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He’s “Incredulous” About the “Incredible” Act

Every so often, I hear somebody say, “That’s incredible,” and they’re not referring to the 1980-84 ABC-TV show that starred John Davidson, Cathy Lee Crosby and Fran Tarkenton (and had an exclamation point in its title: ‘That’s Incredible!’). No, when I hear people say something is incredible, they’re probably incredulous and don’t realize it.

To review: something incredible is “too extraordinary and improbable to be believed.” In other words, unbelievable; and if you don’t believe something, you’re probably skeptical. Incredulous (just two dictionary entries after incredible) means “unwilling to admit or accept what is offered as true.” In other words, skeptical.

Admittedly, I hear (and use) skeptical much more often than incredulous.  Incredible, no?

Until next time! Use the right words!


November 20, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. This misuse is indeed irritating. I have a feeling it is due to people who can’t be bothered to look it up and assuming that it is a slightly more upmarket version of ‘incredible’.


    Comment by Lamia | March 26, 2015 | Reply

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