Make a mistake

Make a mistake

Late Middle English (as a verb): from Old Norse mistaka “take in error”, probably influenced in sense by Old French mesprendre.

In common parlance, mistake and error are considered synonymous. But the etymology of the word helps us to make a profound distinction between making a mistake and being mistaken.
A mistake is made when we more or less intentionally depart from the path we have taken, when we err in a peregrine way along a path already outlined. A mistake is a blunder, an oversight, a faux pas, the wrong tree but also a foul up, a careless act. It is at the origin of those errors resulting from sloppiness and carelessness, of making evaluations that neglect relevant information and a series of careless observations.

The degree of learning from this type of error is low, but we can avoid further oversights by paying more attention to ourselves, to others and to what is happening around us.