Monday, July 13, 2009

Hilarious vs. Hysterical

Hello, again, friends.

Twice in one day is not normal for me, but I can't let this one go any longer.

See the title of this post? See the two words in the title of this post?

They're not interchangeable.

When something is hilarious, it is very very funny. You can say "that movie was hilarious," or, "that Monica...she's the most hilarious person I've ever come across in my life! The hilarity she causes is so great, that there is nothing else to do but for me to name her the most hilarious person on earth."

Hysterical is an adjective. You are hysterical when you are unable to control yourself. You can laugh hysterically, but you can not say a movie was hysterical.

Sorry. You just can't.


Drink of Water said...

You know, I'm going to have to disagree with your stance on the word "hysterical." I think it can definitely be used informally to mean "very funny" these days, and I think most dictionaries would back me up. See for examples. Word meanings change, and it's okay. English doesn't really have an equivalent of the Academie Francaise, so that's life. Now write a post about how incredibly abominable it is when even newscasters say "If I was ... " instead of "If I were ... " and I'll be right there with you! Everyone's got their thing, I guess.

Monica said...

yes, i've certainly been proven wrong on this one....most people tend to agree with you.

"if i was?" that's just absurd.

GrammarChecker said...

Way late on this, Drink of Water, it's "Everyone's got his thing..."

Anonymous said...

Our language is going down the toilet. Monica, Hysterical vs. Hilarious is one of my pet peeves too. Any dictionary that allows their use interchangeably has no credibility with me.