Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: facility.

facility. This word is surplusage in phrases such as “jail facility” and “museum facility” — e.g.: “Airports that aren’t well-served by airline clubs or that don’t have major hotel facilities [read ‘hotels’] nearby will put in conference rooms of their own, he predicted.” Carol Smith, “Companies Meet Each Other at the Airport,” L.A. Times, 20 July 1995, at D5. And sometimes the word is a euphemism for “building” — e.g.: “The Fort Lauderdale development firm that bought the rest of the mall complex 16 months ago — including the main mall facility [read ‘building’], a nearby strip shopping center and the former Sam’s Wholesale Club building — is studying redevelopment plans.” Catherine Crownover, “‘Demalling’ for Economic Survival,” Fla. Times-Union, 28 Oct. 1996, at 10. Not only is “facility” often unnecessary; it has also become virtually meaningless. The word is so abstract that it refers to just about anything, from an Olympic village to a toilet. For information about the Language-Change Index, click here. —————————- Quotation of the Day: I ask you to pronounce s-o-w, and you ask me what kind of one. If we had a sane, determinate alphabet, instead of a hospital of comminuted eunuchs, you would know whether one referred to the act of a man casting the seed over the ploughed land or whether one wished to recall the lady hog and the future ham. Mark Twain, Speech In New York City (9 December 1907), in Mark Twains Speeches 367 (Albert Bigelow Paine ed., 1923) (as quoted in Mark Twain: His Words, Wit, and Wisdom 7 (R. Kent Rasmussen ed., 1997)).
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