Created: Tuesday, 20 September 2011 17:49
Written by Elizabeth Danziger * WorkTalk Communications Consulting
Here are a few more pairs of commonly confused words. You will make fewer, lesser mistakes if you learn them well.
Enormousness vs. Enormity
Enormousness always refers to something that is a huge size.
The enormousness of the elephant amazed him.
The enormousness of the portions she served made it impossible for him to eat everything on his plate.
Enormity is another matter. Some people use it to describe something huge, but in reality the word is meant to carry a value judgment: It refers to something big and bad.
After he detonated the bomb, he was overwhelmed by the enormity of what he had done.
When American troops entered the concentration camps, they were stunned by the enormity of what they saw.
Some enormously relaxed writing mavens claim that since enormity has the same root as enormousness, well what the heck, let’s just make them synonymous. But no! Let us fight the good fight against sloppy definition. If we do not, we may look back ruefully someday on the enormity of what we have done to the language.
Read more ...