Impinge and infringe both mean ‘to intrude on someone’s rights or property’ or ‘to encroach’. Infringe (but not impinge) carries the related meaning ‘to violate an agreement or law’. Impinge (but not infringe) also means ‘to make an impact’ either literally, in the sense of ‘strike’ or ‘collide’, or figuratively, in the sense of ‘having an effect’. So, you can either impinge or infringe on someone’s privacy, but of the two, you can only infringe a patent, and if an idea has an effect on you, it impinges upon your mind.
Entries in diction (71)
Biannual is synonymous with semiannual. They both mean ‘happening twice a year’, e.g., in February and August. Biennial events, like the Olympics, happen every two years. Biennial plants have a life cycle that requires two years to complete.
A podium is a small raised platform used to elevate a speaker, an orchestra conductor, or the winners in a sporting event. A lectern is a stand with a sloped top, used by a lecturer or a member of the clergy to hold books, notes, or other materials used during a presentation. One stands on top of a podium, and behind a lectern.
In theater blocking, directions are usually provided from the point of view of an actor facing the audience. Stage left is the direction to the actor’s left, and stage right is the direction to the actor’s right. From the audience’s perspective, stage left is house right, and stage right is house left.
Impromptu and extemporaneous both mean ‘unplanned’, ‘unrehearsed’, or ‘improvised’, and are used to describe speeches, performances, or events. Extemporaneous can also mean ‘prepared in advance, but delivered without notes’. So, while extemporaneous may imply some planning, impromptu always implies none.