Friday, April 17, 2015

Embarrase* or Embarrasm* (for Embarrass*)

As Eleanor Roosevelt once said: "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." The same thing is true of guilt, shame, and embarrassment. These three emotions are all somewhat different, but are definitely related. Shame, in particular, has been bandied about a lot in social media lately in the context of so-called "slut shaming." Sexual agency and/or frequency isn't the only way women are potentially shamed, however. There's not caring enough about one's looks or attire; being too brainy, ambitious, or competitive with men; making the "wrong" choices about marriage and children. There's also coming off as too angry, or too assertive, or what used to be known as "shrill." (Perhaps we should call this one the "Shaming of the Shrew.") I do not want to guilt the lily, and it is sort of a crying shame, but there's an embarrassment of riches when it comes to our two typos for today, which turn up two and four times apiece in OhioLINK, and 40 and 65 times each in WorldCat (though some of the latter may be antiquated variants). And be sure to check as well for the previously blogged Embarass*, by far the most common misspelling of this word.

(Eleanor Roosevelt in school portrait, 1898, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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