A Point of Clarification

July 22, 2011 Comments Off on A Point of Clarification

As my dearest brother Hadrian has reminded me, there is a difference between letting bad grammar slide and letting bad vocab slide. Therefore I must clarify: I am now going easy on grammar. I AM NOT and never will be going easy on misunderstandings of perfectly good words. Language is elastic and ever-evolving and so on but that’s not an excuse for using whatever word you feel like in hopes that, since it sounds sort of like a word you think you know, it is the correct choice. The case in point is “bemused,” which many people think means “slightly amused” but actually means “nonplussed, perplexed.” English is a beautiful rich language and it is my sworn duty to uphold and protect its lovely vocabulary, lest the people who think “belligerent” means “really drunk” succeed in tearing it down. I have spoken.

And Hadrian has succeeded in provoking me, of course, but this was important. I shake my fist at thee, sirrah!

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