Wordy Wednesday

Beavers are particularly upset about slovenly habits concerning the word “eager”

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?

No Responses to “Wordy Wednesday”

  1. Linda Johns

    THAT is one of mine! Also when someone says “I feel badly” instead of “I feel bad,” even though I think badly sounds better. I used to mix it up, but now I just think of Nora Ephron’s book “I Feel Bad About My Neck” — and I have my answer. Also, I feel bad about MY neck …

  2. Kirby Larson

    Oh, Kate, I used to correct misspellings on the papers my kids’ teachers sent home, much to my children’s dismay. I figured it gave them something to tell their therapists.

  3. bychristinemyers

    Using “I” as the object of a prepositional phrase, like this:
    That is for Jason and I to decide.
    NPR is guilty of that one, too. Perhaps me should become less peevish?