The Amish Cook from Oasis Newsfeatures

Hmmmm, Was I Wrong?

Middletown High School in Ohio was once home to a legendary English teacher named Barbara Schick.  She ruled her class with an iron-fist and instilled a sense of awe and fear in her young charges.  But she also knew her grammar and drilled many English rules into her our heads that will last us a lifetime.  Fear can be a strong teacherSmile.   Anyway, one of the myriad of rules she taught us was the difference between "healthy" and "healthful"  See yesterday's post where I took issue with Earth Balance's "healthy bread."  I thought that was an incorrect usage.  Well, a reader sent me the following email:

After your post last night, I started wondering why these words would be misused. I went to school and looked in 3 different dictionaries. All three stated that healthful and healthy are synonyms. AND in one dictionary, it had both definitions that you stated HOWEVER as definition #2 for healthful it had the word healthy. AND under healthy definition #3 said aiding or building up health. So unless Webster is wrong, the advertisment is correct."

Sooo, perhaps this reader has found a dent in Mrs. Schick's armor.  Do we have any grammar teachers out there that can settle this once and for all?   Um....you know, actually my sister-in-law IS a grammar teacher....I am going to see if she can weigh in on this......stay tuned...

Re: Hmmmm, Was I Wrong?

Your teacher may have been right. According to this article, healthful and healthy are, in fact, different. 

"My trusty Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (10th edition) supports my stance: It defines "healthful" as "beneficial to health of body or mind" and "healthy" as "enjoying health and vigor of body, mind, or spirit."

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/checkup/2009/01/healthy_vs_healthful.html

Re: Hmmmm, Was I Wrong?

Ah, interesting! Thanks for sharing this!

Re: Hmmmm, Was I Wrong?

i honestly looked over that ad with a fine tooth comb and I didn't find anything wrong.  But I also figured that I had been out of school for so long that maybe I had forgotten some of my grammar rules.  (not that I ever learned anyTongue out)

Re: Hmmmm, Was I Wrong?

I don't know if you are wrong or not. I do know I had a very hard English teacher in high school. Everyone was afraid of her. At the time I was very good in English. That was 50 years ago. I have forgotten much of what I knew. She had no time for anyone who used words wrong.

Re: Hmmmm, Was I Wrong?

SIGH, hung out to dry by my sister-in-law...here is what she says:

Hm. I believe I fall in agreement with the second post, that healthy and healthful are indeed synonyms. I would go even further to say that I have never heard anyone use the word healthful. Ever.

But maybe I should be doing more research.

So, I shall drop the topic for now...but if anyone else out there has a different take, let me know....

 

 

Re: Hmmmm, Was I Wrong?

There was an English teacher in my Junior High that would not ever allow the use of the word "it" - I was glad I never had him as a teacher.  After the alledged error was pointed out on this wrapper, my thought was that there is the brand "Healthy Choice"; I had never  heard of this distinction between heathy and healthful - Hubby is much better at the grammar thing than I (probably breaking a thousand rules in this post) He didn't see a problem with the label either. I don't know that I've even ever used the word healthful!    

PS the belly fat ad lady is disturbing 

Re: Hmmmm, Was I Wrong?

My guess is that "back in the day" there was a stronger distinction between the two words and your grammar teacher was correct.  Unfortunately, the English language is becoming more and more compromised over time as slang becomes more acceptable and the fine differences in similar words are lost.  I had a high school English teacher who drilled into our heads the difference between "that" and "who." For example, in the last sentence I just wrote, "who" is the correct pronoun for teacher but many people would use "that."  She would say "Things are thats, people are whos."  It's always stayed with me and I constantly see the misuse of "that" when it should be "who."  At any rate, I think you should send her the wrapper from the bread with a note attached telling her you still remember what she taught you.  She'd be blessed I'm sure!

Re: Hmmmm, Was I Wrong?

Well, I think those are some good observations.  The English teacher would be smiling down from Heaven, because she passed away some years ago.....