02 February 2013

Language Lessons: More on Defuse vs. Diffuse

This is one in a series of posts about the peculiarities of writing and speaking the English language. For similar posts, click here.

As a follow-up to yesterday's post, here are some more examples of journalists confusing defuse and diffuse, all stories from within the last week or so:

Jets lose 8-3 to Tampa Bay:" Good teams find a way to minimize damage when asked to diffuse [read 'defuse'] the bomb in front of them and in the inconsistent world of NHL officiating, fuses are lit all the time."

Unexploded WWII bomb discovered at Hamamatsu railway: "The Self Defense Forces were called to diffuse [read 'defuse'] the bomb and then transport the 250 kilogram (55 pound) rusted explosive."

N.Korea Threatens War With S.Korea Over UN Sanctions: "Meanwhile, China, the North Korea’s major ally called for restraint and continuation of the dialogues to diffuse [read: 'defuse'] tension in the peninsula."

Cruz's Grass-Roots Role at NRSC Still Evolving: "Sen. Ted Cruz was appointed vice chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee to diffuse [read 'defuse'] a destructive tension with the conservative grass roots..."

As a reminder, you can see the difference between defuse and diffuse here.
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