Miscellaneous Entries. virtue of, by; *in virtue of. “By virtue of,” not *”in virtue of,” is now the idiomatic phrase. The latter is archaic. virtuoso. The plural is preferably “virtuosos” — not *”virtuosi” (a pedantic form that is less than half as common in modern print sources). virus. The plural is “viruses.” visor (= a projecting shade) is the standard spelling. *”Vizor” is a variant. visualize does not mean “to see,” but “to see in the mind’s eye.” So it’s silly to say, as some do, that they can’t “visualize” very well because of the fog. vita [L. “life”] is nearly synonymous with “résumé.” The difference is that “vita” usually refers to an academic’s accomplishments and is often longer than the typical one-page résumé. Despite the widespread notion to the contrary, the word “vita” /VEE-tuh/ is not a slangy, informal shortening of “curriculum vitae” [L. “course of one’s life”], in which “vitae” is in the genitive case. Rather, “vita” is a perfectly good term in itself. vituperative; *vituperous. The former is the preferred adjectival form of “vituperation.” The latter is a needless variant. voicemail. One word. The Oxford English Dictionary dates it back to 1980. *Invariably inferior form. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “We find that we are still borrowing words occasionally from other tongues, and the necessity or convenience of this practice will soon establish such words, notwithstanding all the clamour that may be made against innovations.” Joseph Priestley, A Court of Lectures on the Theory of Language and Universal Grammar 286 (1762). ====================
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