A post I wrote on Saturday contained the following statement:
Yesterday I wrote about reading a book entitled Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy.
A reader by the name of “Realist” left the following comment:
â€œwas reading a book TITLEDâ€¦â€ not entitled. Two different words.
Really? I’ve seen the word “entitled” used as I used it throughout my life. Typically, I’m careful about the words I use. Occasionally typos happen, and I always go back and correct them when I see them. It aggravates me to see careless grammar, spelling and word choice in any writing. However, I never questioned my use of “entitled” in that context.
Being a perfectionist, as soon as I read Realist’s comment, I began searching for clarification on the proper use of the word “entitled. My first line of investigation was to email my two older “English major” sisters. A quick reply from one reminded me of the comment. Here’s her entire response:
The correct word is titled.
Thanks, but . . . no explanation or discussion. Just that 5-word statement. I wanted an explanation or SOMETHING to back up why “titled” is the correct word and why “entitled” is not. So I went to my Cotillion sisters who provided a variety of opinions and some online resources.
Dictionary.com has the following:
enÂ·tiÂ·tle (n-ttl) Pronunciation Key
tr.v. enÂ·tiÂ·tled, enÂ·tiÂ·tling, enÂ·tiÂ·tles
- To give a name or title to.
- To furnish with a right or claim to something: The coupon entitles the bearer to a 25 percent savings. Every citizen is entitled to equal protection under the law.
That didn’t help much with my particular question, but I kept looking. I wanted examples – proof. Below that definition, they had the following from WordNet.
adj 1: qualified for by right according to law; “we are all entitled to equal protection under the law” 2: given a title or identifying name; “the book entitled `A Tale of Two Cities’ [emphasis mine]
Cha-CHING! Answer.com also confirmed the use of “entitled” as I had used it.
- To give a name or title to: baptize, call, christen, denominate, designate, dub, name, style, term, title. See specific/general, words.
- To give authority to: accredit, authorize, commission, empower, enable, license, qualify. See allow/prevent.
The verb entitle has 3 meanings:
Meaning #1:give the right to
Meaning #2: give a title to
Synonym: title [emphasis mine again]
Meaning #3: give a title to someone; make someone a member of the nobility
Synonyms: ennoble, gentle
Notice that “title” is listed as a synonym. The conclusion: Apparently, I can write “I read a book entitled Blah-Blah-Blah” and be completely correct in my use of the word “entitled.” SO THERE!
Tiara-Tip to Beth at MVRWC for taking the time to help me research this vastly unimportant word choice.