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    • Join Date: Aug 2007
    • Posts: 44
    #1

    Enormity

    "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?

  1. #2

    Re: Enormity

    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


    • Join Date: Aug 2007
    • Posts: 44
    #3

    Re: Enormity

    "A semant could argue this use is wrong, but I feel its perfectly acceptable"

    What is semant?
    Shouldnít it be it's ?

  2. #4

    Re: Enormity

    A semant is one who picks over tiny details of language, usually just for the sake of argument and yes, it should be "it's", it's embarassing how often I make that mistake.


    • Join Date: Aug 2007
    • Posts: 44
    #5

    Re: Enormity

    Sorry, which dictionary lists semant?

    Itís embarrassing (-rr).

  3. #6

    Re: Enormity

    look up "pedantic" and "semantic" this is the adjective form, you could say a person is pedantic, or that he is "a pedant".

    You can type "you are a pedant and a fool" into google and look at the results for yourself. By the same logic, one who makes excessive use of semantics can (or could) be called "a semant".
    Last edited by weiming; 24-Aug-2007 at 08:36.


    • Join Date: Aug 2007
    • Posts: 44
    #7

    Re: Enormity

    Pedantic and semantic as adjectives and pedant as a noun are accepted by all dictionaries, but semant as a noun is not. Your logic, Iím afraid, is unconvincing.

  4. #8

    Re: Enormity

    Fortunately, I have no desire to convince you of anything. If you're not comfortable with it, don't use the word. It's just that simple.


    • Join Date: Aug 2007
    • Posts: 44
    #9

    Re: Enormity

    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.

  5. #10

    Re: Enormity

    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".

    You might find these thoughts useful, or not.
    Last edited by weiming; 30-Aug-2007 at 21:07.

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