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Both reckless and feckless imply not taking responsibility. When is it appropriate to use the one over the other?

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Are reck and feck synonyms? – Hugo Nov 4 '11 at 23:17
This isn't quite general reference. It's about two similar-sounding words with somewhat similar meanings with a fine shade of difference (covered in some of our answers). It's worth articulating those (fine) differences. – Tom Au Nov 5 '11 at 17:03
up vote 4 down vote accepted

They can be synonyms, but note:

feckless means ineffective or having no real worth or purpose; reckless means marked by unthinking boldness or with defiant disregard for danger or consequences

It may help to remember their etymologies:

  • Easy to remember: feck from the Scottish shortened form of effect.
  • Hard to remember: reck from the Old High German to have regard.
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reck as in reckon? doesn't seem so hard to remember... – Karl Knechtel Nov 5 '11 at 8:05
@Karl: Reck and reckon have different etymological roots, different modern meanings. – Hugo Nov 5 '11 at 8:37
@Hugo: I have voted to reopen-- see my comment with regard to the question. I have upvoted your answer because I felt it addressed the question, and am inviting you to join me in voting to reopen. – Tom Au Nov 5 '11 at 17:04

With regard to "responsibility," fecklessness is a sin of OMISSION, while recklessness is a sin of COMMISSION.

That is "feckless" means not TAKING responsibility, while reckless means being IRresponsible.

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I like the rampant capitalization. – user11550 Nov 5 '11 at 0:08

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