"It is the enormity of the deal that is making people sit up. The Tatas are making an offer to buy 100 per cent of Corus shares by paying a whopping $7.45 billion or Rs. 35000 crore." (A landmark deal, Deccan Herald editorial, 21-10-í06).
Is the use of enormity in the above sentence correct?
Apparently, "enormity" was originally used with a negative connotation for moral judgement.
"The enormity of the crime" (the great evil, and not great size).
There is an adjective "enormousness" but that sounds made up, which is probably why people use the word "enormity" instead, which has a third and accepted definition as "great size" for both figurative an real things.
There is also a word "immensity" but that, in my mind, is usually for imaginary, and not real things.
A semant could argue this use is wrong, but I feel its perfectly acceptable.
Last edited by weiming; 30-Aug-2007 at 21:08.
Reason: n.b. immensity
I never use meaningless words and mad, indefensible inventions like semant. I know Iím not an inventor of words. Iím still battling with basics like when to use its and itís, and spelling embarrass right every time.
Purely to satisfy my own ego which I am ashamed to admit is still quite large, I'll say two things which you may find useful.
(1)All words, at one time or another, were, are being and will continue to be invented.
(2)There's a Chinese proverb that says something to the effect of: "If there are three men walking together, one of them is surely fit to be my teacher." Which simply means, you can learn something new from almost anyone, regardless of their station (or difficulties with spelling) such as say...the connotations of a word like "enormity".