amused » bemused
Spotted in the wild:
- I went into a small grocery store one day looking for a roll of aluminum foil. I couldn’t seem to find it anywhere so I asked the clerk at the checkout counter who listened intently to my request and then said, with a sudden, bemused smile on her face, “Oh, you must be looking for ALUMINIUM foil!” I guessed that I was, yes, I said, with a bemused smile of my own. (link)
Analyzed or reported by:
- Bill Walsh at Blogslot (link)
The [American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition](www.bartleby.com/61/25/B0…) has the following entry for _bemuse_:
> TRANSITIVE VERB: Inflected forms: be·mused, be·mus·ing, be·mus·es
1. To cause to be bewildered; confuse. See synonyms at daze.
2. To cause to be engrossed in thought.
This is a hidden eggcorn, which means that there is no way to determine with total certainty whether a writer meant _dazed_, _bewildered_, _thoughtful_, or _slightly and quietly amused_. In many cases, however, the context provides some evidence that amusement is a more salient quality of the situation described than thoughtful confusion.