Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: rite of passage; rite de passage.

rite of passage; rite de passage. Because the English expression is synonymous with (and more recognizable than) the French one, the latter should be considered an unnecessary gallicism. Occasionally, “rite” is misspelled “right” in this phrase — e.g.: o “Many consider drinking a normal right-of-passage [read ‘rite of passage’] for college students and complain about police barging into bars, forcing them to present proof of age.” James Thorne, “Chapel Hill Fights Heavy Drinking Image,” News & Record (Greensboro), 24 Aug. 1995, at B1. o “This all contradicts what we thought was a hard-earned right of passage [read ‘rite of passage’], an acceptable consequence of aging: that with the years, the childbirths and the accumulating responsibilities came the privilege of carrying a few extra pounds free of guilt or worry that it would be our undoing.” “We Can Hardly Weight,” Fresno Bee, 13 Oct. 1995, at B4. o “The circumcision was identified as a right of passage [read ‘rite of passage’] from girlhood to womanhood, representing cleanliness, chastity and purity.” Letter of Barbara Johnson, “Circumcision,” Indianapolis Star, 14 Oct. 1995, at A11. Language-Change Index — “right of passage” misused for “rite of passage”: Stage 1. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “Remain faithful to your subject and construction, making everything follow the one and fit the other, and you will be surprised at the ease, speed, and clarity that you attain. All the thick connective tissue — or clanking chains, rather (‘as regards,’ ‘as far as . . . is concerned,’ ‘in relation to,’ and the like) — will automatically fall away; associated ideas will be next to next; and your thought will be accessible to the reader who, by definition, is always on the run.” Jacques Barzun & Henry F. Graff, “Clear Sentences: Right Emphasis and Right Rhythm” (1957), in Perspectives on Style 3, 15 (Frederick Candelaria ed., 1968).
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