Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: lachrymose; lacrimose.

lachrymose; lacrimose. This word, meaning “tearful,” is generally spelled “lachrymose,” which is about 200 times as common as “lacrimose” in modern print sources. Both forms have ancient origins: the classical Latin term is “lacrima” (= teardrop), but the “-chry-” spelling crept into medieval Latin (“lachrymalis”). That newer spelling has long been standard — e.g.: o “It seems like ‘Dying Rose’ is a bit too lacrimose [read ‘lachrymose’], with an image too forced.” Jay Miller, “Ontario’s Mae Moore Keeps Positive View,” Patriot Ledger (Quincy, Mass.), 1 Sept. 1995, at 13. o “Nestled cozily in chintz couches, surrounded by cuddly stuffed bunnies and kitties and puppies, the confessors sprinkle their lachrymose monologues with the same catchphrases and catechismal confessions.” Ruth Shalit, “Dysfunction Junction,” New Republic, 14 Apr. 1997, at 24. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “Why is the eighteenth century, for example, the dreariest period in English literature? There is probably as much mere thought and naked truth in the verse and prose of that century as in those of any other. It was the vicious style of the period that has doomed it. It was because both the typical poetry and the typical prose of the age had ceased to be simple, natural, direct, imaginative, and passionate, first, in its thought and feeling, and, last, in its use of language, that it is so commonplace.” Henry Bett, Some Secrets of Style 250-51 (1932). ====================
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