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

Miscellaneous Entries. wolverine; *wolverene. The latter is a needless variant. woolliness is the quality of being confused, hazy, indefinite, and indistinct in expression. Excessive cross-references, as in the Internal Revenue Code, are perhaps the apotheosis of woolliness — e.g.: “For purposes of paragraph (3), an organization described in paragraph (2) shall be deemed to include an organization described in section 501(c)(4), (5), or (6) which would be described in paragraph (2) if it were an organization described in section 501(c)(3).” I.R.C. § 509(a) (1984). word processing, n. Two words. But as a phrasal adjective, the term is hyphenated {word-processing equipment}. The phrase may one day become solid. wordy does not mean “sesquipedalian,” as many seem to suppose; it means, rather, “verbose, prolix.” workaround, n., = a roundabout technique to accomplish something that can’t easily be done more directly. The word appears most often in computer contexts to denote a way of doing something that software doesn’t specifically provide for. While the hyphenated form still appears (“work-around”), especially outside computer contexts, the word is most often a closed compound — e.g.: “Symantec, which makes the programs, has posted four workarounds to the problem, one more complicated than the next.” “Subscription Glitch,” San Diego Union-Trib., 10 Mar. 2003, at E4. As a phrasal verb, “work around” is always two words — e.g.: “Before deciding on a notice system, board members discussed a variety of other ideas, though legally questionable, to work around the sunshine law.” Kelly Yamanouchi, “Tourism Board Sets Up War Meeting Plan,” Honolulu Advertiser, 14 Mar. 2003, at C1. worker; workman; workingman. Because of the growing awareness of sexism, “worker” is the best choice. *Invariably inferior form. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. Quotation of the Day: “Too many laser printers are cursed by Courier.” Winn L. Rosch, The Right Type, PC Sources, Aug. 1992, at 316.
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