Unknown vs. Unbeknownst

Technical Writing Tips for the Oil Patch

Sometimes people like to use fancy words to impress others, especially when their photo and name accompany the piece of technical writing and lots of people are going to see it.

I ran across one such example this week:
“… for some unbeknownst reason ….”
I thought the word “unknown” would work better there, but I wasn’t sure why (other than for simplicity’s sake), so I looked up both words in the trusty dictionary.

Unbeknownst means happening without the knowledge of the person. It is usually used with the word “to” immediately following it.
Example:
Unbeknownst to the employees, the CEOs of the two oil companies had worked out a merger agreement while playing golf together over the weekend.

Unknown, on the other hand, means not known or not well-known.
It also means having an unknown value, like a variable in an equation or a mystery sample in a chemistry…

View original post 188 more words

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s