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Gail McLauphlin

Denser or More Dense: Using the Comparative Form of Dense

It is easy to misuse the various parts of speech in any language, especially the comparative form of adverbs and adjectives. When it comes to comparing density, which is correct: “denser” or “more dense”? Since “dense” is a one-syllable adjective, the correct form is “denser,” not more dense, according to the rules for forming comparative …

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“A Usual” or “An Usual”: Which Article Should You Use?

“A,” “an,” and “the” function as articles appearing before nouns. “A” and “an” are both indefinite articles because they do not specify which one of anything, while “the” is a definite article indicating the author knows what the noun refers to. When applying indefinite articles, is “a usual” or “an usual” proper grammar? A usual …

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Preternatural vs. Supernatural: What’s the Difference?

The supernatural has fascinated humankind for thousands of years. Ghosts, gods, myths, and mythical creatures are a few examples of how humanity has explained the unexplainable. We tend to believe the two terms are one and the same, but they generally are not. So, what’s the difference between “preternatural” and “supernatural”? “Supernatural” originally referred to …

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Glycerol vs. Glycerin: What’s the Difference?

The use of glycerol and glycerin is widespread across the world in consumer goods production, and consumers often use both terms interchangeably. Still, are they the same, and, if not, what is the difference between glycerin and glycerol? Glycerol is the pure form of the chemical compound. We find it directly in the triglycerides of …

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Dilation or Dilatation: Differences and Usage

Learning how to spell words in the English Language can be frustrating as the spelling and meanings of many words are so close that it makes them difficult to differentiate. For example, dilation and dilatation. Do we use them interchangeably? If not, then what is the difference? The nouns “dilatation” and “dilation” are synonyms when …

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Hypothetically Speaking vs. Theoretically Speaking: Differences and Usage

We have all heard the phrases hypothetically speaking and theoretically speaking and have even used them ourselves, but are we using them correctly? What then is the difference between hypothetically speaking and theoretically speaking?  As adverbs, “hypothetically” and “theoretically” describe ways of speaking about particular assumptions or larger principles for the sake of discussion or …

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