Make Your Editor Cry: Absorbtion vs. Absorb, Absorbed, Absorbing, Absorption, Adsorption

Make Your Editor Cry:  Absorbtion vs. Absorb, Absorbed, Absorbing, Absorption, Adsorption

While the verbs are “absorbed” and “absorbing” both beginning with “aB” and have an “-orB” in there, the noun is either “absorption” with an “-orP” in there, or for the slide-rule and pocket protector crowd, it can also be “adsorption” which begins with “aD” instead of “aB.”

So “absorption” with the “-orP” not the “-orB” is the process of absorbing something or of being absorbed, and “adsorption” with “aD” instead of “aB” is the adhesion in an extremely thin layer of molecules (like gases, solutes, or liquids) to the surfaces of solid bodies or liquids with which they are in contact.

As cool as all that is, the point of this post is that “absorbtion” starting with “aB” and with an “-orB” in there just like “absorbed” and “absorbing” but ending in “-tion” is not a thing. The correct word is likely “absorption” with an “-orP” not an “-orB.

So, while your character can be absorbed in a totally absorbing football game, he or she cannot possibly stare at the TV in complete and utter absorbtion. Rather, he or she can stare at the TV in complete and utter absorption.

Because, again, absorbtion is not a real word, or a thing.

Likely the real word, adsorption that begins with “aD” instead of “aB” wouldn’t fit well either, unless your character is a molecule or something.

Regardless, I hope by know we all know that complete absorption in sports or something can interfere with your life, anyway.

Examples:

Incorrect:

She tried to get him to notice her, but his absorbtion in his work stymied her at every turn.

Correct:

She tried to get him to notice her, but his absorption in his work stymied her at every turn.

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