Better to Surmise than to Assume

By | October 9, 2011

word of the day

The word of the day: Surmise

At some point in history, a witty person who hated assumptions came up with the saying: When you assume, you make an “ass” out of “u” and “me” (thus, creating the word ass-u-me). Since that day, any person in the workplace or otherwise who has had to make an educated guess, supposition, or assumption, and who used “assume” to communicate as much, has likely had to feel the indignation of the listener (presumably a superior) when using the word.

Fortunately, there is a word that communicates the exact same thing but doesn’t make an “ass” out of anyone. To surmise is to think or infer without strong evidence. To assume is to do exactly the same. So the next time you are about state that you assumed something it is better said that it was surmised. In fact, because surmise is a less common, word people may even “assume” that it actually means to think for infer with strong evidence – let that be on them!


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