Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: laudatory; laudative; laudable.

laudatory; laudative; laudable. The adjectives “laudatory” and “laudative” both mean “expressing praise.” But “laudative” is a needless variant of “laudatory,” the much more common word. “Laudable,” in contrast, means “deserving praise.” The distinction is the same as that between “praiseworthy” (= laudable) and “praiseful” (= laudatory). The misuse of “laudatory” for “laudable” is lamentably common — e.g.: o “Indeed, like Nixon before him, a jaundiced view of Clinton and his motives causes many to oppose or at least look askance at even his most laudatory [read ‘laudable’] goals.” Jeff Rivers, “Cast Aside National Cynicism Left Over from Watergate,” Hartford Courant, 4 Aug. 1994, at A2. o “But for all its laudatory [read ‘laudable’] achievements, the council-manager model can be aloof, even distant, from the people who are paying for it.” “Government Merger,” Herald-Sun (Durham, N.C.), 8 Sept. 1994, at A12. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “Every composition, whatever its length, ought to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. This deceptively simple observation will yield some insight into the art of composition if we consider some of its implications.” Christopher Lasch, Plain Style 45 (Stewart Weaver ed., 2002).
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