Help! I can't spell this word!

Which has nothing to do with “wise fool”, by the way. It comes from the same root as “sophistry”.

(That damned folk etymology is astoundingly widespread. Lots of “moronic fools” out there. ;))

But that link says “probably influenced by Greek sophos, wise, and mōros, stupid”. :confused:

Or are you citing that link as proof of the widepsread error?

There’s a good mnemonic device for proselytize, especially as it used in contemporary culture: think of it as “pro-selling” … they take the “pro” (not “con”) position on something and then employ the hard “sell” on people.

I was surprised, too, before I tried it. The thesauruses were no help because “convert” is not a synonym of the words the OP thought were related, “evangelize” and “preach”. And I thought they were synonyms, too. Another bit of my ignorance fought. :slight_smile:

Influenced by the folk etymology, as in the people who thought it came from those two words had an impact on the development of the word. I thought the link made that clear.