Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Botching the relatively common word “litigious”; Even you Frank Deford?

Among all the men and women who grace American radio and television, sports commentator Frank Deford’s command of the English language is perhaps second to none, a position occupied during the 1970s, 80s, and 90s by the late Louis Rukeyser. But this morning, while listening to Deford’s regular Wednesday segment on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” I realized that even this master of the English language has some glaring weaknesses in the matter of everyday American lexicon.

While discussing the LA Clippers owner, whose scandalously racist comments over the weekend have created a sensation, Deford said to NPR host Steve Inskeep: “Donald Sterling is known to be a very litiginous man. He’s not going to go softly into the night.”

Litiginous? Really? There is no such word in the English language! The correct word, and a pretty common one at that, is litigious, pronounced [luh-TIJ-us].

© Copyright 2014  V. J. Singal

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