Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Exciting post with pictures yet to come

But first it's time to announce a new pet peeve. I've heard the word "enormity" misused about a dozen times in the last 20 or so hours, and it's really getting to me. "Enormity" does not just mean "largeness," "greatness," "bigness" or "hugeness"-- it refers to a great EVIL. E.g., The enormity of the concentration camps was not fully understood until after WWII was over. Look it up!

(ranting aside, I only learned this within the past year or so, and enough people are similarly misinformed that in the next few years the definition of the word will change. But in the meantime, will everyone please stop using this word to refer to the ascendancy of the new president-elect!!!!)

3 comments:

Tony Carlson said...

Third definition from Merriam Webster's website.

3: the quality or state of being huge : immensity (the inconceivable enormity of the universe)

daniel the smith said...

Heh. Didn't actually expect anyone to look it up, though I was aware that that definition existed. As far as I know it is a concession to the incessant misuse... I guess I'm about 20 years late to the party, but it was just really bugging me.

Been reading too much of the language log: http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll

Tony Carlson said...

Haha, you didn't think I would take the bait and look it up :) I had to do a fact check on you.