Monday, April 25, 2011

Why is my understanding of the word inchoate so inchoate?

I can't tell you how many times I've read the word inchoate without knowing what it means. I still don't know. I learned the definition for the GREs and, as Brad predicted, promptly forgot it (and every other word I'd learned) after taking the text. 

Plus, in my mind I always always always say "in-chote" b/c that's so much more reasonable and obvious than the actual pronunciation of "in-ko-et." So, like niche - which is a great word, by the way - I'm leery to say inchoate should I be reading something aloud b/c I just know I'm gonna get the pronunciation wrong. 

So, I'm going to (try to) finally put my ignorance to rest, though my hopes, admittedly, are not high at this point.

Inchoate: being only partly in existence; imperfectly formed or formulated

The word even has Latin roots, which means I should be 'bout it 'bout it. It comes from the past participle of inchoare, which means "to start work on." 

(Thanks, Merriam-Webster.) 

Let's have an example for illustrative purposes, then we can count ourselves edified and call it a day on this one: 

The professor's inchoate ideas regarding his own paper assignment led to students who were decidedly confused about what was expected of them

There we go. I know I feel (at least temporarily) smarter now. Don't you?


  1. Yes. I do. ;) I enjoy finding a fellow word nerd.

  2. I stumbled across your blog via The Rad Life, and I got really excited because I used to live in Pittsburgh! I absolutely adore that city. so so so much. Just had to tell you that. :-)

  3. Happy Birthday, young lady! It is your birthday, right?

  4. Sure is! Thanks, Diplo!

    I love words, Caiti - and I'm a total grammar geek, too . . .

    Soul Anchor - yea! Pittsburgh is sooooo awesome. It's been a while since I lived in the city, but I'm there all the time for school and it's simply lovely. Thanks for stopping by!