Friday, October 10, 2008

Incredulous about Credulence!

I like new words. They show up to describe things that:

- didn't previously exist.
- hadn't been described in a certain context.
- just plain old wanted to be described in a new (and often fun) way.

I don't like new words that show up for no reason whatsoever other than people thinking they're using a real word.

Credence is a word. Credulous is a word and so is incredulous. Likewise credulity and incredulity. These all spring from the Latin credentum (nom. credens), pp. of credere "believe, trust." Also useful are credendum, credent, credential and credible.

I can't find credulence in any dictionary. A web search brings you here. Note that the first thing at the top of the page is a helpful prompt asking you "Did you mean credence?" The first few links are to things on Amazon and Live Journal, so that's just people writing crap. Wrongly, but hey, I can live with that.

I'm less than happy with fifth hit on the page. That's a link to an entry on the Education Resources Information Center, part of the U.S. Dept. of Education.

Dear Dept. of Education. Credulence isn't really a word. Credence would have worked fine in its stead.

14 comments:

Cindi in CO said...

You know what pisses me off?

Irregardless

Not a word, people. Please stop using it.

Nathan said...

You're absolutely right Cindi. It's utterly lacking in cromulence.

Jeff Hentosz said...

I'm masticating while I surf the internet...

Nathan said...

That's fine Jeff. Just don't overstimulate your uvula.

John the Scientist said...

Oh don't get me started on business school dipshits who use the word "utilize" when "use" would do. More syllables does not make them sound smarter. It would take a clue infusion of massive proportions to do that.

Nathan said...

I have trouble deciding the priority of which things annoy me more.

- Using words that aren't words.
- Using big words where the smaller one would do fine. (sometimes the big one is appropriate.)
- Using words that don't mean what you think they mean.
- Using a big word...but you can't pronounce it. (I purposely avoid using words when I'm not sure of their pronouncement.)

Random Michelle K said...

Indubitably.

Eric said...

Ooh--are we talking about language peeves? One big one that I hear almost every day at work, even from educated lawyers: "license" used as a plural. As in, "his driver's license were revoked." Something about that "s" sound at the end throws people off. ARRRGH.

I agree about "irregardless," Cindi.

Cindi in CO said...

"It would take a clue infusion of massive proportions to do that."

John, this made me laugh and laugh.

Nathan said...

his driver's license were revoked???

You live in a fucked up place Eric. Really.

Eric said...

You live in a fucked up place Eric.

No, I work in a fucked-up place. I live one county over. :-)

Anonymous said...

Nathan said...

I have trouble deciding the priority of which things annoy me more.

- Using words that aren't words.
- Using big words where the smaller one would do fine. (sometimes the big one is appropriate.)
- Using words that don't mean what you think they mean.
- Using a big word...but you can't pronounce it. (I purposely avoid using words when I'm not sure of their pronouncement.)

LMFAO
You retard, it should be pronunciation!

Jim Wright said...

alot.

It. is. two. words.


It's like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.

Nathan said...

Anonymous,

That actually is funny as hell. And it only took about 2 years for anyone to notice -- in spite of the fact that this post is one of my most visited based on searches.

Anyway, I'm going to plead that I was drunk when I wrote "pronouncement"--and you can't prove any different.

:D