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Pronouncing Groceries

Many people pronounce the word groceries as if it were spelled “grosheries.” The more common pronunciation, though, is the sibilant GROSS-er-reez. This is part of a complete episode.

Receipt and Recipe

The word receipt is occasionally used a synonym for recipe, as in “a list of ingredients in a dish and instructions on how to make it.” Both words come from the same Latin root, recipere, meaning “to receive.” The use of...


Does penultimate mean the very last? No! It means second to last, taking from the Latin word paene, meaning almost. It’s the same Latin root that gives us the word for that “almost island,” a peninsula. People misusing penultimate...


The word stet was borrowed from the Latin word spelled the same way, which translates “let it stand.” Stet is commonly used by writers and editors to indicate that something should remain as written, especially after a correction has...

Flyer vs. Flier

Is the synonym for pamphlet spelled flyer or flier? Both. In the UK, it’s more often flyer, and in the US, flier is preferred. This is part of a complete episode.

Beer Cozy or Koozie

The foam sleeve you put around a can of ice-cold beer or soda sometimes goes by a name that sounds like the word “cozy.” But how do you spell it? As with words that are primarily spoken, not written, it’s hard to find a single...

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