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

Miscellaneous Entries. shelf. The plural is "shelves." shellac, n. & vb., is the standard spelling. *"Shellack" is a variant. But the proper inflections for the verb are "shellacked" and "shellacking." sherbet /SHUHR-buht/ is commonly mispronounced with an intrusive “-r-“: /SHUHR-buhrt/. Because of this mispronunciation, the word is sometimes wrongly spelled *”sherbert.” Language-Change Index — (1) "sherbet" mispronounced /SHUHR-buhrt/: Stage 3; (2) "sherbet" misspelled *"sherbert": Stage 2. shivaree; *chivaree; *charivari; *charivaree. It’s not customary now for friends and family to serenade a wedding couple with a boisterous clanging of kettles and blowing of horns. But when it does happen, the standard term for it is "shivaree" (from the original French "charivari"). The others are variant forms. shortcut / shortcut / shortcut. So inflected. The erroneous past-tense and past-participial *"shortcutted" sometimes appears — e.g.: "Calyx and Corolla short-cutted [read ‘shortcut’] the route by contracting a network of growers." "Flower Catalog Cuts Middleman," Milwaukee J. Sentinel, 14 Jan. 1996, at 12. Language-Change Index — *"shortcutted" for the past tense "shortcut": Stage 1. *Invariably inferior forms. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “Courses requiring students of English to take a serious look at how the English language works or at matters of usage — as opposed to style — will almost certainly be conspicuously absent from [college] departmental offerings.” Ronald Wardhaugh, Proper English: Myths and Misunderstandings About Language 170 (1999).
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