Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Down with Amicable - up with Amiable!

It's absolutely ridiculous to have two words that mean the same thing, be spelled differently.

What's the difference between Amicable and Amiable?

Amicable: characterized by or showing goodwill; friendly; peaceable.
having or showing pleasant, good-natured personal qualities; affable.
- and you might be able to throw affable into this equation, too.

So, why the extra c? And what does it add to the word. I mean, obviously it adds nothing to the meaning of the word. It's just a waste of letters, if you ask me.

Amiable's origins:
mid-14c., from O.Fr. amiable , from L.L. amicabilis "friendly," from amicus "friend," related to amare "to love" (see Amy). The form confused in O.Fr. with amable "lovable," from L. amare . Reborrowed later in proper L. form as amicable.

Amicable's origins:
1530s, from L.L. amicabilis "friendly," a word in Roman law, from L. amicus "friend," related to amare "to love" (see Amy).

So - you can see that Amicable is from the 1530s, while Amiable is from the 1300s - obviously Amicable is redundant, dated and useless in the bigger scheme of things. I think we should all go out of our way to eliminate this waste of letters.

Honestly - what's the point in having two words sound alike, mean the same thing, and exist at the same time? It's time to kill one of these words.

Down with Amicable - up with Amiable!

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