weinraub’s words

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My Reticence, My Reluctance

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A NY Times piece today on the Microsoft/Yahoo search deal contained a usage of “reticence” where “reluctance” would have better.

After tense, months-long negotiations, the deal was derailed, in part by Mr. Yang’s reticence,…

They would no doubt justify it by pointing to the entry, in their query.nytimes.com service which seems to use the American Heritage Dictionary.

But it still pisses me off. I’m much more in agreement with traditional purists on this point: Reticence is a subset of reluctance referring only to speech.