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

Miscellaneous Entries. sex, adj.; sexual. Both “sex discrimination” and “sexual discrimination” are widely used. The former is perhaps better, since “sexual” has come to refer more to sexual intercourse and things pertaining to it. Thus “sexual” is becoming rare in contexts not involving intercourse or the drive to engage in it. Today, “sexual education” seems to suggest something rather different from “sex education” — e.g.: “Family planning officials at MexFam said they hope that this legislation will improve the quality of sexual education [read ‘sex education’] and promote the use of condoms.” Abigail Davis, “Value of Safe Sex Stressed in Mexico,” Dallas Morning News, 30 July 1993, at A22. Shakespeare; *Shakspere; *Shakespere; *Shakspeare; *Shakespear. Although each of these variations has appeared at one time or another in scholarly writing, “Shakespeare” is the standard spelling. Shakespearean; Shakespearian. The first spelling is standard American English, the second a primarily British English variant. On the merits, “Shakespearean” is preferable because it preserves the final vowel in the great bard’s name. shamable. So spelled — not “shameable.” shapable. So spelled — not “shapeable.” sharable. So spelled — not “shareable.” *Invariably inferior forms. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “Nearly all the great scientists have been perfect writers. Necessarily theirs is a visual imagination. They describe what is seen or will be seen; hence their speech produces images.” Remy de Gourmont (1858-1915), “Form and Substance,” in The Foundations of English Style 44, 45 (Paul M. Fulcher ed., 1927).
Scroll to Top