Dread/dreaded

timpeac

Senior Member
English (England)
In a recent email a collegue talked about "the dread hand of incompetence". This sounded strange to me and I asked him if he meant "the dreaded hand of incomptence" he said no and that "dread" was the adjective not "dreaded". A couple of people near-by agreed with me, so I assumed it was just him having a funny 5 minutes.

Now I see this posted by Pan -
"the dread prospect of searching through "
http://forum.wordreference.com/showpost.php?p=284251&postcount=28

Knowing that Pan's expression is normally of the highest order, this has now made me question my usage.

Which is correct as an adjective, "dread" or "dreaded".

Personally I have never seen "dread" used in this way before my collegue and now Pan. What do you all think?
 
  • Markus

    Senior Member
    Canada - English
    I agree with you that "dreaded" seems more correct, but I have seen "dread" used as an adjective before. I would say that "dreaded" is definitely a correct usage, but the other might be as well. But I'm no authority, I'm just speaking from the intuition of a mother tongue.
     

    VenusEnvy

    Senior Member
    English, United States
    Tim, I also found this on Dictionary.com:

    adj.
    Causing terror or fear: a dread disease.
    Inspiring awe: the dread presence of the headmaster.

    :eek: I have never, ever heard of this before. I have always used "dreaded" as the adjective form, like yourself. :confused:
     

    zazie

    Member
    USA, English
    From the Oxford English Dictionary, it looks like "dreaded" took over from "dread" around the 15th century. And I'd only use "dread" if I were trying to be literary or achaic.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Hmmmm.
    How long should I let this fell slight upon my use of language persist?
    No longer chummies.
    Knees a-trembling, heart in mouth I approached the OED.

    First hit - egad I'm obsolete!

    Sigh of relief, that's
    Afraid, frightened, terrified.

    Second hit - and first meaning:
    1. Feared greatly; hence, to be feared; dreadful, terrible.
    :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    And for the benefit of those who would prefer dreaded, I would like to point out that it does not mean the same as dread.​



    Dread: Feared greatly; hence, to be feared; dreadful, terrible.

    Dreaded: That is regarded with dread or great fear; inspiring deep awe or apprehension.


    So, dread relates to the inherent quality of the thing: dreaded to the external perception. The relationship is rather the same as that between lovable and loved.


    Something that is dread should be dreaded, but may not be.

    Something that is dreaded may not be dread.
    (Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?)
     

    Amityville

    Senior Member
    English UK
    One of Wallace Arnold's favourite words. He also often says whither, thus and perforce.


    link for the flavour - this one is entitled ' there is no such word as toilet'. He's not your alter ego is he Panjadrum ?
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Amityville said:
    link for the flavour - this one is entitled ' there is no such word as toilet'. He's not your alter ego is he Panjadrum ?
    No, indeed not - although that link is GOOD:)

    In this particular case I was simply applying, unconsciously, the correct form. As I pointed out, there is a significant difference between dread and dreaded. I mean, if I were to start confusing dread and dreaded I might next confuse lovable and loved, washable and washed, drinkable and drunk. Where would it end? Sooner or later all words would mean the the the the the the the the the the the.........
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    VenusEnvy said:
    Tim, I also found this on Dictionary.com:

    adj.
    Causing terror or fear: a dread disease.
    Inspiring awe: the dread presence of the headmaster.

    :eek: I have never, ever heard of this before. I have always used "dreaded" as the adjective form, like yourself. :confused:
    Well I'll be a plum-coloured kipper covered in golden syrup! Thanks all, particularly Pan for nuancing that. Looks like I've got some humble pie to eat at work.

    By the way, great link -

    "She wears a 'top' that is too small for her," he writes, his distress at this vulgar article of clothing driving him into the comforting arms of the inverted comma.

    Class.:) (although as a rule I avoid the Telegraph, despite its simply brilliant crossword, as a reactionary construct aimed at people who think they are too posh to buy the Daily Mail)

    Edit - just to be clear, not that I am saying Amityville is such a person!!
     
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