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

Miscellaneous Entries. kaffeeklatsch, a German loanword meaning “a coffee-drinking group that engages in leisurely conversation,” is so spelled. “Coffee klatsch” and “coffee klatch” are variant forms. kaleidoscope. So spelled. Kazakhstan. So spelled — with the medial “-h-.” The inhabitants of this former Soviet republic are called “Kazakhs.” kebab; kabob; kebob; cabob. The first of these spellings — the one closest to the Turkish etymon — is now standard. The others are variant forms. kerchief. The plural is “kerchiefs” — not “kerchieves.” ketchup; catsup; catchup. The first spelling greatly predominates in modern usage. It has the advantages of phonetically approximating and of most closely resembling the word’s probable source, either the Cantonese “k’e chap” or the Malay “kechap,” both referring to a kind of “fish sauce.” The pronunciation is either /KECH-uhp/ or /KACH-uhp/; /KAT-suhp/ is pretentious. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. Quotation of the Day: “Too little thinking has been done about the teaching of English literature to undergraduates. In its absence, in the surrender to muddle and irresponsibility that often characterizes university Departments of English on both sides of the Atlantic, corruption creeps in.” F.W. Bateson, “English Literature in the University,” in Essays in Critical Dissent 163, 163 (1972).
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