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

Miscellaneous Entries. worrisome; worrying, adj. In American English, something that provokes worry is “worrisome,” but in British English it’s “worrying” — e.g.: “Most worrying for the Conservatives, the MORI poll shows Labour making more rapid gains among middle class and southern voters — key groups who have been solid Conservative supporters since 1979 and whom the party needs to win back to retain power.” Stephen Bates & Martin Linton, “Tory Poll Rating Hits Record Low,” Guardian, 26 Aug. 1994, at 1. This BrE usage is an example of hypallage. worship(p)ed; worship(p)ing; worship(p)er. The “-p-” spellings are the preferred forms in American English; the “-pp-” forms appear in British English. worth. When this word is used with an amount, the preceding term denoting the amount should be possessive. E.g.: “He bought a few dollars’ worth of golf tees.” worthwhile. One word. -worthy. This combining form means (1) “fit or safe for” {a seaworthy vessel} {a crashworthy minivan}; or (2) “deserving of” {a praiseworthy effort} {a creditworthy loan applicant}. As in the preceding examples, the form is almost always closed up with its root, not hyphenated. Only a few newfangled “-worthy” terms {an article-worthy celebrity} have hyphens. *wot (= to know) is an archaism that H.W. Fowler called a “Wardour Street” term, i.e., an “oddment” calculated to establish (in the eyes of some readers) the writer’s claim to be someone of taste and the source of beautiful English. Today, it’s an affectation unless ironic (and probably even then) — e.g.: “News is now at hand that for reasons I wot [read ‘know’] not, the White House kitchens will serve free-range chickens only.” John Gould, “Pent-Up Pullets and White House Fowl,” Christian Science Monitor, 20 May 1994, at 17. *Invariably inferior form. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. Quotation of the Day: “Prose is not necessarily good because it obeys the rules of syntax, but it is fairly certain to be bad if it ignores them.” Wilson Follett, Modern American Usage: A Guide 22 (1966).
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