"gratuitous" = 'free' ?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Fri Apr 17 17:51:47 UTC 2009

At 4/17/2009 01:40 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>Has anyone in this thread mentioned "gratis"?  Perhaps
>speakers/writers are thinking of "gratis"  for 'free' but transform
>it into a more adjective-appropriate form, merging it with the
>already existing (albeit with a different meaning) "gratuitous".

I see that the OED has for "gratis" (adv) "2. Without a reason or due
cause; unjustifiably, gratuitously" (although called Obs.), and for
(adj) "1. Given or done for nothing; free, gratuitous."

Irregardless, I think Laurence's implied suggestion is useful --
avoid "gratuitous" and perhaps use "gratis".


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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list