Some speak of the Muse, when discussing their writing. Today, I’m going to ask which one.
No, we’re not talking about Calliope, but we are discussing two words that have the same derivation in the French word muser, which back in the 15th century meant to stare blankly. Here’s the tip you should know just in case Calliope hasn’t whispered it in your ear:
- Bemused (adj) means to be confused or puzzled.
- Amused (adj) means to be entertained.
Sure, “bemused” is used to a lesser degree, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a fancy way of saying “amused.” It’s not cute, eloquent, or quaint. It’s just wrong.
The Writing Muse, if you believe in such things, would surely not approve.