Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: sacrilegious.

sacrilegious. “Sacrilegious” (= violative of something sacred; profane) is so spelled. *”Sacreligious,” under the influence of “religious,” is a common misspelling — e.g.: “An appointment book, yes, a desk, no. It’s sacreligious [read ‘sacrilegious’].” Nathan Cobb, “Drawers of Our Lives,” Boston Globe, 27 Aug. 1995, Mag. §, at 9. Still another misspelling is *”sacriligious” — e.g.: “‘O Holy Night,’ with ukulele accompaniment, borders on the sacriligious [read ‘sacrilegious’].” Jay Orr, “Merry Christmas BABY!” Nashville Banner, 5 Dec. 1996, at C16. The correct spelling can be remembered easily with either of two mnemonic devices: (1) recall the noun “sacrilege” (similar to “privilege”); (2) reverse the first two vowels of “religious.” The preferred pronunciation today is /sak-ri-LiJ-uhs/, which has displaced /sak-ri-LEE-juhs/. Language-Change Index — “sacrilegious” misspelled *”sacreligious”: Stage 1. *Invariably inferior forms. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “Think of technique when you rise and when you go to bed. Forget purposes in the meanwhile; get to love technical processes; to glory in technical successes; get to see the world entirely through technical spectacles, to see it entirely in terms of what you can do. Then when you have anything to say, the language will be apt and copious.” Robert Louis Stevenson, Learning to Write 78 (1888; repr. 1920).
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