Monthly Archives: March 2012

Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: row to hoe.

row to hoe. “Row to hoe” is an agricultural or gardening metaphor meaning “a challenging and perhaps arduous project” {it’s going to be a tough row to hoe}. Sometimes it’s ludicrously written as the mondegreen *”road to hoe,” especially in … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: routinize.

routinize. “Routinize” (= to develop into a regular schedule) is pronounced either /ROO-tuh-nIz/ or /roo-TEE-nIz/. Although this word (dating from the early 1920s) sometimes smacks of gobbledygook, it’s also difficult to replace — e.g.: o “The raunchiness that some, at … Continue reading

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

Miscellaneous Entries. resister; resistor. “Resister” = one who resists. “Resistor” is the electrical term. resolution; motion. These terms carry distinct meanings in parliamentary procedure. When a deliberative assembly passes a “resolution,” the assembly is formally expressing its opinion about something … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: root around.

root around. “Root around” (= to poke about) is preferably so spelled — not *”rout around” or *”route around.” But the illogical slips are fairly common — e.g.: o “Maybe he should rout [read 'root'] around in the attic for … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: roofed.

roofed. “Roofed,” not *”rooved,” is the correct form — e.g.: o “These new state farms and cooperatives — clusters of tin-rooved [read 'tin-roofed'] huts nestling in valleys — have been attacked repeatedly by the rebels.” Peter Ford, “What War Means … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: roof, n.

roof, n. The plural is “roofs,” not *”rooves.” But the mistaken plural occurs with some frequency — e.g.: o “But the view from the classroom (which his son uses to run a cramming school) is of rooves [read 'roofs'] and … Continue reading

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

Miscellaneous Entries. reprise; reprisal. “Reprise” = (1) /ri-PRIYZ/ an annual deduction, duty, or payment out of a manor or estate, as an annuity or the like; or (2) /ri-PREEZ/ (in music) a repetition of a theme or (in the performing … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: role; roll.

role; roll. These are sometimes confused. “Roll” has many senses, including breadstuff, but the only sense that causes problems is “a list or register; roster” {the teacher took roll}. “Role,” by contrast, means “a function or part, as in a … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: rock ‘n’ roll; rock-’n'-roll; rock’n'roll; rock and roll; rock-and-roll; rock & roll.

rock ‘n’ roll; rock-’n’-roll; rock’n’roll; rock and roll; rock-and-roll; rock & roll. Each of these is listed in at least one major American dictionary. “Rock ‘n’ roll” is probably the most common; appropriately, it has a relaxed and colloquial look. … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: rite of passage; rite de passage.

rite of passage; rite de passage. Because the English expression is synonymous with (and more recognizable than) the French one, the latter should be considered an unnecessary gallicism. Occasionally, “rite” is misspelled “right” in this phrase — e.g.: o “Many … Continue reading

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