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

Miscellaneous Entries. intervener. Preferably so spelled — “intervenor” is an exclusively legal spelling. in the course of. This is often wordy for “during” or “while” — e.g.: “Billingsley got to know the widow Doss pretty well in the course of [read ‘during’] the investigation.” Bill Thomas, “He Can Name Tune but Can’t Find Lyrics,” Jupiter Courier (Fla.), 26 Nov. 1997, at A9. in the final analysis; in the last analysis. Both clichés are likely to detract from your prose. Try to state the proposition without this tepid lead-in. in the light of is inferior to “in light of,” itself a cliché. in this connection. One can understand a mid-20th-century editor’s denunciation of the phrase: “Of all the superfluous baggage carried by the journalistic or literary pilgrim, this seems to me the supreme specimen of uselessness. Study this combination of words through a hundred of its innumerable intrusions into printed text, and then say if it is not a monster of futility. It is not merely unnecessary verbiage, it is an actual clogging and cluttering of the channels of clear, concise utterance. To me, as an editor, it seems to suggest desire to consume rather than to conserve paper and typewriter ribbons.” Edward N. Teall, Putting Words to Work 276 (1940). For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “Use your own voice, your own conversational idiom, not the puffed-up language of academe. If you start reaching for fancy language, you’ll defeat your whole purpose.” John R. Trimble, Writing with Style 23 (2d ed. 2000). ====================
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