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Flurried, not Flustered nor Fluttered


I have been randomly reading A Dictionary of Modern English Usage by H.W. Fowler that has been sitting on my reference bookshelf since 1994, when I purchased it new for a buck, but did not ever crack open until a few months ago. All these years I missed out on the amusing dry wit of Fowler, along with possibly learning when to use some words appropriately sooner. More than likely I bought this book because it was on a list of must-have reference books for writers. Who knows how many times I've thought about selling Fowler's book or donating it to a thrift shop.  I'm glad I didn't.

This morning I read the entry for flurried, flustered, and fluttered. The word fluttered is usually used to describe a timid person who suddenly must deal with a crisis. Fowler did not seem to have much confidence with fluttered individuals. As for the word flustered, Fowler stated that a person so overwhelmed with multiple emotions she can't begin to express herself is best depicted as being flustered.

According to Fowler, the word flurried is appropriate for characterizing a person who has several tasks to take care of and allows each task to distract her from doing any of the others.  That word fits me well.


Comments

  1. What a fun post and the painting made me smile, specially the cat! I will need to take a look at the book.

    -Soma

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looks like a perfect afternoon in the sun. :)

    I didn't know that about flurried and fluttered.
    I see flurried as being caught out in an unexpected show shower ... the same with fluttered and butterflies. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me, too. Until my surgery, I was feeling flutters that I thought was a physical manifestation of anxiety. I think now the flutters were the cancerous cells shouting out.

      Delete

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Thanks for the good cheer. :-)

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