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 the Language-Change Index. Its purpose is to measure how widely accepted various linguistic innovations have become. Such a measuring system for usage guides was first proposed by Louis G. Heller and James Macris in 1967. They noted that “usage specialists can make a clear-cut demarcation of phases in the evolutionary process relevant to the inception and development of alternative terms.”

In these tips, the five stages are tagged as:

Stage 1 (“rejected”): A new form emerges as an innovation (or a dialectal form persists) among a small minority of the language community, perhaps displacing a traditional usage (e.g.: “your” misused for “you’re”).

Stage 2 (“widely shunned”): The form spreads to a significant fraction of the language community but remains unacceptable in standard usage (e.g.: *”pour over books” for “pore over books”).

Stage 3 (“widespread but . . .”): The form becomes commonplace even among many well-educated people but is still avoided in careful usage (e.g.: “clinch” misused for “clench”).

Stage 4 (“ubiquitous but . . .”): The form becomes virtually universal but is opposed on cogent grounds by a few linguistic stalwarts (die-hard snoots) (e.g.: “often” pronounced “OF-tuhn””).

Stage 5 (“fully accepted”): The form is universally accepted (not counting pseudo-snoot eccentrics) (e.g.: “decimate” for inflicting large-scale destruction).

155
  Related Posts

Comments

Add a Comment


*

  1. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Miscellaneous Entries. | My Blog  December 29, 2011
  2. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: regardless of whether. | My Blog  January 2, 2012
  3. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: regiment. | My Blog  January 3, 2012
  4. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: regardless. | My Blog  January 4, 2012
  5. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: register; registrar. | My Blog  January 5, 2012
  6. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Miscellaneous Entries. | My Blog  January 6, 2012
  7. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: registrable. | My Blog  January 10, 2012
  8. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: registrate. | My Blog  January 10, 2012
  9. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: regretful; regrettable. | My Blog  January 11, 2012
  10. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: reify. | My Blog  January 12, 2012
  11. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Miscellaneous Entries. | My Blog  January 13, 2012
  12. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: rein; reign(2). | My Blog  January 17, 2012
  13. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: rein; reign (3). | My Blog  January 18, 2012
  14. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: reiterate, -tion; iterate, -tion. | My Blog  January 19, 2012
  15. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: relative to. | My Blog  January 20, 2012
  16. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Miscellaneous Entries. | My Blog  January 23, 2012
  17. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: remorselessly. | My Blog  January 26, 2012
  18. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Remote Relatives (1). | My Blog  January 30, 2012
  19. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Remote Relatives (2). | My Blog  January 31, 2012
  20. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Remote Relatives (3). | My Blog  February 1, 2012
  21. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: remuneration. | My Blog  February 2, 2012
  22. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: rend / rent / rent. | My Blog  February 6, 2012
  23. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: renowned. | My Blog  February 7, 2012
  24. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: repel; repulse. | My Blog  February 8, 2012
  25. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: rescission. | My Blog  February 9, 2012
  26. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Miscellaneous Entries. | My Blog  February 10, 2012
  27. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: resent. | My Blog  February 13, 2012
  28. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: restaurateur. | My Blog  February 16, 2012
  29. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Miscellaneous Entries. | My Blog  February 17, 2012
  30. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: restive. | My Blog  February 20, 2012
  31. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: retch. | My Blog  February 22, 2012
  32. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: reticent. | My Blog  February 23, 2012
  33. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Miscellaneous Entries. | My Blog  February 24, 2012
  34. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Retronyms. | My Blog  February 27, 2012
  35. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: revert. | My Blog  February 28, 2012
  36. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: revisionism. | My Blog  February 29, 2012
  37. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: rewrite. | My Blog  March 2, 2012
  38. My Blog  March 2, 2012
  39. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: rhetoric. | LawProse Blog  March 6, 2012
  40. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: rhyme; rime. | LawProse Blog  March 7, 2012
  41. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: rid/rid/rid. | LawProse Blog  March 8, 2012
  42. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: rife; ripe. | LawProse Blog  March 12, 2012
  43. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: riff; rift (1). | LawProse Blog  March 13, 2012
  44. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: riff; rift (2). | LawProse Blog  March 15, 2012
  45. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Miscellaneous Entries. | LawProse Blog  March 15, 2012
  46. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: rite of passage; rite de passage. | LawProse Blog  March 22, 2012
  47. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: rock ‘n’ roll; rock-’n’-roll; rock’n’roll; rock and roll; rock-and-roll; rock & roll. | LawProse Blog  March 22, 2012
  48. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: role; roll. | LawProse Blog  March 22, 2012
  49. LawProse Blog  March 22, 2012
  50. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: roof, n. | LawProse Blog  March 23, 2012
  51. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Miscellaneous Entries. | LawProse Blog  March 28, 2012
  52. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: routinize. | LawProse Blog  March 29, 2012
  53. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: row to hoe. | LawProse Blog  March 30, 2012
  54. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: ruin, n.; ruination. | LawProse Blog  April 3, 2012
  55. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: sailor; sailer. | LawProse Blog  April 12, 2012
  56. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: | LawProse Blog  April 13, 2012
  57. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: couple (1). | LawProse Blog  April 17, 2012
  58. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: danglers (3). | LawProse Blog  May 3, 2012
  59. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: effect; affect. | LawProse Blog  May 10, 2012
  60. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: entomology; etymology. | LawProse Blog  May 11, 2012
  61. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Miscellaneous Entries. | LawProse Blog  July 6, 2012
  62. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: share. | LawProse Blog  August 22, 2012
  63. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: sheath, n.; sheathe, vb. | LawProse Blog  August 24, 2012
  64. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: shirk. | LawProse Blog  August 28, 2012
  65. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: shoo-in. | LawProse Blog  August 29, 2012
  66. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: sic. | LawProse Blog  September 4, 2012
  67. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: sight unseen. | LawProse Blog  September 5, 2012
  68. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Miscellaneous Entries. | LawProse Blog  September 6, 2012
  69. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: signee. | LawProse Blog  September 10, 2012
  70. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: simpatico. | LawProse Blog  September 11, 2012
  71. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Miscellaneous Entries. | LawProse Blog  September 13, 2012
  72. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: simulcast / simulcast / simulcast. | LawProse Blog  September 14, 2012
  73. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: since. | LawProse Blog  September 17, 2012
  74. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: single; singular. | LawProse Blog  September 21, 2012
  75. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Miscellaneous Entries. | LawProse Blog  February 27, 2013
  76. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: stricken. | LawProse Blog  March 1, 2013
  77. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: strike / struck / struck. | LawProse Blog  March 5, 2013
  78. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: stupefy. | LawProse Blog  March 7, 2013
  79. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Subject-Verb Agreement (1). | LawProse Blog  March 13, 2013
  80. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: stymie; *stymy. | LawProse Blog  March 13, 2013
  81. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Subject-Verb Agreement (5). | LawProse Blog  March 18, 2013
  82. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Subject-Verb Agreement (6). | LawProse Blog  March 19, 2013
  83. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Subject-Verb Agreement (7). | LawProse Blog  March 20, 2013
  84. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Subject-Verb Agreement (8). | LawProse Blog  March 22, 2013
  85. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Miscellaneous Entries. | LawProse Blog  March 25, 2013
  86. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Subjunctives. | LawProse Blog  March 27, 2013
  87. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: subsequently. | LawProse Blog  April 2, 2013
  88. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: substantive. | LawProse Blog  April 5, 2013
  89. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: such. | LawProse Blog  April 8, 2013
  90. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: suffice it to say. | LawProse Blog  April 9, 2013
  91. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: suffragist; suffragette. | LawProse Blog  April 16, 2013
  92. Garner’s Tip of the Day: Miscellaneous Entries | LawProse Blog  April 19, 2013
  93. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: supercede | LawProse Blog  April 26, 2013
  94. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Superstitions (1) | LawProse Blog  May 2, 2013
  95. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Superstitions (4) | LawProse Blog  May 7, 2013
  96. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Miscellaneous Entries | LawProse Blog  May 8, 2013
  97. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Superstitions (5) | LawProse Blog  May 9, 2013
  98. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Superstitions (6) | LawProse Blog  May 10, 2013
  99. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Superstitions (7) | LawProse Blog  May 13, 2013
  100. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: supposable, suppositious, supposititious, suppositional, *suppositive | LawProse Blog  May 17, 2013
  101. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: surname; Christian name; forename; given name. | LawProse Blog  May 22, 2013
  102. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Swapping Horses. | LawProse Blog  May 30, 2013
  103. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: swing/swung/swung. | LawProse Blog  June 13, 2013
  104. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: swoon, vb. | LawProse Blog  June 17, 2013
  105. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: syllabification; *syllabication. | LawProse Blog  June 18, 2013
  106. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Synesis (1). | LawProse Blog  June 19, 2013
  107. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Synesis (2). | LawProse Blog  June 20, 2013
  108. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Synesis (3). | LawProse Blog  June 21, 2013
  109. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: tack; tact. | LawProse Blog  June 26, 2013
  110. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: take. | LawProse Blog  June 27, 2013
  111. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: taken aback. | LawProse Blog  June 28, 2013
  112. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: tantalize. | LawProse Blog  July 3, 2013
  113. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: temblor; trembler. | LawProse Blog  July 19, 2013
  114. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Miscellaneous Entries. | LawProse Blog  July 25, 2013
  115. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: tendentious (2) | LawProse Blog  July 29, 2013
  116. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: tenet | LawProse Blog  July 31, 2013
  117. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Miscellaneous Entries. | LawProse Blog  August 2, 2013
  118. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Tenses (2). | LawProse Blog  August 6, 2013
  119. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Subject-Verb Agreement (2). | LawProse Blog  August 6, 2013
  120. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Subject-Verb Agreement (4). | LawProse Blog  August 6, 2013
  121. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Subject-Verb Agreement (3). | LawProse Blog  August 6, 2013
  122. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: stride / strode / stridden. | LawProse Blog  August 6, 2013
  123. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: strew. | LawProse Blog  August 6, 2013
  124. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: say; state, vb. | LawProse Blog  August 6, 2013
  125. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: restrain; refrain. | LawProse Blog  August 6, 2013
  126. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Tenses (3). | LawProse Blog  August 7, 2013
  127. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Tenses (4). | LawProse Blog  August 8, 2013
  128. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: tentative. | LawProse Blog  August 14, 2013
  129. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: territory; dependency; commonwealth. | LawProse Blog  August 19, 2013
  130. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: thankfully. | LawProse Blog  August 27, 2013
  131. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: thank you (and its responses) | LawProse Blog  August 28, 2013
  132. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: that is. | LawProse Blog  September 9, 2013
  133. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: theirs. | LawProse Blog  September 12, 2013
  134. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: then. | LawProse Blog  September 16, 2013
  135. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: therefore (1). | LawProse Blog  September 18, 2013
  136. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: there is; there are (1). | LawProse Blog  September 20, 2013
  137. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: *these kind of; *these type of; *these sort of. | LawProse Blog  September 26, 2013
  138. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Miscellaneous Entries. | LawProse Blog  October 2, 2013
  139. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: thrust / thrust / thrust. | LawProse Blog  October 4, 2013
  140. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: tipster; tipper. tipster; tipper. | LawProse Blog  October 18, 2013
  141. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: too. | LawProse Blog  October 28, 2013
  142. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: tortuous; torturous; tortious. | LawProse Blog  October 29, 2013
  143. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: toward. | LawProse Blog  October 30, 2013
  144. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: transpire. | LawProse Blog  November 6, 2013
  145. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: treble; triple. | LawProse Blog  November 12, 2013
  146. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: trek, n. | LawProse Blog  November 13, 2013
  147. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: trompe l’oeil; *trompe d’oeil; *tromp d’oeil; *trump l’oeil. | LawProse Blog  November 14, 2013
  148. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: trooper; trouper. | LawProse Blog  November 19, 2013
  149. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: troubleshoot / troubleshot / troubleshot. | LawProse Blog  November 21, 2013
  150. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: turbid; turgid; turpid; torpid. | LawProse Blog  November 29, 2013
  151. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: tyrannical; tyrannous. | LawProse Blog  December 4, 2013
  152. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: *uncategorically. | LawProse Blog  December 11, 2013
  153. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: unbeknown; unbeknownst. | LawProse Blog  December 11, 2013
  154. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Miscellaneous Entries. | LawProse Blog  December 11, 2013
  155. Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: unconscious; subconscious. | LawProse Blog  December 13, 2013