Ambiguous and Ambivalent
Fern asked about
ambiguous and ambivalent. The two contain the root ambi-, which means both. Ambiguous also leans on the Latin agere, to drive, resulting in the
literal meaning “driving here and there.” Ambivalent contains the Latin valere, to be powerful, leading to the
literal meaning “equal in power.”
Ambiguous applies to
something external. If you encounter an ambiguous situation, it is vague,
unclear, subject to misinterpretation. The
wording of the contract is ambiguous, and may well lead to future lawsuits.
Ambivalent refers to an
internal state. You find yourself caught up in indecision, switching back and
forth, torn between opposing feelings or views. She is ambivalent about running for public office.
Listen to Mike’s program in real
time every Tuesday morning, 9:10 - 10:00 a.m. EST, by going to wtcmradio.com
and clicking on Listen Now. You’ll also
find about a month’s worth of podcasts there under The Ron Jolly Show.