Professional Style

Restive

March 2015
Spot the Error

While stuck in rush hour traffic, Wayne daydreamed about his upcoming trip to Jamaica where he hoped to feel utterly tranquil and restive.

Can one feel tranquil and restive at the same time? I don’t think so. Regardless of the similarities between the words, restive does not mean restful. In fact, it kind of means the opposite: restless, uneasy, impatient. Example:

We can’t wait 45 minutes for a table; the kids will become too restive.

Be careful using somewhat uncommon words, especially if they appear to be familiar. They may not mean what you think they mean.

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