Rife With Ignorance

, , , , | Working | December 12, 2017

(My boss, a person with a Master’s degree, is writing an article for a professional publication, and despite the fact that I am just the receptionist, he asks me to proofread it for him because his assistant has the day off. It’s a good article about something I agree with, so I’m happy to help out with making sure it’s right. I find a problem almost immediately.)

Me: “I don’t think you meant to say ‘bereft’ in this sentence. Is there a word you would prefer in this spot?”

Boss: “Yes, I did! I said it’s bereft with dishonest people, as in there are too many of them! Don’t tell me what I mean.”

Me: “Okay…”

(I don’t really know what to say because he’s wrong, but he’s also yelling, and he isn’t known for changing his mind or listening to reason.)

Boss: *looks at the article, then back at me* “Why? What does ‘bereft’ mean?”

Me: *taken aback* “It means deprived or lacking, so the sentence actually says that we’re lacking dishonest people.”

Boss: “Oh. Well, that’s not what I mean at all. I mean there’s too many of them.”

Me: “So… we’re rife with dishonest people.”

Boss: “Yes… change it to that.”

(He went into his office and told Siri to define “rife.”)

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