Thursday, February 12, 2015

Word of the Week: Dichotomy

Welcome back to Thursday! Before I get to the Word of the Week, I thought I would fill you in on the answer to the question I asked in yesterday's post. In the song, Weird Al says "Try your best to not drool." The problem with this sentence is that it contains a split infinitive: "to not drool." While many don't care about this old rule anymore, it is best not to split infinitives. The correct way of saying it would be: "Try your best not to drool." Doesn't that read so much more nicely? Now, on to the Word of the Week!

Word: dichotomy

How you say it: [dahy-kot-uh-mee]

What it is: noun

How to pluralize it: dichotomies

What it means: 1.) division into two parts, kinds, etc.; subdivision into halves or pairs. 2.) division into two mutually exclusive, opposed, or contradictory groups: a dichotomy between thought and action. 3.) Botany. a mode of branching by constant forking, as in some stems, in veins of leaves, etc. 4.) Astronomy. the phase of the moon or of an inferior planet when half of its disk is visible. (Definition courtesy of

[Side note: unless you're into botany or astronomy, meanings 1 and 2 will be the most common usage of the word.)

Use it three times and it's yours! Using a word three times can help it stick in your memory.

After Josh broke up with her, Emma found herself trapped in a dichotomy of love and hate.

The experiment was set up as a dichotomy between white rats and gray rats.

Some think that the body and spirit exist in unity rather than dichotomy.

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