Thursday, October 16, 2008

Am I Idle or Lazy?

The words idle and lazy are not synonymous, are they?

Idleness mean inaction at least the absence of useful action. So a person who is usually hard working could be, due to some medical condition, forced to be idle for a period of time. So for instance, I will in December of 2018 (true story), get my right hip replaced. Following the surgery, I am supposed to stay in the house with a walker for a week. I expect that I'll be on enough drugs so I shouldn't be doing anything important or delicate. So I will be forced to be idle.  I'll be in a state of idleness.

Laziness, which is indisposition to exertion, indolence, or a state of sluggish inactivity. Laziness is not forced on someone, it is a reluctance to make an effort or do anything useful.

One could be idle since one is lazy.  One could also be lazy but be forced to be active, so not idle.

So I'm distinguishing between lazy, which is an attitude and idle which is a state, not necessarily an attitude. Of course, an awful lot of dictionaries seem to give a primary meeting of idle which is really close to lazy.

What do you think? This is open to debate. Your ideas?  To be frank, it's Sept 2018 and I just rewrote this old post and in doing so, I found that I reversed the previous explanation of these words by Miss Suzy.  Was it really ten years ago that Miss Suzy was here writing about words for us?

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