Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Miscellaneous Entries.

Miscellaneous Entries. vice; vise. In American English, a “vice” is an immoral habit or practice, and a “vise” is a tool with closable jaws for clamping things. But in British English, the tool is spelled like the sin: “vice.” vichyssoise (= a thick soup made with potatoes and leeks and usu. served cold) is often misspelled by transposing the double-s and the single-s (as if it were *”vichysoisse”). The word is pronounced /vish-ee-SWOZ/ or /VEE-shee-swoz/, and remembering the “-z-” sound in the final syllable should help you think of the “-se” at the end of the word. victuals, pronounced /ViT-uhlz/, is spelled phonetically (“vittles”) only in colloquial usage. Related forms are “victualer” (= one who provides food and drink for payment), victualed, and victualing in American English; these three forms double the “-l-” in British English. videodisc. The Associated Press and New York Times stylebooks both make this and most other “video-” compounds one word {videotape} {videoconference}. But when preceded by “digital,” the two-word form is far more common in print — no doubt because of the ubiquity of DVDs, popularly known as “digital video discs.” When the phrase appears without “digital,” the compound is usually made one word: “videodisc.” vilify is often misspelled *”villify” — e.g.: “Democrats say they may wage [an ad campaign] to villify [read ‘vilify’] Republicans who voted against the proposal.” Patrice Hill, “Dickering Almost Kills Deal on Budget,” Wash. Times, 22 May 1997, at A1. No doubt the misspelling is influenced by “villain,” rather than the word’s actual cognate, “vile.” *Invariably inferior form. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “A dictionary is not merely a home for living words; it is a hospital for the sick; it is a cemetery for the dead.” R.W. Dale, “Lectures on Preaching” (1878) (as quoted in the Oxford English Dictionary). ====================
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