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Illogic

Illogic   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
1,734 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

..., at 2. H. ✳Times more than . A problem similar to but far less egregious than the illogic of ✳times less than comes up when we say that X is ✳two times more than Y. The common understanding is that if Y is 1, then X is 2. But strictly speaking, one time more than Y could also be 2, because more implies that the result of 1-times-X is added to X to arrive at Y. The more precise and unambiguous wording is “X is two times as much as Y.” I. Miscellaneous Other Examples. For various other brands of poor thinking, see adjectives (b) , all ( d ) , ...

Possessives

Possessives   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
2,753 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

.... A. Singular Possessives. To form a singular possessive, add -'s to most singular nouns—even those ending in -s , -ss , and -x (hence Jones's , Nichols's , witness's , Vitex's ). E.g.: “Noting Congress's move to regulate maternity hospitalization, managed-care advocates predict that politicians would legislate health care.” Kent Jenkins et al., “Health Care Politics,” U.S. News & World Rep . , 1 Dec. 1997 , at 24. The traditional approach of the AP Stylebook (see, e.g., the 1996 6th ed.) was to use nothing more than an apostrophe...

Plurals

Plurals   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
2,782 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...fireplace valued at $4,000.” “Building Permits,” Providence J.-Bull . , 9 Jan. 1997 , at C4. F. Proper Names. Although few books on grammar mention the point, proper names often cause problems as plurals. The rule is simple: most take a simple -s , while those ending in -s , -x , or -z , or in a sibilant -ch or -sh , take -es . Thus: Singular Form Plural Form Adam Adams Adams Adamses Bush Bushes Church Churches Cox Coxes Flowers Flowerses Jones Joneses Levy Levys Lipschutz Lipschutzes Mary Marys Rabiej Rabiejs (the -j- is silent) Shapiro Shapiros...

Punctuation

Punctuation   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
7,703 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...sentence, the closing parenthesis follows the end punctuation; if not, the end punctuation is placed outside, as in the previous sentence here. More specifically, parentheses are used in four ways. First, they indicate interpolations and remarks by the writer of the text <Mrs. X (as I shall call her) now spoke> . Second, they specify, in one's own running text, an authority, definition, explanation, reference, or translation <according to Fowler ( FMEU1 at 64), it is correct to . . . > . Third, in reporting a speech, they sometimes indicate interruptions...

possessives

possessives   Reference library

The Oxford Dictionary of American Usage and Style

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2002
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
1,961 words

.... Singular Possessives. To form a singular possessive, add - 's to most singular nouns—even those ending in - s and - x (hence witness's , Vitex's , Jones's , Nichols's ). E.g.: “Noting Congress's move to regulate maternity hospitalization, managedcare advocates predict that politicians would legislate health care” ( U.S. News & World Rep .). Although the AP Stylebook (6th ed. 1996 ) calls for nothing more than an apostrophe if the word already ends in - s (p. 163), most authorities who aren't journalists demand the final - s as well...

home in

home in   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
235 words

...in , not ✳hone in , is the correct phrase. In the early 20th century, the metaphor referred to what homing pigeons do; by the early 20th century, it referred also to what aircraft and missiles do. And by the late 20th century, some writers had begun mistaking the phrase by using the wrong verb, hone (= to sharpen) instead of home —e.g.: • “While Mr. Bradley honed [read homed ] in on healthcare, Mr. Gore scolded his opponent as lacking a comprehensive education plan and for supporting a school voucher program when he was in the Senate.” Richard L....

another think coming

another think coming   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
341 words

...think coming ; ✳another thing coming . The traditional idiom is “If you think X, you’ve got another think coming.” That phrasing has predominated since the expression became popular in the early 20th century. It may not be funny anymore, but it makes sense: X is wrong, so eventually you’re going to think Y instead. But a surprising number of writers substitute thing for think , which is grammatical but not even vaguely clever. E.g.: • “If Osama bin Laden imagined, in releasing a threatening new videotape days before the presidential election, that he...

ecstasy

ecstasy   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
216 words

...Sobering,” Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 6 Jan. 2007 , at A10. Occasionally the word is also misspelled with an -x- displacing the -c- . Here, the doubly mangled spelling got past the copy desk: “What begins with sitcom-style infighting turns to touchy-feely reconciliation when the family stoner drops a tab of Extacy [read Ecstasy ] in patriarch Ira's drink.” Peter Debruge , “When Do We Eat?” Daily Variety , 13 Apr. 2006 , at 20. See spelling (a) . Language-Change Index ecstasy misspelled ✳ecstacy or ✳extacy : Stage 1 Current ratio (...

nimrod

nimrod   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
328 words

..., “Unattended Youngsters at Great Risk in the Water,” Spokesman Rev . (Spokane), 5 Aug. 1997 , at B4. In late-20th-century slang , though, the word came to mean “a simpleton; dunderhead; blockhead”—e.g.: • “Hey all you mack daddies (cool guys) out there: if you don't want to sound like a nimrod (geek) on your next trip to kili cali (Southern California), don't get all petro (worried).” “New in Paperback,” Wash. Post , 20 July 1997 , at X12. • “Thus we wind up with the tableau of several hundred more or less disgruntled nimrods trudging along like...

slink > slunk > slunk

slink > slunk > slunk   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
371 words

... Michele Jacklin , “Primary Candidates Are Willing to Roll the Dice,” Hartford Courant , 26 Aug. 1998 , at A13. • “[Bonnie] Murchison, standing with two of her friends, said she had a boyfriend, which wasn't exactly the truth. The boy slunked [read slunk ] away.” Francis X. Donnelly , “Teens Decry Fairlane's New Curfew,” Detroit News , 3 May 2004 , at B1. See irregular verbs . Language-Change Index 1. ✳slank for slunk as past tense of slink : Stage 1 Current ratio ( slunk away vs. ✳slank away ): 198:1 2. ✳slinked for slunk as past...

neither . . . nor

neither . . . nor   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
889 words

...and historical examples of neither . . . nor with more than two elements, these are unfastidious constructions. When three or more are involved, it's better not to say ✳They considered neither x, y, nor z . Instead, say They didn't consider x, y, or z . Or it's permissible to use a second nor emphatically in framing three elements: They considered neither x, nor y, nor z . Cf. either ( b ) . Language-Change Index neither . . . nor with more than two elements: Stage 3 C. Parallelism. Not only should there be just two elements, but also the elements...

minimize

minimize   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
389 words

...shipping manifests to X-ray scanners.” David Stipp , “Detecting the Danger Within,” Fortune , 17 Feb. 2003 , at 104. But the word is also used to mean “to misrepresent (something) as less significant than it really is; to belittle or degrade”—e.g.: “Mr. Kelly sought to minimize differences between Mr. Roh and the administration on North Korea and other issues, suggesting that those differences might have been unfairly magnified during the heat of the campaign.” Howard W. French , “Seoul May Loosen Its Ties to U.S.,” N.Y. Times , 20 Dec. 2002 , at A1....

less

less   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
1,471 words

...Bell to Answer” ( 1970 ). Since at least 1700 , most published authors have gotten it right. And most contemporary writers get it right—e.g.: • “I couldn't care less that NFL players will receive one less game check.” “Capital-Journal,” Topeka Capital-J . , 16 Sept. 2001 , at X2. • “Some Middle Georgia cancer patients may have one less thing to worry about this time next year.” Charlie Lanter , “Pulaski Hospital to Build Cancer Treatment Center,” Macon Telegraph , 15 Nov. 2001 , at 3. • “Some industry observers worry about a deal that will lead to ...

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