Anathema

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8 comments on this post.
  1. Shelley:

    The use of anathema as a noun without the article has always driven me crazy. I was glad to find out that it is actually OK to use an article, so should I ever have the occasion to use the word (doesn’t come up all that often for me) I plan to use “an anathema”.

  2. Mirkat:

    Shelley, I agree. “Anathema” without the “an” hurts my ears (or eyes when I’m reading). (I’m also more of an “a myriad of” girl–i.e. “a myriad of possibilities” instead of “myriad possibilities.”)

  3. Mark:

    I agree with both of you. I have occasionally used the word and have noticed that I seem to be the only person using the article. In fact, I came across a website where the use of the article was apparently an anathema to the posters. I will now stick to my guns and continue to use “an.”

  4. Tara:

    I’ve heard many people mispronounce it as an “aneethma”, and I have even seen it written in newspapers as an “enethma”, so it is confusing. Of course, I saw a newspaper print that the President said he was going to be “pottering” around in his back yard instead of “puttering” around, so I guess anything goes nowadays.

  5. tommie miller:

    “Chomping at the bit” instead of “Champing at the bit” has always driven me crazy. And yes, I have no idea why anathema is used without the article.

  6. Ben:

    ugh! Thanks, Shelly. I can’t stand this word, despise its wrongful deployment as the only “adjective-noun” in the World…and you just know that people say: “It was anathema to him” because nobody had the patience for the “Anne Elk” effect of “an anathema.”

  7. C Le Verdic:

    Well, Tommie, you’ve just used it (well, OK, 2 years ago) perfectly acceptably without an article. Consider it to be like hypocrisy. Does that need an article?

  8. Chris:

    C Le Verdic I’m not sure you understand the meaning of hypocrisy. Your comment might possibly make sense if Tommie said something like “anathema should never be used without an article.” I would still argue it’s not being hypocritical because he was merely referring to the word itself, but at least then I’d see your point. No, he simply pointed out that he wasn’t sure why it’s used without the article, without any judgment as to whether it was a good or bad thing to do.

    Would you find “I have no idea why I love rice” to be hypocritical? It’s the same concept.

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