Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Miscellaneous Entries

 supplement, n.; complement, n. A “supplement” is simply something added {a dietary supplement}. A “complement” is a wholly adequate supplement; it’s something added to complete or perfect a whole {that scarf is a perfect complement to your outfit}. supplementary; supplemental; suppletory; *suppletive. “Supplementary” is the ordinary word. The other forms have the same meaning, namely, “of the nature of, forming, or serving as a remedy for the deficiencies of something.” Outside the law — which uses special phrases such as “supplemental pleading” and “suppletory oath” — the terms “supplemental,” “suppletory,” and *”suppletive” are needless variants. supposedly (= as is assumed to be true; presumably) is the proper adverb corresponding to “supposed” — not *"supposably" (which, properly, means something like “arguably”). The form *"supposably" is becoming quite common in speech, but fortunately it’s still rare in print. supposition; supposal; *suppose, n. “Supposition” is the ordinary word; the others are needless variants. But “supposal” is sometimes used by logicians. *Invariably inferior forms. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “Anyone who waits to be struck with a good idea has a long wait coming. If I have a deadline for a column or a television script, I sit down at the typewriter and damn well decide to have an idea. There’s nothing magical about the process, no flashing lights. Creativity is a byproduct of hard work.” Andy Rooney, Pieces of My Mind vii-viii (1984).
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