Wednesday, March 02, 2016


Welcome to another installment of SHANE'S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS, a regular Wednesday feature at NA Confidential.

But why new words? Why not the old, familiar, comforting words?

It's because a healthy vocabulary isn't about trying to show you're smarter than the rest of them. To the contrary, it's about selecting the right word and using it correctly, whatever one's pay grade or station in life.

Even municipal corporate attorneys are eligible for this enlightening expansion of personal horizons, and really, for those of us watching as the heavy trucks rumble past the sign forbidding them, all we really have is time on our hands -- moments enough for us to learn something.

This week, we visit

Idea vs. ideal

As a noun, ideal refers to (1) a conception of something in its absolute perfection, or (2) an honorable or worthy principle or aim. It is not conventionally a variant or synonym of idea, though it is sometimes colloquially used this way.

An idea is a thought, notion or concept; it strikes me as overly charitable to soft-pedal confused usage with "not conventionally" and "colloquially."

Get it right, Trumpiputians.

Correct: I have an idea -- let's go have a beer.
Incorrect: I have an ideal -- let's go have a beer.

Correct: The Floyd County Democratic Party is bereft of ideas.
Also correct: The Floyd County Democratic Party is bereft of ideals.

And so on.

1 comment:

Iamhoosier said...

It would be an ideal time to have a beer.