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To keep this PG, I've changed the popular saying we've all heard:

"He has a huge truck to compensate for his small ego"

But I've recently been using a sort of counter to the joke, in one form or another (which will need some translation to be funny, or funnier I guess):

"I have a small truck to compensate for my large ego"

My question is, is this a correct usage of the word compensate? Can you compensate for something large with something smaller?

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closed as general reference by Daniel, simchona, Hugo, MrHen, JSBձոգչ Jan 17 '12 at 16:59

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Did you look it up in a dictionary? – Daniel Oct 5 '11 at 21:40
@drɱ65δ, yes but all the definitions were in some form of "Recompense for loss", not "Recompense for an improper balance" – John Oct 5 '11 at 22:25
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Dictionary.com can answer your question:

2. to counterbalance; offset; be equivalent to: He compensated his homely appearance with great personal charm.

Imagine scales balancing your large ego on the one side with the small truck on the other.

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Woohoo! The joke lives on – John Oct 5 '11 at 22:26

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