Thursday, June 10, 2004

An Inappropriate Use of 'Inappropriate'

Too many people nowadays are afraid to use no-nonsense words like ‘wrong,’ ‘immoral,’ and the like. So they employ ‘inappropriate’: ‘Clinton’s behavior in the Oval Office with Monica Lewinsky was inappropriate.’ Sorry, but that is an inappropriate use of ‘inappropriate.’ Mr. Clinton’s behavior with his subordinate was morally wrong. The following sentence illustrates an appropriate use: ‘It would have been inappropriate of Mr. Clinton had he attended the black tie affair dressed in a swimsuit.’