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

Miscellaneous Entries. triumphant; triumphal. People are “triumphant” (= celebrating a triumph), but events and actions are “triumphal” (= of, relating to, or constituting a triumph). triumvir (= one of three officers forming an administrative or rulemaking group, which is called a “triumvirate”) forms the plural “triumvirs” or (less good) *”triumviri.” The word is pronounced /tri-UHM-vuhr/. trolley (= a wheeled carriage) is the standard spelling. *”Trolly” is a variant. try and is, in American English, a casualism for “try to” — e.g.: “Mr. Kemp, who seemed intent on slowing his normally rapid speaking pace, accused the Administration of ‘demagoguery’ in using ‘fear’ to try and [read ‘try to’] panic older voters with charges that Republicans endanger the health of the Medicare program.” Francis X. Clines, “Candidates Stick to the Issues, Not Ducking the Touchy Ones,” N.Y. Times, 10 Oct. 1996, at A15. In BrE, however, “try and” is a standard idiom. Language-Change Index — “try and” for “try to”: Stage 4. T-shirt; t-shirt; tee shirt; *tee-shirt; *T shirt. Although most writers prefer “T-shirt,” “tee shirt” is common and “t-shirt” acceptable (though it’s not recorded in most dictionaries). But the hyphenated *”tee-shirt” is so rare that it is properly labeled a needless variant. Forbes seems to be the only prominent publication that consistently uses the unhyphenated form *”T shirt” — e.g.: “A charter airline called Hooters Air, owned by the restaurant chain known for its curvy waitresses in tight T shirts and hot pants, will take off by midyear — featuring flight attendants garbed in clingy warm-up suits.” Aliya Sternstein, “Unfasten Your Seat Belts,” Forbes, 17 Feb. 2003, at 52. *Invariably inferior form. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “Our English tongue hath of late ages intertained so great a number of forraign words, that every age it seemeth to swerve more and more from what it was originally.” Edward Phillips, Preface, The New World of English Words n.p. (1658).
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