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"I like girls who are just as confident without make-up on than when they are when it permeates their face."

I saw it on Twitter.

In this sentence, does permeate mean when makeup covers the whole face?

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    Yes, though some would argue it's used incorrectly there.
    – Dan Bron
    Feb 16, 2015 at 19:36
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    I agree Dan. Maybe "permeates the entire race" would make more sense. Feb 16, 2015 at 19:39
  • Permeats isn't a word though? Feb 16, 2015 at 19:42
  • Did you look up permeate in a dictionary? If you do it will answer your question.
    – WS2
    Feb 16, 2015 at 19:43
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    @Hector, it's the infelicitous application of the word "permeates", which typically has a volumetric (three-dimensional) quality or connotation. But you got the understood the intended concept: a face covered in makeup.
    – Dan Bron
    Feb 16, 2015 at 19:45

1 Answer 1

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"I like girls who are just as confident without make-up on than when they are when it permeates their face."

Permeate is a malapropism in that sentence. Normally, it means:

VERB

[WITH OBJECT]

Spread throughout (something); pervade:

You would use permeate to describe an odor in the air:

The smell of death permeated the room.

You could use it to describe an attitude in an organization:

Their pessimism permeates the market.

You can spread make up all over the surface of a face, but not all through a face.

Malapropism:

NOUN

The mistaken use of a word in place of a similar-sounding one, often with an amusing effect

Also correcting the inappropriate construction of the comparison:

"I like girls who are just as confident without make-up as they are when it dominates their face."

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