Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Working Towards A Healthy Vocabulary

It's nice to have a strong vocabulary. I've been on a word binge ever since yesterday's discovery of perquisite.

Today, I was made aware of the distinction between healthy and healthful. The word healthy is used to describe something that possesses good health. The word healthful is used to describe something that is conducive to good health. Technically, it's a healthful environment that you seek, not a healthy one.

At the present, both can be used interchangeably, but this is only because people did not care enough to keep their meanings distinct. It's a real shame too. It's so unfair to lump similar entities; it is an attack on lexical individualism. Do you think the Sioux or Kickapoo would appreciate being called natives?

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