Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: unaware; unawares.

unaware; unawares. Properly, “unaware” is the adjective {I am unaware of that book} and “unawares” the adverb {the rainstorm caught us unawares}. Thus, *”taken unaware” and *”caught unaware” are mistakes for the set phrases “taken unawares” and “caught unawares” — e.g.: o “And Denver was taken unaware [read ‘unawares’] when huge telephone boxes began appearing curbside in residential neighborhoods.” Joanne Ditmer, “Churches Define Sense of Place,” Denver Post, 13 July 1997, at E2. o “Reportedly, he has had the ailments for months but the Flyers were caught unaware [read ‘unawares’].” Nancy L. Marrapese, “Burning Ambition,” Boston Globe, 28 Sept. 1997, at E13. Language-Change Index — (1) *”taken unaware” for “taken unawares”: Stage 4; (2) *”caught unaware” for “caught unawares”: Stage 4. *Invariably inferior form. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “Neither can his mind be thought to be in tune, whose words doe jarre; nor his reason in frame, whose sentence is preposterous.” Ben Jonson, Timber, or Discoveries (1641), in Classics in Composition 43, 58 (Donald E. Hayden ed., 1969).
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