When I read today’s one-word WP Daily Post prompt, all I could think was W’s by-now famous restatement of the word, turning it into ‘misunderestimate.’ And – unimaginable as it may seem, wordsmith to wordsmith – I actually found a place for this misspoken word.
You might underestimate someone’s physical strength, let’s say. Perhaps it’s a slight person so you think they might be weak. Or sickly. Or disinterested. Or too old. All these assumptions (and remember – NEVER assume – it just makes an ass out of u and me) could be mis-attributing reasons for weakness. Or missing the point altogether: that in spite of all these observations (true or not), the individual in question might be quite strong indeed.
In either of these two scenarios, the judgment would have been a mis-underestimation. A misdirected underestimation, if you will.