diffuse/ defuse

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Mon Jan 31 23:42:15 UTC 2005

I've already answered this one, Fritz....


FRITZ JUENGLING <juengling_fritz at SALKEIZ.K12.OR.US> wrote:
---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Subject: Re: diffuse/ defuse

Didn't she say anything about 'write word'?

>>> wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM 01/29/05 02:58PM >>>
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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