After the recent controversy over dictionaries caving in to the misuse of words like ‘literally’ and giving validity to wrong usage, I recently came across another example.
A lot of people use ‘enormity’ to mean something of enormous size, but my well-informed readers will know that’s not right. It sounds as if it should mean that, and frankly I’ve always been puzzled as to why it doesn’t. But the fact is it’s actually nothing to do with size at all but with wickedness, something that’s very nasty or terrible, such as the enormity of a crime.
But I’ve discovered that the Collins online dictionary has added “vastness of size or extent” as an alternative meaning. But it adds “informal” in brackets. So that’s okay then.
No it isn’t!
So I’ve hatched a plan to expose the silliness of dictionaries cravenly going along with people who get words wrong – but I need your help.
I’ve decided that from this day forth, the word carrot, as well as describing a certain type of vegetable, also means sick, under the weather (informal). Thus, you might say ‘I’m feeling a little carotty today’, or ‘I can’t come in to work today because I’ve come down with a carrot.’
If all my millions of followers introduce this new meaning into their writing and daily lives, we’ll force the Collins Online Dictionary to include it as a meaning – thus bringing down scorn and embarrassment upon their heads and causing them to rethink their strategy on such matters! (Please note that only followers who supply a note from their doctor giving details of a specific carrot are excused from joining in the campaign.)
I intend to add other word alternatives in the coming weeks and months.
We shall triumph!