i can't not notice this stuff

Posted on Posted in journal, language - it's a beautiful thing

Here's a malapropism that made me chortle all day yesterday:

"…in other words, the [object] is [a thing], as succinct from [that other thing]"1

Succinct? SUCCINCT?

OH, MR ATTORNEY. YOU MEAN DISTINCT.

Now, I'll grant you, there's a passing aural resemblance on account of that -inct suffix business, but I don't care to admit that as a valid excuse for gettin' it wrong. Not when we can safely assume that the author of the sentence in question passed not only primary and secondary education levels but also some (usually respected) form of tertiary education. Surely, somewhere along the way, he learnt the difference between a word that means clearly distinguishable and another that means concise?2

  1. Boring technical terms have been changed to lovely, bland, non-identifying labels for the sake of, you know, keeping my job. []
  2. And after writing the above, it occurs to me that the attorney, after all that schooling, probably has dreadful handwriting or is Far Too Busy and Important to waste time writing and typing his own letters, so he probably has them transcribed via dictation and a legal secretary. But you know what? I'm not cutting that secretary any slack either. Secretary at least passed high school, secretary should know better. And the attorney should proof-read his correspondence. []