advice you can use — short and to the point — every Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016 technology  research  practice

A Research Tip

  • Research & Writing


Next: confusing pairs, part 1

Neil Guthrie (@guthrieneil)

7 comments on Words That Don’t Mean What You Think They Do

  1. Steve Simpson says:

    Great tips. But I literally stopped at “unlettered” for a moment. Use of the term in this context seems a bit unwarranted.

  2. Jerry Paxman says:

    Lord X will be disappointed at the enormity of your offense

  3. Eric says:

    Funny, I was just about to post a comment concerning the hilarity of that little jab.

  4. Good post, well written. Thanks. I will be back soon to check out for updates.

  5. Tim says:

    At least two of these words (enormity, fulsome) actually do mean what you say they don’t mean, as revealed by a quick google search – at least in well-accepted secondary meanings and arguably even as primary meanings

  6. Michelle says:

    And CONCERNING does mean troubling or worrisome, as in “That cough is concerning.”

  7. John G says:

    some of these distinctions are gone gone gone, I fear (as Tim says, on Oct 3) – and some are alive but the two meanings are used so much that the word can be considered ‘skunked’ – i.e. it should not be used because listeners or readers may not know which meaning is intended. I would say ‘disinterested’ is one of those, though I would also say it’s probably rarer in its original sense (impartial) than in its mistaken sense (uninterested).

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