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Contemplate these meanings

Despite the similarity in spelling for today’s words, they have very different meanings.

contemn: [verb] scorn, disregard, feel contempt for
He seems to take price in his ability to contemn new performers. 

contemplate: [verb] consider, envisage and observe consistently about a likely or probably action or outcome
A wise person will contemplate all options before making an important decision.


The word contemn is not used a lot, but some people question whether it was the intended word in line two of The Ode (part of For The Fallen by  Laurence Binyon and used in ANZAC and other remembrance services around the world):

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

It appears that Binyon did intend to use the word ‘condemn’, but ‘contemn’ would also fit in there. Which word gives the better message to you?

ANZAC remembrance

Yesterday was Anzac Day so I thought of how often I have seen remembrance misspelt. It is an important word that is part of common speech even though most of us don’t use it very often aside from near Anzac and Remembrance Days.

The other ‘word’ to be aware of is Anzac…

Anzac stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps so we would generally write it as the acronym ANZAC; however, we only capitalise the first letter as specified in The Protection of the Word “Anzac” Regulations (administered by the Minister for Veteran’s Affairs).

Capitals change the meaning

It’s Monday but I’m going to do the Monday Meanings post a little differently today in honour of Anzac Day on Saturday.

Sometimes, a capital letter can change the meaning or significance of a word.

Digger: an Anzac soldier
The Diggers proudly walked off the ship in Melbourne.

digger: someone who is digging or regularly digs
Sitting in the sandpit, the digger created a moat around his castle.

The general rules for the use of capital letters obviously still apply, as does the annoyance of over using capitals. For the above example, I added a capital letter to a regular noun to make it a proper noun as I could also do for words such as Mother/mother, Father/father, Nurse/nurse and Captain/captain.