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

Miscellaneous Entries. ipse dixit (lit., “he himself said it”) = something said but not proved; a dogmatic statement — e.g.: “[Justice William Brennan’s] real doctrine always showed through. It was the doctrine of ipse dixit: He has said it, so it must be so.” “Death with Dignity,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, 30 Apr. 1996, at A8. ipso facto (= by the fact or act itself; by its very nature) is sometimes replaceable by the phrase “in itself” — e.g.: “Tales of oppression are . . . dramatic. That doesn’t mean — ipso facto — [read ‘necessarily mean’] they make good plays.” Laurie Winer, “‘To Take Arms’ Struggles to Find Real-Life Drama,” L.A. Times, 14 Feb. 1997, at F8. But the latinism is sometimes undeniably useful — e.g.: “H.L. Mencken, who began his career as a police reporter in Baltimore, wrote that he quickly encountered what he called the ‘police mentality’: Every person accused or suspected of a crime is ipso facto guilty.” Jack Wardlaw, “Reacting to a Harmful TV Story,” Times-Picayune (New Orleans), 12 Jan. 1997, at B7. The phrase need not be italicized. iridescent. So spelled. “Irridescent” is a common misspelling. ironic; ironical. “Ironic” is standard. “Ironical” is a needless variant that used to be the preferred form; it is still often seen in British English. irregardless, a semiliterate portmanteau word from “irrespective” and “regardless,” should have been stamped out long ago. But it’s common enough in speech that it has found its way into all manner of print sources — e.g.: “‘The Senator’s Daughter’ shows Gotti has a promising career as a storyteller — irregardless [read ‘regardless’] of her parentage.” Oline H. Cogdill, “Family May Blur New Author’s Skill,” Sun-Sentinel (Ft. Lauderdale), 6 Apr. 1997, at D11. Although this widely scorned nonword seems unlikely to spread much more than it already has, careful users of language must continually swat it when they encounter it. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “English departments are mainly inhabited by literary people who’ve never seriously studied their own language.” James Sledd, “A Talking — For the Love of God,” in Eloquent Dissent: The Writings of James Sledd 20, 25 (Richard D. Freed ed., 1996). ====================

1 thought on “Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Miscellaneous Entries.”

  1. Dear Peiter,

    Thank you for your question. We encourage you to look up Professor Garner’s entry in Garner’s Modern American Usage under accord, accordance and according. I think you’ll find it instructive and informative.


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