Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: vane.

vane. “Vane” (= a device for showing wind direction) is sometimes mistakenly made “vain” or “vein” — e.g.: o “The SPM buoy’s top deck is designed to swivel, allowing a tanker to act like a weather vain [read “vane”] and remain head-on in the wind.” L.R. Aalund, “Hawaii Offers Challenge and Opportunity to Refiner,” Oil & Gas J., 30 May 1994, at 43. o “It seems a bit incongruous to find a store carrying Royall Bayrhum all purpose lotion, wind chimes, chess sets, patio grills, bocci balls, cupolas, weather veins [read “vanes”], and bird houses under the same roof with delicate crystal.” Rod King, “Not Your Ordinary Giftshop,” Bus. People Mag., Nov. 1994, at 28. Language-Change Index — “vain” or “vein” misused for “vane”: Stage 1. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “While we may oppose changes that we feel to be harmful we should recognize when an innovation has become firmly established and it has become pointless to oppose it.” Sidney Greenbaum, Good English and the Grammarian ix (1988).
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