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This opinion is also corroborated by Garner's Modern American Usage, by Bryan Garner, though Garner does admit that SELF-DEPRECATING could be considered Standard English because of its frequency, but he does so begrudgingly while holding that it is technically incorrect.

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According to the Dictionary of Unendurable English, by Robert Hartwell Fiske, the correct term when making belittling remarks about yourself is SELF-DEPRECIATING because you are devaluing your looks, abilities, talent, etc. You’re not showing disapproval of yourself as if you’ve done something bad and you feel the need to judge yourself, you’re just ascribing less worth to yourself.

Using the term SELF-DEPRECATING is a very common error, but Fiske advises against it.


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This quiz has ended with 31% getting it right.

The correct answer is “self-depreciating.”

DEPRECATE meant to pray for removal or deliverance from something or someone, or to express disapproval for or urge against.

DEPRECIATE means to lower in price or value (presumably deliberately) or to fall in price and value (circumstantially); to become of less worth.


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