Loss of 'worrisome' is concerning (me)

Loss of 'worrisome' is concerning (me)
A worrisome pose

I'm so interested in words that I can actually miss words that I don't hear often enough. That's not "miss" in the sense of "Oops, I didn't hear that!" That's "miss" in the sense of "Oh, word, I miss you!"

That's how I've been feeling as I get more and more irritated with the word concerning being used in expressions such as "The possibility of a strike is concerning."

One recent night, the word I miss came back to my mind for a visit: worrisome.

In my dictionary, Webster's New Twentieth Century, concerning means "pertaining to; regarding; about; having relation to; with reference to." An example sentence is "He spoke only good concerning the man."

(That correct position of "only" is lovely to see, but I digress.)

Obsolete definitions for concerning are "affecting the interests; important" and "a matter of concern, interest or importance."

The idea that obsolete definitions can come back is concerning me!

Meanwhile, I want to defend worrisome, which my dictionary defines as "1. causing worry or anxiety; 2. having a tendency to worry."

In other words, the potential loss of worrisome is worrisome!

I talked to my father about this in one of our many discussions about words. When I mentioned worrisome, Dad mentioned a word with a similar structure, wearisome. It wasn't wearisome to me to check the dictionary and find it: "causing weariness; tiresome; tedious; fatiguing; as, a wearisome day's work."

That's worth defending, too. If you get tired of saying "tiresome," or if you think something makes you not just tired, but weary, try calling it wearisome.

If you have questions concerning these words, feel free to ask them below. I can find a lack of comments worrisome, but it isn't wearisome to reply.


Margaret Serious has a page on Facebook.


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  • Clever!

  • Thank you!

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