Memorable (talking about bad things)

< Previous | Next >
Hello everyone,

I went on Google and Youglish to research this, but found no reliable examples of use. So I decided to post. My question: Does "memorable" (unforgettable for bad reasons, when talking about bad things) sound natural/correct in the examples that I created below in colloquial English?

a. My girlfriend cheated on me and it is memorable. I still feel sad when I remember it. I liked her a lot.
b. He was mistreated when he was a child, and he often says that it was memorable.

Thank you in advance!
 
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Memorable" requires more than one person to feel the significance of something or to remember it, and it is not appropriate in either of your sentences. Usually the meaning is "noteworthy" in a general sense.
     

    User With No Name

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    "Memorable" requires more than one person to feel the significance of something or to remember it, and it is not appropriate in either of your sentences.
    Hmm. I agree that "memorable" doesn't work in either of those sentences. But I don't really think it has to do with the number of people involved. I could easily say "My solo trip around the world was a memorable experience," even if it was only memorable for me.

    Regarding the original question, I do think that "memorable" usually is applied to positive experiences. I would find it odd (although not impossible) for someone to say that being in an automobile accident was a "memorable" experience, even though it probably was something that won't be forgotten anytime soon.
     

    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    In theory ‘memorable’ refers to something that is likely to be remembered both good and bad, but it usually relates to something worth remembering.

    Finding out my girlfriend cheated on me is something I’ll never forget.
    The abuse he received as a child is something he’ll never forget
    .
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Usually the meaning is "noteworthy" in a general sense.
    This is an important point. Memorable really doesn't refer to whether you can or can't remember something. A person can remember plenty of things that aren't "memorable" in the way that word is used. I can remember what I ate for breakfast yesterday but saying it was memorable would be a serious misuse of the word.

    Memorable is applied to things that are remembered because they were special or unusual in some way. A word expressing a similar (but not identical) idea is remarkable.

    I took some memorable photographs on my safari. :thumbsup:
    I took some remarkable photographs on my safari. :thumbsup:

    He was mistreated when he was a child, and he often says that it was memorable. :thumbsdown:
    He was mistreated when he was a child, and he often says that it was remarkable. :thumbsdown:
     
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >
    Top