Sunday, 31 August 2008

What a difference a day makes!

Hmm. As I write the rain is still tipping down outside. What a change from yesterday, with a blazing hot sun that allowed me to get out and paint various bits of the outside of our house. A job, I might add, that I've been putting off for ages.

Spent a bit of this morning putting together an exercise machine thingy that I recently ordered from the internet. I think the assembly is probably part of the exercise routine; opening the box, connecting bits of tubing and tightening nuts all use different muscle groups. By the time I'd finished putting it together I was far too tired to use it.

Heard something on the radio that afforded me some little amusement. A gentleman who had intended to use the term "rose tinted spectacles" actually said "rose tinted testicles". Now there's a gap in the market for manufacturers of male grooming products! But what a brilliant malapropism; it's in the same league as "it's invenereal to me," or "It's great to be back on terra cotta." (This last is attributed to politician John Prescott; I don't believe it for a moment!)

I then started thinking about misuse of words in more general terms. The one that always gets me is "prevaricate". Why is it constantly misused by people who seem to think it means "to delay" or "to put off doing something"? It actually means (I know that you, dear reader, are already aware) "to stray from or evade the truth". Why don't these people realise that the word they're looking for is "procrastinate"? There now. You probably think I have too much time on my hands.

1 comment:

Peggy Johnstone said...

Chris! I'm a newcomer to your blog, so I'm starting at the end and working my way to the present. I love your comments about misuse of words; they made me laugh! It's been a pet peeve of mine for years as well, so it's nice to meet a fellow wordsmith. My other pet peeve, which I wonder if you also share, is for punctuation misuse. I ran across a gloriously humorous book about this very thing a year or so ago... "Eats Shoots & Leaves" by Lynne Truss. It's subtitle is "The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation." That just about says it all!