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Re: Guilt-ridden or if you like, riddled with guilt.

Posted by Bruce Kahl on January 19, 2003

In Reply to: Re: Guilt-ridden or if you like, riddled with guilt. posted by TheFallen on January 19, 2003

: : I have an ongoing argument with a friend over the which word, riddled or ridden, is correct to use with guilt. Any opinions?

: It's definitely guilt ridden when used in this combination. The following paste from the American Heritage Dictionary:-

: Ridden

I have never heard "guilt riddled". I am in the NE part of the US.

: VERB: Past participle of ride.
: ADJECTIVE: Dominated, harassed, or obsessed by. Often used in combination: disease-ridden; grief-ridden.

: However, and confusingly enough, one can be "riddled with" something like guilt or disease, "riddled" there meaning pierced throughout, as the following paste from the same source shows:-

: Riddle

: TRANSITIVE VERB: Inflected forms: rid·dled, rid·dling, rid·dles
: 1. To pierce with numerous holes; perforate: riddle a target with bullets. 2. To spread throughout: "Election campaigns have always been riddled with demagogy and worse" (New Republic). 3. To put (gravel, for example) through a coarse sieve.
: NOUN: A coarse sieve, as for gravel.

: This may well explain the reason for your dispute.