Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: staunch; stanch.

staunch; stanch. "Staunch" is preferable as the adjective ("trustworthy, loyal"), "stanch" as the verb ("to restrain the flow of [usu. blood]"). But in practice the adjective is sometimes undesirably used as a verb — e.g.: o "Until now, his most notable move was staunching [read 'stanching'] the flow of red ink by closing New York Newsday in 1995." Mark Jurkowitz, "Shakeups May Signal Sea Change for Press," Boston Globe, 10 Oct. 1997, at C1. o "Selman stumbled off to try and staunch [read 'stanch'] the flow from a severed artery while Outlaw staggered into Utah Street and collapsed." J. Lee Butts, Texas Bad Girls 32 (2001). o "He did not know what he felt as he saw Snape's white face, and the fingers trying to staunch [read 'stanch'] the bloody wound at his neck." J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 657 (1st Am. ed., 2007). As the last example might suggest, this verbal use of "staunch" is far more common in British English than in American English. But here it survived the book's editing for the American market. Language-Change Index — "staunching the flow" for "stanching the flow": Stage 2. ——————– Quotation of the Day: "In reality the idea of the captive reader is a myth. It is a myth because readers, like all people everywhere, yearn for freedom and rebel against captivity. They do this by taking revenge and tuning out, by failing to get the writer's message." Ernst Jacobi, Writing at Work: Dos, Don'ts, and How Tos 11 (1976).
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