Miscellaneous Entries. umpteenth is sometimes misspelled *”umteenth” — e.g.: “A House subcommittee is at work on Virginia’s umteenth [read umpteenth] study of campaign-finance reform.” “Campaign-Finance Reform: Mandate Disclosure,” Virginian-Pilot & Ledger Star (Norfolk), 8 Aug. 1996, at A18. unalterable; *inalterable. The latter is a needless variant. unanimous appears in various redundant phrases, such as *”unanimously of one opinion,” *”entirely unanimous,” and *”completely unanimous.” uncommunicative; *incommunicative. The latter is a needless variant. uncomparable; incomparable. “Uncomparable” = not subject to comparison {apples and oranges are uncomparable}. “Incomparable” = so good or so heightened as to be beyond comparison {her incomparable artistry}. The words are pronounced /uhn-KOM-puhr-uh-buhl/ and /in-KOM-puhr-uh-buhl/. unconscionably (= unreasonably, unscrupulously, outrageously) is sometimes misused for “unconsciously” or “unselfconsciously” — e.g.: “Educated speakers who unconscionably [read ‘unconsciously’ or ‘unselfconsciously’] say ‘It is me’ generally shy away from ‘It is him,’ ‘It is her,’ ‘It is us,’ and the like.” Norman Lewis, Better English 186 (rev. ed. 1961) (in which the author argues that “It is me” is “established, acceptable English”). Language-Change Index — “unconscionably” misused for “unconsciously”: Stage 1. *Invariably inferior form. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “There should be no period or comma, colon or semicolon, that does not do something that needs to be done; and no point that is needed should be omitted. There you have punctuation on a pen-point, so to speak.” Edward N. Teall, Putting Words to Work 8 (1940).
Scroll to Top