Friday, April 27, 2007

A Lunchtime Word Rant

Posted by Kirk Mona
Please allow me to get my writers geek on for a moment.

Chelsey pointed out to me today that the abomination of a word, disorientate, is in the dictionary. Here's some links.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/disorientate
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/disorientate
http://www.merriamwebster.com/dictionary/disorientate

I assume it is in the OED as well but I don't have a 20 volume copy handy and I don't have an online subscription.

Coming from a line of teachers and writers, I learned some time after finishing Dick and Jane that if Spot is lost he is disoriented not disorientated. Disorientate is a vulgar, pointless word.

The Columbia Guide to Standard American English says they are synonyms and both valid words but also says that those, "who seek conciseness and dislike polysyllables prefer disorient and argue that disorientate is both ugly and unnecessary."

Well, I have news for the Columbia Guide folks, disorient is polysyllabic too but, yes, disorientate is both ugly and unnecessary.

Look people, irregardless is in the dictionary too and so is ain't. Just because a word is in the dictionary doesn't mean you don't sound like and idiot when you use it.

~Kirk

2 comments:

Chelsey said...

How about misunderstimate?

Kirk Mona said...

Well, misunderestimate is just a stupid word the president made up but it isn't in the dictionary. Neither is Nuculur but he insists on saying it way.

~Kirk