Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: used to (1).

used to (1). Today: Generally. “Used to,” not *”use to,” is the phrase meaning “formerly” — e.g.: o “For those who don’t know, Dagmar was a very big blond, what we use to [read ‘used to’] call in those days ‘well-endowed.'” Nick Clooney, “Hanging Out with Rosie on Early TV,” Cincinnati Post, 8 Jan. 2003, at B10. (Note that “in those days” produces a redundancy; changing “used to call” to “called” would eliminate it.) o “Pilot was what we use to [read ‘used to’] call copperhead snakes.” Billy Westbrook, “Think, and You Can Link Corn to Just About Anything,” Herald (Rock Hill, S.C.), 19 Jan. 2003, Special §, at 3. Next: “didn’t used to”; *”didn’t use to.” For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “Discarding portions of a manuscript is an act of renunciation that may cause the inexperienced writer great anguish. But it is a sacrifice on a worthwhile altar — the altar of organic unity.” Lester S. King, Why Not Say It Clearly 107 (1978).
Scroll to Top