Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: remorselessly.

remorselessly. Part A: And “unremorsefully.” These two terms are essentially equivalent. “Remorselessly” is far more common and somewhat more pejorative. Part B: Mistakenly Made *”remorsely.” Although “remorsely”* isn’t recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary or other dictionaries, some writers have taken to using it — apparently as a contracted form of “remorselessly.” E.g.: o “Ever since then, the belt stars have been slowly but remorsely [read ‘remorselessly’] rising in the sky.” Graham Hancock, “Riddle of Sphinx Lies in the Stars,” Daily Mail, 5 Apr. 1995, at 42. o “The Ivanhoe Theatre is dominated by a large, faceless clock, suspended in the rear of the stage above the actors and ticking away remorsely [read ‘remorselessly’] as Dr. Faustus, after spending 24 years in the pursuit of power and pleasure, nears the hour of his damnation.” Richard Christiansen, “Stage Tricks Can’t Spare Ivanhoe’s Doomed ‘Faustus,'” Chicago Trib., 20 July 1995, at 26. The error is more common in British English than in American English. Language-Change Index — “remorsely”* for “remorselessly”: Stage 1. *Invariably inferior forms. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “I do not know why a man who writes books should regard himself as a better man than one who makes butter. Far less do I know why the man who makes butter should consent to believe that he is less worthy than the man who makes books.” St. J.G. Ervine, “The Author and His Readers,” in English Essays of Today 52, 53 (1936).
Scroll to Top