Hallelujah! It’s been a good few years, and we’ve reaped a bumper crop of apocalypses. All things apocalyptic are abundant. Look to the fertile fields of cable news, Top 40 radio, and the mass-market rack at your local bookstore. You’d think people were being paid large sums of money to imply the end times follow the next commercial break. As with any word, overuse dilutes the ideas behind it—and the ubiquity of apocalyptic as a descriptor in popular culture has blurred it into a buzzword. Believing apocalyptic is synonymous with tragic, disastrous, evil or merely sad is now excusable. We’ll break it down below. Here are some frequently asked questions about the apocalypse.

What is the apocalypse anyways?

What’s the difference between apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic?

What’s the difference between an apocalypse and a dystopia?