[Ads-l] "obtuse" = 'obscure', 'vague', 'reticent'

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Sep 17 21:10:55 EDT 2017


“Don’t know how common this use is."

Yeah. It’s kinda obtuse.

On Sun, Sep 17, 2017 at 8:45 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
wrote:

> Besides its earlier meaning of ‘stupid, dense’, “obtuse” has for some time
> been used to denote something more along the lines of ‘stubborn’, perhaps
> influenced by ‘obstinate’. ( But it’s also been showing up in contexts
> where the meaning is closer to ‘obscure’, possibly influenced by “abstruse”
> and/or by a transfer between the two senses of “dense”, as suggested by Ben
> and other contributors to this exchange on the eggcorn forum:
>
> http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/forum/viewtopic.php?id=144
>
> But while the contribution of “abstruse” may be relevant for some of the
> examples discussed in that thread and in other online forums—e.g for
> difficult-to-understand scientific theories or difficult-to-connect-with
> music—I just heard a use on TV in which a football commentator noted that
> Minnesota Vikings’ coach Mike Zimmer (no relation to Ben) was being
> “obtuse” in not providing details on the injury status of his quarterback
> Sam Bradford.  No doubt there’s a confusion between “obtuse” and “obscure”
> here, but I doubt “abstruse” is playing a role.  Don’t know how common this
> use is.
>
> LH
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>



-- 
-Wilson
-----
All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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


More information about the Ads-l mailing list