Loath v Loathe OR A Vocabulary Lesson on #definethis

"Look, a distraction!"

I continue to have a lot of fun with my friends,  which to a larger degree than for most people really is my primary goal online.   Yes,   I write books and publish books and do consulting with #indie writers who need help with the “blogging/social networking” thing.   But everything that I do is really based on relationships and most of what I’m doing so far is just building relationships.

And the other day I had a mostly lovely chat with my friend Gaye Crispin  (who by the way is one of the most lovely and charming people I know) about the very similar and confusing words loath and loathe.    Click on each of the words to see the definitions.   As homonyms go these two are kind of,  well,  killer.   Our fascinating discovery of these two very similar words was brought about by the daily #definethis contest on Twitter.     I’ve long been a huge fan of #definethis  which challenges the Twitterverse to use Merriam Webster’s word of the day in a sentence.   Just tweet your sentence with hashtag #definethis  and you’re in the game.  I’ve been playing for some time now and for awhile we had a nice little crew of players but they seemed to disperse over the holidays and somehow never came back.

But yesterday I used an Empire Avenue mission to try to rouse up a few more players,  and was so pleased that Gaye not only played,  but actually pointed out to me that the word of the day, loath,  was not actually the word I had used but instead it’s identically pronounced cousin,  which actually does not mean the same thing.     For a word nerd like me it was a moment of pure bliss.    I think I will continue bribing with eaves a few more folks to play #definethis with me on Twitter.     And if eaves aren’t your main motivator,  feel free to follow @definethis to receive one tweet every day with the new word a link to the definition.


26 comments on “Loath v Loathe OR A Vocabulary Lesson on #definethis

  1. For awhile it was promoted by _____ (can’t remember the woman’s name) and then a lady named Heather took over. The tweets from @definethis still go out with her pic but her blog has gone offline and as near as I can tell she is not paying any attention to the twitter contest anymore. So I have kind of decided to adopt it, to hopefully make more word nerd friends. (I love books but never really did well as a book blogger because book bloggers talk almost exclusively to other book bloggers. #sadbuttrue #tryingnewthings)

  2. Didn’t realize there was a “larger picture” when I participated in your mission today! Glad to know it and am now following @definethis. Thanks!

  3. Agree with Liz, never heard of it before until Alan introduced it to Avenue denizens. Well, there are hash tags for anything and everything so why not? It’s fun and if @definethis tweets only once per day all the better. I’m loath to leave a comment when I’m half-awake but just want to say hi to everyone here – this place is fast becoming a hangout for EAV folks.

    • Without the e on the end, loath is an Adjective that means “unwilling to do something contrary to one’s ways of thinking” whereas with the e, loathe is a verb that means “to dislike greatly and often with disgust or intolerance”. The emotions are quite similar. But two very different word meanings. (Hope that clarifies it Mott)

  4. I think as we use abbreviated language skills, texting, confusion becomes the norm, and spelling atrocious. Comprehension of the difference between wet and whet, or weather and whether, become harder and harder to reconcile properly.

    • You may be right in that assessment, Peter. Though I certainly hope not. I know that for me an my generation proper English will never go away…but I do worry a bit about how a generation that grew up texting before they learned proper English in school may never appreciate the nuances.

    • well, the great thing is it only takes a few minutes a day. get the word, look up the definition. write a sentence, tweet it and you’r done. I made a #definethis column in my tweetdeck and have really enjoyed watching folks play.

  5. Really, I didn’t notice #definethis over five plus years until I did one yesterday. This is fun if I have more time like you. I’ll circle it as one of my retirement item. Love it yesterday & today.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s