Friday, September 12, 2014

Honorarium (Confusing Words Part 2 of 12)

Many people speak of an honorarium, which is another euphemism for fee or payment. An honorarium is a reward for an act for which custom or tact forbids setting a fixed amount. That is, the giver offers something for which there is no legal or moral obligation.

However, usage has extended the meaning to mean payment for service. Don't we constantly hear of giving an honorarium for the keynote speaker at a writers conference? Today, the term usually means they take up an offering or they have a set fee.

One professional speaker said, "When they use the word honorarium, they usually mean they'll pay me less than my standard fee."

Fee is a good word;
I'm not afraid to use it when I discuss money.

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