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

Miscellaneous Entries. Smithsonian Institution. This is the name — not *"Smithsonian Institute." smoky, adj., is so spelled — not *"smokey." But the lovable mascot's name is "Smokey Bear." smolder (= to burn slowly without flame) is the standard spelling. "Smoulder" is a chiefly British English variant. sodomite; *sodomist. The first outnumbers the second by a 4-to-1 ratio in modern print sources, so that *"sodomist" might be fairly classified as a needless variant. Of course, either term is objectionable as an excessively hidebound and moralistic pejorative for "homosexual" or "one who engages in sodomy." For "an inhabitant of Sodom," the word is capitalized. sodomy. This ambiguous term can include almost any kind of "unnatural" sex, though it is most often confined to bestiality and anal intercourse. "Sodomy" was not a traditional common-law offense, though an early statute criminalizing it became a part of the common law of many American jurisdictions. Most of those statutes have been repealed in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Lawrence v. Texas (2003). *Invariably inferior forms. For information about the Language-Change Index, click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: "The effective title tells what the paper is about and stimulates the reader’s interest. One method for improving one's titles is to analyze those in popular magazines. Any representative list of fifty titles will show that writers and editors have built them around patterns of alliteration, quotation, paraphrase, and questions." Kenneth S. Rothwell, Questions of Rhetoric and Usage 29 (1971).
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