deadly/killer & mortal/fatal

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Fri Jan 11 20:16:21 UTC 2013

At 1/11/2013 01:00 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>Note too the surprising connotative difference between "deadly flu
>epidemic" and "killer flu epidemic."  The latter sounds far more lethal. To
>me, anyway.

I used to make a similar kind of distinction between "mortal" (I took
it to mean "might or might not cause death") and fatal ("definitely
causes death").  But I was corrected (about "mortal") by some prescriptivist.


The American Dialect Society -

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