Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day
Part A: Vehicular homicide. “Vehicular” (/vee-HiK-yuh-luhr/), an adjective dating from about 1900, is not objectionable per se. Several states have “vehicular-homicide statutes,” in which there is no ready substitute for “vehicular.”
Part B: Vehicular accident.
The phrase is pompous police jargon for “traffic accident,” “car accident,” or (in British English) “motoring accident.”
Part C: *Vehicular unit.
The phrase is especially absurd for “car”: “The declaration sheet seeks to provide separate coverages for uninsured motorists on three vehicular units.” If “cars” or “automobiles” were too specific, then “vehicles” would suffice.
*Invariably inferior form.
For information about the Language-Change Index click here
Quotation of the Day:
“There can be no question that some words are splendid sounds, apart from everything else. Indeed, sound is never out of the question when either the quality of a single word is being considered, or the quality of several words as associated in a sentence.” Henry Bett, Some Secrets of Style 213-14 (1932).