Mr. TomCould I request your take please?

I hear them as different. The following are my opinions.

'inept' should be used in the sense of 'incompetent', 'ineffectual', 'bungling'.
'inapt' should be used in the sense of 'inapposite', 'inappropriate', 'unsuitable'.

Generally speaking, persons can be 'inept', but not comments, and comments can be 'inapt', but not persons.

Persons or groups of persons can be inept.

Congress is frequently feckless and inept.
Your boss may be small-minded, two-faced, spineless, and technically inept.
Those who attend nontraditional schools are not necessarily socially inept.

Productions (creations) of persons or groups of persons, by extension, can be inept.

The article described the government's inept response to the disaster.
Lots of people made movies that were inept and ludicrous.
An inept state legislature's decision-making policies has put us in this position.

Comparisons, analogies, remarks, comments, descriptions can be inapt.

Others around the net have likened it to Bitcoin, but that's really an inapt comparison.
The title of the film is inapt because it suggests a degree of drama for a very dull plot.
Pia's grocery store analogy is inapt. Here's a better one. Imagine you inherited a large house with a lot of land. ...



There are differences, and you should follow the good dictionaries in formal settings, but "inept" has pretty much swallowed "inapt" in everyday use.

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 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.

Thanks a lot, CJ. It was a full lesson.

You must consider writing a book of your own. I can visualize your name being parallel to Michael Swan's and/or David Crystal's.

Best regards,


You are too kind. Emotion: wink


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