For many, many years, I have misused the word “anxious.” More times than I want to admit now, I could be heard to say things like, “I am anxious to go on vacation” or “I am anxiously awaiting some good news.” WRONG. I should have said I was eager for a vacation or the good news, assuming both were of a positive nature.
Anxious means worried, troubled, disturbed or full of mental distress.
Eager, on the other hand, means impatiently expecting or longing or having a keen interest in something.
Anxious is derived from a word that means pain or stress while eager comes from a work meaning sharp.
See how many times you hear the word misused in the next few days.
I eagerly, but not anxiously, await your comments.
Reading a breakfast menu at a restaurant in Fort Collins yesterday cracked me up. (Sorry, had to do a pun) My wife and I were eating at a long-standing, mostly vegetarian, used-to-be hippie place near Colorado State University. They have moved over the years, upgraded the décor, and expanded the menu some. I like the place.
We hadn’t been there for quite a while, and the menu looked like it has been revamped. The menu term that caught my eye right away was “cage free” eggs. (It was cage free on one page and Cage Free on the next—sans hyphen in both cases) I have heard of free-range chickens, but I did not know that eggs were being subjected to incarceration. Much to my surprise, a Google search of “cage-free eggs” yielded 325,000 hits. Who knew?
I am not a journalist, (nor did I ever play one on TV), but I do write newspaper articles every week . Even someone with a business degree like me can see that “real” journals sometimes use the wrong word or phrase.
Here are a couple of examples: The free newspaper I pick up at a coffee shop had an article about a local land developer. The article was talking about a new land development he was involved in. It stated that he would have a large roll in the project. Since one can assume he will be financially involved, maybe the verbiage is correct, but I think he will have a huge role in the project too.
Not to be outdone, the local daily fishwrap had similar confusion on its sports page. They were telling about the end of the regular football season. One player was said to have played a large roll in the season’s final game. No play on words was intended, I am sure.
(Things just aren’t the same with spellchecker. It’s not like the good old days when my mom and grandmother were paid proofreaders at a newspaper)
How do you roll? (Or is it role?)
How old is old? As my birthdays seem to come around more frequently, I have to started to wonder how “old” is defined.
I try not to think too much about the topic, but a recent news item headline got my attention. There was an unfortunate auto accident near Denver, and they said the fatality was an “elderly” driver. The poor chap was 65. Give me a break!