Trend Watch

Amphibious

A newspaper gaffe goes viral ...


When:

Lookups spiked on June 9, 2015.

Why:

An Associated Press story about Oakland Athletics pitcher Pat Venditte was accompanied by photographs showing him throwing with his right hand and with his left hand, under the headline "Amphibious pitcher makes debut." An image of the newspaper gaffe went viral - especially among word nerds.

Amphibious means "able to live both on land and in water" or "able to be used both on land and in water." It comes from the Greek words amphi- (meaning "around" or "on both sides") and bios (meaning "life").

Clearly, the headline writer meant to use ambidextrous, which means "able to use both hands equally well." Ambidextrous comes from the Latin ambi- (both) and dexter (right-hand).



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