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

Miscellaneous Entries. rebus (= [1] a representation of a word or phrase by pictures or symbols, such as a drawing of an eye for “I”; or [2] a riddle using these pictures or symbols) forms the plural “rebuses,” not *”rebi.” rebut; refute. “Rebut” means “to attempt to refute.” “Refute” means “to defeat (an opponent’s arguments).” Thus one who rebuts certainly hopes to refute; it is immodest to assume, however, that one has refuted another’s arguments. “Rebut” is sometimes wrongly written *”rebutt.” receivables (= debts owed to a business and regarded as assets) began in the mid-19th century as an Americanism but is now current in British English as well. It is the antonym of “payables.” recension (= the revision of a text) is not to be confused with “rescission” (= the repeal or annulment of a law or an agreement). recidivist, n. & adj.; recidivous; *recidivistic. Although “recidivist” can be both a noun (meaning “a habitual criminal”) and an adjective (meaning “habitually criminal”), “recidivous” is the preferred adjective. *”Recidivistic” is a needless variant. *Invariably inferior forms. ——————- Quotation of the Day: “A writer who should undertake to use no word which he did not define precisely would be in danger of communicating to his reader nothing but definitions.” Adams Sherman Hill, The Principles of Rhetoric 96 (rev. ed. 1896).
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