Funny thing about the English language, sometimes we have words that sound like they mean something and those words mean something completely different. Today, we have another word that is commonly misused. I find myself bemused by some of the ways this word has been used incorrectly.
The most common misuse is when an individual uses it referring to being amused. Then a second flawed usage is to ponder deeply. In a speech, I once heard the speaker use bemused stating he was thinking deeply about something. It was this speech that had me looking up the word. It sounded out of place. For good reason, it was. I know I’m a weird person that really likes to know the meaning and origin of words.
I suppose those both of the inaccurate use of the word bemused are somewhat understandable, as one could almost hear the word amused or muse in the confines of the word itself.
What the word bemused actually means is, bewildered, puzzled or even confused. I think this one is often used correctly, but may be surprised to discover how many people have the wrong meaning attached to this word.
The real question may be why do we care? As a writer or non-writer, it is important to know what you’re actually saying. Not to sound smart but to avoid offending or confusing others with the things we write and say.
Tomorrow will wrap up our week of commonly misused words and phrases. If you have one to add please do add it to the comment section. You all know I love my list. I would very much enjoy adding another word/phrase.