Tag Archives: Language facts

The Word “News” Does Not Derive from the Four Cardinal Directions (North, East, West, South)

Myth: the word “news” derives from the four cardinal directions. While this potential origin of the word news seems plausible enough, it isn’t true.  The truth is, the word news can be traced back to late Middle English around the 14th century as a plural for the adjective “new” or “new thing”.  This is a somewhat rare instance of an […]

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When Adding a Second “PS” at the End of a Letter, It’s “PPS”, Not “PSS”

This, of course, is because “PS” stands for “postscript”. This comes from the Latin “post scriptum” (sometimes written “postscriptum”), which translates to “written after”, or more to the point, “what comes after the writing”. Thus, PSS would mean “postscript script”, which doesn’t really make sense in this context. Rather, the correct way to write this abbreviation is “PPS” for “post-postscript” […]

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It’s “I Could Not Care less”, Not “I Could Care Less”

It’s “I could not care less”, not “I could care less”. These two phrases are often used interchangeably when someone is referring to something that they don’t care about at all, even though the latter implies that you do care somewhat, possibly a lot or just a little; it’s unclear from the statement itself. The former leaves nothing in doubt. […]

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