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

Miscellaneous Entries. threnody /THREN-uh-dee/ (= a funeral song; elegy) is the usual spelling. *”Threnode” is a variant. threshold. So spelled. *”Threshhold” is a common misspelling — e.g.: “We dared to cross the threshhold [read ‘threshold’] from sophisticated, drawing-room, strangulated drollery to the wilderness where we not only faced the lion’s roar but smelled the breath of their bad habits.” Letter of Richard Harris (the actor), “A Sharp Kick from a Man Called Horse,” Sunday Times (London), 6 Aug. 1995, § 3, at 8. The word is not a compound of the verb “hold,” but rather a modern form of the Old English “thaerscwold” (“doorsill”). thrice, a literary archaism that is sometimes useful, means “three times” — e.g.: “He’s thrice-divorced and no longer the superstar of Brisbane radio.” Steven Rosen, “‘Serenade’ Offbeat Comedy with Certain Dark Elements,” Denver Post, 8 Aug. 1997, at F3. When “thrice” follows the verb — and is not, as in the previous example, part of a phrasal adjective — it sounds pretentious. E.g.: “‘He may like a hot dog,’ says Steve Tobash, golf pro at the Army-Navy Country Club, where Clinton has played thrice [read ‘three times’] since rehabilitation. ‘But if he eats a hot dog, he works it off.'” Kevin Walker, “Quips, Quotes, Quibbles & Bits,” Tampa Trib., 10 Aug. 1997, at 8. thrive / thrived / thrived. “Thrived,” not *”throve,” is now considered the better past tense — e.g.: “He released them and — with no natural predators — they throve [read ‘thrived’] in the abundant wetlands.” William J. Kole, “Muskrats’ Tunneling Imperils Dutch Dikes,” Plain Dealer (Cleveland), 28 Aug. 1997, at A4. Likewise, “thrived,” not *”thriven,” is the better past participle. Language-Change Index — “thrived” as a past form: Stage 5. *Invariably inferior form. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “Height of style is the echo of a great personality.” Longinus (as quoted in F.L. Lucas, Style 49 (1955; repr. 1962)).
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