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Pedants' corner

Ignorant does not mean rude!

30 replies

wem · 24/02/2010 20:16

Arrrrrrrrggggggghhh! It makes my brain itch in a way no misplaced apostrophe ever has.

How has it become common usage? How how how?

OP posts:
theyoungvisiter · 26/02/2010 19:58

wow - all these people agreeing with me.

Thank you for noticing my "er" Bruceb. I do worry that it puts me at a disadvantage on these threads when pontificating at the errors of other people. But it seems a bit needy to add "sic".

hildegarde · 27/02/2010 20:24

So glad I'm not the only person who notices this!

My theory is that people link it to "ignore"... ignoring someone is rude, so ignorant = rude? e.g. the toddler crashing about that someone mentioned... maybe the mum was trying to get across the meaning of "Don't keep ignoring my instructions".

I have seen it used quite a few times here and each time I've really turned my head sideways to try and work out why they are using the word ignorant, and there never seems to be an explanation that makes sense. It is often used just to mean unpleasant, nasty behaviour and you certainly don't have to be "ignorant" of social niceties to choose to act like a twat at times.

I wonder what the people who use it liek this make of the phrase "ignorance is bliss"?

hildegarde · 27/02/2010 20:25
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lolaclare · 06/08/2010 09:54

I'm so glad this word (used in this context) annoys other people too!

My DH's family use it almost indiscriminately about anyone who they don't like or who they feel has slighted them or been rude somehow.

I once questioned his brother about what he thought it meant and he replied that being rude was ignorant because the word comes from ignore and ignoring people is rude. Impeccable logic. He even tried to show me by searching online dictionaries that ignorant had a second meaning of being rude but found no evidence to support his claim.

WillbeanChariot · 06/08/2010 10:02

I agree with TYV, I am a pedant in some ways but I don't mind the gradual evolving of language and changes in meaning. I also use words/forms in speech that I would NEVER write down.

But I mostly wanted to post to say- FattipuffsndThinifers! That has brought back memories! I got that book out of the library at least twenty times, I'm off to look for a copy now...

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