Sunday, March 13, 2011

Complement & Compliment

Sometimes I wonder how often people realize these are two separate words.
With an E – items or actions that match, are opposites, form a complete unit, or otherwise go hand-in-hand.
With an I – an indication of approval.
“My compliments to the chef for the way this hair complements my soup.”

4 comments:

  1. Learned something useful. Hope you like the complement ;-)

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  2. This is complicated when folks aren't aware of old conventions of sending correspondence or gifts "with compliments" or "with respects" and so on. There's a chain of restaurants here in the southwest where table staff offer "complimentary coffee" after the meal.

    Folks who don't know the history of "with our compliments" are sometimes confused that it's "complementary coffee" as it "completes the meal."

    Either way, many of us feel compelled to perform ritual ventriloquism with the coffee as it arrives, to wit: "Hello, Bruce! You're looking mighty fine today!"

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  3. Ha! I love it. "Thank you very much, coffee, you're looking well yourself." :)

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