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

Miscellaneous Entries. thereabouts; *thereabout. Although any writer might be well advised to avoid either term, the former is preferred and overwhelmingly more common. thief. The plural is “thieves” — not *”thiefs.” The mistaken plural is fairly common — e.g.: “After decades of being in bed with some of the biggest thiefs [read ‘thieves’] in the world, the World Bank has announced that an internal investigation has revealed ‘alarming information’ about World Bank corruption.” “Deep Shoveling in the World Bank Cleanup,” Wash. Times, 23 July 1998, at A22. Language-Change Index — *”thiefs” for “thieves”: Stage 1. thimbleful. The plural is “thimblefuls,” not *”thimblesful.” third person should be pluralized “third persons,” never *”third people.” thrash; thresh. “Thrash” = (1) to beat soundly, flog; (2) to defeat decisively; or (3) to move or toss about violently. “Thresh,” which sometimes carries those meanings, should be restricted to the sense “to separate grain from chaff by beating.” *Invariably inferior form. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “The semicolon causes no great difficulty, for the simple reason that the idea of using it does not ordinarily occur to a person until after he has become accustomed to handling involved sentence-structure.” Louis Foley, Beneath the Crust of Words 138 (1928).
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