Thursday, July 12, 2007

 

Dictionary Corner

I like having a dictionary and a thesaurus to hand, I know I could just look things up in MS Word but sometimes nothing beats picking up a dictionary and leafing through it. From time to time and whenever the mood takes me I’m going to put up a dictionary corner post. It could be a word that I thinks gets misused (as is the case with today’s word ‘revert’) or it could just be a word I like the sound of or one that just amuses me. Feel free to suggest words for future dictionary corner posts.

Revert is a word that puzzles me, it gets used frequently in business correspondence and I think it gets used incorrectly. I came across a piece in last Saturday’s Irish Times magazine in the ‘What’s Hot / What’s Cold’ section that read ‘Please revert’ - Bizarre misuse of the word, appearing with growing frequency, as in “Please leave a message and I will revert to you on my return”. How do you plan to do that, then?


So the correct dictionary definition for ‘revert’ taken from the compact Oxford English dictionary is:

Revert – verb, (revert to)
1. Return to a previous state, practice or belief
2. Biology, the action of an organism returning to a former or ancestral type
3. The legal right, especially of the original owner, to possess or succeed to property when the present possessor dies or a lease ends
ORIGIN Latin revertere ‘turn back’

Comments:
My personal pet peeve is the misuse of good and well. As in, "How are you?", "I'm good". You're not fecking good, you're well, or fine or sick or whatever. The question does not pertain to your moral status. What's even worse is that I'm beginning to say it sometimes as well!!
 
Fair point Ratgirl, I hadn't really thought of it that way before. How about if someone says 'I'm in good form'?
 
Sounds grand to me!
 
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