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5 Minute Grammar Lesson – Poisonous or Venomous?

Today’s 5 Minute Grammar Lesson come from a young friend in Florida and explains when to use  POISONOUS or VENOMOUS. Many thanks to Liam for addressing this topic in my 5 Minute Grammar Lesson Series!

Poisonous or Venomous – What’s the Difference

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Poisonous or Venomous – What’s the Difference?

Liam, the author of this post, is making field notes about snakes!

Liam, the author of this post, is making field notes about snakes!

I (Liam) have owned a snake for over 9 months now, and I am frequently showing it off to guests. Some don’t want me to open the cage, some want to hold it, and some are just fine watching it through the glass. I love educating people about snakes, and am almost always asked questions. There are many different questions that people ask me.

However, the most frequently asked question is by far, ‘Is she poisonous?’, to which I reply, ‘She is not venomous.’ I understand how people can get these two words mixed up, as many forms of media incorrectly refer to these two terms. People will often hear a snake or other animal called poisonous, and begin to call venomous animals poisonous as well. In this blog post, I will explain the differences between the two, and give some examples of animals, especially reptiles, that display these traits.

Poisonous

The most commonly used term that inexperienced people use when discussing snakes in poisonous. However, very few snake species are poisonous, though there are quite a few amphibians that are poisonous, such as poison dart frogs (Dendrobatidae). The best way to describe something that is poisonous is that if you come in contact with the animal, you will feel the effects of toxins that are secreted through the skin. The animal will usually have bright colors to warn potential predators not to touch them or try to eat them.

Poisonous animals tend to have this defensive mechanism only as a last resort. 90% of snakes will flee as soon as you come near them, and will not bother you if you do not bother them. However, when feeling very threatened, they will secrete toxins, play dead, or even bite to defend themselves (more on that later). Remember, if someone is handling a snake, then the snake would not be poisonous, and you wouldn’t have to worry about it.

Liam's mom, Chantal who took this picture, says, "This one still had a retained eyecap from his last shed. We didn't offer to remove it for him."

Liam’s mom, Chantal who took this picture, says, “This one still had a retained eyecap from his last shed. We didn’t offer to remove it for him.”

Venomous

The other term, venomous, is typically used by people who have experience with snakes, or who have talked to and have been educated by someone who does. Venomous is generally the correct term for snakes and other reptiles. Over 600 species of snakes around the world are venomous, but only a certain percentage of these are even life-threatening. An animal that is venomous must inject its venom, either through, teeth, saliva, or fangs. When a venomous snake bites, it creates a wound, and then inserts the venom into that wound.

Some snakes inject more venom than other snakes, and some have more deadly types of venom. There are some main types of venom: cytotoxic venom, neurotoxic venom, and hemotoxic venom. Different snakes can have different types of venom, based on several factors. One of these is prey items. Certain animals that the snakes eat can lead to different types of venom production. Don’t forget, venomous animals are animals that must inject venom into their prey, such as snakes.

To the amateur, poisonous and venomous might seem to be the same thing, but when you understand the differences, they appear quite different. Poisonous is dangerous when it comes in contact with the skin. Venomous animals must inject their venoms into their victim, and have various types of venom. I hope that you learned about the difference between poisonous and venomous. 

Today's 5 Minute Grammar explains the difference between Poisonous or Venomous Which one should you use when Stop by on every Sunday for a new topic!

Many thanks to Liam for writing this educational post! His parting wish is this: “The next time you see someone incorrectly use these terms, make sure you don’t just let false information get passed on. Step in, and educate one more person about the differences between poisonous and venomous.”

Facts are facts, you guys. “Alternative facts” have no place in my world.

Want more grammar?

Bias or Biased?

Do to or Due to?

Broke or Broken?

Who’s or WHOSE?

How to make the word PEOPLE possessive

And if you’re looking for helpful grammar resources, here are my top picks:

Grammarly – Instantly fix over 250 types of errors with this free web-based grammar checker!

Strunk & White Elements of Style

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation 

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation 

The Grammar Girl’s Quick & Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Check back next Sunday for another quick grammar lesson! And if you’d like to get weekly grammar tips delivered straight to your inbox, please subscribe to my once a week newsletter. I promise I won’t spam you. 🙂

5 Minute Grammar Lesson – Toward? or Towards?

Welcome back for another 5 Minute Grammar Lesson! Today’s topic is Toward or Towards? Which is right? Does it really matter?!

*This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog.*

5 Minute Grammar Lesson – Toward? or Towards?

Today’s topic is actually pretty short, you guys. Best I can tell, both toward and towards are correct. The difference simply depends on where you’re from.

Are you American?

If so, TOWARD is the preferred version and TOWARDS is technically counted as incorrect in formal writing. I should remember this when I write blog posts, because until I just researched this topic for my post, I honestly didn’t know the difference.

Are you Canadian?

Then, TOWARD is also your preferred version.

Maybe you’re British or Australian?

In your case, the preferred version is TOWARDS and it probably really grates on your nerves to see Americans moving toward anything.

And that’s really all I have to say about that topic. 🙂 Do you have anything to add? 

5 minute grammar lesson. Toward or towards

Want more grammar posts?

Bias or Biased?

Do to or Due to?

Broke or Broken?

Who’s or WHOSE?

How to make the word PEOPLE possessive

And if you’re looking for helpful grammar resources, here are my top picks:

Grammarly – Instantly fix over 250 types of errors with this free web-based grammar checker!

Strunk & White Elements of Style

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation 

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation 

The Grammar Girl’s Quick & Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Check back next Sunday for another quick grammar lesson! And if you’d like to get weekly grammar tips delivered straight to your inbox, please subscribe to my once a week newsletter. I promise I won’t spam you. 🙂

5 Minute Grammar Lesson – Bare with me? or Bear with me?

Welcome back to another 5 Minute Grammar Lesson! This week’s topic is BARE with me or BEAR with me. Which one is correct and what do they mean, anyway?bear with me or bare with me

*This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog.*

Bare with me? or Bear with me?

A while back I wanted to write in a post, “Please bare with me…” But before I posted it, I decided I’d better look up the correct idiom. And it’s a good thing I did. Proofreading is important, y’all. And here’s why.

BARE with me?

Boy, am I glad I did! Because, “Bare with me” means to get naked with me. That’s not the intended meaning I had in mind at all because this isn’t that kind of blog. 😉 The verb BARE in this case means to uncover or reveal.

Bear with me?

The proper usage is BEAR with me. It means to hang on a minute while I go off on a tangent you probably don’t care anything about. The verb BEAR means to tolerate or be patient. I was initially confused by the meaning of the noun BEAR – I mean, what does a fuzzy mammal have to do with anyone being patient with me. I conveniently forgot that BEAR is also a verb…

Bear with me or bare with me - 5 Minute

And that’s it! That’s all there is to the pressing question, should you use BEAR with me or BARE with me. I know you were all dying to know. 😀

Want more grammar posts?

Bias or Biased?

Do to or Due to?

Broke or Broken?

Who’s or WHOSE?

How to make the word PEOPLE possessive

And if you’re looking for helpful grammar resources, here are my top picks:

Grammarly – Instantly fix over 250 types of errors with this free web-based grammar checker!

Strunk & White Elements of Style

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation 

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation 

The Grammar Girl’s Quick & Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Check back next Sunday for another quick grammar lesson! And if you’d like to get weekly grammar tips delivered straight to your inbox, please subscribe to my once a week newsletter. I promise I won’t spam you. 🙂

5 Minute Grammar Lesson – Use to or Used to?!

Today’s weekly grammar lesson explains the correct usage – use to or used to. I attribute this common mistake to the way we pronounce words, but pronouncing and writing are two different things and what you think you hear, isn’t always true.

Grammar - use to or used to

5 Minute Grammar Lesson – Use to or Used to?!

Nine times out of ten, the correct answer is USED to. It’s in the past right?

I USED to be skinny, but then I found wine.

I USED to be funny, but then I had kids.

He USED to be able to ski, but then it got expensive.

All of these examples happened in the past tense and so we need to add -ED to make them past tense. The problem is the -ed ending sometimes sounds like a -t and sometimes sounds like a -d, so we think there’s nothing there because of the TO after the word USE. Regardless, of what it sounds like, the right usage is USED to.

HOWEVER, because this is English, there are always exceptions…

If you’re asking a question or using a negative, THEN, it may be permissible to say USE to. 

I didn’t USE to like kids, until I had my own. YES, it’s correct.

Didn’t you USE to live in Germany? YES, it’s correct also.

Note the word DIDN’T in both of those examples. If did or didn’t appears in the sentence, you USE to.

If there’s no did or didn’t use USED to.

Make sense? 😉

use to or used to WeeklyGrammar

 

Here are more grammar posts you may like:

Bias or Biased?

Do to or Due to?

Broke or Broken?

Who’s or WHOSE?

And if you’re looking for helpful grammar resources, here are my top picks:

Grammarly – Instantly fix over 250 types of errors with this free web-based grammar checker!

Strunk & White Elements of Style

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation 

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation 

The Grammar Girl’s Quick & Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Check back next Sunday for another quick grammar lesson! And if you’d like to get weekly grammar tips delivered straight to your inbox, please subscribe to my once a week newsletter. I promise I won’t spam you. 🙂