Monday, September 17, 2007

This is your next-to-last warning.

Words can be really hurtful. Like, if you insist on trying to seem clever by scattering grad-student words you've heard on CNN throughout your verbiage, you run the serious risk of appearing to be something much worse than the mouth-breathing dullard you secretly fear you are: A pretentious twit. So here are some hints. The word “exponential” has a precise meaning which you should have learned in 7th grade math. It is not a synonym for “mighty big.” The word “comprise”is roughly synonymous with “include.” And finally, I call your attention to this little essay's penultimate word.

3 comments:

Rebecca said...

OK, but the problem is exacerbated by the fact that the English language is comprised of a huge number of of quirks and inconsistent usages. I mean, it's like, exponential! Take a look: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/comprise

Dave said...

Wait. Checking... Drat! She's right! I'm literally eating my heart out.

Rebecca said...

Phew (thinking this expresses relief)! I really never knew comprise could mean include.