I listened to my favorite authorized podcast as I traveled to my place. (Not declaring the podcast title, but here’s a trace: Figure it out FOR By yourself.) In discussing an ERISA circumstance, the host talked about a former NFL player’s assert for “fulsome” added benefits.
I involuntarily shuddered when I read the phrase. He intended “full.”
“Fulsome” is one of those people problematic words that, like a contranym, involves context to realize what the speaker or writer is striving to say. Confusion can end result. (Just check out out the title of this submit.)
“Fulsome” is a bogus friend. It appears like a extravagant way to say “full” or “complete.” For hundreds of years, the word was effectively employed as a synonym for “disgusting” or “offensive.” But in new decades, the word is often applied to imply plentiful or considerable. So, does the adjective “fulsome” describe anything fantastic or some thing poor?
Every little thing Aged Is New Again
In the mid-13th century, persons utilized “fulsome” the way a lot of do nowadays, but in extra guttural Center English. That utilization morphed into a reference to describe a person or animal as plump or perfectly-fed and then overfed — so a great deal so that the outcome was offensive or disgusting. Some thing “fulsome” was actually nauseating.
But commencing in the 1960s, folks begun to use the word as it had been used 600 years previously, presumably simply because they improperly interpreted it. (There’s that fake mate bit again.) These days men and women often use “fulsome” as a synonym for “full.”
Dictionaries exhibit each definitions since dictionaries are descriptive relatively than prescriptive. (“Offensive” is nevertheless the principal definition.) That doesn’t indicate you need to be careless about how you use this phrase.
What’s a Very careful Law firm to Do?
The NFL participant sued to acquire the highest amount of disability advantages beneath the program. He preferred much better benefits, a larger degree of payment, the complete profit to which he was entitled. There are many methods to correctly demonstrate the assert without employing the phrase “fulsome.”
Don’t use ambiguous phrases. If you signify “full,” say “full.” If you imply “offensive,” say “offensive.” Don’t be tempted to use a fancy phrase when a basic one will do.
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