Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Discrete


Well, what I thought discrete meant was tactful, unobtrusive, not making a big hoo-ha. And that's exactly what Suzy was when she pointed out I was wrong. Discreet is the word I wanted (so I had the right letters, just not in the right order)

Discrete is a real word, but it means individually distinct or separate. Discrete and discreet are discreetly different words! Did you know that? 

The picture is of the buttonhole my uncle wore at my wedding (I asked everyone to wear something purple) Pretty discrete, I reckon.

Want to tell me about a time you've been indiscreet?

32 comments:

Maria said...

Not heard that word before Patsy, and thinking, I'd be loathe to use it in my writing, as I'm not sure if it wouldn't be mistaken for the other form...

You learn something new every day, don't you?

I couldn't possibly go into my indiscretions on here. :-)

I'm rather partial to purple by the way. Lovely flowers.

Dream it, then do it said...

As an electronics engineer I always had to distinguish between using discrete components and those that were grouped together on microchip. Could never remember how to spell it. Thanks for the reminder, Patsy.

Wendy's Writing said...

I think I did know... once... a very long time ago. I can guarantee that if I had ever had to use this word, recently, I would have got it wrong though. I shall make a point of using them both now - just to prove I can (now you've explained the difference.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

So combine them and make your own word!

Linda G. said...

When have I been indiscreet? Um, not here and not today. *grin*

joanne fox said...

I have only recently got to grips with restful and restive, which sound like they would mean the same, but don't!

Robin said...

I didn't know that about the word discrete. I love words.

However, I fear that using it might not go over well. People will think you actually mean discreet and then.... do I hear crickets chirping?

lizy-expat-writer said...

Yes I did know that, Patsy, and no - I am not about to reveal all on the internet!

Anonymous said...

Hi Patsy, the novel one sounds good, but I have my half finished novel entered in another competition, so I'll tell you about the time I was indiscreet. My grown up children remind me of it sometimes and laugh. When they were young, at infants school, I used to work as a waitress until late at night, while their dad looked after them, so we were sometimes five minutes late getting up to the primary school next morning. They would worry, and say 'mum we'll get told off' I'd say, 'no you wont' then I'd hold their hands tight and go marching into the class, flinging the door open and say 'sorry we're late, entirely my fault' then put them at their desks and give a big cheery wave and smile to all the other children. The teacher would look on in amazement, and they never did get told off... I cringe now when I think of the cheek of it. Thanks for the link to my blog. That buttonhole is certainly discrete.

Patsy said...

I like purple too ... you guessed, didn't you?

Patsy said...

It doesn't help that the two are anagrams of each other, does it, Keith?

Patsy said...

I'm never sure which is worst, Wendy - not to know, or to have known and forgotten.

Patsy said...

That comes out as Discreditesecret, Alex. Not sure what it means yet. Anyone got a suggestion?

Patsy said...

Well that's all OK then, Linda.

Patsy said...

I think I know what restive means, Joanne. I'll look it up to check before I use it though.

Patsy said...

There is that danger, Robin.

Patsy said...

Aaaw, go on, Lizy. I won't tell anyone.

Patsy said...

A bit cheeky, Suzy - but better than them getting in trouble for something that wasn't their fault.

Anonymous said...

Love the flowers, Patsy. And, Mathair and I have a real problem with the word lose and loose. We always mix the two up, though the difference is much more perceptible then discreet and discrete. Our editor beats our manuscripts over our heads to try to instill the rule into us, but it still hasn't settled in. Purple's a great color by the way. They say those that have an affinity for it have a certain regalness about them. ;)

Editors At Work said...

I'm looking up the word on MW now! You make me work, Lady!

Nas

Amanda said...

Ooh, I didn't know that about discrete, but it will stick with me now, thank you. Whizzing over to look at that novel writing competition - thank you for the link!

Patsy said...

I have to stop and think over chose and choose and practice and practise and desert and dessert. It's not so bad when we know we mix them up as we can check, it's when we don't know the difference we get into real trouble.


Patsy said...

Hah! Good! he he.

Patsy said...

Good luck if you go for it, Amanda.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hadn't clocked that different spelling before!

Carolb said...

I learnt the difference between those two words the hard way, when I used the wrong one in a story being judged by someone who was an English language pedant. :)
I will never make that mistake again!

Vikki said...

That's one I hadn't noticed before - thanks for pointing it out!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Patsy, for pointing out that I've been spelling discretely incorrectly all my life! lol

marion

Patsy said...

Glad I'm not alone in that, Rosemary.

Patsy said...

I can see that'd help you remember, Carol!

Patsy said...

You're welcome, Vikki.

Patsy said...

That makes me feel better about doing the same, Marion.