Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: via.

via. “Via” = (1) by way of (a place); passing through {they flew to Amarillo via Dallas}; or (2) by means of, through the agency of {we sent the letter via fax}. Sense 2, a casualism, is questionable whenever a simple preposition would suffice. Ernest Gowers called it a vulgarism in Modern English Usage (2d ed.), and Wilson Follett (Modern American Usage) and Theodore Bernstein (The Careful Writer) concur. But like it or not — and there’s no longer any reason not to like it — “via” is now standard in sense 2. It has come to supplant “through” whenever the latter word doesn’t feel quite right — e.g.: o “Tickets for the Knicks’ two preseason games at Madison Square Garden go on sale at noon Thursday at the Garden box office and via Ticketmaster.” Dave D’Alessandro, “Camp Nellie Offers Softer Touch,” Asbury Park Press (Neptune, N.J.), 27 Sept. 1995, at C4. o “The archives prove that tens of thousands of Nazis and their collaborators arrived via the ‘Rat Line,’ an organization that helped wanted war criminals out of Europe and into South America.” Jack Epstein, “Searching for South America’s Nazi Gold,” Houston Chron., 20 Apr. 1997, at A23. o “From its one store in Carytown, his company has sold furniture to customers throughout the country via its World Wide Web site.” Betty Joyce Nash, “Doing Battle,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, 1 Oct. 1997, at 3. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ————————————— Quotation of the Day: If you were to ask me what a writers ambition should be, I would answer with a formula: to trade a hundred contemporary readers for ten readers in ten years and for one reader in a hundred years. Arthur Koestler (as quoted in Harvey Breit, The Writer Observed 184 (1956)).
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