Language Tip 3 (2014-15)

Do not mix up “motive” and “motif.”
In English, a “motive” is what compels you to commit a crime.
A “motif” is a recurring idea or image in a work of literature (or a thrice-heard theme in music).

Because “motif” is a technical term, it sounds funny if you get it wrong – the mix-up has a whiff of malapropism.
Put differently, writing “motive” for “motif” is like confusing words in a set expression, like writing “Don’t get a wasp in your bonnet” instead of the usual “bee.”
Jason Blake and Monika Kavalir

(Skupno 23 obiskov, današnjih obiskov 1)
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