Language Deathmatch: Loath versus Loathe
I was just enjoying “Ask the Pilot” when I caught what I thought was a grammatical error that had slipped through Salon’s editors:
“As with Avianca, the United crew was on the one hand acutely aware of its situation yet, on the other, inexplicably loath to deal with it.”
“Wait a minute,” I said, “don’t you mean loathe?”
The fact of the matter is that Patrick Smith and the editors at Salon have a deliciously nuanced vocabulary. While similar, “loath” is an adjective expressing reluctance or unwillingness, while “loathe” is a verb expressing dislike or hostility.