Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wordsmith Wednesday

I don't resonate with something...it resonates with me.  Do you see that there is a difference?

Resonate comes from the Latin word resonare which means "to make a prolonged or echoing sound" or literally to "sound again."  Its English dictionary definition is   to strike a chord with.  When something strikes a chord with me, it resonates with me...I don't resonate with it.

I resonate with your words. NO
Your words resonate with me.  YES

The first means that I struck a chord with your words.  But that's not possible.

The second means that your words struck a chord inside me.  Now THAT makes sense.

The source that produces the response is the thing that resonates...while the thing that experiences the response does not DO the resonating.  Am I right about this?  An articulate explanation eludes me.  Aaargh.

I know there must be a more technical explanation, I just can't come up with it.  It has something to do with agent/action OR cause/effect...something like that.  It's a matter of logic.

All I know for certain is that I hear this being misused more and more often and decided it was time to set the world straight.  Well...at least my 4 regular readers, anyway. 

Do you resonate with this?  I mean...does this resonate with you?  Feel free to enlighten me with legitimate documentation that explains whether I am right or wrong and WHY!!

4 comments:

Jennifer said...

Well, I am something of a grammar nerd, but I have never thought of this. I am just happy to report that I always say, "that resonates with me." I feel good about myself. Thank you.

Lori Shaffer said...

You're more than welcome, Jennifer. I aim to please...or make others pleased with themselves!

Alicia said...

Shh! You girls have just given away the secret motivation of all grammar nerds. Keep a lid on it!

Anonymous said...

well google-fight supports you anyway. :)
http://www.googlefight.com/index.php?lang=en_GB&word1=%22resonates+with+me%22+&word2=%22I+resonate%22