SHANE’S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: Oversight or oversight?


For those cast into managerial positions, the sheer scope of oversight sometimes is so complex that oversights are inevitable.

Two uses of the same word, with different meanings.

In terms of errors, an oversight generally is regarded as unintended, owing not to malice but carelessness, or as Bob Dylan might phrase it, a simple twist of fate.

Can proper oversight prevent such oversights? Perhaps, although there isn’t always someone looking over your shoulder. Effective oversight might catch oversights before they are finalized, which at least might save time and money.

As a writer, I see examples of oversight all of the time as displayed in my own previously posted work. Editorial oversight isn’t easy when you function as your own editor.




1. an omission or error due to carelessness: “My bank statement is full of oversights.”
2. unintentional failure to notice or consider; lack of proper attention: “Owing to my oversight, the letter was sent unsigned.”
3. supervision; watchful care: “A person responsible for the oversight of the organization.”

Middle English word dating back to 1300-50

Can be confused: overlook, oversee, oversight.

1, 2. mistake, blunder, slip.
2. lapse, neglect, inattention.
3. management, direction, control; surveillance.

A helpful addendum is here:

Confusing Words In English: Overview, Oversight, And Overlook

The English words overview, oversight, and overlook seem very similar – but they actually have very different meanings. Learn the difference between these confusing words in English with definitions and examples.