Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: tend.

“Tend” = (1) to be predisposed to [something]; or (2) to look after or care for. Sense 2 is a Middle English shortening of “attend.” It is sometimes wrongly made “tender,” more commonly in British English than in American English — e.g.: o “She witnessed Neilson fall repeatedly into her carefully tendered [read ‘tended’] flower beds.” “Savage Deeds in the Garden,” Evening Post, 22 June 1998, TV §, at 15. o “Their plants, lovingly and carefully tendered [read ‘tended’], are their pride and joy.” Danielle Gusmaroli, “‘Gardeners’ Dig In for Flower Pot Fight,” Evening Standard, 12 Feb. 2001, at 9. o “Kevin, a black teenager in South Africa, proudly shows off his well tendered [read ‘-tended’] garden and a small hut which he calls home.” Hardev Kaur, “Blacks Continue to Live in Poverty,” New Straits Times, 23 May 2001, at 10. Language-Change Index — *”well-tendered garden” for “well-tended garden”: Stage 1. *Invariably inferior form. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “If paragraphs come in their natural order, you will easily make them follow one another smoothly. Your handling of the subject will show you how to smooth the transition from one paragraph to the next.” Eric Partridge, English: A Course for Human Beings 147-48 (1949).
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