There I was, sitting in my pew during the church meeting, listening intently to the sermon, when the man speaking at the podium used a word that made me cringe:
Generally speaking, it’s not a good idea to cringe during a sermon, because those who see it may start talking about you after the service. They may whisper:
“There I was, observating during the sermon, and what did I see? Sister Perdue actually cringed during the talk! I wonder what she must have done recently to wince like that!”
That, of course, would make me cringe a second time – not because of a guilty conscience, but because there is no such word as “observating.” The correct word is “observing.” And my reason for cringing in the first place was that “conversating” is not a word, either. The correct word is “conversing.”
The next day I was reading the newspaper and saw a headline with the word “Donator” in it, and being on a cringing binge, I cringed again because the word should have been “donor.” Now, it turns out that “donator” is actually in the dictionary, with a single word definition of “donor,” but the dictionary entry for “donor” has a far more extensive definition, which means it is the preferred term for that concept.
It seems to be a word fad to generate new words by adding different suffixes to a recognizable root, much like the “nounage” tip I shared a month or so ago. Apparently the ending “-ating” can be added to this growing list of suffix sins I must suffer.