Monthly Archives: January 2013

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

Standard English (1). Today: What Is It? This is a troublesome term: we all think we know what it is, but a definition proves elusive. Broadly speaking, it is the English used by educated people. Some Britons contend that it … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 1 Comment

Dear Dallas Morning News:

Dear Dallas Morning News: As you know, I certainly can’t complain about the coverage I’ve generally had in the Dallas Morning News. You’ve been generous to me over the years. But I really must protest the paltry and even silly … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

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

Miscellaneous Entries. statistics = (1) the mathematics of collecting and analyzing numerical data; or (2) numerical data. Sense 1 is singular {statistics is an exacting discipline}. Sense 2 is plural {the statistics aren’t yet in}. status (/STAT-uhs/ or /STAY-tuhs/) forms … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

LawProse Lesson #103

What’s the lawyer’s single best source for typography and document design? ANSWER: All the most important points of typography are covered in LawProse’s Advanced Legal Writing & Editing course. Professor Garner has also written a good deal about the subject … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: stalactite; stalagmite.

stalactite; stalagmite. They're both deposits of calcium carbonate found in caves and caverns. The difference is that a "stalactite" hangs from the ceiling, while a "stalagmite" rises from the floor. Writers sometimes fall into error by using "stalagmite" for "stalactite" … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: squash; quash, vb.

squash; quash, vb. "Squash" (= to flatten or soften [something] by forceful crushing or squeezing) is not a substitute for "quash" (= to overturn or make legally invalid; to suppress, as a rebellion). Many writers err on this point — … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day:

stadium. Although several dictionaries seem to prefer *"stadia" as the plural, "stadiums" is the more natural and the more usual form. "Stadiums" is also 30 times as common — e.g.: o "Dozens of stadiums have sprouted up all over the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Don’t Anesthetize Your Colleagues with Bad Writing

It seems obvious that you shouldn’t put your audience to sleep, doesn’t it? It should also be obvious to people who deliver dull presentations or talk in circles at dinner parties — but consider how many boring speakers you’ve had … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: spring / sprang / sprung.

spring / sprang / sprung. So inflected. But "springed" is correct when the sense is "equipped with springs" {a springed mattress} {springed hinges} or "to spend the season of spring" {they springed in Europe}. (The latter usage will strike many … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: sprightly.

sprightly. "Sprightly" (= [1] lively, airy; or [2] zesty, esp. spicy, in flavor) is subject to the mischievous misspelling *"spritely" — e.g.: o "Will she end up a bitter, washed-up star a la Baby Jane, psychologically torturing her spritely [read … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment