## Don’t Torture Me: Tortuous, Torturous

Sometimes, learning grammar rules can be torturous. Or is it tortuous?

Be careful with these two words; the second -r makes all the difference. Torturous has torture as its root, and it means that something is very painful, that is, causes torture. Having to sit through a 45-minute meeting was torturous.

Tortuous (without the second -r) refers to something that has many twists and turns, as in Malibu Canyon is a tortuous road. Tortuous also can refer to something that has many twists and turns psychologically, that is, is circuitous, as in His argument was so tortuous that I never quite saw his point.

So, is learning grammar rules torturous or tortuous? I suppose depending on who’s doing the teaching, it can be both.

Sherry