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

Miscellaneous Entries. standby. The plural is "standbys" (not *"standbies"). stand in line; stand on line. While both phrases must be accepted as standard, "stand in line" predominates in most of American English. But the regionalism "stand on line" prevails in the New York City area and elsewhere in the Northeast, and it is heard (and read) elsewhere too often to be dismissed as a needless variant. Star-Spangled Banner. Keep the hyphen. statable. So spelled — not *"stateable." state of the art, n.; state-of-the-art, adj. These vogue words illustrate the interests of a fast-changing society with rapidly effected technological innovations {state-of-the-art products}. For the moment, they are tainted by association with salesmen's jargon. stationary; stationery. The first is the adjective (= remaining in one place, immobile), the second the noun (= writing materials, esp. paper with envelopes). *Invariably inferior forms. For information about the Language-Change Index, click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: "All strong literature is a kind of theft. Emerson cheerfully affirmed that 'the Originals were not original,' and literary originality generally has little to do with origination." Harold Bloom, Introduction to Robert W. Burchfield, Unlocking the English Language xv (1989).
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