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

Miscellaneous Entries. salvage, n. ; selvage. “Salvage” = (1) the rescue of property (as at sea or from fire); or (2) the discovery and extraction of something valuable or useful from rubbish. “Selvage” = the edging of cloth. sanguine, in the sense “optimistic, confident,” is sometimes confounded with “sanguinary” (= [1] involving bloodshed; or [2] bloodthirsty) — e.g.: “Unfortunately, not all the members of the administration’s environmental team appear to share the sanguinary [read ‘sanguine’] views of Hunt and Howes on the future of clean water.” “Water Quality Advancing to the Rear,” Herald-Sun (Durham, N.C.), 3 Jan. 1996, at A10. Language-Change Index — “sanguinary” misused for “sanguine”: Stage 1. sanitary; sanative; *sanatory. “Sanitary” = of or relating to health or, more usu., cleanliness {sanitary surgical tools}. “Sanative” = health-producing; healthful {sanative treatments}. *"Sanatory" is a needless variant. sans serif; *sans-serif; *sanserif. The first is the standard spelling; the others are variant forms. It’s pronounced /san-SER-if/, not /-suh-REEF/. Saudi; *Saudi Arabian. For a citizen of Saudi Arabia, the first is the standard term; the second is a needless variant. By contrast, “Arab” denotes not citizenship but race. savanna(h). “Savanna” (= a grazing plain in the subtropics) is the standard spelling in American English, “savannah” in British English. But the city and the river in Georgia are spelled “Savannah.” *Invariably inferior forms. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “For every way of driving straight to a goal, jargon discovers a dozen ways of beating around the bush — for whatever reason: self-importance, obfuscation, ineptitude.” Dwight Bolinger, Language: The Loaded Weapon 132 (1980).
Scroll to Top