Posted by: Jack Henry | September 28, 2017

Editor’s Corner: Historic or Historical?

Last week, I wrote a post about historical swear words. And the word historical made me think. I know that many of us are confused about whether to use the word historic or the word historical. I looked up this word pair to see if there is an easy way to remember which word to use in specific circumstances. It turns out there is a nifty mnemonic.

First, let’s start with definitions for each.

· Historic means “something important or influential in history.”

· Historical means “anything from the past.”

You visit historic sites (important sites like Stonehenge or the Coliseum); you share historical Elizabethan swear words with your friends.

The mnemonic to help you remember which word to use comes from William Safire: “Any past event is historical, but only the most memorable are historic.”

If you want to read more about these two words, the Grammar Girl website has an interesting article.

Donna Bradley Burcher | Senior Technical Editor | Symitar®

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  1. […] recently wrote a post about the words historic and historical. And that research got me thinking about the words economic and economical. Are these words […]

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