Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Clean Up Your Use of Guest

Oh hot ice! Freezing fire! And familiar obscure Shakespearean oxymorons.  Here's a puzzle.

If somebody has a guest, it is already assumed that the guest was invited to partake of the hospitality and entertainment of his his; hence avoid using the phrase "an invited guest" as it is redundant, and what's more -- tautological. Guests by definition are invited.

By definition, all guests are invited, therefore an "uninvited guest" is also pointless, and an oxymoron, to boot.

Refrain from use of either of these phrases and I'll give you a gold star on your grammar star chart.

Need help practicing your oxymorons. I invite you to play the oxymoron game. Be my guest!

What's interesting is that so many common expressions are oxymorons:

  • loosely packed
  • instant classic
  • act natural
  • irregular pattern
  • slumber party
Isn't it amazing?


BBat50 said...

Aren't there guests that are welcome but who arrive without an invitation?

Are there invited guests that are not really welcome (ie invited only by obligation or custom?

Other comments?

BBat50 said...

This post on the proper use of the word guest seems to consistently be the most visited page on this website.

Why? How did you, dear reader/visitor, my welcome but uninvited guests, get here? Comments please?