Who put the ‘i’ in mischievous?

I’m always banging on about misuse of language, but my current beef is with the word ‘mischievous’.

Who put the ‘i’ in it and made it ‘mischiev-i-ous’?

It doesn’t really fall into the category of language reshaping itself with use. It doesn’t make it easier to pronounce, better to look at, easier to spell, or give it a softer or sharper meaning than the original. It’s just a rogue letter stuffed into a word for no reason. I blame Judge Judy for it. Partly. And at a salary of $54,000,000 a year she should know better. In the same episode I watched she also used the word ‘bring’ instead of ‘take’, 3 or 4 times. She rubber stamped the idea that you ‘bring’ your kids to school, rather than ‘take’ them. Why does it bug me so? I haven’t the faintest idea.

I should have realised long ago that it’s a losing battle…


Douglas Watkinson is an English novelist, playwright and screenwriter.

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