Make Your Editor Cry: Anecdote vs. Antidote

Make Your Editor Cry:  Anecdote vs. Antidote

An antidote is a remedy that relieves.

If you get earaches from long rides in pressurized airplane cabins, it’s best to travel equipped with the key antidotes: acetaminophen, lots of water, and chewing gum. An antidote is an actual counter-agent to a toxin like poisonous nightshade, toxic metal poisoning, or snake venom. It’s what you need if your wife tries to kill you, or when you just need to turn that frown upside down.

Examples:

Over time, Wang's wife had secretly poisoned him with thallium, and the antidote was something called Prussian Blue.
Because of the number of diamondbacks in the area, he carried two vials of rattlesnake venom antidote with him on his hikes.
For him, racing motorcycles is a great antidote to boredom.

A short, amusing story is an anecdote.

You might come back from a crazy spring break with a lot of anecdotes to tell. An anecdote is often short and unreliable, like that big fish story? Well, maybe you embellished a bit—you saw a big fish, but you never actually caught it. Tall tales can be anecdotes, and anecdotes can be completely true or just a little bit true. They’re just short revealing little tales.

Examples:

The pages of the late Linda Tripp’s valediction book are thick with freaky anecdotes.
Mr. Smith offered only anecdotes to back his beliefs.
I tired of his never-ending Monday morning anecdotes.

An anecdote is a funny little story. An antidote counteracts something toxic like poison, venom, or gloomy days. Obviously, these words are not interchangeable and should not be confused.

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