Revised as of 11 October 2017
“She staired at him in disbelief. How could he do this to her?“
I don’t know about you, but I’d wonder how she could “stair” at someone. Does she throw one of those pre-made stair riser things?
Then there was the story in which “he took the stares three at a time, as he rushed to…”.
Oh, boy. I suppose the character could have been metaphorically “ignoring” the stares as he rushed somewhere, but it sure seemed like he was running up some stairs in the sentence.
…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.
|Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Dictionary.com: stare|
|Part of Grammar:|
|Noun 1, 2; Verb, intransitive & transitive|
|A set of steps leading from one floor of a building to another, typically inside the building
A long fixed or vacant look 1
[British; dialect] A starling 2
|He came rushing down the stairs.
Watch out for that bottom stair.
The third step up on those stairs creaks in the middle.
He sprang up the stairs with a snarl.
She gave him a cold stare.
Helena trembled as her boss fixed with a hard stare.
Robin sat staring into space, her mind numb.
Her gray eyes stared back at him.
The obituaries stared out at us.
Seeing the soldiers arrayed before us made us realize we were staring defeat in the face.
Jenny, that man over there is staring at me!
The policeman found her staring at nothing.
Katy wasn’t going to let that jerk stare me down.
|Adjective: stairless, stairlike
Noun: downstairs, staircase, stairway, stairwell
|stare someone down|
|History of the Word:|
|Old English stæger is of Germanic origin and related to the Dutch steiger meaning scaffolding, from a base meaning climb.||1Old English starian is of Germanic origin, from a base meaning be rigid.|
C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?
Pinterest Photo Credits
The Stairmaster 7000pt Commercial Stepmill is courtesy of GymPros.com and Randa Kamel Egyptian Bellydancer, 2007, is Judith Scheepstra’s own work under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license, via Wikimedia Commons.