Pet Peeve of the Week

Yesterday, as I was reading about NY Knicks rookie phenom Jeremy Lin, I was irked by one reporter’s glaring, but all too common, misuse of the word, “reticent” when “reluctant” is meant.

Writing in Capital New York, sportswriter Howard Megdal discussed the Lakers strategy to physically punish Lin every time he entered the paint. Megdal wrote, “If the idea was to make him more reticent about driving, it certainly didn’t work.” The only problem was that Lin was not silent or readily revealing his thoughts about his driving skills. He wasn’t “reluctant” or disinclined to challenge the Lakers physical play, either.

Mr. Megdal’s incorrect use of “reticent” has been a particular pet peeve of mine since grade school. “Reticent” was a word that freed me from feeling odd because I happily found a word that described me.

Taciturn and reticent were terms used to describe the heroes played by Gary Cooper in films (Sargent York, Lou Gehrig, Sheriff Will Kane). Maybe, I could be a quiet hero someday, I thought.

For now, I’ll just defend the proper usage of reticent. And that will be all I have to say on the matter.

What’s your pet peeve? Share it below.

About SquarePegDem

A former state legislator turned NY Post editorial board member, thought-leader, public affairs consultant and commentator, columnist and blogger. Michael has appeared on Al Jazeera America Tonight, NY1/Inside City Hall, LIVE, YNN/Capital Tonight, The Brian Lehrer Show, The Fred Dicker Show, The Capitol Press Room, and The Daily Show. His op-eds have appeared in the NY Post, City and State, The Legislative Gazette, Bronx Times, The Troy Record, Buffalo News, and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. To schedule speaking engagements, email FOMB08@GMAIL.COM.
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4 Responses to Pet Peeve of the Week

  1. new york city news says:

    new york city New York news, traffic, sports, national politics, home entertainment, and regional games in NYC and Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island.


  2. MusicKevin says:

    Hi Michaelbenjamin2012,
    Along the same lines, I am writing a persuasive essay on my pet peeve of people not washing hands after using the restroom. I need three reasons and then evidence to back it up. I am asking you for three interesting reasons. That’s all. Thank you.


    • While it’s not what I had in mind, here goes. One, Unwashed hands are not hands I want to shake. Two, unwashed hands can spread viruses onto food, spouses and children. Three, if you saw the 2011 movie, Contagion, you’d wash your hands every minute and you’d never touch anyone or eat out.


  3. Pingback: As New York Knick Jeremy Lin hits the court, Asian-Americans find power in politics | MichaelBenjamin2012's Blog

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