Mistrust vs. Distrust

A reader wants to know if there is a difference between the words mistrust and distrust.

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How to Spell Pendulum

A Facebook comment alerted me to a misspelling of the word pendulum that I’d never seen before. Once I began looking, I found thousands of examples.

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Gospel

The word gospel entered Old English as a translation of a Latin phrase meaning “good tidings” or “good news”: god (good) + spell (speech, message).

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Dysphoria and Other Dys- Words

Dysphoria is the opposite of euphoria. Whereas euphoria is a feeling of well-being, dysphoria is a state marked by feeling of unease or discomfort.

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Click vs. Clip

Curious, I cruised the Web to see if I might find other instances of clip used in a context calling for click. I was surprised by how common the error seems to be. Here are just a few examples that I found.

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Dozen: Singular or Plural?

Referring to a recent post, a reader wants to know why I wrote, “Here are a dozen common subordinating conjunctions” and not, “Here is a dozen common subordinating conjunctions.”

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Verb Review #7: Noun Clauses

Clauses function as one of three parts of speech: adverb, adjective, or noun. This review is about noun clauses.

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Fathom vs. Phantom

The writer wishes to point out that the reported Ebola threat to the United States was not only short-lived, but also insubstantial, a “short-term phantom.”

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Form and Forum

What is the difference in form and forum? Are they interchangeable? If not, what is the correct usage for each one?

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Any

Like the indefinite article a/an, the word any derives from a form of the Old English word for one. Primarily an adjective, it is also used as a pronoun.

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Rope-a-Dope and International Affairs

The other day I began listening to an interview between NPR’s Scott Simon and Dennis Ross, a member of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. My attention was stopped cold by this sentence in Simon’s opening remarks.

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