"contemptuous" = "contemptible"

sagehen sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM
Sun Sep 3 17:35:49 UTC 2006

>OED has this from 1549 to 1796, but marks it as "_Obs_."  Would that it
>were true:
>  2005 _New Yorker_ (Aug. 8) 65: You contemptuous pup!
>  These words are spoken by a crazed killer in Matthew Sweeney's poem,
>"Naked."  I see no indication in the poem that the victim is literally
>  Those requiring more evidence may Google up "contemptuous little" and
>similar phrases and decide for themselves how to interpret them.  Many are
>indeterminate, of course.
>  Am sure I've encountered this usage a number of times over the years,
>but am not sure that I've ever seen a warning against it.  AHD online,
>s.v. contemptuous, offers none.
>  JL
I ran across "conversant" where "conversible"  ought to have been used, but
this was in a book so ineptly written  & with so many similar bad choices
that it almost went unnoticed. I don't suppose it is as common as
"contemptuous" for "contemptible."

W stands for >:<  War ____Waste___Wiretaps____Witchhunts  >:<

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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