owness vs onus : Common Errors in English

About owness vs onus

In Latin onus means “burden.” In English it came to mean “responsibility”: “the onus is on the defense attorney to convince the jury of the defendant’s innocence.” It is often used to mean “blame”: “he bears the onus of having lost the key to the vacation house.”People sometimes mishear this word and turn it into “owness.” This form is also used by some to refer to the opposite of otherness, but that would be “ownness,” with two N’s.

onus Meaning(s)

  • (n) an onerous or difficult concern

onus in News

  1. Pressure on to finish farm bill

    A day after the Senate passed a five-year, $500 billion farm bill for the second consecutive year, top agriculture officials put the onus on the House not to drop the ball again.
    on June 12, 2013 Source: The Des Moines Register

  2. Grassley puts pressure on House to complete farm bill

    A day after the Senate passed a five-year, $500 billion farm bill for the second consecutive year, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley put the onus on his colleagues in the House not to drop the ball again.
    on June 11, 2013 Source: The Des Moines Register

  3. On NSA, Obama Points to Congress

    President Barack Obama is clearly pinning the onus for oversight of recently revealed intelligence-gathering programs on Capitol Hill.
    on June 10, 2013 Source: CQ Politics

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