Sunday, May 11

Bye bye, healthful

Words are born, live for awhile, then die. They usually die from disuse. Take the word healthful. When used properly, it means “having or conducive to good health.” You would eat healthful foods in order to remain healthy. Currently many people are using the word healthy in place of healthful. Eating healthy foods really means to eat foods that are in good health, not diseased. Therefore to eat a healthy fish would have to mean the fish is still alive, since a dead fish would definitely not be healthy. A fresh strawberry is both healthy and healthful. A freeze-dried strawberry is not healthy, but is still healthful. Cooked rice isn’t healthy, but is healthful.

There’s an accelerating trend to replace correct words with ignorant approximations, even in (formerly) respectable publications. With this in mind, I propose that we replace truthful with truthy.

No comments: