Half Temper, Half Mental

Saw one of those e-cards today.  It said “My family is tempermental. Half temper. Half mental.”  I thought it was rather clever!  I meant to re post it on my favorite social media sites until I spell checked.  “Tempermental” doesn’t even exist!  There is an “a” that I have neglected to use this whole time that I’ve been using the word!  Well, now I feel foolish.  Temper and a-mental just doesn’t work with the original thought at all, does it.  But at least the e-card saved me from many years of misspelling yet another word, and I’ve been pretty strict about my spelling these days.  (Now, if I can only work on my sentence structures… work in progress!).

In the same vein, I happened to use the word commiserate recently in a sentence.  My listeners were confused by the term, and I did my homework to find the definition.

express or feel sympathy or pity; sympathize.

I was surprised to learn that I was also using that word incorrectly.  I’ve been using it in sentences such as “Commiserate amongst yourselves” where I probably should’ve used terms like “Talk amongst yourselves.” or “Discuss…” or “Communicate”.  I didn’t realize the word had an emotionally sympathetic context to it.  So essentially I was telling people to gather to sympathize.  Then again, with my dark and brooding sense of things, it’s not much of a surprise to me, especially when I’m being temperamental.  (See what I did there?)   Ah well, I learned something, and I can continue to botch up my six dollar words as I go!

I did use the word “archaic” today in a meeting.  I better look up the meaning and see if I used it correctly…


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