Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: uncharted.

uncharted. “Uncharted” (= unmapped), as in “uncharted territory,” is often wrongly written “unchartered” — e.g.: o “He believes this latest frontier in communications is an unchartered [read ‘uncharted’] territory bound to attract Wild West-type outlaws.” Stephen Rodrick, “Cyberstoned,” Star Trib. (Minneapolis), 22 May 1995, at A10. o “This was not the Africa of Tarzan lore, my friend. Rather, it was unchartered [read ‘uncharted’] territory, a presentation of a dignified Africa.” Rhonda Chriss Lokeman, “From Africa, with Love,” Kansas City Star, 20 June 1995, at B7. o “Finding a sports game plan for our city is unchartered [read ‘uncharted’] territory.” Tom Shatel, “Omaha Needs Commission,” Omaha World-Herald, 2 July 1995, at C1. An airplane might be “unchartered” if it had no scheduled flights. But unknown territory is “uncharted,” not “unchartered.” Language-Change Index — “unchartered” misused for “uncharted”: Stage 1. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “Fundamentally, it is good manners to take whatever measures are needed to see that the other fellow gets your point without unnecessary trouble. Remember that the reader uses a good bit of energy just in mechanically following your text.” Gorham Munson, The Written Word 38 (rev. ed. 1949).
Scroll to Top