A little language trivia.

The English language has some very interesting features. I am a native speaker, so I’m used to most of them, but they must make it very difficult to understand for non-native speakers.

One of my favorite little oddities is the word “nauseous“. Most people use this word to mean “nauseated”, but it also means “nauseating”, which is a rather different thing. Indeed, I think that “nauseous” was originally used only to mean “disgusting”, but misuse over time has become codified in the language.

But it might prove tricky in translation, don’t you think? There’s a big difference between “I’m nauseous” in the sense of “I’m nauseated” and in the sense of “I’m nauseating”.

There are many other examples of this sort of weird “glitch” in language. Know any amusing ones?

3 Comments

  1. "I could care less."A former boss said this all the time, but I sure wasn't going to correct him. There was another word he used incorrectly, but can't think of it now.Good thing I listen to Sheldon Cooper. I learned the difference between 'nauseated' and 'nauseous'.So, the boob tube isn't that bad. Hey, I write 'ain't' a lot, but I do it to be annoying. : )

    Like

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