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

Miscellaneous Entries. underlay, n.; underlayment. The first, denoting material placed under a structure, as for support, is much older (14th century) than the second (1949). But today, “underlayment” is the more common name for the building substance. undersigned, n. Eric Partridge said that this attributive noun {the undersigned agrees to the following terms and conditions} is “permissible in law; affected or tediously jocular elsewhere” (Usage and Abusage at 340). But even in law it’s a silly way of avoiding the first person. *undoubtably is an archaic nonword equivalent to the standard “undoubtedly” or “indubitably.” E.g.: “As quarterback Damian Poalucci begins his final campaign against New Haven Saturday, he’s also starting a season where he will undoubtably [read ‘undoubtedly’] be the Warriors’ most-watched player — by opponents and fans alike.” Jeff Schuler, “Poalucci Has Gaudy Numbers to Live Up To,” Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.), 12 Sept. 1997, at S9. Language-Change Index — *”undoubtably” for “undoubtedly”: Stage 2. unearned income, to one unskilled in accounting, may seem like an oxymoron. The term refers to income derived from investments as opposed to wages. *Invariably inferior form. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “The dictionary invites a playful reading. It challenges anyone to sit down with it in an idle moment only to find an hour gone by without being bored.” Mortimer Adler, “How To Read a Dictionary” (1941), in Weigh the Word 189, 189 (Charles B. Jennings et al. eds., 1957).
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