"reticent" abuse

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Sat Sep 8 23:40:44 UTC 2007

sagehen wrote:


What is it about "reticent" that draws so many people to misuse it?  Is it
that it /sorta sounds like/ "hesitant" and/or "reluctant" or maybe
"retiring"?  Marc Cooper, who oughta know better writes in the current
/Nation/ ..."candidates of both parties are reticent to write off the
Hawkeye State."   He does *not* mean they are keeping mum about their


IMHO it's not how it sounds but how it looks. It doesn't */sound*
/nearly as similar to "reluctant" as it /*looks* /[similar to it]. ... I
could recast that sentence less awkwardly but till I publish I ain't
gonna bother, not here.

m a m

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

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