Complete vs. finished

                                            Complete vs. finished

I don’t know whether the following story is true or not.  It is floating around on the internet and is very clever.  It made me laugh, so I thought I would share it with the readers of wordsbybob.

No dictionary has been able to adequately explain the difference
between COMPLETE and FINISHED. However, in a recent linguistic conference
held in London, England, and attended by some of the best linguists in the

Samsundar Balgobin, a Guyanese, was the clear winner.
His final challenge was this:  Some say there is no difference between
COMPLETE and FINISHED. Please explain the difference between COMPLETE and FINISHED in a way that is easy to understand.

Here is his astute answer: “When you marry the right woman, you are COMPLETE. But, when you marry the wrong woman, you are FINISHED. And when the right one catches you with the wrong one, you are COMPLETELY FINISHED!”

His answer was received with a standing ovation lasting more than five minutes and it entitled him to receive an invitation to dine with Queen, who decided to call him after the contest. He won a trip to travel around the world in style and a case of 25-year-old El Dorado rum for his answer.

4 responses to “Complete vs. finished

  1. Would love to meet this man. Brilliant & clever description. Complete implies sense of satisfaction whereas finished implies neither good nor bad.
    Now if linguists would get involved in the dictionary connected with the Swype feature on my phone, it wouldn’t make so many mistaKes!

  2. Almost certainly untrue. But a great joke!

  3. A load of poppycock, no doubt, forgive the delay, the story only crossed my screen today, the following was my reaction:
    “A lovely story, unfortunately tainted with some Untruth; of course dictionaries have a variety of explanations to clarify the difference(s) and why do ‘they’ confombloodyscapulate it all by creating a lexicon-ical conference, which under these circumstances will never be referred to as a conference, the favoured designation would be ‘symposium’ with it’s links to Platos’ philosophical dialogues.) a penny’s worth. Just kidding.
    Nevertheless a full 10 out of 10 to Mr Balgobin, I think I’ll Google him, some Super Hero criss-crossing the night skies, also no doubt.

  4. The story made me chuckle. However it surely must be a “story”. I don’t think world class linguists would compare a present tense word to a past tense word.