diffuse/ defuse

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sat Jan 29 22:58:29 UTC 2005

These verbs are increasingly confused in writing, with "defuse" threatening to oust the other.

Anyone else notice this?

I gave a high school English teacher the following inquisitorial test:

"Which is the write word?    'The ghostly vapor was slowly (diffused / defused) throughout the haunted tax office.'"

She immediately selected "defused" as correct.  Under further inquisition she confessed that "diffused" just looked wrong."

E pede Herculem,


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