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

Miscellaneous Entries. spumoni; spumone. The Italian term for this ice-cream dessert is "spumone" (/spyoo-MOH-nee/). Although that used to be the preferred spelling in English as well, dictionaries are now almost equally divided. In English print sources, "spumoni" appears about 35 times as often as "spumone." spurt; spirt. Most American English dictionaries list "spirt" merely as a variant of "spurt." H.W. Fowler suggested a valuable differentiation: use "spirt" in the sense "gush, jet, flow" {a spirt of blood} {oil spirts up from the ground}, and reserve "spurt" for "sprint, burst, hustle" {work done in spurts} {Bailey spurted past}. So far, however, this distinction hasn't taken hold. stabilize; *stabilify; *stabilitate. The second and third are needless variants. staff. In most senses, the plural is "staffs." But in music (as well as some archaic senses), the preferred plural is "staves" — though "staffs" occasionally appears even in musical contexts. stained glass, not *"stain glass," is the correct form — e.g.: "One of the most prominent features will be a round stain glass [read 'stained-glass'] window above the altar." Elizabeth Crooker, "It Took Seven Years, but They Finally Have Church," Union Leader (Manchester, N.H.), 21 Mar. 1997, at A5. Language-Change Index — *"stain glass" for "stained glass": Stage 1. *Invariably inferior forms. ——————– Quotation of the Day: "Good English is that form of speech which is appropriate to the purpose of the speaker, true to the language as it is, and comfortable to speaker and listener. It is the product of custom, neither cramped by rule nor freed from restraint; it is never fixed, but changes with the organic life of the language." Robert C. Pooley, "Grammar and Usage in Textbooks on English," 14 Bureau of Educational Research Bull. 155 (1933).
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