This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Sunday Rest: deterge. Word Not To Use Today News Photo 110417-A-5937M-004 - U.S. Army Pvt. Charles Shidler crawls through mud searching for the next covered fighting position during training for individual movement.jpg
US Army training exercise in preparation for deployment to Afghanistan (yes, there are swamps in Afghanistan.)

Deterge may sound like the act of diving into sewage, but as a matter of fact it means the opposite: deterge is to do with detergent, and means to wipe away or cleanse.

The trouble is that once we know that, poor deterge looks annoying as well as ugly: a particularly heavy-handed attempt to form a verb from a noun.

And if you're perfectly relaxed about those, well, then, comment me!*

Sunday Rest: deterge. This word has been around since the 1600s (as has the word detergent), and which came first is uncertain. They both come from the Latin tergēre, to wipe.


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