T Nation

Vocabulary Lesson


The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.

I am seeing this word used all over the place and it’s obvious that a lot of people don’t know what it means. I’ll give an example.

  • You use supplement A and gain 3lbs.
  • You use supplement B and gain 5lbs.
  • If you used them together and gained 8lbs, then they worked in an additive manor.
  • If you used them together and gained 10lbs, then they worked in a synergistic manor.

Ladies and gentlemen, please post any words that you commonly see people butchering.

And if you learn another new word today, be sure to post it like your smart and already knew something :slight_smile:

“…post it like your smart…”

It’s “you’re” not “your”.

When trying to insult someone’s intelligence, it’s probably a good idea not to screw up contractions that you should’ve learned in 3rd grade.

DaStudent, you bring up a good point, albeit unintentionally.

The proper use of “your” versus “you’re.”

“Your” is possessive. That is your problem.

“You’re” is a contraction of two words, “you” and “are”. You’re the problem.

Same thing applies to “their” and “they’re”. Now, let’s starting using them properly, kids.

Another good one is “grammar”. It apparently has two spellings:

  1. grammar: the study of how words and their component parts combine to form sentences

  2. grammer: use this one when “your” trying to tell someone that “there” post is full of “spelling and grammer errors”

“Its” funny how often #2 comes up.

I still find it amazing that people are this anal. As long as the thought is coherent, who cares if the spelling and grammar are correct? (Obviously you, my apologies)

What this does affect, is people who now will not post because of it. Afraid the grammar police will break down their door and pull them out into the public for a beating.

I tend to just ignore spelling and grammar problems in posts, but the one that gets me the most is the “to” vs “two” vs “too” confusion that seems to be so rampant. I can certainly give a break to those for whom English is a second (or third) language, but it just grates on me when it comes from native English speakers.

I wasn’t really talking about spelling and grammar. I’m just talking about people using words incorrectly.

Example, many of the Baltimorons around here use the word ignorant to mean the same as rude.

Another thing I hate to see is when in response to a post or question someone uses “WE ALL” or “PRETTY MUCH ALL OF US” as if they speak for everyone. I dont remember anyone asking me.

To Phatman: In case you were referring to my post, let me defend it. I was just pointing out that I thought it funny that the grammar police sometimes used the word “grammer”. I just liked the irony.

As far as misuse of words, a common one that was mentioned was “ignorant”. Often people are called dumb or stupid when they’re in fact just ignorant.

The best definition I’ve heard for “synnergy” is the the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, which pretty much encapsulates the definition above. Does anyone know if there is one word that sums up the opposite phenomenon, i.e. the whole is less than the sum of its parts? Just curious.

By the way, I can't remember if this was listed above, but along with the "you're" v. "your" and the "two" v. "to" v. "too" confusions you must include "their" v. "there."

By the way, it would be ‘manner,’ not ‘manor.’ I live in a manor in an elegant manner.



I’m a dumbass.


The best word I can think of is counteractive.

Ahhhh damn. I was going to respond to this thread, but nephorm beat me to it. And in a very pithy manner, I might add.

Just goes to show that spell checkers aren’t a substitute for real learning… :wink:

Thanks for clearing that up Derek! I’ve always been confused about it’s use.

How about lose versus loose?

Lose - As in, to lose weight or if you lose a game.

Loose - Your pants are loose now that you lost all that weight.

And the famous its and it’s.

It’s - a contraction of “it is.” As in, it’s a great day today!

Its - Meaning possession. Biotest and its employees are cool!

Arrrhhh…to many rules…Head melting…coming to the realzation…I AM A DUMBASS, as well.


You said, “to many rules…”

You should have said, “too many rules…”


Maybe the opposite of synergistic is antagonistic?

I guess this would be two things that bind to the same receptor, so for a given amount of receptors you get an insufficient amount of either. Using both you get less than the sum of the two parts.