Thursday, May 12, 2005


I heard it again today: someone complaining that they were nauseous. I had to giggle. You see, I used to use nauseous in this fashion too, until I discovered what it actually means:

Nauseous: Causing nausea; sickening (per

So, when you complain of being nauseous, you are admitting that you are so repulsive that you sicken those around you - probably not what you meant.

If you’re feeling queasy, the correct term is nauseated. (Nauseated, interestingly, means both to feel and to cause nausea!)

I don’t mean to sound supercilious. I just want to educate the nauseous people of the world. Blech!


At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

know. it. all.

At 3:53 PM, Blogger amy said...

Good point about nauseaus/nauseated. Is there anyway you could also spread the word about "regardless" and the ever-popular "irregardless?"


At 7:55 PM, Blogger portuguesa nova said...

I had no idea!

When I was an English teacher in Japan and gave cruddy grammar lessons, my students would always say, "I'm so boring!"

At 10:16 AM, Blogger Scott in Washington said...

I work with a certain individual who gets way too much mileage out of the word "ascertain." I grit my teeth when I see him, thinking, "Here it comes... its coming."

And then something like, "After ascertaining that the door was locked, I returned to the office for the key." will tumble out of his mouth.

I'm left thinking, "Oh! There is was! Aggh! The first 'ascertain' of the morning..."

I hear "ascertain" ad nauseum.

At 1:04 PM, Blogger Kasmira said...

In the military, "orientate" was a favorite (non-)word used in land navigation. No wonder we were always lost.

At 8:37 AM, Blogger Scott in Washington said...

Heard this morning on NPR, a quote from a man who volunteered for five seconds of being shocked with a taser during training, "I've had the gas and all that before and its' physically uncomfortable, but this leaves you completely disorientated."

At 8:32 PM, Blogger Chris said...

I had no idea that I've been misusing it all this time! Thanks for setting me straight :)


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