Wednesday 9 September 2009

Seth Godin Defines Enormity

enormity-versus-enormous A short break from the series about crossword grids. I happened to read something on Seth Godin's blog that made my crossword antenna go beep.

I've mentioned Seth Godin before, he's a powerful author/speaker and writes one of the most widely-read blogs in the world. In a recent blog post, he talks about the human tendency to get drawn towards small, fixable issues than huge ones. His ideas, as always, are very well-expressed (read the piece here) – but for one issue.

He opens with the lines:

Enormity doesn't mean really enormous. It means incredibly horrible.

Does enormity really mean "incredibly horrible"? Not in my lexicon. I mentioned to a fellow Seth Godin admirer that enormity is not "incredibly horrible", it is "the quality of being incredibly horrible". He said "Yeah yeah, same thing".

Fellow Seth Godin admirer is not a cryptic crossword solver.

Enormity is a noun, but "incredibly horrible" can only stand for an adjective. For a crossword enthusiast, the difference between the two is enormous.

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