Thursday, November 18, 2010




: to come out finally : result, come about

I have to quote M-W's etymology blurb on the word EVENTUATE, because I find the circumstances hilarious:

"Eventuate" started life as an Americanism in the late 18th century, and was stigmatized in the 19th century. A British commentator called it "another horrible word, which is fast getting into our language through the provincial press." Other British grammarians, and even some Americans, agreed that it was horrible. A few modern critics still consider "eventuate" to be pompous and unnecessary, but it is less controversial these days.

I especially like the phrase, "pompous and unnecessary."

Can a word be vetoed? Who's in charge of that? I imagine such an act would violate the First Amendment. I'm picturing a group of renegade grammarians protesting the word EVENTUATE on the steps outside the building housing the offices of the Oxford English Dictionary (if there is such a place). Although, I suppose in England it wouldn't be a violation of the First Amendment, but a violation of the Human Rights Act. Either way, the whole image is a laugh.

Addendum: There are offices of the Oxford University Press in both the States and England:

198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY
116-117 High St
Oxford OX1 4BZ, United Kingdom

It's up to you which rights you want to violate.

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