Summer is upon us, for better or worse, bringing hot days and some sweltering days. By itself, hot is a fairly neutral term and when used of things, like hot coffee, refers to a measurable property belonging to the thing itself. In terms of weather, hot can be used to describe the physical feeling of great heat (I’m hot), or the conditions causing that feeling (a hot July day). Sweltering suggests a greater degree and particular quality of heat. Sweltering heat is oppressively hot and humid. Furthermore, whether it’s used of a thing (a sweltering day, sweltering temperatures) or a person (You must be sweltering in those jeans) it emphasizes the physical effects on us of such heat—the sweatiness, faintness, and suffocating heaviness. The now obsolete verb swelt meant originally “to perish.”
Advice and guidance are both helpful nouns, whether you are asking or not. Advice is an opinion or recommendation, usually a practical one, offered as a guide to action or conduct: I shall act on your advice. Guidance is a little more broad; when someone offers guidance, they are providing direction or showing the way. This term is less about personal opinions or recommendations, and more about the sharing of knowledge or wisdom in order to keep one on course—or help them successfully navigate challenges. After all, guidance comes from the verb guide, “to lead the way.” It makes sense, then, that those who are sought out for their guidance are perceived to know the path.
The verbs gather and congregate are birds of a feather. Both terms deal with bringing or coming together. But gather, the more common of the two, is more often used to talk about bringing people or things into one group or place: after they got the tent set up, he went to gather firewood. Congregate is used to talk about people or animals coming together or assembling in large numbers: People waiting for rooms congregated in the hotel lobby. The difference between bringing and coming is key, since the former indicates a transitive verb and the latter indicates intransitive. The related noun congregation is mostly used in association with religious worship, but congregate has a broader range of application: you may hear of fish congregating near a reef or of people congregating in a park. Both terms come from a Latin verb meaning “to flock together.”