Friday, November 03, 2017

Deprecate/Depreciate & Averse/Adverse

Debbie from Elk Rapids called in two word pairs that can confuse a hasty reader. They are deprecate/depreciate and averse/adverse.

At the core of the word deprecate is the Latin word for prayer. Originally, deprecate meant to pray for deliverance from something undesirable. In a short time, it grew to mean expressing disapproval.
  • He deprecates greed, but he never donates to charity.
  • Even when we made mistakes, Coach Baker never deprecated us.

Depreciate is built around the Latin word for price. To depreciate is to lower the market value of a commodity. Beyond money, we can also think less of a person and depreciate the value of his or her work.
  • Age and neglect have depreciated the value of this house.
  • Critics often depreciate sitcoms as being aimed at simpletons.

Averse literally means turned away. It is used when we are opposed to something. It also implies that we are unwilling to do something, that we are reluctant. Think of it as an internal emotion.
  • I take a risk-averse stance when it comes to investing.
  • I am averse to gerrymandering by either political party.

Adverse literally means turned towards, but in opposition or hostility, not in admiration. It is used to identify unfavorable conditions or circumstances. Aside from antagonistic opponents, it can be applied to the harmful side effects of a drug or medical treatment. Think of it as an external condition.
  • Adverse weather conditions make me less likely to drive.
  • Delores is highly sensitive to adverse criticism.

Listen to Mike’s program in real time every Tuesday morning, 9:10 - 10:00 a.m. EST, by going to and clicking on Listen Now. You’ll also find about two year’s worth of podcasts there under The Ron Jolly Show.


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