I have a doubt!
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Sreenidhi, a friend of mine, dropped in for a brief chat and mentioned that she read my blog post on not using revert back. Having lived in the US for about 6 years, she shared another phrase that doesn’t go well with a global audience –doubt, incorrectly used to mean ‘question, concern or clarification’.
That got me thinking.
I remember my school teachers telling me that I should clear all my doubts before the exams! I also remember many instances at work when after a briefing session the speaker has asked us if we had any doubts, and that it was time to clear them now.
The word doubt has become synonymous with question. To a native speaker, the word doubt means ‘lack of trust’. Just imagine the reaction of a native speaker to, “I have a doubt about the way things work here”. In all innocence you mean you have a lot of questions, but to him it has a very different implication.
So, use the word question or clarification
When not in doubt, don’t use doubt!