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

Miscellaneous Entries. save and except is a fairly common but unjustifiable redundancy — e.g.: “LifeCo is ‘basically prepared to go forward with obtaining a final judgment of foreclosure save and except for the fact [read ‘except’]’ that it does not yet have a complete list of tenants renting space in the garage.” Alex Finkelstein, “LifeCo, Insurer Continue to Dog Juarez,” Orlando Bus. J., 8 July 1994, § 1, at 7. (Granted, the journalist was merely quoting the company.) Worse yet is the collapsed phrase *”save except,” a gross solecism — e.g.: “There are leagues for bowlers of all ages, save except [read ‘except’] infants and toddlers.” Rachel Gordon, “When the Hour Is Late and You’re Still on a Roll,” S.F. Examiner, 26 Mar. 1994, at A5. saving(s). In formal prose, write “a saving of $100,” not *”a savings of $100.” Technically, “savings” is a plural, not a singular. Yet the phrase “a savings” occurs so frequently in modern usage that to label it an error would be futile. As an adjective in the phrases “savings bank,” “savings account,” and the like, the plural form is unimpeachable. scalawag; *scallywag; *scallawag. For this Americanism, meaning “a scruffy, disreputable person,” the first is the standard spelling. Though the word predates the American Civil War, it was popularized during Reconstruction to denote white Southerners who cooperated with freedmen and carpetbaggers to control state and local governments. It still retains this limited sense in historical writing. *Invariably inferior forms. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “The writer who possesses the creative gift owns something of which he is not always master — something that, at times, strangely wills and works for itself.” Charlotte Brontë, Editor’s preface to Wuthering Heights (as quoted in The Writer on His Art 263 (Walter Allen ed., 1949)).
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