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20/20

Subject: Music

This US group was formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1978 by Steve Allen (guitar, vocals) and Ron Flynt (bass, vocals), two expatriate musicians from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Drummer Mike Gallo ...

-cast

-cast   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
53 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

.... On the analogy of broadcast , many 20th-century neologisms arose, such as cablecast ( 1975 ), podcast ( 2004 ), radiocast ( 1931 ), simulcast ( 1948 ), and telecast ( 1937 ). They are irregular verbs (like cast itself) that don't change in the past tense. Adding -ed , though fairly common, is incorrect. For individual treatments, see broadcast , cablecast , radiocast & telecast...

Sentence Length

Sentence Length   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
290 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...No one knows precisely. Rhetoricians and readability specialists have long suggested aiming for sentences of varying lengths, but with an average of about 20 to 25 words. And empirical evidence seems to bear out this rough guideline. In 1985 , three authors calculated figures for several publications, using extensive samples: Publication Average Sentence Length Pittsburgh Press 20 Reader's Digest 20.4 Popular Mechanics 21.8 Science Digest 22 Field & Stream 22.8 Newsweek 24 Time 24.4 Scientific American 24.9 New York Times 26.6 Wall Street Journal 27...

-esque

-esque   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
99 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

.... This suffix—meaning “like, resembling”—almost always creates a solid word, as in romanesque , Rubenesque , statuesque . E.g.: “One could almost see the Clintonesque curling and biting of the lip for dramatic effect.” “New Democrats and New Laborites,” Omaha World-Herald , 20 Nov. 1997 , at 28. Of course, given the suffix's meaning, it's wrong to add -like to the end of such a word—e.g.: “A man painted in white stands on a pedestal striking various statuesque-like [read statue-like or statuesque ] poses.” Alan Byrd , “Will the Real Key West...

Neologisms

Neologisms   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
276 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...known. Fortunately, lexicographers monitor new entrants into the language and periodically publish compilations such as these: John Ayto , 20th Century Words ( 1999 ); Stuart Berg Flexner & Anne H. Soukhanov , Speaking Freely ( 1997 ); Sara Tulloch , The Oxford Dictionary of New Words ( 1991 ); John Algeo , Fifty Years Among the New Words ( 1991 ). It is sobering to record what the greatest of late-20th-century lexicographers said about the slow acceptance of new words: “It usually takes slightly more than a century for a word to reach such a...

-ize

-ize   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
135 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...is one of the most frequently used ways of forming new verbs. Many verbs so formed are unobjectionable—e.g.: authorize , baptize , familiarize , recognize , sterilize , and symbolize . The religious leader Norman Vincent Peale helped popularize (ahem) the suffix in the mid-20th century: “‘ Picturize , prayerize , and actualize ’ was Peale's key formula.” Tim Stafford , “God's Salesman,” Christianity Today , 21 June 1993 , at 35. But neologisms ending in -ize are generally to be discouraged, for they are usually ungainly and often superfluous....

extra-

extra-   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
259 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...(= lying outside the province or scope of) is a prefix that, during the 20th century, has formed hundreds of new adjectives—mostly for learned or literary purposes. The prefix has been adopted by many writers to form neologisms not yet found in unabridged dictionaries. These writers usually do no harm and, in fact, occasionally coin useful words. Following are four representative examples of 20th-century neologisms using this prefix—which, by the way, usually takes no hyphen: • “This means that he studies telepathy, clairvoyance and other extrasensory ...

Americanisms and Briticisms

Americanisms and Briticisms   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
296 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...in editorial style, compare The Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed. 2009 ) with Caroline Drake & Maureen Leach , Butcher's Copy-Editing : The Cambridge Handbook for Editors, Copy-Editors, and Proofreaders (4th ed. 2006 ). B. Americanisms Invading BrE. During the 20th century, the English language's center of gravity gradually shifted from England to the United States. As a result, the most influential linguistic innovations occur in AmE, as a further result of which BrE speakers frequently bemoan American encroachments. For example, on 7...

Ergative Verbs

Ergative Verbs   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
572 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...Verbs . A. Generally. In the mid-20th century, grammarians devised the term ergative (“working”) to describe a verb that can be used (1) in the active voice with a normal subject (actor) and object (the thing acted on) <I broke the window> ; (2) in the passive voice , with the recipient of the verb's action as the subject of the sentence (and most often the actor's becoming the object of a by -phrase <the window was broken by me> ; or (3) in what one textbook called “the third way,” as an intransitive verb (without a direct object) <the window...

Commercialese

Commercialese   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
276 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...business more than this system of words found only in business letters. The test of a word or phrase or method of expression should be, ‘Is it what I would say to my customer if I were talking to him instead of writing to him?’” Sherwin Cody , How to Do Business by Letter 20 (19th ed. 1908 ). Cf. obscurity . For more on the subject, see the following books: • L.E. Frailey , Handbook for Business Letters (2d ed. 1965 ). • Maryann V. Piotrowski , Effective Business Writing ( 1989 ). • Gary Blake & Robert W. Bly , The Elements of Business...

Double Modals

Double Modals   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
374 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...ought ✳might could ✳used to could These phrases are not uncommon in regional dialect —especially in the South—but they do not belong in standard english and rarely appear in print. E.g.: “Although I have only spent one day on the water at Lay Lake, and interviewed perhaps 20 percent of the field, I still believe I might can [read might ] get pretty close.” Steve Bowman , “Expect the Unexpected When Classic Title on Line,” Ark. Democrat-Gaz . , 8 Aug. 1996 , at C4. The problem with most double modals, of course, is that only one of the verbs is...

Literary Allusion

Literary Allusion   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
321 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...first of several to point out that Johnnie Cochran got himself all upscrewed when he said, ‘The prosecution is trying to portray Fuhrman as Mr. Hyde but he's really Dr. Jekyll.’ Jekyll was the good guy, Johnnie.” Herb Caen , “Is It Friday Yet?” S.F. Chron . , 15 Sept. 1995 , at A20...

Passive Voice

Passive Voice   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
1,204 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...Bill Clinton , as quoted in “The Whitewater Inquiry,” N.Y. Times , 8 Mar. 1994 , at D20. (A possible revision: There is no evidence that I or anybody else tried to influence any official decision .) • “The investigation began after fake $20 bills were attempted to be passed at Key Bank on Main Street.” Ben Beagle , “Funny Money Still a Mystery,” Livingston County News (Geneseo, N.Y.), 11 June 2015 , at A4. (A possible revision: The investigation began after fake $20 bills were recognized at Key Bank on Main Street .) H.W. Fowler wrote that...

quadri-

quadri-   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
273 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...men united in some way). Although Eric Partridge said that quadra- is “always wrong” ( U&A at 257), it appears unexceptionably in many terms deriving from Late Latin, such as quadragesimal (= of, relating to, or involving Lent) and quadrangle (= a four-sided figure). And 20th-century word coiners have devised words such as quadraphonic (= of, relating to, or involving a sound system with four loudspeakers) and quadrathlon (= an athletic contest involving four events). But in one word especially— quadriplegia —the medial -i- is sometimes wrongly...

Hybrids

Hybrids   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
500 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

..., or words composed of morphemes from different languages (such as teleprinter [Gk. tele- + OF preint ]), became quite common in the 20th century. In fact, they have existed for a very long time in English: grandfather (dating from the 15th century) has a French prefix and an English root; bicycle (dating from the mid-19th century) has a Latin prefix and a Greek root. One occasionally finds hybrids criticized in older literature—e.g.: • “ Ize and ist ‘are Greek terminations, and cannot properly be added to Anglo-Saxon words. Ist is the...

Sound of Prose

Sound of Prose   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
485 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

... conference , where conferees [read legislators ] will try to reconcile differences.” Susie T. Parker , “Energy Bill Faces Possible Sinking, DOE Aide Warns,” Oil Daily , 16 July 1992 , at 1. • “If you’re getting the impression [read idea ] we weren't impressed with our $20,000 test truck, you’re right.” Tom Incantalupo , “Pickup Was Hard Ride,” Newsday (N.Y.), 24 Feb. 1995 , at C6. • “It set aside $3.25 million . . . to cover expected losses from liquidating [read selling ] liquid crystal display screens and other assets left over from the...

Phrasal Adjectives

Phrasal Adjectives   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
2,154 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...two milliseconds, the reader adjusts to see that much-argued-over is a phrasal adjective modifying issue .) • “O’Neill is serving a 20- to 40-year state prison sentence in Dallas, Luzerne County, for a Northampton County conviction in 1994 on statutory rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and corruption of minors charges .” Bob Laylo , “Children Testify on Sex Ring Abuse,” Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.), 20 Sept. 1996 , at B1. (Read either statutory-rape, involuntary-deviant-sexual-intercourse, and corruption-of-minors charges or [better] ...

Double Bobbles

Double Bobbles   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
526 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...of , or comprises . See comprise ( a ) . Sometimes, however, the writer wanting the incorrect comprise seizes upon a doubly incorrect word, compromise —e.g.: • “The nation's 1.1 million secular Jews, those born Jewish but practicing no religion, compromise [read make up ] 20 percent of the core Jewish population.” “A Portrait of Jews in America,” Numbers News (Am. Demographics, Inc.), Jan. 1994 , at 4. • “Women compromise [read make up ] 60 percent of the 400,000 California adults estimated to have been seriously mentally ill in 1989 .” Nancy...

Fused Participles

Fused Participles   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
663 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...Nunnally , “The Possessive with Gerunds,” 66 Am. Speech 359, 363–65 ( 1991 ). If you can't get a handle on fused participles, then just remember the words of an influential grammarian: “It's a niggling point but one on which many people niggle.” Paul Roberts , Modern Grammar 20 ( 1968 ). Language-Change Index Garden-variety fused participle <I can understand him not wanting to participate> : Stage...

Retronyms

Retronyms   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
527 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

.... In the 1910s, when sound first came to be synchronized with motion pictures (in talking movies or talkies ), the original type of movie came to be known as the silent movie . That is, nobody ever referred to silent movies until sound was added to the newer type. In the mid-20th century, what had been known as the Great War became known as World War I (it certainly wasn't called that in its day). A little later, when people started traveling in jet airplanes , the original type was distinguished by the phrase propeller airplanes . In the 1970s,...

Preventive Grammar

Preventive Grammar   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
548 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...awkward but arguably defensible? A sentence that's only defensible will raise doubts in the reasonable reader's mind. Often you'll be presented with a sentence that is correct, according to strict grammatical tradition, but that sounds either stuffy or downright wrong. During the 20th century, for example, some grammarians insisted that Neither you nor I am a plumber is correct phrasing. Using are or is in place of am would be quite incorrect. These grammarians relied on the “rule of proximity”: in neither–nor constructions, the second element...

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