I’m an English teacher as well and I have to say that this “diffidently” got me laughing.
Awhile ago I devoted a post to ruminating on an example of this word, “diffident.” That writer was commenting on Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken” and said the road was “diffidently not the only one.…”
Today I’m looking at two more examples of that word, edging its way (modestly) into a sentence where it does not belong.
In the example headlining this post, my student assures me (the reader) that he has tried all semester. And in fact, he did work quite hard, coming to my office to work through rough drafts, revising and developing his thoughts. He “diffidently put effort in,” he assures me.
In another example, another student also praised the writing course:
“It was tough but diffidently worth it.”
Now, wouldn’t you think this was the same writer in all three examples? But it was diffidently not.
None of the writers actually meant “distrustfully…
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