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This is my first time in Pedants' corner... but discrete/discreet is really starting to bother me

(5 Posts)
RhinestoneCowghoul Thu 09-Oct-08 14:13:11

Please be gentle with me grin

I thought I could handle it - first it was a poster at my antenatal appointment assuring me that breastfeeding could be 'discrete', but now today a packet of breastpads solemnly informed me that they were 'very discrete'.

That's just wrong isn't it? Am I going to have to take my red pen out with me?

p.s. I have real problem with the issue of discreet breastfeeding, but's that's another thread entirely...

Habbibu Thu 09-Oct-08 14:23:20

Both wrong - discrete means "self-contained", distinct, containing a separate entity. Pen out, I suggest. Though in the case of breastpads, I suppose it's true in that they are not a continuum...

RhinestoneCowghoul Thu 09-Oct-08 14:36:48

Thanks Habbibu - I had started to doubt myself, thought that maybe the spelling had been changed by consistent mis-use <phew>

bran Thu 09-Oct-08 14:39:28

I have to admit that this is one of the spellings that I have a mental block about, not good if you work with statistics and talk about discrete subsets of a sample fairly regularly. blush

RhinestoneCowghoul Thu 09-Oct-08 14:41:42

bran - I had a vague idea the other meaning was something to do with stats, but I am wafty Arts student by background, so was a bit hazy on the detail.

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