[LMB] bemused by bemused

A. Marina Fournier saffronrose at me.com
Fri Sep 4 04:36:09 BST 2015

On 3 Sep 2015, at 07:24, Lois McMaster Bujold <lbujold at myinfmail.com> wrote:
> I deploy it to mean: that sort of mildly nonplussed feeling or expression when the character is thinking, "Really?  You just said/did that?  Huh."  Wryly taken aback, eyebrows up.  Not quite startled, not really confused (if sometimes a bit disbelieving). "Nonplussed" and "taken aback" are both too strong and sharp to substitute; not the same emotional connotation.
> Is there some other single word I'm missing that means exactly the above, rather than the one I've been tossing in the general direction of same  for decades?  Because lots of people's understanding and usages of "bemused" seem to agree with mine.  Or is this one of those words that is changing and mutating with need?

That’s my understanding of “bemused” as well.  I was a bit worried that “bemused” had become another direction, like southwest—or maybe a new quality for quarks or some other newly discovered SAP of which I have not yet heard.

A. Marina Fournier
SaffronRose at me.com
“If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.”   Henry David Thoreau

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