I am nowhere near as smart about proper word usage and grammar as Martha Brockenbrough (Things That Make Us [sic]), but I am fairly confident that “eager” and “anxious” aren’t interchangeable. I am sure that one can be both eager for one’s appointment with the IRS (if accompanied by a high power tax attorney and CPA), but most of us are bound to be anxious about such a meeting.
I have even heard NPR reporters — yes, it’s true! — sloppily swap the two words.
According to my beloved OED, these words are defined as followed:
anxious: Troubled or uneasy in mind about some uncertain event; being in painful or disturbing suspense; concerned, solicitous.
eager: Of persons: Full of keen desire or appetite; impatiently longing to do or obtain something.
This mix-up is my pet peeve supreme — what’s yours?