Titanic founders because of its founders; Founder vs Flounder

Flounder or  Founder
Flounder and founder are almost same in the meaning with little differences. Let us see what are those differences, and we learn the trick to memorise the meaning.

Flounder (N/V)
As a verb flounder has many definitions:
  • If something is floundering, it is struggling and may soon fail completely
  • Flounder means not making decisions or not knowing what to say or do
  • If you flounder in water or mud, you move in an uncontrolled way, trying not to sink
  • A flounder is a flat fish that we can eat.
  1. Some of his business ventures floundered, including a casino boat based in Florida. Washington Post
  2. A man came floundering through the snow towards us.

Founder (V/N)
  • to fail because of a particular problem or difficulty
  1. If a ship founders, it fills with water and sinks.
  2. Titanic founders in the sea.
  • As a noun, Founder is a person who starts an organization, institution, etc. or causes something to be built.
  1. Steve Jobs was the founder of Apple company.

When to use Flounder and Founder?
To flounder is to struggle, and to founder is to sink. Problems arise when the words are used with water: Flounder in water means to move in an uncontrolled way, trying not to sink, but to founder in water means to sink in water.

  • Founder comes from the Latin word fundus that means the bottom, referring to the bottom of the sea.
  • Flounder comes from two words that is founder + blunder, and influenced by fling, flounce and similar words suggesting awkward movement.
Mind Trick:
Flounder sounds like blunder. As we know the meaning of blunder is to make big mistake; in the same way flounder means to make big mistake that leads to trouble.

More Usages of founder suggested by Garner's Modern American Usages:
To founder is to go lame (of a person or animal)
To founder is to fall down (of a building)
To founder is to fall to the ground (of a horseback rider)
To founder is to become sick from overeating (of livestock)
To founder is to fill with water and sink (of a ship)

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