Saturday, April 02, 2005
One misgiving is better than two
I’d never heard “misgiving” as a singular before this NPR segment on implanting electrodes in the brains of quadriplegics:
“This misgiving comes from the very person who created Matt Nagle’s thought machine ... ” (at 3:05 into the segment)
I thought it was what Bill Walsh calls a false singular (Walsh’s example is from a radio ad that urged listeners to “donate a school supply.”
But M-W has misgiving:
“a feeling of doubt or suspicion especially concerning a future event”
So does the OED:
A feeling of mistrust, apprehension, or loss of confidence. Freq. in pl. ...
1781 W. COWPER Convers. 770 Conscious of her crimes, she feels instead A cold misgiving, and a killing dread.