Overseen in a high school bulletin:
Please be sure to bring your secret decoder rings so we can read what you wrote.
So does it appear as a blank square on a random page in the yearbook?
Comment by Kasey — September 15, 2008 @ 1:14 pm
I’ve been trying to understand this use of “overseen.” How is it different from “seen”?
Comment by Fritinancy — September 15, 2008 @ 5:13 pm
@Fritinancy, it’s roughly the visual equivalent of “overheard,” so to me different in the way that “heard” and “overheard” are different. Possibly I’m splitting hairs …
Comment by mighty red pen — September 15, 2008 @ 7:52 pm
I agree. Overseen is like seeing something you weren’t necessarily meant to see.
Comment by Kasey — September 16, 2008 @ 2:33 pm
I’ve caught myself using “overseen” when “seen” would work just as well. I think I do it to distance myself from what I used to hear a lot as a kid — “I seen Cindy at the store today.” “I seen yous at the ballgame.”
Comment by helen's dad — September 17, 2008 @ 5:55 pm
I always thought “overseen” was a joke, creating a word to parallel “overheard.”
But most of the times people use it, it’s in a situation in which there’s no reason NOT to see it. I mean, a sign is there to be seen; they can’t be overseen, anymore than a P.A. announcement can’t be overheard.
A conversation can be overheard, so a colleague’s e-mail or the fellow-commuter’s newspaper could be “overseen.” An interoffice memo could be overseen by someone who doesn’t work there.
Comment by TootsNYC — September 18, 2008 @ 5:34 pm
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