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

Miscellaneous Entries. uprighteous is a portmanteau word, a combination of “upright” and “righteous” — e.g.: “You may recall the uproar over Atlanta pitcher John Rocker and his lowly opinions of New York City and its inhabitants. It was hardly an original view, but he said it to a magazine reporter, and the uprighteous sky fell on him.” Blackie Sherrod, “Athletes Can Swallow Their Feet,” Dallas Morning News, 3 May 2001, at A19. Few dictionaries recognize it, but Webster’s Second International records it as an adjective and Webster’s Third as an adverb (“uprighteously”). It’s fairly rare today. upstairs, adj., as in “upstairs bedroom,” is sometimes wrongly made either *”upstair” or *”upstair’s.” The false possessive is the more grievous error — e.g.: “Within hours of her move there, the third fire broke out in an upstair’s [read upstairs] bedroom, authorities said.” Colin Poitras, “Prosecution Rests in Arson Case,” Hartford Courant, 19 July 1996, at B3. Language-Change Index: *”upstair’s bedroom” for “upstairs bedroom”: Stage 1. up-to-date should be hyphenated as an adjective, unhyphenated as an adverb. Hence, “Once the log is brought up to date, we will have an up-to-date log.” up to now is a comfortably idiomatic equivalent of “heretofore” and “hitherto.” E.g.: “So why did Gaffney, up to now a staunch supporter of the deal and a close ally of the governor, create what is likely to be three months of political pandemonium?” Rick Brand, “Gaffney’s Move Creates Fallout for Pataki,” Newsday (N.Y.), 21 Aug. 1997, at A38. *Invariably inferior form. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ————————————— Quotation of the Day: The field of language is strewn with the dry bones of adventurous words which once started out with the paternal blessing to make their fortune, but which have met with an untimely end and serve only, when collected, to fill the shelves of a lexicographical museum. Eric Partridge, Usage and Abusage: A Guide to Good English 114 (1942).
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