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

Miscellaneous Entries. registrant /REJ-i-struhnt/ does not rhyme, in the final syllable, with “restaurant.” Yet somehow, within the influential Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C., the pervasive pronunciation is /REJ-i-stront/, with a moderately strong final syllable. regulable (/REG-yuh-luh-buhl/) = able to be regulated; susceptible to regulation. “Regulatable,”* though incorrect, does occur — e.g.: “Where the highway leads is cloudy, but the traffic keeps growing and does not seem to be readily regulatable [read ‘regulable’].” Walter Goodman, “At Age 9, Light-Years Ahead,” N.Y. Times, 13 Apr. 1995, at C16. (The sentence would sound better if “readily” were changed to “easily.”) Language-Change Index — “regulatable”* for “regulable”: Stage 1. regularly; routinely. These are nearly synonymous, but “regularly” implies a more orderly sequence at predictable intervals {Karl regularly eats cereal for breakfast} {Gillian routinely checks her car’s oil and tires before taking a trip out of town}. *Invariably inferior forms. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “Even a thoroughly ‘disadvantaged’ language is too complex for the most sophisticated linguists today to understand in its entirety. There are no such things as ‘primitive’ languages.” Ronald Wardhaugh, Proper English: Myths and Misunderstandings About Language 165 (1999).
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