Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: unleash.

unleash. “Unleash” is premised on the analogy of letting a threatening or vicious animal off a leash. But a surprising number of writers have misunderstood that and written the meaningless *”unlease” — e.g.: o “But Mr. Williams unleases [read ‘unleashes’] a fiery temper at managers who fail to make budget.” Eric N. Berg, “Suntrust’s Florida Ambitions,” N.Y. Times, 24 Nov. 1986, at D1. o “When the South Vietnamese balked, the American response was to unlease [read ‘unleash’] the B-52s for the Christmas bombing raids on Hanoi.” “Henry Kissinger: A Man for Some Seasons,” Economist, 3 Oct. 1992, at 96. o “Carl Wolter couldn’t have picked a better time to unlease [read ‘unleash’] a monstrous throw.” Robert Flexer, “Outstanding in His Field,” Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.), 13 June 1996, at N20. o “The mind can be an incredible tool with the power to unlease [read ‘unleash’] much-needed lessons on those who persecute others.” Roger Hurlburt, “‘Matilda’ a Witty Tale of Mischief,” Sun-Sentinel (Ft. Lauderdale), 2 Aug. 1996, Showtime §, at 5. Language-Change Index — *”unlease” for “unleash”: Stage 1. *Invariably inferior form. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “Those who must write well to survive will learn to write well.” Lester S. King, Why Not Say It Clearly 5 (1978).
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