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Prodigy and Protégé

Commonly Confused Words

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The noun prodigy refers to a highly talented young person or to a wondrous event. The noun protégé refers to someone whose training or career is advanced by an influential person.

Examples:

  • "Everybody hates a prodigy, detests an old head on young shoulders." (Erasmus)

  • Abraham Lincoln was a protégé of Henry Clay, the Kentuckian who had orchestrated the great Missouri Compromise of 1820-21.

Practice:

(a) Stephen Sondheim, a _____ of Oscar Hammerstein II, composed the lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy.

(b) Gary Burton, the one-time teenage _____, is still an astonishing master of the vibes after 40 years.

Answers to Practice Exercises

Glossary of Usage: Index of Commonly Confused Words

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