In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Dictionary, Shmictionary.”
‘Time to confess: tell us about a time when you used a word whose meaning you didn’t actually know (or were very wrong about, in retrospect).
Compulsory – When I was younger (about 7 years old) the teachers always used to say that ‘homework is compulsory’, but I never understood what it meant as I always DECIDED to do my homework and other people got in trouble for NOT doing their homework, so I concluded that ‘compulsory’ meant optional. I used it wrong well into year 4 before I learnt that it meant the opposite of how I’d been using it!
Plethora was another word that stumped me when I was a kid, I misused it thinking it had something to do with the ‘flora and fauna’.
Quintessentially was thrown around all over the place until a friend asked what it meant and we had to ask a teacher. I used it just to sound smart, I now realise that I was using it all wrong!