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A Longer Response to the Internet About My “Words” Article

July 24, 2013

Words

An alternate title for this post might be “I Posted Something On the Internet Once That Missed A Couple Details and People Got Mad and I Feel Semi-Bad About It” or, put more simply, “Don’t Hate Me?” Why? Let me explain.

Recently, I wrote an article on HelloGiggles called 10 Words You Have Probably Been Misusing. I wrote it for fun because I like to compare the origins of words with their current meanings and laugh at the inconsistencies. (I’m a riot at parties.) But, I unexpectedly watched my comment count go from 3 to 103 in under a day and realized that the Internet had a negative reaction to what I thought was a cute, fun article about definitions. This was obviously not my intention. When I researched ideas for this piece, I found numerous articles listing “misused” words that I thought were pretty interesting. I mixed these findings with my own additions to create the list I posted on the site.

Here’s what I mainly want to convey with this follow-up blog post: the definitions I was using were based on the original definitions of these words. I clearly understand that words, over time, adopt new meanings as a result of cultural trends. Gay (as in “that’s so gay”), used to mean “happy” but now acts as a very derogatory word intended to bring others down. The definition changed because we made it change. It happens. It happened to many of the words on my list. That’s not what I was writing about. I’m sorry if that’s not how it came off or if that’s how you perceived it. In retrospect, I realize that I was overly confident about the definitions going into the piece, some of which had developed new meanings, and as a result, I sounded very “This is the only definition and you all suck for not knowing it,” which was not the tone I intended to convey. I’m sorry but, at the same time, I cannot take it back. I had fun writing it and even if I didn’t, even if I hated every little piece of it, there’s no taking it back. The Internet has it now.

That being said, I’m always shocked at what people react to on the Internet and the ferocity with which they respond to certain pieces, especially now. I try to prevent this from happening as much as possible but sometimes, it’s hard to predict what people will focus on or what they will take offense to.

This is to set the record straight. These were the definitions I was basing my post off of. (A preposition at the end of a sentence? Blasphemy.) The hyperlinks will lead you to the original entries.

Travesty (n.): a burlesque translation or literary or artistic imitation usually grotesquely incongruous in style, treatment, or subject matter (Merriam-Webster)

Ironic (adj.): poignantly contrary to what was expected or intended (FreeDictionary.com) (The only reason I cite FreeDictionary.com here and not Merriam-Webster is because good ol’ Merriam defines Ironic as “relating to or containing irony” which I didn’t think was particularly helpful.)

Peruse (v.): to examine or consider with attention and in detail (Merriam-Webster)

– * Our overuse of the definition “to skim” for this word has caused it to be included in the dictionary as a new definition. This is the case with many of the words on the list.

Bemuse (v.): to make confused; tolerant amusement (Merriam-Webster)

Compel (v.): to drive or urge forcefully (Merriam-Webster)

Nauseous (adj.): causing nausea or disgust (Merriam-Webster & Numerous. Other. Sites.)

– There is an alternate definition, “affected with nausea or disgust,” for the *same reason Peruse has a dual-definiton. We’ve used “I feel nauseous” to mean “I feel nauseated” so much, it has become an accepted definition.

Conversate (v.): N/A

– Even according to Merriam-Webster, conversate is a “nonstandard” deviation of converse.

Redundant (adj.): exceeding what is necessary, superfluous (Merriam-Webster)

Enormity (n.): an outrageous, improper, vicious, or immoral act (Merriam-Webster)

– Alternate definition: immense…see *above for explanation.

Terrific (adj.): exciting or fit to excite fear or awe (Merriam-Webster)

– Alternate definition: unusually fine

GOOD LORD. I apologize for any personal offense I may have accidentally caused. This explanation is over now. I’m tired and annoyed and confused and sad all at the same time, which can’t be good for my health. Thanks for listening, Internet.

Image via LanguageLog

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54 Comments leave one →
  1. July 24, 2013 4:11 am

    Hey there Tyler…just read this post on Facebook…one of my friends reposted it…then I got all excited because it said you went to Wheaton College…and I said to myself, “Hey! I went to Wheaton College!” Then I kept reading and it said “in Boston.” And then I said to myself, “Oh…THAT Wheaton College.” Then I was less excited, but still enjoyed reading your article. I too love stuff like this…so thanks for the education!

    • Tyler Vendetti permalink*
      July 24, 2013 4:23 am

      Hahah someone really needs to get on that same-name problem. I’ve mistaken at least 3 people on Facebook as classmates only to find out they go to your school. But anyways, thanks for reading! I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂
      – a Massachusetts Wheatie

  2. Jon in Iowa permalink
    July 24, 2013 4:20 am

    “10) Terrific

    What you may think it means: awesome”

    Might want to look up “awesome” while you’re at it. It has to be the most-often-misused word in American English.

    • Tyler Vendetti permalink*
      July 24, 2013 4:30 am

      That is true. I’ve also been told that the definition of “awesome” as “great” is a very American definition, in that people from other countries use the word’s original meaning, “large.” Just something I heard, though. Thanks for the comment. You make a good point!

  3. July 24, 2013 5:29 am

    I read this post on Hello Giggles and thought it was funny and enjoyed it. It baffles me the length people on the internet will go to to protect something, prove someone wrong or prove themselves smart/better etc.
    Good Lord!

    • Tyler Vendetti permalink*
      July 24, 2013 3:42 pm

      I know! I swear I could write a thesis on Internet commenters. They’re inexplicably evil sometimes.

  4. kishore permalink
    July 24, 2013 5:55 am

    The ‘ferocity’ with which people respond on the internet is truly worthy of a study in itself. Your article was funny and thought provoking. Don’t be tired, confused or sad. And most importantly don’t give up on you sense of humour!

    • Tyler Vendetti permalink*
      July 24, 2013 3:44 pm

      It really is. Sigh. I definitely will keep writing, perhaps with a little more attention to what could be considered sensitive information. It’s just so tiring to deal with these things sometimes, you know?

      Anyway, thanks for reading/commenting nicely/thinking I’m funny! 🙂

  5. July 24, 2013 6:38 am

    One has to learn over time that most internet people (since you’d appreciate this, I’ll point out that I purposefully refuse to capitalize the word “internet” since it’s become such a universal system such as the sewer or the sky) who actually are not lurkers are simply looking for things by which they can get riled up. They enjoy the poisonous yet addictive feeling of looking down their virtual noses at other virtual people. To paraphrase another blogger with whom I have worked in the past who gave me this sound advice when I mentioned on my personal blog that internet people seem to be out to destroy mankind:

    “It’s good to remember that most of those kinds of people spend their lives on the internet, sitting in their sleep clothes, scratching their bums, and have a dedicated World of Warcraft server whirring in the background.”

    In other words, the people who tear you down on the internet do so because they actually don’t have anything worth tearing down in their own lives.

    I’ve been RSS-feeding myself on your blog for a while. Thought I’d emerge from the shadows and share some of my hard-won salty blog wisdom.

    • Tyler Vendetti permalink*
      July 24, 2013 3:48 pm

      Hahah well I appreciate your emergence. I surely hope you’re right.

  6. July 24, 2013 7:16 am

    Your original post rocked. The Grammar Nazis are not seeing the irony, which is terrifically terrifying to the point of being nauseatingly nauseous.

    • Tyler Vendetti permalink*
      July 24, 2013 3:49 pm

      Haha thanks! 🙂

  7. Karen permalink
    July 24, 2013 10:44 am

    I have to agree with Daile – the original post was funny and quite enjoyable. Haters will hate, though.

  8. July 24, 2013 12:34 pm

    Here are my thoughts. 1. You should NEVER apologize for an article that you’ve written (an article about words)- everyone is going to have an opinion, and they are entitiled to it, and you are asking for their feedback by writing on a site that allows a space for comments! IGNORE IGNORE IGNORE 2. You are 20 years old, and you are an incredibly talented young lady who A) writes for hellogiggles, B) who’s articles are shared by Zooey on a regular basis, and C) has already been published in Cosmo! You have nothing to back pedal or apologize for. And last but not least, this article in particular has 58K likes… not DISlikes, so all of those haters can go hate somewhere else because they are clearly outnumbered LOL. XOXO

  9. jaj32 permalink
    July 24, 2013 12:44 pm

    I thought the article was interesting and a cute idea but I think it is the way you presented it that may have caused the reaction. If you had mentioned the part about how the current meanings are so different from their original meanings I think it would have been an entirely different reaction.

    Also, I know you use gay as an example here, but I would like to say that it is not usually thought of as very derogatory. The phrase, “That’s so gay.” is used to out people down, that’s true. The word itself, in the context of homosexuality, is not a put down.

    Just a bit of friendly feedback to keep in mind for next time!

    -Jessica

    • Tyler Vendetti permalink*
      July 24, 2013 3:54 pm

      I think I’m starting to realize that too. I think I just went in with too much confidence, not realizing many of the words had developed new definitions, so it comes off as a very pedantic rant about a flawed piece, which just sets it up for criticism (understandably). Thanks for the feedback! I’m glad someone liked it at least. 🙂

  10. July 24, 2013 2:18 pm

    Ditto what Daile said. Don’t let the Merriam-Webster Tar n’ Feather Brigade spoil a good post. For those who read it as you intended, it was fun. ‘Nuff said.

    And I’ll also echo Jeff’s comment: Love Wheaton College! But, um, the one in northern Illinois. 🙂

    • Tyler Vendetti permalink*
      July 24, 2013 5:29 pm

      Tar n’ Feather Brigade hahah. I like that. And you should give us Massachusetts Wheaties a chance! We have a duck that looks like a cow. That has to mean SOMETHING. 🙂 (But thanks!)

  11. July 24, 2013 2:59 pm

    Hey Taylor,

    I’ve just read this post and wanted to say don’t worry about the comments – I write for a website too, and there are always plenty of pedants looking to pick on anything and everything – and not in a particularly nice way. Plus, the post was really fun! So they can pipe down and chill out.

    Looking forward to reading more!

    • July 24, 2013 3:00 pm

      Tyler, not Taylor… haha, maybe the pedants are needed sometimes 😉

    • Tyler Vendetti permalink*
      July 24, 2013 3:58 pm

      Haha thanks! I really try not to read the comments but when there are suddenly 130 of them after a few hours, I can’t ignore it as easily and then I read them and get “burned” and end up sitting in a pile of self-pity re-thinking all of my life decisions. The article is already out there and I can’t change the tone or content so I try not to worry about it but its hard. There’s always next time!
      Thanks for reading!

  12. July 24, 2013 4:46 pm

    Ugh, I’m sorry the Internet trolls have come out to get you. It’s always easier to bash on somebody’s work than try to write something original of your own. I freelance write for a few places around the web, and I was getting down about mean comments recently. A writerly friend pointed out that many, many people probably read the piece and had a positive reaction and thus did not leave a comment. Only the people who are pissy/trying to prove their own self-worth leave an attacking note in the comments. For the record, I quite enjoyed your piece and obviously knew what you were getting at!

    • Tyler Vendetti permalink*
      July 24, 2013 5:06 pm

      Thank you!! To be honest, I wouldn’t mind the criticism so much if it were not targeted towards me personally. Somehow, people manage to make the leap from “faulty article” to “ignorant writer” based off of one piece. It’s truly baffling. And I agree with your writerly friend. I mean, an obscene amount of people have “liked” the post on Facebook. While half of them may be “liking” it because it’s flawed and ridiculous, the other half may have actually liked it because they liked it, which is still a lot of likes, and that brings me a tiny bit of comfort. The best thing I can do is ride it out and be more aware next time. Lesson learned.

      • July 25, 2013 10:45 am

        Well to be fair, technically you were ignorant on that matter and,- as a nice person above suggested – you had made overreaching claims, which you now realise was a mistake. Fortunately, the crowd has provided information and… Behold: learning!

        Some people in their insecurities attack the person when they see a mistake, especially on the internets! However,if you read it as attacking the ideas, and that they are committing the error you mention here, making it personal without knowing you, then you’ll respond in a more emotionally secure way yourself! The best you can do in that situation is not react defensively, but make a correction, which you’ve attempted here! Dealing with the Internets is about being the bigger person, so let trolls be trolls and don’t feed them.

        I do have one disagreement with this post though… in that calling people grammar nazis seems too defensive. A simple “oops, I claimed too much” is better than returning the ad hominem! You seem like a lovely person, so why stoop to their level? Although I read the original post and found several holes in it, I could see you were trying to do something useful, and popular. I didn’t comment (life’s too short), and it’s only someone else that showed me this. And even I feel a little insulted! This post does read more like a self-justification rather than a mea culpa, and that’s like a non-apology from a politician! I’m sure some people overreacted (I didn’t read many of the original comments), but it may be a better tactic to let that go and just admit the mistake, with thanks for the comments… And as your grandma might have said: being humble is better for the soul 8)

        We all make mistakes, and people will criticise rightly if there are errors… but others will criticise harshly without being nice about it, which is a pity. Some will hurt your feelings whatever happens, even while their comments are correct! Don’t take it personally, “ride it out” as you say, but and your future articles will be even better…

        BTW I did find one item in the list I didn’t know about the original definitions. Put in that way I’d have loved discovering that, as I’m a word-lover and that’s a rare discovery! My attitude to language is aligned with my favourite broadcaster, Stephen Fry: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ovi7uQbtKas

        Good luck, and happy learning!

      • Tyler Vendetti permalink*
        July 25, 2013 3:08 pm

        To be honest, I was emotionally charged when I wrote the title and the only reason I didn’t change it afterwards is because it would also change the URL and it would make it harder to find this post.

        But, you make a good point. Many good points. I tend to hear the “trolls” who attack your character more than I hear other commenters, and it hurts sometimes, but I’ve been trying not to become overly defensive about it. At least this will give me good practice for the future.

  13. July 24, 2013 5:29 pm

    Hey Tyler,

    I read your piece on HelloGiggles, followed it here, was all amped up to read loads of your essays and have had to stop here, because I am baffled that anyone could find your post offensive. I mean, I’m kind of a word nut (a sesquipedalian if you will:) Just kidding.), and I learned a thing or two! It was a fun piece. The internet has created a monster– these trolls. They terrify me and keep me from writing anything too impassioned or… that’s not quite true…at least keep me too frightened to write for a bigger website. Have you read the comments on CNN.com or the Huffington Post? Any popular piece is going to attract the wackos. It was nice of you to explain and apologize, but I really don’t you think you had anything to explain or apologize for. The tone of your piece was funny, light and confident (and smart.) Those are all wonderful things :). Okay, back to reading lots of your posts.

    Best,
    Izzy

    http://www.izzydavid.com
    http://www.brooklynbooksandbabies.com

    • Tyler Vendetti permalink*
      July 24, 2013 5:43 pm

      🙂 Thank you for that comment! It made my morning. I wonder if there’s a Firefox add-on to just make the comments section of blog sites invisible. It might make my life easier.

  14. July 24, 2013 6:24 pm

    Hey,
    I followed your post from a friends wall on Facebook which led me to HelloGiggles, which led me to your Blog. I too find it ridiculous how people just stay up to police your tweet or a post or anything for that matter. I’m Jamaican and English is our national language though we do have a local slang that when used people often mistake as ‘bad English’ even when its clear that English is not the language being used here. I’m way guilty of misusing the word ‘Travesty’ as i’m known for my dramatics and grammar is the least of my concerns when i’m in my elements. lol

    • Tyler Vendetti permalink*
      July 24, 2013 6:27 pm

      Haha I was so shocked when I found out what travesty really meant. I felt betrayed by the world. Thanks though! I don’t understand it either.

  15. Suzanne Evans permalink
    July 25, 2013 2:44 am

    I too was shocked as I started reading the comments. One person after another after another felt the need to educate you, and no one was jumping in to defend you or to thank you for educating us! While I don’t think you needed to apologize for your post, I did love your vulnerability in admitting that you feel “tired and annoyed and confused and sad all at the same time” — because I had begun to feel annoyed and sad for you, thinking “Give it a break already! She’s a college girl who’s in love with language! We need more of her kind! She is not the enemy!” Yikes! I’m glad I followed the link over here to get a fuller view of who you are. I’m going to read more of what you’ve written. (I also went to the other Wheaton, long, long ago, long enough ago to be your grandmother. And I love language too.)

    • Tyler Vendetti permalink*
      July 25, 2013 3:14 pm

      🙂 As a fellow (across the country) Wheatie, I thank you for this post. The goal of the article and every article in that column is to give people fun facts about language. I never expected them to be an invitation to be hateful, to me and everyone else. HelloGiggles is a positive site and I’m sad that my post has attracted so many angry people that take my writing as a personal offense somehow. Hopefully we can get back to that happy atmosphere after this all blows over.

  16. Melissa permalink
    July 25, 2013 4:49 am

    I loved this article! I laughed out loud a number of times at your hilarious writing. People can be such stick in the muds about such SERIOUS issues as this! Please! Do they not have better things to do? I also find this kind of stuff fascinating! Like why do they say ‘Dead Ringer’ for someone who looks like you. I actually knew the explanation for that and have since forgotten! My daughter is an English Lit major and I am always picking her brain about grammar and stuff! Keep writing exactly what pleases you and don’t let anyone get you down! Thanks for the laugh! I will hopefully always remember about the terrific thing! Creepy! 🙂

    • Tyler Vendetti permalink*
      July 25, 2013 3:14 pm

      Hmmm I’ve never thought about the dead ringer phrase. I’ll have to look it up! But thank you! 🙂

  17. July 25, 2013 8:05 pm

    I loved it.

  18. Matt permalink
    July 25, 2013 8:17 pm

    Good work pissing off the interwebs Tyler. I think you might have stumbled upon the great grammar war between Descriptivites and the Prescriptians. Basically they argue over the correct use of the any given word: whether it is more proper to define a word by the way it is used now (Descriptive) or the way it was orignally intended (Prescriptive). N.B. I may have made up the name for the opposing clans but apparently the argument is a real thing. I only know this because I read this essay (http://instruct.westvalley.edu/lafave/DFW_present_tense.html) by David Foster Wallace. I think you’d like it (if you haven’t read it already).

    • Tyler Vendetti permalink*
      July 26, 2013 3:56 am

      It was a war that I didn’t know existed until today. I haven’t read that essay but I’ll definitely check it out to see what all the fuss is about. Sigh…

      Thanks for the comment!

  19. July 25, 2013 9:59 pm

    I thought it was Great and I’m your brand new fan! That is if you even need one. 🙂 Carry on, well done, and all kinds of other accolades. I loved the one about terrific. Makes sense.

    • Tyler Vendetti permalink*
      July 26, 2013 3:54 am

      I’ll always accept a fan. 🙂 Thank you!

  20. July 26, 2013 3:14 am

    Conversate is not a word. Anyone using it in my presence is immediately mocked.

  21. July 26, 2013 4:01 am

    I didn’t read through the other comments, but I thought your article was funny, light, and entertaining. People just like something to complain about. Don’t worry; you were fine.

    • Tyler Vendetti permalink*
      July 26, 2013 4:08 am

      Thank you!! I honestly never expected people to be so angry about such a light-hearted topic. It’s mind-boggling to me how that one post attracted so much criticism. *shrugs* At least some people enjoyed it! 🙂

  22. July 26, 2013 4:43 pm

    Hey Tyler,

    Just thought I’d pop in. I was linked to your article through a writer, and I will guess that many of the comments were from people linked through writing and literature as well.

    I just wanted to give you a kind of pat on the back, but also to encourage you to learn from this. I didn’t find any of the comments particularly negative nor did I see them as personal attacks. Your original article was written in such a way that it was meant to be a resource, regardless of your intent. There is no such thing as a “cute” article on grammar/word usage, unfortunately. The comments suggesting that more research should have been done were valid. Every piece that goes up on the Internet should be thoroughly checked and edited, and if your intent is something opposite of what readers will *assume* or *perceive*, write a disclaimer in.

    The last time I wrote a small piece on common mistakes I see in books I edit and read for submissions, I checked it numerous times with my CMS to make sure everything was correct. I still got some comments that style is different for some publishing houses, but having a clear disclaimer saying, “this is Chicago” made the discussion more positive.

    In this day and age, if something is incorrect, people with pounce on it. It’s unfortunate that the language used in some of the comments was hurtful, but that doesn’t make the posters “trolls.” It just means they care about the language and don’t want others to be given information that is not quite accurate. (Imagine a young pre-teen telling her class she thinks Hitler was “terrific.”) Try not to blame them. They mean well, not ill, as much as it seems the opposite.

    But I will give you an example of this situation in a different world. Imagine that you *love* dogs, maybe run a blog on dogs and their habits, etc. Someone, who claims to be studying dogs professionally, writes a post on how you may think your Yorkshire Terrier is cute and cuddly, but it’s actually a ratter and should be hunting rats. As someone who cares about dog behaviour, you would probably respond just the way your article responses have been: that perhaps that was the case back then, but it’s no longer valid, and telling people they should be sticking their pups in sewers to hunt rats isn’t necessarily great advice.

    So try not to take anything personally. At the end of the day, what you learned from it is far more important. This is not going to be the end of your world in words, nor is it going to last forever. People will calm down and move on to something else. I think in terms of damage control, get the comments section locked and throw up a top-post disclaimer explaining that your intent was not to be a resource, etc. Or, rewrite the article. I think you’ll see that those who objected to this one will have great respect for you.

    This went on longer than I’d intended, but I really just wanted to throw in a bit of the view from the other side. It’s scary putting your words out there, but I think this article and the comments has not only begun an interesting discussion about language evolution, but also has given a learning point not only for you, but for many other writers and bloggers. Research, check with others for POV and assumption, and ensure your content fits the intent.

    Though it may not seem so now, this experience is good. You’ve seen the other side, so for your next article you can prepare and make it awesome!

    Hope this helps a bit. I think it’s important for all of us to see the entire spectrum, not just to categorize those who disagree as “trolls” or “grammar nazis,” and also to see that we are all evolving, and we may not always be right, but if we’re not, there is always someone out there willing to help you learn. 🙂 Cheers, and keep writing!

    • Tyler Vendetti permalink*
      August 6, 2013 2:24 am

      Hi Lindsay,
      Thank you for this comment! (Seriously. Not many people take the time to give such in-depth feedback, I appreciate it.) I’ve definitely learned a lot from this experience (including never to write a response to negative internet comments so soon after the original publication because writing angry will result in generally unhelpful defensiveness on my part). While I can’t rewrite the article or remove it, I may end up publishing a follow-up/part 2 to this piece, in which case, I will use all of this advice to counter the 400+ responses and avoid the same backlash. *fingers crossed* Until then, I’m just riding out the negativity.
      – Tyler

  23. DJ Unk permalink
    July 28, 2013 9:31 am

    Ditto what combatepistemology and Lindsay said.

    You’ve got a fun personality and tone, so — absolutely — keep writing. +1 for you.

    You also had the instinct to pick a great title that probably got you tons more clicks than something like “Ten Words That Mean Something More Than You Think They Do.” We all love to measure ourselves, hoping we rise above the pack yet fearing desperately we won’t. And fear compels us to click. Another +1 for you.

    Recognize, however, that the content of your post had weaknesses — and more than just “missing a couple details.” You posed a problem, but answered it superficially; the answers themselves weren’t necessarily superficial, but the research and analysis and formulation/presentation of question+answer were insufficiently thoughtful. -1 for you.

    And unfortunately, your defense above only confirms the notion and repeats the same errors. (Please, stop digging…) Another -1 for you.

    But the tally’s not done. You freaking finished and published a piece of writing (+1), got tons of attention, much of it positive (+1), and learned (we hope) some good lessons (+1). Looks like you’re up by 3.

    P.S. The blasphemy, if there is one, is not ending the sentence with a preposition — that’s been playing for centuries — but using “off of” instead of “on” with the verb “based.” I know that “based off of” is a commonly used, informal phrase, and I have nothing against informal language in informal settings. I have a well-educated doctor friend who uses it all the time — plus, he uses “off” as an all-purpose adverb and preposition — and I still like him! 🙂

    But “based off of” strikes me as illogical and imprecise when compared to “based on,” and it doesn’t seem to add anything to our conversational palette, when playing against “based on,” except its awkwardness.

    P.P.S. If I had responded to the original post, I would have nixed my comments on nine words and remarked on only “conversate,” in response to your conclusion and about half the commenters who said that some word or another “didn’t exist.”

    OF COURSE “conversate” exists as a word. Nothing could be more true. And “ain’t” and “irregardless” and “anyways” and myriad other sound and letter combinations are also “words” in any basic sense. Asking whether it’s a word is the wrong question: ask instead HOW it’s a word or WHAT KIND of word it is or HOW IT’S USED as a word.

  24. July 31, 2013 7:03 am

    Tyler,

    I read this article tonight because it was posted by someone I follow on Facebook. She wrote that she loved it and since I too have always been fascinated by words, language and their use, I read it.

    Well, I loved it, was surprised by it and immediately shared it. I even admitted that “even I have been misusing some of these” which is certain to cause a few chuckles from those who know me and my attempts at keeping English “proper”. 😉

    Please don’t let the rude, discourteous cowards who use the safety of their computer screens to do what they’d likely not do in person affect your mood and certainly not your style of writing. I’m now on my third of your articles and I’m thoroughly enjoying them.

    Oh and the lady who shared your post and loved it? You may have heard of her as she is rather a revered wordsmith herself. 😉

    • Tyler Vendetti permalink*
      July 31, 2013 7:51 am

      I had no idea Anne Rice had shared that. I’m blown away. Thank you for showing that to me and for writing such kind things! I’m glad I could share the love of words with someone else. 🙂

  25. July 31, 2013 6:26 pm

    Tyler, both your original giggles and this follow-up are valuable contributions in the never-ending cause of communication and understanding.

    My most recent column at Everything-Voluntary.com addresses, as usual, perceptual, cognitive, communicative, and informational problems — the futility of making too-specific guesses about the future, our obsessions with the royals, and the fundamental structure of the information process. http://www.everything-voluntary.com/search/label/FTC#.UflWDG3Nky0

    I have degrees in English and Computer Science, and I loved both of your Internet pieces’

  26. August 1, 2013 3:27 am

    For the record, I enjoyed the “words” post. It was terrific….haha. 🙂

  27. August 1, 2013 6:47 am

    Hey Tyler,
    Just wanted to say i loved your piece, found it on facebook and then several links later found myself here. I did disagree with your inclusion of only one meaning for the word “Enormity” but you mentioned both here.
    In any case, overall great piece…
    Good job!
    Jason

  28. August 9, 2013 4:44 pm

    Ok, words are awesome. Like, really really awesome. I think looking at evolving meanings of words is interesting, and I also need to vent sometimes about needing a knife but only having a preponderance of spoons being considered ironic. I think where you tripped up, if at all, is doing both at once without a clear statement of such. Irregardless, I think “orientate” should be damn near a capital offense. And yeah, I did throw that in there intentionally.

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