Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: *various of (the).

*various of (the). This phrasing has traditionally been disapproved because “various” shifts from being used as an adjective to a pronoun. Although the phrasing is roughly analogous to “several of” or “many of,” it cannot be considered good usage. Some improvement, including “various” alone, is always available — e.g.: o “Even the most casual of swing band followers 50 years ago knew various of the [read ‘the various’] soloists in their favorite band.” Philip Elwood, “A Standout Among Pianists in Swing Era,” S.F. Examiner, 13 Jan. 1995, at D7. o “Both liberals and conservatives will take issue with various of [read ‘some of’] Morris’s opinions.” Jim Naughton, “‘American Catholic’ a Rare Work,” Rocky Mountain News (Denver), 3 Aug. 1997, at E3. o “Consider premarital sex, extramarital sex, birth control, abortion, homosexuality, and the ordination of women as clergy. Various of [read ‘Some or all of’] these will cause the leaders of most any church to make pronouncements appropriate for another century.” Geneva Overholser, “Morals and Sexuality,” Chicago Trib, 26 July 2000, at 17. o “During the sequence, Gibson threatens to go the ‘Tootsie’ route, applying and trying on various of the [read ‘various’] female products, from mascara to panty hose.” Dan Craft, “What Audiences Want from Mel,” Pantagraph (Bloomington, Ill.), 21 Dec. 2000, at G2. *Invariably inferior form. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “Criticism, I think, does not always have to evaluate. To make pronouncements of good and bad, of success or failure, is a subsidiary, perhaps even a luxurious, part of criticism. The main job of criticism is to elucidate a way of seeing and thinking, possibly a way of feeling, out of which sometimes it is possible to make intelligent judgments.” Harvey Breit, The Writer Observed 21 (1956).
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