Friday, August 24, 2018

Onset, Outset



Francine from Interlochen, Michigan, asked about the difference between the words outset and onset. They both signify a beginning or a start, but while outset is neutral in its connotation, onset signifies the start of something troublesome.

Outset:  The Oxford English Dictionary gives the first written instance as 1664, and defines it as, “The action or fact of setting out upon a journey, course of action, business, etc.; a start, a beginning. Now chiefly in at the outset, from the outset.”

·      She made it clear at the outset that transparency was vital in dealing with customers.

·      There were problems with the generator from the outset.

·      At the outset he knew very little about computers, but he quickly learned on the job. 

Onset:  The Oxford English Dictionary gives the first written instance as 1561, and defines it as, “The beginning of some (esp. unpleasant) situation, condition, or state, etc.; a commencement, a start.”

·      Many people believe that you should increase your intake of vitamin C at the onset of a cold.

·      The villagers fought hard at the onset of the rebel attack on their homes.

·      Sudden sensitivity to light often signals the onset of a migraine.


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 some podcasts there under TheRon Jolly Show.





Friday, August 10, 2018

Enameled Traders



During the recent 2018 Traverse City Film Festival, founder Michael Moore invited Jane Fonda to attend in order to receive the festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She did, in fact, attend.

Residents with long memories were outraged as they recalled that she had visited Hanoi in a show of support during the Vietnam War, earning the nickname Hanoi Jane. So letters to the editor and comments on Facebook exploded in outrage.

A couple of them caught a listener’s eye because of poor word choice. In fact, they fall into the category known as eggcorns. [https://eggcorns.lascribe.net/]

“Why are you so enameled of Michael Moore?” one person asked another. To be enameled is to be covered in protective paint. The writer meant enamored, which comes from the Latin word amor.

Someone else called Jane Fonda a trader. She may, indeed, have bought and sold stocks and bonds in her day, but the word should have been traitor, a word derived from the Latin traditor, a betrayer.

Word choice matters.

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 some podcasts there under The Ron Jolly Show.




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