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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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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
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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.

1 Answer

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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