Style matters #7: Your ‘career’ is not complete without ‘careen’


There is a subtle difference between the verb form of career and its lesser-known – and I would argue increasingly under-used – cousin careen.

The word “career” (used in its verb form) is taken to mean “to move swiftly and in an uncontrolled way”, as in:

The coach careered across the road and crashed through the fence.

However, among its other definitions*, “careen” (also a verb) means “to sway or lurch from side to side”, as in:

They saw the car teeter precariously at the edge of the road before it careened down the hill, tossed about on the rough terrain.

* Historically, the latter word came had its origins in the nautical world, meaning “to tilt (a ship) on its side for cleaning or repair” or “to tilt or lean over”.


If you like what you’ve read here, you can see reporting4work’s similar posts at Style Matters

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