Usage Tip: Historic/historical

Do you know the difference between something that’s historic and something that’s historical? These do in fact mean different things!

Historic refers to something that has a big impact on history – say, for example, the historic first landing on the moon.

 

 

Historical refers to something that is simply old or based on the past, such as a historical building, historical data, or historical fiction.

Often, people use historic when they mean historical, though not so much the other way around, I’ve found. This is another pair of words that you want to mentally flag whenever you’re using to make sure you’re using the right one.


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