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  1. #1

    Smile Unwell - Indisposed

    Hello,

    When one of my colleagues was unwell I used the word "indisposed" instead of routine "unwell"in the circular to be emailed to other staff in the office.
    The next day my colleague concerned came to me saying do not use the word "indisposed" instead of "unwell". Then I referrred to the Oxford dictionary which conveyed the following meaning:

    unwell
    averse to come or attend to
    unwilling to
    not inclined to

    I want to know whether I am right? Kindly clarify me.

    Murli

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Feb 2005
    • Posts: 2,585
    #2

    Re: Unwell - Indisposed

    Hello Murli

    Although "indisposed" can mean "unwell", it can also imply that a person was absent for negative reasons (i.e. he didn't want to attend). It's also sometimes used as a jocular euphemism for instance, if someone has a bad hangover.

    Perhaps your colleague was anxious about the negative and humorous connotations of the word!

    MrP

  2. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
    • Posts: 1,552
    #3

    Re: Unwell - Indisposed

    Murli, I notice you're in India.

    It's always been very interesting to see how Indians use the English language: as many beautiful-sounding flowery words as possible. In most other countries this is considered to be snobbish, but the Indians pride themselves on their mastery of the language.

    Which is not a bad thing, but you do have to be careful. If you find that the beautiful word you have found makes your meaning less clear, it's better to use the simpler word after all. As your dictionary has told you, if someone is "indisposed", it can mean either they are unwell, or that they just don't want to come. In your circular, the context didn't make it clear which meaning was intended, and so some people might have thought that your colleague was lazy when in fact he had a very good reason for not coming to work.

  3. #4

    Smile Thank you, MrP and Rewboss

    I really thank both of you for righting my wrongs. We, Indians, particularly from souther part of India, (not me) pride ourselves on mastery over English. There was one Mr. Srinivas Shastri who even corrected King Philips's English. He was considered one of the authorities in English then. He was even named Silver Tounge Srinivas Shastri. There were so many people who mastered English.

    Now tell me how to pronounce plagiarism, which is used by media of late.

    Murli

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    #5

    Re: Unwell - Indisposed

    Hello Murli

    "Plagiarism" is pronounced with a soft "g", like the "j" in "jury".

    You can hear it here: Merriam Webster Pronunciation

    (Sorry about the late reply; I didn't see you question!)

    MrP

  4. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Unwell - Indisposed

    In the US, "indisposed" is quite often used as a euphemism for someone being in the bathroom (lavatory). Particularly at work; if you take a call for your boss and he happens to be in the men's room, you usually tell the caller "he's indisposed at the moment."

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