Posted by Bruce Kahl on January 19, 2003
In Reply to: 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:-
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:-
: TRANSITIVE VERB: Inflected forms: rid·dled, rid·dling,
: 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.