Bemused - bewildered, confused or lost in thought.
Amused - entertained, mirthful.
I'm reading some gay-themed young adult novels right now (I'm trying to write one and am getting a sense of the genre). The author whose books I'm currently reading uses bemused for amused with alarming frequency.
At first, I assumed it was on purpose. After two books where he does it repeatedly, I'm thinking it's not.
Would it be tacky to e-mail him and explain the difference? Or should I just give it up since no one at Simon & Schuster seems to have noticed either.
Do you have any similar pet peeves?
UPDATE: The author in question was Brian Sloan and the books were Tale of Two Summers and A Really Nice Prom Mess. Despite the bemused/amused thing, they were both good books. Sloan manages to create characters who really sound and act like teenagers; a rarity in young adult literature (at least based on what I've read so far). And the stories are amusing on top of that. In fact, I'd love to see A Really Nice Prom Mess as a film. Read them if you're interested in the genre.
And he's also the writer/director of the film WTC View which is on Logo now. I haven't seen it yet, but I intend to. But if I hear bemused used incorrectly . . .