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Back May 15th, 2009 Forward
The Word of the Week


taut · adj.
1 stretched or pulled tight. Ø (of muscles or nerves) tense.
2 (of writing, music, etc.) concise and controlled.
3 (of a ship) having a disciplined crew.
– DERIVATIVES tauten v. tautly adv. tautness n.
– ORIGIN ME tought ‘distended’, perh. from tough.

As distinct to


· n. a jeering or mocking remark made in order to wound or provoke.
· v. provoke or wound with taunts.
– DERIVATIVES taunter n. taunting adj. tauntingly adv.
– ORIGIN C16: from Fr. tant pour tant ‘like for like, tit for tat’, from tant ‘so much’, from L. tantus.



taught past and past participle of teach.

One of the more common "mucking furds wuddled" mistakes I see online is the mistaken use of "taunt" for "taut". I'm never sure whether this is a mistake made by the original writer, or whether it's a "correction" forced on people by spellcheck programs (which will tend to be loaded with the more commonly used words). In any case, it helps to have a dictionary handy when using the spellcheck to ensure the words it suggests as an alternative are the ones with the correct meaning.

Please note, folks, that most spellcheck programs are able to be altered to take note of words you use frequently which may not be in their dictionary. There's usually a little button marked "add" on the list of options, and once you've double-checked your spelling, it might be worthwhile using it. Mine certainly gets a workout, because I have to add all the Commonwealth English spellings of words which are spelled differently in US English.

Current Mood: pedantic pedantic
Back May 15th, 2009 Forward