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

subsistence is occasionally misspelled *”subsistance” — e.g.: “Fuller rightly observes that the causes of Third World deforestation are complex, varied and largely attributable to the subsistance [read ‘subsistence’] needs of local people.” Ted Ferrioli, “Maybe if We Called Loggers ‘Rural Natives’ It Would Help,” Oregonian (Portland), 28 June 1996, at C7. substantiate. So spelled — not *”substantuate.” subterfuge is pronounced /SUHB-tuhr-fyooj/, not /-fyoozh/. subtle; *subtile. The latter is an archaic and needless variant. subtly. So spelled, not *”subtlely” — e.g.: “The disparity can give retail brokers an incentive to subtlely [read ‘subtly’] dissuade a customer from selling IPO shares right after an offering.” Kathleen Day, “NASD to Toughen Penalties,” Wash. Post, 29 July 2002, at A8. *Invariably inferior forms. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “A great writer has to be capable of knowing the rot, and he has to be able to strip it down to the stink, but he also has to love that rot. A writer has to have a tough mind, the toughest mind of his time. And he has to have a great heart.” Norman Mailer (as quoted in Harvey Breit, The Writer Observed 201 (1956)).
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