- On February 25, 2015
A few weeks ago, when a hedge fund took a hit after some poor forecasts about the Greek political scene, the fund’s founders sent this message to their investors: “We are reticent to render decisive predictions at this time.”
They meant reluctant, which means unwilling or disinclined to do something.
A client said he was reticent to take a specific course of action. He, too, meant reluctant.
If you are reticent, you are reserved. You keep your thoughts—and your feelings—to yourself. Reticent should not be followed by the preposition to. When you see it that way—which you will—know that it’s not correct.
You might say that certain people are reticent in meetings because they’re worried they won’t sound smart enough. In other words, they are reluctant to speak up.