Monthly Archive: April 2012

Apr 18

“may” or “might”

Question Person

This is another post about English language usage.

The word “may” expresses likelihood.

The word “might” expresses a stronger sense of doubt.

It is a difference of degree.

You may be right means there’s a possibility that you are right.

You might be right means you could be right. Or not.

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Apr 09

chili or chile?

Chili Peppers

Chili Peppers (Photo credit: sarowen)

As is often the case, when to use “chili” or “chile” depends on the context. Both spellings are correct when referring to the capsium  fruit called chili pepper or chile pepper. Use the word “chili”, however, when describing the main dish chili con carne (chili with meat); chiles are powdered to make cayenne pepper. The name of the South American country “Chile” is always capitalized.

For those of us who must also be conversant in British English, the original chilly is also correct.

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