Recently I've been working on a dissertation proposal, which is sort of like a culmination of five years of graduate school (yay). The first draft was rough, but I sent it to my advisor anyway. A few days later I walked into his office, smiled, and said hello. He responded with a look of regret.
Advisor: I've been... remiss about your proposal.
[Remiss? Oh no. I can't remember what the word means, but it sounds really bad. The solemn tone must be a context clue. My heart sinks. I feel so embarrassed, so mortified. He's been remiss at me for days! Probably years! I think back to all the times I should've worked harder, all the exercises I never did. I knew This Day Would Come. I fight back the lump in my throat.]
Me: Oh no... oh no. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have sent it. It wasn't ready. Oh no....
Me: Hold on. What does remiss mean?
Advisor [confused, Googles remiss]: I think I just mean I haven't read your proposal.
He was apologizing for not reading the proposal.
I thought he was apologizing for taking me as his student.
That was a stressful three seconds.
But all is well. I now know what remiss means!
Update 4/14/2019: Happy ending: fellowship granted!