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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: let’s you and I.

let’s you and I. First, think of “let’s” (= let us). “Us” is in the objective case. Another form of the phrase (still in the objective case) would be “let you and me” (“you and me” agreeing with “us”). The … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: lest (2).

lest (2). Today: Mood Following “lest.” “Lest” is best followed by a verb in the subjunctive mood, not the indicative, because “lest” points to something that is merely possible, not definite — e.g.: “The Bosnian Serb military leader is reportedly … Continue reading

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LawProse Lesson #195: “Due to” what?

Due to what?      Traditionally, due functions as either a noun meaning “something owed” {The players finally gave their coach his due.} or an adjective meaning “adequate” or “appropriate” {due process} {with all due respect}. The phrase due to most traditionally functions as … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: less (3).

less (3). Today: Two Last Things. Part A: And “lesser.” “Lesser,” like “less,” refers to quantity, but it is confined to use as an adjective before a singular noun and following an article {a lesser crime} or alone before a … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: less (2).

less (2). Today: “One fewer” or “one less“? If, in strict usage, “less” applies to singular nouns and “fewer” to plural nouns, the choice is clear: “one less golfer” on the course, not “one fewer golfer.” This is tricky only … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: less (1).

less (1). Today: And “fewer.” Strictly, “less” applies to singular mass nouns {less water} and “fewer” applies to plural count nouns {fewer interruptions}. An exception occurs when the plural count nouns are divisible units of measurements that essentially function as … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Miscellaneous Entries.

Miscellaneous Entries. kaffeeklatsch, a German loanword meaning “a coffee-drinking group that engages in leisurely conversation,” is so spelled. “Coffee klatsch” and “coffee klatch” are variant forms. kaleidoscope. So spelled. Kazakhstan. So spelled — with the medial “-h-.” The inhabitants of … Continue reading

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LawProse Lesson #194: Portmanteau words.

Portmanteau words. A portmanteau is a type of luggage with two separate sections. A portmanteau word is formed by combining the sounds and meanings of two different words. Linguists also call such a word a blend. Most portmanteaus merge the initial … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: lens.

lens. So spelled — not “lense.” But the misspelling occurs fairly often, as something like a back-formation from the plural — e.g.: o “Raunchy Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopez — who got her nickname after wearing a condom over one lense … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: lend — lent — lent.

lend — lent — lent. So inflected. “Lended” is a frequent error — e.g.: o “The $27 black windbreakers emblazoned with ‘Crown Casting Co.’ lended [read ‘lent‘] credibility in the final minutes before ‘Action!’” Ann E. Donlan, “54 Bad ‘Actors’ … Continue reading

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