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

Miscellaneous Entries. interface, v.i., is jargonmongers’ talk — e.g.: “This man possesses the ability to interface and relate with people from all social and economic levels.” “Interface” should be left to computerese. intermezzo is pronounced /in-tuhr-MET-soh/ or /in-tuhr-MED-zoh/, but not /-MEZ-oh/. The plural is “intermezzos.” interpersonal. “What this [word] adds to ‘personal’ except five letters and a superficial impression of scientific exactness, I do not see — except, perhaps, in a particular context where ‘intergroup’ relations might also be involved.” Ellsworth Barnard, English for Everybody 34 n.12 (1979). Point well taken. interpolate; interpellate. The first means “to insert into a text or writing”; the second, used in legislative reports, means “to question formally; to seek information.” interpret; interpretate. The latter is an obsolete back-formation and a needless variant of “interpret” — e.g.: “The essence of ice dancing is the inventiveness of the performance, how the music is interpretated [read ‘interpreted’] and how the dance steps are choreographed.” Lee Shappell, “International Flair,” Ariz. Republic, 20 Jan. 1993, at D1. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “It is not difficult to conceive . . . that for many reasons a man writes much better than he lives.” Samuel Johnson, 14 The Rambler (May 5, 1750), in Classics in Composition 85, 86 (Donald E. Hayden ed., 1969). ====================
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