Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: methodology.

methodology. “Methodology,” strictly speaking, means “the science or study of method.” But it is now widely misused as a fancy equivalent of “method” or “methods” — e.g.: o “Defenders of scientific methodology [read either ‘scientific methods’ or ‘the scientific method’] were urged to counterattack against faith healing, astrology, religious fundamentalism and paranormal charlatanism.” Malcolm W. Browne, “Scientists Deplore Flight from Reason,” N.Y. Times, 6 June 1995, at C1. o “Some Fulton commissioners, guided by the grumbling of employees who did not get raises, complained about the study’s methodology [read ‘method’ or ‘methods’] and results.” Carlos Campos, “County Medical Examiner Plans to Retire,” Atlanta J. & Const., 5 June 1997, at E12. For more information about the Language-Change Index click here. Quotation of the Day: “In anything fit to be called by the name of reading, the process itself should be absorbing and voluptuous; we should gloat over a book, be rapt clean out of ourselves, and rise from the perusal, our mind filled with the busiest, kaleidoscopic dance of images, incapable of sleep or of continuous thought.” Robert Louis Stevenson, “A Gossip on Romance” (1882), in Learning to Write 44, 44 (1920).
Scroll to Top