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 arts) a repetition of a performance or role. “Reprisal” /ri-PRIY-zuhl/ = an act of retaliation, usu. of one nation against another but short of war.

repudiatory; *repudiative. Despite the OED’s suggestion to the contrary, “repudiatory” is the usual term — *”repudiative” being a needless variant.

rescindable; *rescissible. The first is better because of its more recognizable relation to the verb. It is the only form listed in the OED; Webster’s Third International contains both.

residual; residuary; *residuous. In most contexts, “residual” is the preferred adjective (= relating to or constituting a residue; leftover) {residual effects}. But in the specialized context of estates and trusts, residuary is the preferred adjective — e.g.: “A person who is entitled to the residuary estate (what is remaining after all legacies and other outgoings have been paid) is entitled to receive such an account, which should show that everything has been dealt with correctly.” “Briefcase,” Fin. Times, 27 Sept. 1997, at 7. *”Residuous” is a needless variant of the other two words.

residue; residuum; residual, n. ; residuary, n. Both “residue” and “residuum” mean “that which remains.” “Residue” is the usual and preferred term for most contexts. “Residuum” is a technical term used correctly in chemical contexts. “Residual,” n., = a remainder; an amount still remaining after the main part is subtracted or accounted for (OED). “Residuary,” n., is a needless variant except in legal contexts.

*Invariably inferior forms.

For information about the Language-Change Index, click here.
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Quotation of the Day: “Writer’s block is seldom a matter of sitting at a desk while words refuse to come. Usually writer’s block is an unwillingness to commit ourselves to the desk, to the pen or typewriter and paper, and to the time it takes to write. . . . We procrastinate — procrastination is the most common form of writer’s block.” Richard Marius, A Writer’s Companion 11 (1985).

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