Desalus wrote on Jul 14, 2020, 19:58:
Whelmed means the same thing as overwhelmed, yet I keep seeing people use it to mean a reaction either between overwhelmed and underwhelmed or just underwhelmed. Where did this incorrect use of the word 'whelmed' start?
I'm sure people thought it was dumb back then to add a prefix that doesn't change the meaning of the word, but look how that turned out. At least there's some logic in thinking there ought to be something more neutral between 'over___' and 'under___.' It's just '___.' If I'm not overstating or understating, overworked or underworked, overpaid or underpaid, overfed or underfed, overprepared or underprepared, etc. etc., why can't I just be whelmed? Especially considering underwhelmed is not the exact opposite of the original meaning of [over]whelmed, it's a much more recent invention playing off of the popular, modern usage of the latter (quick search says 1930s). This is how language evolves.