Eloquent English #2

Hi guys! Its Saturday and its time for some English!
This week’s words are commonly mistaken and are almost similar to each other in spelling but not in meaning. They are amiable and amicable.


The meaning of the possible symbols that I use in the is meme-
When a quotation or example shows a misuse , it is clearly marked as wrong by means if a cross: ❌
And if it is a doubtful or ill-advised usage, it is marked with a question mark: ❓, or a double question mark: ❓❓
Let’s start.
These two adjectives both derive, by slightly different routes, from the Latin amicus, ‘a friend’. They have developed slightly different uses, as careful users of English recognise.
Amiable tends to be applied to people, and means ‘friendly, good-natured, likable’:a most amiable fellow; an amiable grin; a strong, but amiable personality.

It was an amiable crowd and nobody seemed to mind how much you pushed, and eventually, sweating and exhausted, we forced our way to the front.
               -Lynn Reid Banks, The L-Shaped Room

It can also refer to social environment, conversation, piece of writing, or the like, and mean ‘congenial, cordial’ : the amiable atmosphere of the social club.

At his most characteristic he introduces the reader to some harmlessly amiable, even comic scene or episode, and then reverses the feeling to the limit.
                  -Kingsley Amis, The Observer

Amicable tends to refer to relationships, or joint enterprises, or decisions. It means ‘characterized by good will, showing a friendly attitude, harmonious’: They arrived at an amicable settlement of their dispute.

The paper was threatened a few weeks ago by a row between Mr Rowland and the editor, Mr Donald Trelford, over a story by Mr Trelford alleging army atrocities in Zimbabwe, where Lonhro has important assets. That dispute was eventually settled amicably.
                   -John Ardill, The Guardian

In the following quotation, amicable was a dubious choice for the adjective- amiable would have been better.

And, in truth, he had to concede also that Dalmire had always been amicable and subservient; there was no evident cause for the poisonous hate he now nutured in his breast.
               -William Boyd, A Good Man in Africa

That’s all for today.
Were you ever confused by this? Do you have any other confusion regarding any other word or words? Tell me. I’ll try to solve it in the coming posts.


Author: Vrushali

I'm a under grad student on the path to become an accountant but that doesn't stop me from loving books, art and writing among many other things. I blog about all of them and all things that make life worth living. Check out my

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