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

stratum. The plural is “strata” — which should not be used as a singular but sometimes is. E.g.: “By contrast with the atmosphere of, say, Sinclair Lewis’s ‘Main Street,’ in which an afternoon call or the purchase of a shirtwaist might occasion endless talk among every strata [read ‘stratum’] of a community, minding our own business has become a cardinal virtue.” Anna Quindlen, “The Price of Privacy,” N.Y. Times, 28 Sept. 1994, at A23. Language-Change Index — “strata” for “stratum” as a singular: Stage 2. stratus (= a type of cloud) forms the plural “strati,” not *"stratuses." strive / strove / striven. The simple past (as opposed to the past participle) seems to cause the most trouble — e.g.: “Negotiators strived [read ‘strove’] to get South African power-sharing talks back on track.” Wall Street J., 20 May 1991, at A1. Language-Change Index — *"strived" for “strove”: Stage 3. strychnine (= a poisonous alkaloid used in small doses for medicinal purposes) is so spelled — not *"strychnin." *Invariably inferior forms. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “Procrastination is the most common form of writer’s block.” Richard Marius, A Writer’s Companion 11 (1985).
Scroll to Top