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Overview

A20

A cytoplasmic zinc finger protein (790 aa) that inhibits NFκB activity and TNF-mediated programmed cell death. The expression of the A20 mRNA is upregulated by TNFα. It is a dual function ...

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

...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 Source: Gary A. Olson , James DeGeorge & Richard Ray , Style and Readability in Business Writing 102 ( 1985 ). They arrived at a provocative...

-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

...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 state of maturity that it is not recognizably or instinctively felt to be a newcomer.” Robert W. Burchfield , Points of View 103 ( 1992 ). Yet the explosion of electronic media in the second half of the 20th century has compressed time, and the standards for “maturity” are dropping. For whatever reason, we seem...

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

...Lottery, you state that ‘stores which sell tickets for the draw have lottery-only lines on a Saturday.’ Do you mean: ‘ Shops . . . have lottery-only queues ’?” C. Briticisms Invading AmE. To some extent, transatlantic linguistic influences are reciprocal. In the late 20th century, it became common in AmE to use the Briticism take a decision (as opposed to the usual AmE make a decision ). And many Americans have begun using amongst and whilst . ( See among ( a ) & whilst .) On the whole, though, BrE's influences on AmE are so slight that few people...

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 ...

-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

.... 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. Hence we have no use for artificialize , audiblize , cubiclize , fenderize (= to fix a dented fender), funeralize , ghettoize , Mirandize , nakedize , obituarize , and so on....

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...

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

...“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 needed. In the most common double modal, ✳might could , the word might can usually be dropped without a change in meaning. So unless you’re recording dialect or creating fictional dialogue—or...

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

...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 made -a- . About 10% of the time in print, the misspelling ✳quadraplegia appears—e.g.: “The sudden bending of the neck . . . can lead to spinal cord injury and permanent paralysis of both arms and legs (known as quadraplegia [read quadriplegia ]).” G. Timothy...

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...

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...

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...

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

...by a missing hyphen: • “One last pop on this whole question of incivility of discourse, the much argued over [read much-argued-over ] issue of whose speech has been more inflammatory and socially destructive than whose.” Meg Greenfield , “It's Time for Some Civility,” Newsweek , 5 June 1995 , at 78. (After much argued , the reader expects a noun; then over appears, unsettling the reader for a moment; then, in two milliseconds, the reader adjusts to see that much-argued-over is a phrasal adjective modifying issue .) • “O’Neill is serving a 20- to...

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

...letters. The fact is, nothing injures 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 & ...

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...

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

...fascinate philologasters, they’re a nuisance to both the true philologist and the true stylist. The best recourse is a rewording. Why perpetrate a sentence that's 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 ...

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

...done about the problem> , and groups of pronouns <he regretted some of them being left out in the rain> . For a scholarly discussion of still other exceptions, see Thomas 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...

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

...the phrase ✳is comprised of is always poor and should be replaced by is composed of , is made up 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...

Synesis

Synesis   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

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

... are somewhat more precarious. The rule consistently announced in 20th-century grammars is as follows: “Collective nouns take sometimes a singular and sometimes a plural verb. When the persons or things denoted are thought of as individuals, the plural should be used. When the collection is regarded as a unit, the singular should be used.” George L. Kittredge & Frank E. Farley , An Advanced English Grammar 101 ( 1913 ). Generally, then, with nouns of multitude, one can justifiably use a plural verb. Among the common nouns of multitude are bulk , bunch...

Mondegreens

Mondegreens   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

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

...World in His Pants [ 1996 ], When a Man Loves a Walnut [ 1997 ], and Deck the Halls with Buddy Holly [ 1998 ]), Martin Toseland ( The Ants Are My Friends: Misheard Lyrics, Malapropisms, Eggcorns, and Other Linguistic Gaffes [ 2007 ]), and J. A. Wines ( Mondegreens: A Book of Mishearings [ 2007 ]). There are also websites that list mondegreens and make musical lyrics widely available. It is easier than ever to verify a lyric that one might be unsure of. Although mondegreens were much written about in the late 20th century, only two major dictionaries...

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