Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Miscellaneous Entries

susceptible — properly sounded /suh-SEP-tuh-buhl/ — is sometimes mispronounced, even by educated speakers, /suhk-SEP-tuh-buhl/. suspendable; *suspendible. The latter is a needless variant. Though *"suspendible" is the only form listed in Webster’s Third New International Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary, “suspendable” is eight times as common. swab (= [1] a mop; or [2] a cotton wad or cloth used for cleaning) is the standard spelling. *"Swob" is a variant. swale (= a depression in the land) is sometimes misspelled *"swail" — e.g.: “Mickelson . . . played it safe at 13 and banked his tee shot off the right fringe. ‘It caught the right swail [read “swale”] and caught the bottom of the cup,’ Mickelson said.” Melanie Hauser, “TPC Leaves Players Amazed at High Scores,” Houston Post, 25 Mar. 1995, at B5. Language-Change Index — “swale” misspelled *"swail": Stage 1. swap (= to exchange) is the standard spelling. *"Swop" is a variant. *Invariably inferior forms. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “No one cares whether you read fast or slow, well or ill, but as soon as you put pen to paper, somebody may be puzzled, angry, bored, or ecstatic; and if the occasion permits, your reader is almost sure to exclaim about the schools not doing their duty.” Jacques Barzun, How to Write and Be Read, Contexts for Composition 184 (1969).
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