Illogical English #4

If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

Those two words have the same noun-suffix, but “Humanitarian” supports humans, whereas “vegetarian” eats vegetables. Quite the opposite, really. Actually, “-arian”-suffixed words have the first meaning – to support, agree with or approve of.  So “vegetarian” means to approve of only vegetables as a source of food.

Of course, that example is just a joke but it is confusing at first. In fact, this example is not really illogical at all, it just looks like it until one thinks about it. The confusion is from the fact that “humanitarian” is an adjective, whereas “vegetarian” is both an adjective and a pronoun.

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