Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: regiment.

regiment. “Regiment” (= a military unit made up of several battalions) is coming to be misused for “regimen” (= a systematic plan designed to improve health, skills, etc.) — e.g.: o “Wealthy people plagued with weak nerves and ‘auto-intoxication’ flocked to the San, as it was known, from all over the world to undergo a strict regiment [read ‘regimen’] of sinusoidal baths, Vibrotherapy, laughing exercises and five enemas a day.” Laurie Muchnick, “In Battle Creek, Not All Flakes Were Made of Corn,” Miami Herald, 6 June 1993, at I3. o “No one wants to return to a strict regiment [read ‘regimen’] of dreary alphabet drills.” Mike Berry, “Whole-Language Dives into Words,” Orlando Sentinel, 9 Apr. 1995, at K1. o “As he heads toward his 58th birthday on May 13, Dill is playing some of the best golf of his career, thanks to better equipment, a strict training regiment [read ‘regimen’] and a successful diet.” Raul Dominguez Jr., “Thanks to a Fresh Start, This Dill’s Not in a Pickle,” San Antonio Express-News, 26 Mar. 1997, at D3. Language-Change Index — “regiment” misused for “regimen”: Stage 1. ——————- Quotation of the Day: “Slang has, in many cases, a pith and pungency which make it not only pardonable, but tolerable. It often expresses a feeling, if not a thought, of the passing day, which could not be so forcibly expressed — for the day — in any other phraseology.” Richard Grant White, Every-Day English 484 (1880).
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