Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: lip-sync, vb.; lip-synch.

lip-sync, vb.; lip-synch. To lip-sync, of course, is to move one’s lips silently in synchronization with recorded vocals, whether one’s own or someone else’s. Although the dictionaries are split between the “sync” and “synch” forms, the incontestable leader in print is “lip-sync” by a 2-to-1 ratio. But the agent noun is “lip-syncer,” pronounced anomalously with a hard “-c-“: /LiP-sink-uhr/. Occasionally people misunderstand the phrase and write “lip-sing” e.g.: “‘This is where freshmen and seniors together do wacky performances and where teachers lip sing [read ‘lip-sync’] in front of the students,’ Sullivan said.” Grace Camacho, “A Golden Birthday,” Orange County Register, 16 Nov. 2000, at 1. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. Quotation of the Day: “The basic teaching of our schools, in reading and writing, in standard language and composition, is dominated still by educationists who, knowing nothing about our language, waste years of every child’s time, and leave our community semi-literate.” Leonard Bloomfield, “Twenty-One Years of the Linguistic Society” (1946), in A Leonard Bloomfield Anthology 311, 314 (Charles F. Hockett ed., abridged ed. 1987).
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