The War on Words – Feb. 2017

A monthly column in which we attempt, however futilely, to defend the English language against misuse and abuse

Media Watch

• From the Philadelphia Inquirer: “But a claim that only Democratic lawmakers were targeted does underscore the need for future attorney generals to administer justice without fear or favor.” The correct term is attorneys general.
• A letter to the Wilmington News Journal from “an alumna of Middletown H.S.” was signed “Joshua.” We are assuming, then, that he is an alumnus of Middletown High. An alumna is a female graduate, an alumnus is a male.
• The News Journal’s story on the annual New Year’s Day Hummers Parade in Middletown noted that one float was “a rift on two events.” That would be riff, meaning a witty comment or part of a comic performance. The same story also referred to the “Philadelphia Eagle’s season.” Reads as if it’s referring to just one Eagle.
• An obituary is a final commentary on the life of the deceased, and as such it should be treated with care and reverence. Unfortunately, these brief biographies are usually a collaboration between the deceased’s family and the funeral home, and this sometimes produces misspellings, bad syntax and misused or misplaced words. The notice is printed by most papers (including the News Journal) with little or no editing. As a result, even common obituary terminology is sometimes mangled. Recent examples, with corrections in parentheses:
— Readers were invited to send online “condolances” (condolences).
— The deceased was described as being “formally (formerly) of Newark.”
— “He will be gratefully (greatly) missed.”

Readers Write

A reader sent us a notice she received about an event featuring a presentation on “The Importance of Reigning in Your Operating Expenses.” Reigning (to govern or rule over) is often confused with reining—the correct term here—which means to hold back, as with the reins on a horse.
Another reader, noting our recent item on incorrect movie titles, submits The Secret Life of Pets. She asks: “Should this not be The Secret Lives of Pets?” Yes, it should.
Yet another says that her pet peeves include the misuse of the verbs lie and lay and sit and set. The two sets of words present similar problems for some speakers and writers. Here’s a brief tutorial:
• “To lie” means “to be at rest.” “To lay” means “to place or put somewhere.” An object must always follow this verb.
So, you lie on the bed, or you tell the dog, “go lie down.” And you lay the book (the object) on the table. The usual mistake is to use lay where lie is needed: If you say, “I’m going to lay down,” I might ask you: “What are you going to lay down?”
• “To sit” means “to occupy a seat.” “To set” means “to put in place,” and, like lay, it must be followed by an object. You sit in the chair and you set a dish on the table. Again, the most common mistake is to substitute set for sit, as in the command “set down.”

Department of Redundancies Dept.

• Gary Kubiak, Denver Broncos coach: “It’s our job to do our job and stop them.”
• On The Dan Patrick Show, I heard these comments: “empty out the bowl,” and “they listed off the reasons . . .”

Random Notes

I wrote the phrase “have rung” in an email, and my system (Outlook) “corrected” it to have rang. Amazing. The system could double as a sports radio talk show host.
Speaking of radio, I heard a venerable WDEL personality utter this sentence: “Did I over-exaggerate that?” Shades of swimmer Ryan Lochte, who, in his Rio Olympics debacle, said he “over-exaggerated” a story about a robbery.
The word of can be problematic. It is unnecessary in such phrases as “not too big of a deal.” On the other hand, it needs to be inserted in such phrases as “a couple (of) teams are in contention.”

Word of the Month:

kakistocracy
Pronounced kak-i-STOK-ruh-see, it’s a noun meaning government by the least qualified or worst persons. Use it as you see fit.

Follow me on Twitter: @thewaronwords

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the Hockessin Book Shelf, on Amazon, or by calling 302-655-6483.

The War on Words – Aug. 2016

A monthly column in which we attempt, however futilely, to defend the English language against misuse and abuse

Department of Redundancies Dept.

Two from the sports world:
• Geno Auriemma, Connecticut women’s basketball coach, commenting on the passing of legendary coach Pat Summitt: “She was a precursor of things to come.” Precursor: “Something that comes before something else.”
• Neal Rudel, of the Altoona (Pa.) Mirror: “James Franklin was upbeat in seeing Moorhead’s first public debut.” Can’t wait for his second debut.
And one from the news desk:
• Jim Donovan, co-anchor on CBS channel 3, talking about the body count in a recent mass shooting: “There’s little doubt it is going to escalate upwards.” Y’think, Jim? It won’t escalate downwards?

Media Watch

• Lara Spencer, co-host on Good Morning America, committed the dreaded double is: “The cool thing is is that . . .”
The News Journal, quoting John Flaherty: “Delaware is no different then most states when it comes to binding of delegates on the first ballot.” John should have said “from,” but I’m assuming he said “than,” which TNJ mistranslated to the much worse then.
• Deion Sanders on Twitter: “Pat Summitt & Buddy Ryan, architects of their prospective sports.” That would be respective sports. Deion attended Florida State to play football, not attend English class.
•Zach Berman in the Philadelphia Inquirer: “Pederson said Carson Wentz would continue to get an equal amount of reps as Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel. . . Pederson has made sure there was an even amount of work with the first-, second- and third-team offense.” Zach was wrong the first time (it’s number of reps) and right the second.
• Abbey Mastracco, also in the Inky: “The sound that comes from Mickey Moniak’s bat emanates through the ballpark.” The sound emanates from his bat and reverberates through the ballpark.
• A reader sends this from a Washington Post advice column: “For years she’s been recounting people with the story of how…” Our reader notes that, “since only census-takers re-count people, the writer should have said either ‘regaling people with’ or ‘recounting the story.’”
• After losing an on-air debate, Mike Missanelli of 97.5 FM said, “I went out on my sword.” You fall on your sword; you go out on your shield. The first is essentially sacrificing yourself for a greater cause, the second is fighting to the bitter end.

More on Commas

Last month we discussed misplaced commas in relation to quotation marks (they go inside the quotes) and missing commas when addressing someone (E.g., “thanks, Mary,” not “thanks Mary”). Now let’s tackle the unnecessary comma in a person’s title, in such sentences as “The meeting was called to order by Chairman of the Board, Don Smith.” Many people insist on inserting a comma before the title. Note to them: don’t.

Literally of the Month

Karen Heller in the Washington Post: “This is a golden age of comedy, literally.” She went on to list several comedians who are making big bucks. Maybe if they were paid in gold. But even then. . .

How Long, Oh Lord, How Long?

(In which we chronicle the abuse of that most misused punctuation mark, the apostrophe.)IMG_0456-cmyk
On a recent foray into upstate Pennsylvania I came across the two signs pictured at right. The wooden one is typical of erroneous signs that appear outside many homes. This is a simple plural—Eichenlaubs. No apostrophe. As for the other sign, I wonder: Why doesn’t “LPS” rate an apostrophe? If you’re going to be wrong, at least be consistently wrong. And what’s with the capital S?

Seen any obvious errors on signs, menus, brochures, etc.? Grab a picture and send it to War.

Follow me on Twitter: @thewaronwords

Seen a good (bad) one lately?
Send your candidates to ryearick@comcast.net

Word of the Month: louche
Pronounced loosh, it’s an adjective meaning disreputable or sordid in a rakish or appealing way.

Need a speaker for your organization?
Contact me for a fun power point presentation on grammar: ryearick@comcast.net.

The War on Words – Jan. 2016

A monthly column in which we attempt, however futilely, to defend the English language against misuse and abuse

The Top (Bottom?) 10

Herewith a list of the top 10 misused words. Said list is based on indisputable empirical evidence (in other words, my personal observations):
1. fewer/less – Fewer, which applies where numbers or plurals are involved, is simply not in some people’s vocabularies. Less is used for quantity. You have less money because you have fewer dollars.
2. i.e./e.g. – I.e., which means “that is,” is often mistakenly used in place of e.g., which means “for example.”
3. affect/effect – The first is almost always a verb (“It didn’t affect me”); the second, a noun (“It had no effect on me”).
4. your/you’re – The first is the possessive (“Your hair is beautiful”); the second is the contraction (“You’re beautiful”).
5. their/they’re/there – The mix-up occurs with the first two—the possessive (“Their business is booming”) and the contraction (“They’re doing big business”). There is less troublesome but much more versatile. It can be used as an adverb, adjective, noun, pronoun, or even an interjection. It’s often used to indicate place (“Let’s go there”).
6. it’s/its – This understandably confuses some folks because apostrophes often indicate possessives, but in this case the possessive (“Its branches were bare”) has no apostrophe, while the contraction (“It’s cloudy today”) does.
7. lie, lay – This is another case where one—lie—is rarely used. Lay means to place; lie means to recline. So: “I am going to lie down”; “I will lay the gun down.”
8. alumnus/alumni – Again, the first, which means a male graduate of an educational institution, is rarely used (and never on sports talk radio). Instead, the semi-learned among us go with alumni, which is the plural. If you want to be safe, go with the colloquial “alum.”
9. infer/implyInfer, which means to deduce, conclude or assume, is often used by wannabe sophisticates in place of imply, which means to suggest or hint. Think of them as opposites.
10. A tie: compliment/complement and bring/take. Compliment refers to praise or accolades. Complement means to supplement or accompany, as in a wine that complements an entree. Bring is often used where take is meant. The choice depends on your point of reference. In most cases bring suggests movement toward the speaker (“Bring it to me”) while take suggests movement away from the speaker (“Take it to your brother”).
Next month: the most common redundancies.

Your Assignment, Dear Readers,

. . . should you decide to accept it, is to make note of every time someone utters the words “happy New Years” in your presence. Report back. Extra credit for photos of signs that wish you a “Happy New Year’s” or “New Years.”

It Never Ends

“Couldn’t care less” continues to be misused, even by editorial writers, such as those at the Philadelphia Daily News: “[Politicians] could care less about the hurt it [a spending cut] will cause.” Think about it: that’s the opposite of what the phrase is intended to convey.

Getting Political

The presidential campaign continues to supply us with material. Reader Larry Kerchner says one of the Republicans came up with a Department of Redundancies Dept. candidate by claiming he is going to “unify everything together.”

Fun Fact

According to The New Yorker, octogenarian crooner Pat Boone, an aspiring English teacher at the time, insisted on announcing his first big hit onstage as “Isn’t That a Shame.” (The title was “Ain’t That a Shame.”)

How Long, Oh Lord, How Long?

(In which we record the continuing abuse of that most misused punctuation mark, the apostrophe.)
Citing a new car reliability survey, USA Today’s Chris Woodyard reports, “. . . Fiat, Dodge, Chrysler and Ram finished generally near the bottom of the pack, as brand’s go.”

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Words* of the Month

bathos
Pronounced BAY-thas, -thos, it’s a noun meaning an abrupt descent from lofty or sublime to the commonplace; anticlimax

xenophile
Pronounced ZEN-uh-fyl or ZEE-nuh-fyl, it’s a noun meaning one who is attracted to foreign things or people.

*Several readers noted that we had no Word of the Month in December. So, to make amends, we’re offering a bonus word this month.

The War on Words – December 2015

A monthly column in which we attempt, however futilely, to defend the English language against misuse and abuse

Media Watch

• Philadelphia Eagles play-by-play man Merrill Reese, in September: “The team must find a way to make a 360-degree turn.” He meant 180 degrees, but unfortunately the Eagles continued to play badly, which would amount to a 360.
• From The News Journal, courtesy of Larry Nagengast, O&A contributing writer: “‘It hasn’t changed a wit since Pete du Pont created it 30 years ago,’ Perkins said.” The word is whit, meaning the least bit; an iota.
TNJ again, this time from a column by Carron Phillips: “(David Simon, author of The Wire) was a former journalist in the city of Baltimore.” Either he is a former journalist, or he was a journalist. And “the city of”? Redundant.
• From The Newark Post: “Lang said the building shrunk by 20 to 25 percent.” The past tense of shrink is shrank. Then again, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids has confused an entire generation of moviegoers.
• Xfinity headline: “The problem with mens’ growing waistlines.” Amazing how many people think mens is the plural of man. There is no such word, unless an apostrophe is inserted between the n and the s.
• From the New York Times: “Sen. Marco Rubio has been laying low for much of the summer . . .” Similarly, Peter MacArthur on WDEL: “The toy was found laying in 18 inches of water.” Lay means to place; lie means to recline or rest. In both cases, the correct word is lying.
• Actor William Shatner, in a USA Today interview, speaking of negative inclinations: “The older you get, either the further buried they become or they become extant.” He meant extinct. Extant means virtually the opposite: existing. (In fairness to Capt. Kirk, the writer may have misheard him.)
• Lini Kadaba in The Philadelphia Inquirer: “A good mood ‘has a positive affect on creativity,’ he says.” That’s the verb. Effect is the noun.
• A reader heard a KYW radio report about a hostage situation in which the reporter said authorities had moved into the building in order to talk with the hostage-taker “verbally, instead of on the phone.” We’re guessing the reporter meant “in person.”

Department of Redundancies Dept.

Courtesy of Sports Illustrated, here’s a double redundancy that never occurred to me: The Los Angeles Angels. In Spanish, los means the and angeles means angels.

Getting Political

Continuing our mining of the presidential campaign for War gold: MSNBC reporter Peter Alexander, prefacing a question to a Joe Biden aide: “Based on your loyalty to he and his platform . . .” To is a preposition; it calls for the objective case—him!
Also, Terry Plowman, editor of Delaware Beach Life, notes that a presidential candidate’s town hall meeting has devolved into simply “a town hall.” Says Terry: “I always think it sounds weird when a TV reporter says something like, ‘Hillary Clinton will hold a town hall this morning.’ I get a picture of Superwoman holding a building in the air.”

How long, Oh Lord, how long?: You can get a personalized but grammatically-challenged clock like this one at a shop in the Boothwyn Farmers Market. (No apostrophe needed in Kellys.)

Notes of All Sorts:

My newest pet peeve: “Reach out to,” as in, “I’ll reach out to my friends in the industry.” Whatever happened to “contact,” “call” or a simple “ask”?
And what’s with all the extra prepositions in such phrases as focus in on, welcome in, met up with, over top of, adding on, underneath of and off of.
Ever notice? People have a problem with the participle of the verb “to drink.” It’s drunk: I have drunk, I had drunk. May sound strange, but it’s not drank. (Similarly, shrunk and shrank—see Media Watch.)

And a Reminder

The War on Words, a paperback collection of columns from 2007 to 2011, makes a great stocking stuffer. Get it at Ninth Street Books in Wilmington, Hockessin Bookshelf, or call O&A at 655-6483. Cost is $9.95 plus $3 shipping. Credit cards accepted.

Quotation of the Month

“It would be an excellent thing for the purity and vigour of English if an Act of Parliament were passed making it a criminal offence to distort, mispronounce and murder our English words.”
—S.P.B. Mais, The Writing of English (1935)

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The War on Words – Nov 2015

A monthly column in which we attempt, however futilely, to defend the English language against misuse and abuse

Media Watch

• Subhead in Sports Illustrated: “To return to the limelight, USC will ride the right arm of Cody Kessler, so much like, yet so much different than the famous line of quarterbacks who preceded him.” People and things are different from, not different than.
• From Delaware Business Times: “It also marked the beginning of decades of work with Levin, who took over the reigns of the company.” That would be reins. The same article reports that Levin “may be most qualified to expound her strengths.” Expound must be followed by “on” or “upon.” He could, however, extol her strengths.
• Reader Karen Foster, of Hockessin, reports that the increasingly fallible New York Times said that a visiting Australian artist, in his first few days in the city, had been “through the ringer.” Says Karen: “I guess you have to be old enough to have seen your mother or grandmother actually putting clothes through the wringer of a washing machine.”
• And finally, a News Journal obituary claimed the deceased was “formally of Pennsauken, N. J.” Also, he was formerly alive.

Hard to Believe, Harry

(In honor of the late Richie Ashburn, Phillies announcer, who would utter those words to his broadcast partner, the late Harry Kalas, after he had witnessed something incredibly stupid on the field.)
• In an article on the empty CIGNA building on Naamans Road that is up for sale, the News Journal reported that “office vacancy rates in New Castle County have remained stoic over the past year.” We think the writer meant static.
• From the Washington Post, courtesy of reader Jane Buck: “All in all, though, the program is helping millions of Americans make due.” That would be do.

Black Mark for Black Mass

Have you seen Black Mass—the Whitey Bulger bio starring Johnny Depp? In the closing comments, there is this: “After more than 10 years on the FBI’s Most Wanted list, an anonymous tip led to the capture of Whitey Bulger.” The tip was not on the Most Wanted list, Bulger was.

Sports Shorts

IMG_0571beert-shirt.JPG• Yogi Berra’s passing reminds me that most people utter “it’s déjà vu all over again” without irony. Déjà vu, from the French, literally means “already seen,” and refers to one’s sense that an event currently being experienced has been experienced before. Thus, “all over again” is redundant.
• In an otherwise flawless and, as usual, eloquent column, Bill Lyon, in the Philadelphia Inquirer, wrote of Moses Malone’s legacy: “. . . let the mists of time envelope it.” That’s the noun. Bill meant to use the verb, envelop.
• No sooner had we mentioned the misuse of conundrum (in the September War) than Meghan Montemurro, of the News Journal, wrote this: “Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin has a conundrum. And making it particularly problematic is that it involves veteran first baseman Ryan Howard.” To repeat: a conundrum is a riddle, the answer to which involves a pun or play on words, as in, “What is black and white and read all over? A newspaper.”

Department of Redundancies Dept.

Xfinity/Comcast headline: “10 dog breeds that live the longest lives.”

Literally of the Month

“She literally played out of her mind”—97.5 sports talker commenting on Flavia Pennetta, who won the Women’s U. S. Open Tennis title. A simple “played out of her mind” would have worked.

Getting Political

As predicted, Presidential candidates continue to supply us with items. During a debate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told a couple of his opponents that “people could care less about” their accomplishments in the business world. Yo, Guv, that’s couldn’t care less.

Word of the Month

holophrasm
Pronounced HOL-uh-fraz-um, it’s a noun meaning a one-word sentence; for example, “Go.”
Secondary meaning: a complex idea conveyed in a single word, e.g., “Howdy” for “How do you do?”

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The War on Words – Oct 2015

A monthly column in which we attempt, however futilely, to defend the English language against misuse and abuse

Media Watch

Notes from all over as we clean out some of our media files:
• Rob Ellis on 97.5 The Fanatic: “You wonder what’s going on with he and the Phillies.” Like many broadcasters, Rob just can’t bring himself to use the oh-so-inelegant objective case, him.
• Carron Phillips, in the News Journal: “After being followed and monitored, police arrested them.” It was the people the police arrested who were being followed and monitored, not the police.
• Call this “Away All Boats”: Katty Kay of the BBC: “The boat sunk.” CBS radio correspondent: “The boat has sank.” The past tense of sink is sank; the past participle is sunk.
• Jon Offredo in the News Journal: “. . . the judge which . . .” That would be “the judge who.”
• WDEL commercial for a financial adviser: “That being said, there’s some great vehicles out there . . .” The contraction “there’s” trips up many in the media, who pair a singular verb (is) with a plural noun—in this case, vehicles. Make it “there are some great vehicles.”
• Nancy Armour in USA Today, noting that Tiger Woods’ kids tagged along with him on the course: “Charlie, 6, followed a few steps behind, proudly toting three of his dad’s irons that were almost as big as him.” Yo, Nance, just complete the sentence; make it “as big as he is.”
• And finally, two examples of the possessive pronoun failing to agree with its antecedent (corrections in parentheses):
1. Peter McArthur on WDEL: “A very familiar name threw their (his or her) name into the ring.”
2. CNN announcer: “Four died and one is fighting for their (his/her) life.”

Department of Redundancies Dept.

We loved this headline on a delawareonline video: “Florida officials captured, euthanized and killed an alligator that bit off a woman’s arm.” Euthanize, of course, means to kill humanely. We’re thinking the headline writer may have thought euthanize means anesthetize. The head was changed a while later.

A/An (again)

As noted previously, we’re convinced that the word “an” is unknown to many people. Two examples:
• The woman who shot a giraffe in Africa posted on YouTube: “What a amazing animal.”
• A reader reports that the Zaikka Indian Grill at 9th and King in Wilmington has good food, but a banner ad there starts out, “Plan a event.”
To review: An is used before singular nouns that begin with a vowel sound. A comes before singular nouns beginning with a consonant sound.

Getting Political

Now that the presidential race has begun, we’re sure the candidates will provide War with plenty of fodder. Here’s one from Jeb Bush: “At this time in the polls, my father was just an asterick.” Yo, Jeb, that’s asterisk.

Missing on Misnomer

Many people misuse misnomer, which means “a wrong or inaccurate name or designation.” It does not mean “a popular misconception or misunderstanding.” E.g., “The common misnomer [misunderstanding] is that all Division 1 football programs operate in the black.” On the other hand, to call this year’s edition of the Philadelphia Phillies “the Fightin’ Phils” is a true misnomer.

Our Readers Write (or email)

Reader Larry Kerchner reports that “awesomesauce” (a word War has never heard) has been added to the Oxford Dictionary. Larry’s comment: “I think there should be a hold on any new words until people learn the old ones. Or half of the old ones. Or, for the love of God, some of the old ones!”

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Word of the Month: tenebrous
Pronounced TEN-uh-bruhs, it’s an adjective meaning dark, gloomy or obscure.

Quotation of the Month: “If something expands our power of expression it is good, but if it limits it, it is bad. It is very bad indeed when words with clearly different meanings are used interchangeably. Distinction expands our scope for expression. Its removal constrains it.”
—John Humphrys, Lost for Words: The Mangling and
Manipulating of the English Language (2004).

The War On Words – Aug 2015

A monthly column in which we attempt, however futilely, to defend the English language against misuse and abuse

Media Watch

A radio commercial for a Philadelphia bakery calls for the return to “a kindler and simpler world.” Just think of how many people had to read, hear and approve that phrase.

Our movie reviewer, the inimitable Mark Fields, says he read a review of A Little Chaos that claimed one character’s “troubled past puts the breaks on any intimacy . . .” That would be brakes.

Radio sports talker Dan Patrick is becoming one of our regulars. His latest: “Don’t over-exaggerate” (about the abilities of a certain NBA player). How does one over-exaggerate?

Local attorney Tom Neuberger, in a News Journal editorial, wrote that “Former Sen. Frank Church . . . reigned in the NSA.” That’s reined in. (One can reign by keeping a strong hand on the reins.)

A reader reports that a story about the Nectar Café said the owner “wanted to run a health-conscience breakfast café.” Maybe the owner’s conscience was involved, but conscious was the needed word here.

Philadelphia Inquirer sports writers continue to have trouble ferreting out the subject in some sentences. E.g., Keith Pompey: “Embid’s participation in next month’s Rocky Mountain Revue and NBA summer leagues are in jeopardy.” Subject of the sentence is participation, not leagues, so the verb should be is.

One of countless hosts of Good Morning America, reporting that a cat attacked its owner: “It came clawing at he and his wife.” Would she have used the same pronoun if the cat had attacked only the owner: “It came clawing at he”?

Similarly, Sam Amick, in USA Today: “. . . a video of he and his wife.”

Pronunciation

In the word machination—the devising of secret, cunning, or complicated plans and schemes—the first syllable is properly pronounced mak, not mash.

Department of Redundancies Dept.

From a story in The News Journal: “… including a more than $1 million dollar property on Rehoboth Bay.” Note the $—that eliminates the need for the word “dollar.” This is a style mistake that a veteran writer should never make.

Headline from a Visitannapolis.org press release: “Annapolis Named One of the Top Ten Best All-American Vacations for 2015.” As opposed to, say, the bottom ten best?

A political commentator on WDEL, reporting on Republican presidential candidates gathering in Iowa, committed the dreaded double-is: “the significance of it is is that . . .”
U. S. women’s soccer coach: “For me personally, I look at it as an amazing opportunity.” One first-person reference per sentence is preferable.

Notes from All Over

A memo from the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce warned that “. . . ad placements are on a first-come, first-serve basis.” This common mistake somehow misinterprets a simple concept: If you arrive first, you will be served first.

In an email, a friend used the term “hair lip” (don’t ask why). The correct spelling is hare, as in a rabbit.

Rick Perry, in announcing his presidential candidacy, intoned thusly: “I see Americans drownding in debt.” The glasses haven’t made him smarter.

And we wonder: Why do people say and write “preventative” when “preventive” is easier to say and write/spell?

Follow me on Twitter: @thewaronwords

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Word of the Month

enervate
As a verb, it means to deprive of strength or vitality and is pronounced eN-uhr-vayt. As an adjective, it means deprived of strength; weakened, and is pronounced i-NUHR-vit.

Quotation of the Month

“For too long people who care about language have allowed themselves to be represented as authoritarian monsters wanting to impose their views on everyone else. Some do and they will fail. Many more are just worried about the way things are going and would like to feel their voices are being heard. They want to be able to engage in the argument and try to have some influence in the battle over usage. Let battle now be joined.”

—John Humphrys, Lost for Words: The Mangling and Manipulating of the English Language (2004). To which we add, Hear, hear!