Monthly Archives: December 2011

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

Miscellaneous Entries. recreational; recreative. “Recreational” is the standard adjective corresponding to the noun “recreation”; it’s about 1,000 times as common as its synonym “recreative,” a needless variant. But “recreative” is genuinely useful in the sense “tending to re-create” — e.g.: … Continue reading

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

regard (2). Today: As a Verb in “highly regarded” and “widely regarded.” The verb “regard” commonly appears in these two combinations. The one phrase, “highly regarded,” is a vague expression of praise; the other, “widely regarded as,” usually leads to … Continue reading

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Language-Change Index

Language-Change Index. The third edition of Garner’s Modern American Usage reflects several new practices. Invariably inferior forms, for example, are now marked with asterisks preceding the term or phrase, a marking common in linguistics. The most interesting new feature is … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: refute.

refute. “Refute” is not synonymous with “rebut” or “deny.” That is, it doesn’t mean merely “to counter an argument” but “to disprove beyond doubt; to prove a statement false.” Yet the word is commonly misused for “rebut” — e.g.: “Ontario … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: reference.

reference, vb. “Reference,” as a verb meaning “to provide with references,” is defensible. E.g.: “The cross-referenced chapter contains two subsections.” The term has become a vogue word, however, as a synonym for “refer to” — e.g.: o “You can add … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Miscellaneous Entries

Miscellaneous Entries. recital; recitation. These words overlap, but are distinguishable. Aside from a (usually) solo musical or dance performance, “recital” may mean “a rehearsal, account, or description of some thing, fact, or incident” {a recital of all the incidents would … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: refer back.

refer back. “Refer back” is a common redundancy, “refer” alone nearly always being sufficient — e.g.: “Irons said he believes the judge’s latest ruling refers back [read 'refers'] to an original order in 1991 that did order the removal of … Continue reading

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2011 in Review

The Year 2011 in Language & Writing Bryan A. Garner* January Eight-thousand literature and language professors and scholars gathered in Los Angeles for the convention of the Modern Language Association of America. The recurrent subject during the week was the … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: “reek” misspelled “reak.”*

reek; wreak (3). Today: “reek” misspelled “reak.”* “Reak” is a common misspelling of “reek” — e.g.: o “The oil company subsequently hired a firm to clean the oil, but after six weeks of work and a declaration the house was … Continue reading

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Star-Tribune Interview with Larry Watson

Star Tribune: Newspaper of the Twin Cities (Minneapolis, MN) Copyright 2011 Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN December 12, 2011 Section: VARIETY Ten questions for Larry Watson The author is in town to read from his new novel, “American Boy.” Here he … Continue reading

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