The misuse of two words—fulsome and enormity—are fingernails on the blackboard of my nervous system. James Wolcott, not usually guilty of careless locution, writes in Vanity Fair (February 2009), “My fellow comrades are still walking around with Obama buttons stuck to their fulsome bosoms.” Ouch! Fulsome means offensively flattering or insincere, ME disgusting. Oh, James, how could you!
Then our beloved leader Barack stood at the lectern and pronounced on the enormity of our financial meltdown. Well, the country’s broke, but I’m still $47 to the good. Still, enormity means excessive wickedness or outrageousness. Yes, Bernie Ponzi—er, Madoff—can be accused of enormity, but Barack really meant enormousness.
There, I’m glad I got that enormity off my fulsome chest. But James and Barack, I’ll be watching.
Oh, damn, I couldn’t stop without passing on this gem from the att.net homepage today: “On Net This Week: Spring Fashion for the Economically Conscience. Whether you want to role back the hands of time to some of the most controversial trends of the 80’s or borrow fashion tips from our incredibly stylish first lady, this spring will be a unique blend of fashion.”
How many “gotchas” can you find? Conscience should be conscious, and role should be roll. And then, why doesn’t this entertainment scribbler connect frugal buying with retro fashion or the First Lady’s (caps, please) clothing? My retort to AT&T’s OJT writers: “Thoughts tumble in your heads, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.”