Friday, September 08, 2006

a two good words

And now, a public service announcement about vocabulary from Marginally Clever . . .

I often hear people conflate two words (one of which is probably in my top-20 favorite all-time words, maybe top-18 - haven't completely hashed that out yet) that share similarity in sounding, but not meaning. Those words are commiserate (To feel or express sorrow or pity for; sympathize with) and commensurate (Corresponding in size or degree; proportionate: a salary commensurate with my performance).

People want to use commensurate, but instead use commiserate. While I could see how the words might be stored in the same part (of the vocab part) of the brain, they are entirely different. (Fyi, commensurate is my top-18/20 word.)

The world of vocabulary is riddled with such verbal pratfalls. Proceed with caution friends.


Blogger Queen of West Procrastination said...

I often hear the same thing done with "condone" and "condole." Which is always hilarious to me.

12:34 AM

Blogger NewYorkMoments said...

One of my former bosses used to be a master of malapropisms.

2:44 PM


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