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

Miscellaneous Entries. trauma, in pathology, means “a serious wound or shock to the body,” but in popular contexts it has been largely confined to figurative (emotional) senses. travel, vb., makes “traveled” and “traveling” in American English, “travelled” and “travelling” in British English. travelogue (= a lecture or film documentary about travel to a particular place) is the standard spelling. *”Travelog” is a variant. treasonable; treasonous. Ernest Gowers wrote in 1965 that of these synonymous words, “treasonous is now comparatively rare, and more likely to be met in verse” (Modern English Usage 2d ed. at 647). Modern desk dictionaries still seem to agree, listing “treasonous” only as a variant of the older word, “treasonable.” And in legal writing that remains true: “treasonable” is five times as common as “treasonous” in court decisions (although federal criminal statutes use them interchangeably). But in modern American print sources, “treasonous” has scored a coup: it’s the more common variant today by a 6-to-1 margin. trespassers will be prosecuted. This phrase, which most readers would construe as referring to criminal proceedings, usually expresses an untruth. In most states (Louisiana is a notable exception), trespass to land is ordinarily a tort — not a crime. Although the landowner can sue, the district attorney won’t prosecute. But a trespasser who causes damage, as by trampling crops or breaking windows, can be criminally prosecuted. *Invariably inferior form. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “Your own point of view is your special way of looking at things. It is a necessity. It is also unavoidable. The good writer assumes it boldly. Timid writers try to hide it and become wishy-washy.” Ernst Jacobi, Writing at Work: Dos, Don’ts, and How Tos 24 (1976).
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