Monthly Archives: June 2012

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

Miscellaneous Entries. save and except is a fairly common but unjustifiable redundancy — e.g.: “LifeCo is ‘basically prepared to go forward with obtaining a final judgment of foreclosure save and except for the fact [read 'except']‘ that it does not … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: *self-admitted.

*self-admitted. *"Self-admitted," like *”self-confessed,” is a redundancy — e.g.: o “Hawkes is a self-admitted [read 'an admitted'] toy buff.” Amy Wu, “Toycrafter Sales Spinning Up,” Rochester Democrat & Chron., 21 Dec. 2002, at D9. o “He’s commercially successful — selling … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: self-addressed stamped envelope.

self-addressed stamped envelope. Though sometimes condemned, this phrase is now firmly entrenched in American English (especially in the abbreviated form SASE). “Self-addressed” isn’t merely “addressed by oneself,” but commonly means “addressed for return to the sender.” The prefix “self-” prevents … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: seldom.

seldom. Because this word is an adverb as well as an adjective, the nonword *"seldomly" is never (not merely seldom) needed — e.g.: o “Hogan was a man so focused that he seldomly [read 'seldom'] noticed what was going on … Continue reading

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

Miscellaneous Entries. salvage, n. ; selvage. “Salvage” = (1) the rescue of property (as at sea or from fire); or (2) the discovery and extraction of something valuable or useful from rubbish. “Selvage” = the edging of cloth. sanguine, in … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: segue.

segue. “Segue” is a noun (meaning “a seamless transition”) and an intransitive verb (meaning “to transition smoothly”). (It’s also a transitive verb, but only in music.) The misspelling *"segway" (except in the trademarked company name) is particularly embarrassing — e.g.: … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: see / saw / seen.

see / saw / seen. So inflected. Using the past tense for the past participle, and vice versa, is typical of dialect. Usually these errors occur only in reported speech — e.g.: o “‘If I was [read 'had been'] here … Continue reading

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LawProse Lessons #81 & #82

Lesson # 81 Does the new Scalia-Garner treatise take a position on the serial comma — that is, the one preceding “and” in the phrase “a, b, and c”? ANSWER: Yes, in Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts, Justice … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Scylla and Charybdis, between.

Scylla and Charybdis, between. As described by Homer, Scylla /SiL-uh/ was a sea monster who had six heads (each with a triple row of teeth) and twelve feet. Though primarily a fish-eater, she was capable of snatching and devouring (in … Continue reading

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