Talk:The Roaring Girl

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"Enormity" vs. "Enormousness"[edit]

Nasnema,

As I've explained on your talk page, this all too common English usage error, has nothing at all to do with "local dialect." Given that you are evidently British and have displayed over your history of edits here a very marked preference for your own "local dialect," I refer you to the entry for "enormity" in the highly respected (British) Compact Oxford English Dictionary:

enormity

1 [mass noun] (the enormity of) the great or extreme scale , seriousness, or extent of something perceived as bad or morally wrong:a thorough search disclosed the full enormity of the crime

(in neutral use) large size or scale:I began to get a sense of the enormity of the task

2 a grave crime or sin:the enormities of war

Origin:

late Middle English: via Old French from Latin enormitas, from enormis, from e- (variant of ex-) 'out of' + norma 'pattern, standard'. The word originally meant ‘deviation from legal or moral rectitude’ and ‘transgression’. Current senses have been influenced by enormous

Usage

Enormity traditionally means‘ the extreme scale or seriousness of something bad or morally wrong’, as in residents of the town were struggling to deal with the enormity of the crime. Today, however , a more neutral sense as a synonym for hugeness or immensity, as in he soon discovered the enormity of the task, is common. Some people regard this use as wrong, arguing that enormity in its original sense meant ‘a crime’ and should therefore continue to be used only of contexts in which a negative moral judgement is implied. Nevertheless, the sense is now broadly accepted in standard English, although it generally relates to something difficult, such as a task, challenge, or achievement

The sentence in the The Roaring Girl namepage that I'd edited did not use "enormity" to characterize "something difficult, such as a task, challenge, or achievement," so its usage to apply to an object -- a sum of money -- was incorrect as a matter of even the most "modern" standard English, even in its least prescriptive BRITISH application:

Her husband wants to pay Laxton off again, but she feels forced by the enormity of the sum to confess that all this was a lie, that she was never precontracted to Laxton.

Ravinpa (talk) 04:45, 11 June 2011 (UTC)