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Common Misuse of word Naive[change source]

Naive [French naif, fem. naive, fr. Latin nativus: innate, native.] Having unaffected simplicity; ingenuous; artless; unsophisticated. -Syn. NATURAL (Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, 1953.) Commonly misused -most notably in the U.S.- intending to imply a sense of 'ignorance' (also a word commonly misused), lack of understanding, or plain stupidity. From the above definition:

  • Ingenuous means of superior or noble character; honorable; open; frank; candid; free from reserve, disguise, or dissimulation.
  • Artless means simple and sincere; free from guile, craft or artificiallity.
  • Unsophisticated means to not be deprived of original simplicity; untainted by the world; genuine. (The word 'sophisticated' comes from the Greek Sophists, a school of worldly philosophy noted for its specious, captious or fallacious reasoning. To sophisticate means -essentially- to ruin through deception.)

While strong argument may be presented in support of word usage adapting or evolving over time, the root meaning of the original sound constructs which formulate our modern words do not change. Naive -purely and simply- means pure and simple. Ironically, to expect people to use the word correctly would be -in and of itself- naive, both in the sense of its original definition, and its more common and current misuse. SanPecador (talk) 05:14, 7 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]