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

Miscellaneous Entries. text, vb. ; texting. As a verb, “text” (= to send a text message) has sprung into favor with the popularity of instant-messaging systems — e.g.: “If you’re shopping for a new plan, analyze your calling, texting and data-download patterns.” Liz F. Kay, “Finding New Ways to Trim Your Cell Phone Expenses,” Baltimore Sun, 22 Jan. 2009, at A8. The term was familiar and filled a new need in the language, so it’s bootless to grouse about its success. textual; *textuary. As an adjective, the latter is a needless variant. thalamus (= [1] a part of the brain that relays sensory impulses; or [2] the receptacle of a flower) forms the plural “thalami.” Thanksgiving Day; Thanksgiving. Either term is acceptable for the November holiday. But “Thanksgiving Day” more clearly denotes the day itself {the family’s traditional touch-football game on Thanksgiving Day}, while “Thanksgiving” may suggest the entire holiday period {are you going home for Thanksgiving this year?}. theater; theatre. The first is the usual spelling in American English, the second in British English. The word is pronounced /THEE-uh-tuhr/, not /THEE-ay-tuhr/ or /thee-AY-tuhr/. *Invariably inferior form. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “Literary men, and the young still more than the old of this class, have commonly a good deal to rescind in their style in order to adapt it to business. But the young, if they be men of sound abilities, will soon learn what is not apt and discard it; which the old will not. The leading rule is to be content to be commonplace — a rule which might be observed with advantage in other writings, but is distinctively applicable to these.” Henry Taylor, The Statesman (1836) (as quoted in Sir Ernest Gowers, The Complete Plain Words 105 (1954; repr. 1964)).
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