As I do every morning, I scanned the obituaries in the Los Angeles Times (just to make sure my name wasn’t listed) and came across a posting for a doctor who was described as “respected and renown….”
I see this error often enough that I thought I should mention that “renown” is a noun: “This man’s renown was recognized among others in his profession.”
“Renowned” is an adjective: “This man was respected and renowned in his field of medicine.”
Thanks for reading.
This word is so frequently misused: many people think it is synonymous with “famous” or “renowned.” It does mean those things—but always in a negative way. Charles Manson and OJ Simpson are notorious. Osama bin Laden was notorious. You would never say the singer Adele is notorious. President Obama’s daughters are not notorious. Santa Claus isn’t either. Those last are all examples of people, real and not so real, who are undoubtedly famous—but they’ve done nothing to deserve to be called notorious. Save that for the baddies.