Jan Stafford Kellis

Whose Dictionary Are You Using?

I attended a seminar yesterday in which the facilitator used the word ‘profusively’ five times. We were updating our CPR training, and the question was: “if you happen upon a scene were a victim is bleeding profusively, what do you do?” I thought: before or after I correct his grammar? Oh, wait, bleeding is more important than made-up words. Then I thought: Incorrect syntax is preventable, correctable and curable. After performing CPR and saving the profusively bleeding victim’s life, I can then offer some grammar lessons. I’m sure the victim would be grateful, or at least willing to listen out of a sense of guilt or courtesy. Next time the victim would bleed profusely and I wouldn’t be distracted.

Another of my pet peeve made-up words is supposably. How did this happen? There’s no ab! It’s an ed. It’s actually easier to pronounce it correctly, supposedly, than it is to replace ed with ab. I guess this one isn’t technically a made-up word, it’s just crippled by BPS, Bastardized Pronunciation Syndrome. It’s a common affliction for sesquipedalian words.