Browse Definitions :

ingenuous vs. disingenuous

Writing for Business

Which is correct?
The media is being __________ when it follows a vendor’s lead and calls a blatant marketing event a “news conference.”
a. ingenuous
b. disingenuous

Answer: b

Explanation:
Unless we see the press as being naive and easily duped, they’re disingenuous in this context.

In yesterday’s post, I wrote about ingenious vs. ingenuous and mentioned that a lot of people don’t seem to realize there are two different words. I came across one mention of a Microsoft Word correction error, in which some typoed version of ingenious is corrected to ingenuous.

One thing I hadn’t anticipated was that other people seem to use ingenuous when they mean disingenuous.

Here’s the first definition of ingenuous that pops up in a Google search:

in·gen·u·ous/inˈjenyo͞oəs/
Adjective:
(of a person or action) Innocent and unsuspecting.
Synonyms:
artless – naive – candid – frank – simple – guileless

Someone is disingenuous if they are insincere but pretend to have those qualities. I suspect the use of ingenuous to mean disingenuous comes from thinking the word is linked to genuine, so ingenuous might mean not genuine.

And then there are people throwing ingenuine into the mix. Darren Barefoot, seeking support, found 19,100 Google hits for it — but none in dictionaries. That was in 2007. Let’s see… Today we’re up to 98,800. That means that, although ingenuine is still not a word, it may well be some day. Adding a new category for posts now: Non-words.

Dig Deeper on Writing for Business

SearchCompliance
  • compliance risk

    Compliance risk is an organization's potential exposure to legal penalties, financial forfeiture and material loss, resulting ...

  • information governance

    Information governance is a holistic approach to managing corporate information by implementing processes, roles, controls and ...

  • enterprise document management (EDM)

    Enterprise document management (EDM) is a strategy for overseeing an organization's paper and electronic documents so they can be...

SearchSecurity
  • session key

    A session key is an encryption and decryption key that is randomly generated to ensure the security of a communications session ...

  • computer forensics (cyber forensics)

    Computer forensics is the application of investigation and analysis techniques to gather and preserve evidence from a particular ...

  • multifactor authentication (MFA)

    Multifactor authentication (MFA) is a security technology that requires more than one method of authentication from independent ...

SearchHealthIT
SearchDisasterRecovery
  • risk mitigation

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • call tree

    A call tree is a layered hierarchical communication model that is used to notify specific individuals of an event and coordinate ...

  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

    Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide ...

SearchStorage
  • cloud storage

    Cloud storage is a service model in which data is transmitted and stored on remote storage systems, where it is maintained, ...

  • cloud testing

    Cloud testing is the process of using the cloud computing resources of a third-party service provider to test software ...

  • storage virtualization

    Storage virtualization is the pooling of physical storage from multiple storage devices into what appears to be a single storage ...

Close