Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Heterodox: Popular word these days

Amartya Sen repeatedly uses the word "heterodox" in "The Argumentative Indian". It stumped me for a while until I looked it up in the dictionary. I still can't understand why he doesn't say "unorthodox". Now Greg Mankiw's gotten into the act also.

Google comes up with 4.5M hits for unorthodox vs about 780K hits for heterodox. Wikipedia baffles with this one: "The noun heterodoxy is synonymous with unorthodoxy and heresy, while the adjective heterodox is synonymous with dissident and heretical."

I'd never use heterodox - I honestly don't think I need it. If I want to say unorthodox, I'll say unorthodox. If I want to say heretical, I'll say heretical.

Thats the difference between a nobel laureate and you my friend. They like to show off their command of language along with the subject by using esoteric words. Thanks for not using such words in our conversations.
:) Mankiw doesn't even have a Nobel yet, does he?
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