- On June 27, 2016
I just read an interview with James Jagger, the 30-year-old son of Mick, in which he described his habit of taking up hobbies, only to drop them a short while later. “I’m very, very flippant,” he said. That’s odd, I thought; he doesn’t seem like a wiseass, which is what you are if you’re flippant.
And then there was the piece about the mobile app Snapchat that said its new Snapchat Discover platform is a way for media companies to deliver “snippy content.” I’ve never used Snapchat, so I’ll say straight out that I am in the dark when it comes to this now-it’s-here-and-now-it’s-gone messaging service. Yet I suspect the writer didn’t mean media companies can now send short-tempered or curt content, which is what snippy means.
In both cases, the right words were not far off: Jagger probably meant to say he’s fickle, and Snapchat Discover is a way to deliver snippets of copy.
It may sound old-fashioned, but there’s no substitute for the dictionary. You can find out in a moment whether you’re using the right word. If you’re not, the impact of using the wrong one lasts way longer than any Snapchat message.