I ran across a quote that used the word “nauseous,” as in “Even the thought of broccoli makes me nauseous.” Most usage experts say that the speaker should have said “nauseated.” “Nauseous” is an adjective that describes something that makes you sick to your stomach. “Nauseated” is the word to describe being sick. However, some observers of the language say that usage has changed and “nauseous” is a perfectly good word to describe being sick enough to lose your lunch. I don’t hold with that group.
Here is the American Heritage Book of English Usage discussion of “nauseous” and “nauseated.” In Worldwide Words, the author examines the history of the usage, citing two New York boroughs as the possible birthplace for “nauseous” to describe that sickening feeling.
Keywords: grammar guide, language, writing
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