Is “Illustrationist” a word?

Is “illustrationist” an existing word? Or should I use ‘illustrator’ instead? Answer It is a legitimately formed term, combining “illustration” and the suffix “-ist”. But, since the term “illustrator” exists and is commonly used, that is preferred. You might still want to use “illustrationist” in some cases since it tends to imply a more exceptional … Read more

Is “deacceleratingly” a valid word?

Deaccelerate means the same as decelerate, though it seems to be a much less common alternative. I did not know this until recently, as I had used this alternative all my life. It just seemed logical to me, deaccelerate is accelerate with a negative prefix. I came to believe that deaccelerate was the “father” of … Read more

Is “misreact” a word?

I am trying to describe someone’s reactions in a situation. At first I used the word overreact, but then I realized it is not only the person’s overreaction but also other kinds of inappropriate or unexpected reactions. Then I came across “misreact” which seems to be the right word, except that I am not sure … Read more

Is multifunctionality an actual word?

After checking a few dictionaries like, I noticed that the only form of this word they recognize is the adjective form: multifunctional. The only noun form listed is "functionality." However in most spellchecking applications, no error is thrown when I type "multifunctionality." I tried investigating further and found that "multifunctionality" can have industry specific … Read more

If “cleanliness” is a word can I say something is “cleanly”?

As per the question, I might have spelt cleanly wrong… Answer ‘Cleanly’ meaning (of a person) ‘habitually clean and careful to avoid dirt’ is archaic, and should be used with care, e.g. in poetry or period dialogue. ADJECTIVE archaic Habitually clean and careful to avoid dirt. ‘some plain but cleanly country maid’ Cleanly (Oxford Dictionaries) … Read more

Is “startlement” a word?

I have always thought that startlement is a word in the lexicon. But one day when I was writing in a google doc, I saw it underlined like a typo. I googled it to see if it was indeed a word, or a construct of my imagination, and I found very contradicting answers. It wasn’t … Read more

Is “whom’s” a valid contraction?

Who’s is valid, as in Who’s going? (Who is going?) So surely whom’s should be valid, as in Whom’s he invited? (Whom has he invited?) Answer There is no official list of valid contractions for the English language. We might be able to logically deduce that whom’s is “invalid” if there were some general syntactic … Read more

Is “contentual” a proper word?

Is contentual a proper word? I saw in Wiktionary that it is considered to be a proper word: contentual adjective Relating to content (as apposed to context) However, I have not seen it cited in any major dictionaries (Websters, Oxford, Collins etc.). If the reason it is not in these dictionaries is because the word … Read more

Is “modificate” an English word?

Is “modificate” a correct English word? From source: (Webster Dictionary) Modificate (verb) to qualify Origin: [See Modify.] But if I look in the Cambridge dictionary, it returns nothing: Answer It appears to be an obsolete usage of Latin origin (modificare) “to limit, measure off, restrain," from modus "measure, manner", probably used mainly in … Read more