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

Miscellaneous Entries. unsupportable; insupportable. Both forms are standard and have been since they were first recorded in English in the 16th century. “Unsupportable is about twice as common as “insupportable” in American print sources — e.g.: “Adding $212 a month for health insurance to food, transportation, and housing costs in this high-cost state might well prove an unsupportable burden.” Editorial, “What’s with This Health Law?” Boston Globe, 29 Dec. 2006, at A14. But “insupportable” is about six times as common as “unsupportable” in less formal use. And it also appears regularly in edited text — e.g.: “One can only admire Hood for the effort she makes in this book to describe an insupportable grief.” Julie Wittes Schlack, “Learning to Live After Losing a Child,” Boston Globe, 18 Jan. 2007, at E6. untenable; untenantable. “Untenable” means “indefensible” (figuratively) as well as “unable to be occupied.” Untenantable means “not capable of being occupied or lived in” {untenantable apartment units}. In speech, many people say “untenantable” when they mean “untenable.” until. In the phrase *”up until,” the “up” is superfluous, though it’s common in speech. Use either “until” or “up to” — e.g.: “Up until [read ‘Until’] about 30 years ago, Sisters of Mercy were the teachers; today, lay teachers dominate.” Kym Soper, “St. James School Celebrating 75th Anniversary,” Hartford Courant, 7 Aug. 1997, at 1. *until the time when is verbose for “until”: “He renounced the whole of womankind until the time when [read ‘until’] he met the sweet little daughter of the innkeeper.” Jaroslav Hasek, The Red Commissar 252 (Cecil Parrott trans., 1981). *Invariably inferior form. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ————————————— Quotation of the Day: Clear writing depends on what you do before and after the first draft. Jerome H. Perlmutter, A Practical Guide to Effective Writing 14 (1965).
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