Article »

enormity, enormousness - vocabulary

This Grammar.com article is about enormity, enormousness - vocabulary — enjoy your reading!

noun

Enormity: outrageous or heinous character; largeness of size, immensity.

Enormousness: largeness of size or scope.

Note: Use enormousness when meaning “large” and enormity when wishing to emphasize the awfulness of something.

Enormity is frequently used to refer simply to the property of being great in size or extent, but many would prefer that enormousness (or a synonym such as immensity) be used for this general sense and that enormity be limited to situations that demand a negative moral judgment, as in Not until the war ended and journalists were able to enter Cambodia did the world really become aware of the enormity of Pol Pot's oppression.

Fifty-nine percent of the Usage Panel rejects the use of enormity as a synonym for immensity in the sentence At that point the engineers sat down to design an entirely new viaduct, apparently undaunted by the enormity of their task. This distinction between enormity and enormousness has not always existed historically, but nowadays many observe it. Writers who ignore the distinction, as in the enormity of the President's election victory or the enormity of her inheritance, may find that their words have cast unintended aspersions or evoked unexpected laughter.

Dictionary.reference.com/browse/enormity

Have a discussion about this article with the community:

Citation

Use the citation below to add this article to your bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"enormity, enormousness - vocabulary." Grammar.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 20 Nov. 2017. <http://www.grammar.com/enormity-enormousness-vocabulary>.

Free Writing Tool:

Instant
Grammar Checker

Improve your grammar, vocabulary, and writing -- and it's FREE!


Improve your writing now:

Download Grammar eBooks

It’s now more important than ever to develop a powerful writing style. After all, most communication takes place in reports, emails, and instant messages.