Let's talk. Contact Judy

Afflict or Inflict?

Judy Vorfeld

Sufferers are afflicted with/by disease/troubles. It means to bring great harm or suf­fer­ing to some­one, includ­ing many invis­i­ble afflic­tions such as migraine headaches, grief, depres­sion, insom­nia, and painful mem­o­ries. People are also afflicted with con­di­tions such as arthri­tis, blind­ness, measles, and cancer.

Generally, we think of afflic­tion as some­thing that hap­pens, rather than some­thing that some­one made hap­pen. Generally.

Means to cause ill­ness, pun­ish­ment, etc. on liv­ing things or enti­ties (group, area). Infliction can be major or minor. For exam­ple, a par­ent can inflict karate lessons on a child who prefers a more quiet exer­cise. Of course, it is prob­a­bly a major issue to the child. Then think of the dam­age inflicted by Hurricane Katrina. And I know a woman who almost died: a bear inflicted hor­rific dam­age on her head/face/teeth … but she’s a “gutsy” gal.

Generally, we think of inflic­tion as some­thing delib­er­ate. Generally.


Comments are closed.

Judy’s Writing Tips

Judy’s Grammar Tips