Have you heard an expression, "He has a short fuse"
Last edited by pinkmast3ritza; 14-Sep-2010 at 18:48. Reason: the
'Irritated' is an adjective, specifically a past participle (formed from a verb, indicating that something has happened). 'Irritating' is also an adjective, specifically a present participle (formed from a verb, indicating that someone or something is doing something). The irritant is irritating; the sufferer of the irritation is irritated. For example, a fly might be irritating - its buzzing may irritate (active) someone. The person is irritated (passive) by the fly. If you exchange 'irritated' for 'irritating', you change the meaning:
A is irritating B => B is being irritated by A.
I always thought it was to do with bombs (or piles of gunpowder) going off quickly after lighting a short fuse that didn't take long to burn through.
This would relate to someone flaring up in a temper very easily.
Or be quick to 'blow up into a rage'.
I hope that helps.