Suspicious and claustrophobic

By Abhijit Menon-Sen <ams@toroid.org>

2010-04-28

Whenever I hear someone say This room is so claustrophobic!, I have to bite my tongue and remind myself that there is no simple way in English to distinguish between "suffering from claustrophobia" and "inducing claustrophobia".

Another word that suffers from the same problem (ambiguity, that is, not a fear of closed spaces) is "suspicious".

"He looks suspicious"… but do I suspect him, or does he suspect me?