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I’m no English major but…

February 25, 2007

BTW, I did that purposely to drive an English major batty

…I had no idea there was some big debate on nauseous vs nauseated. Apparently some uppity people get really bent out of shape when they hear people say “I am nauseous.” They seem to think the only meaning of the word nauseous is “that which causes nausea” like a bad smell, etc. So what you are really saying is that you are nauseating to others…you’re a bad smell! Hoo Hoo Ha ha, what a chuckle they must have after you’ve left, realizing just how much smarter they are than everyone else. You should say “I am nauseated.”

Well, people are always going to be snarky and I generally let people go about their business, but when they start making fun of their patients for being under-educated, especially on an issue that even very educated people argue about, thats where a line is crossed. I don’t ever want to read your whining again, you are off the blogroll. I think a big gripe from patients is that doctors have a superiority complex. So here is one thing to get off your high horse about:

It can be used either way!

1 : causing nausea or disgust : NAUSEATING
2 : affected with nausea or disgust

Those who insist that nauseous can properly be used only in sense 1 and that in sense 2 it is an error for nauseated are mistaken. Current evidence shows these facts: nauseous is most frequently used to mean physically affected with nausea, usually after a linking verb such as feel or become; figurative use is quite a bit less frequent. Use of nauseous in sense 1 is much more often figurative than literal, and this use appears to be losing ground to nauseating. Nauseated is used more widely than nauseous in sense 2.”

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