Saturday, April 14, 2007

Satuday's Word for Sunday Brunch


I am nonplussed over people's usage of the word "nonplussed." Speakers seem to think the word means unfazed, indifferent, unimpressed. However to be nonplus is to be at a point where one no longer knows what to do or say. The meaning is: bewildered to the point of speechlessness; utterly perplexed; completely puzzled. The misunderstanding is so wide spread, that if it is used correctly many people become confused as to what the speaker means. Ye gads!

The origin of the word is French, combining the words non and plus, meaning "not more" or "not any further." In other words, it is too much, referring to the state in which nothing more can be done. Because we see the "non" in front, it appears to us to indicate "not," as in---"I am not plussed." But we really have no meaning in the English language for "plussed." We make it up. "Plussed" takes on the meaning of upset, fazed. Throw in the "non" and we think we are saying: I am not, in the least, fazed! This is incorrect. In fact, it means you are totally fazed. So could everybody, ahem, New York Times included, spread the word on today's word. Thanks.

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