Word Confusion: Fanaticize versus Fantasize

Posted October 12, 2015 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

Revised as of 27 August 2017

I’d like to think that someone simply misspelled fantasize, but after typing fanaticize over and over, no. I had to really concentrate on hitting each key to be sure I spelled it correctly, so I know this must have been on purpose. One about which I have no clue.

Wait. Okay. Maybe a fantasy can be fanaticizing. I do tend to see fanatacize as a negative, but there really isn’t a reason that fantasies have to be positive. I suppose one could get excited about becoming a suicide bomber. Urkhh.

Word Confusions started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end. Consider sharing this Word Confusion with friends by tweeting it.

Fanaticize Fantasize
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Merriam-Webster: fanaticize and fantasize

Barry Hunau's cartoon of a suicide bomber scaling a wall.

Cartoon by Barry Hunau is under the CC BY-SA 2.0 or CC BY-SA 3.0 licenses, via Wikimedia Commons

Yep, that’s what I’d see as fanaticized.


A verdigrised bust of a woman with a rainbow of images in a thought bubble over her head.

“Think Different” is a derivative of Wassily Kandinsky’s Fugue and uses a statue from the family grave of Otto Schurig. By Neotex555 under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license, via Wikimedia Commons.

Looks like she’s fantasizing to me.

Part of Grammar:
Verb, intransitive & transitive

Third person present verb: fanaticizes
Past tense or past participle: fanaticized
Gerund or present participle: fanaticizing

Verb, intransitive & transitive

Third person present verb: fantasizes
Past tense or past participle: fantasized
Gerund or present participle: fantasizing

[British] fantasise, fantasising

Variant spelling: [Archaic; Psychology and psychiatry] Phantasize

Verb, intransitive:
To act with or show fanaticism

Verb, transitive:
To cause to become fanatic

Verb, intransitive:
Indulge in daydreaming about something desired

Create or develop imaginative and often fantastic views or ideas

Verb, transitive:
Imagine something that one wants to happen

Portray in the mind

Examples:
Verb, intransitive:
Many idiots fanaticized themselves into blowing themselves up, believing they’re serving a higher purpose.

Verb, transitive:
Cults and irresponsible imans fanaticize people.

Verb, intransitive:
He sometimes fantasized about emigrating.

Throughout my childhood, I fantasized about flying, reducing myself in size, being invisible. All the normal fantasies, lol.

Verb, transitive:
They sometimes fantasize the destruction of the world.

I fantasize about chocolate and whipped cream.

As a child, she fantasized about becoming a famous actress.

Derivatives:
Adjective, attributive, Noun: fanatic, fanatics Noun: fantasist, fantasizer
History of the Word:
First known use: 1705 First known use: 1926

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C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?

Pinterest Photo Credits

Credit to: Aaron Brown’s Daily Express article “‘Just wait…’ Islamic State reveals it has smuggled THOUSANDS of extremists into Europe“.


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