenever the adverb morosely describes your actions, you're not feeling very cheerful. There is an element of crankiness in the word morosely, which you can even see it its Latin root, morosus, which means "peevish". So when you do something morosely, you're not just sad, but you're making sure everyone knows how you're feeling.

Choose your words

Caught between words? Learn how to make the right choice.

that/ which

The words that and which point to something — which one? That one! Before a clause or phrase, a that clause goes with the flow, but a which clause starts with a pause. American English makes a big deal out of the distinction but British English doesn't, which may be why it's so dang confusing.
read more...

prophecy/ prophesy

One letter separates prophecy from prophesy, and the close relationship is derived from a shared word history.
read more...

than/ then

Than compares things, but then is all about time. They sound similar and were even spelled the same until the 1700s. Not anymore! Vive la difference!
read more...

inflammable/ inflammatory

Inflammable and inflammatory can be confused with one another, but they also offer their own source of confusion with the prefix in-. read more...

luxuriant/ luxurious

In yet another attempt to reduce English to features and selling points, advertisers often use luxuriant to describe their products or services. read more...

their/ there/ they're

How do you comfort grammar snobs? Pat them on the back and say, their, there. You see, they're easily comforted, but you have to get it in writing because those words sound alike. Their shows possession (their car is on fire), there is a direction (there is the burning car), and they're is short for "they are" (they're driving into the lake). read more...

See all Choose Your Words articles »
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