Eloquent English #10- Laudable and Laudatory


These two are clearly distinguished by their endings, but they are still often confused.
Both come from the Latin verb laudare, ‘to praise’. Laudable means ‘deserving praise, praiseworthy’: a laudable attempt in the competition. Laudatory means ‘giving praise’: a laudatory speech about the prizewinner. The pronunciation of both is /lawd-/, not /lowd-/.
In some contexts, laudable is a rather unenthusiastic description, ‘damning with faint praise’, because of its formal tone: His attempt was laudable but misguided.
Laud as both noun and verb, meaning ‘praise’ or ‘to praise’, is now even rarer than laudable and laudatory. As a verb, it occurs most often in the expression lauded to the skies. As a noun, it can still be found in hymns:

All laud we would render: O help us to see ‘Tis only the splendour of light hideth Thee.
                 -Hymn: ‘Immortal, invisible, God only wise’, Hymns Ancient and Modern


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