Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: violoncello.

violoncello. “Violoncello,” not *”violincello,” is the correct spelling for the bass member of the violin family. Not surprisingly, the word is often misspelled — e.g.: o “He used a violincello [read ‘violoncello’] for the body of the female figure.” Robert L. Pincus, “Surrealist Max Ernst Just Having Fun with Sculpture,” San Diego Union-Trib., 19 July 1992, at E2. o “Edward Brewer is the keyboard artist, appearing with his wife, oboist Virginia Brewer, and Loretta O’Sullivan, playing Baroque violincello [read ‘violoncello’].” Robert Sherman, “Pulvermann Foundation in Fifth Concert Year,” N.Y. Times, 19 May 1996, § 13, at 19. o “Selections will include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mozart’s ‘Marriage of Figaro’ and Haydn’s ‘Concerto in C Major for Violincello [read ‘Violoncello’] and Orchestra.'” “Music Briefs,” Knoxville News-Sentinel, 12 May 2002, at G4. Of course, the safest approach is to use the simpler and much more recognizable “cello” instead. Language-Change Index — “violoncello” misspelled *”violincello”: Stage 1. *Invariably inferior form. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ————————————— Quotation of the Day: “War talk by men who have been in a war is always interesting; whereas moon talk by a poet who has not been in the moon is likely to be dull.” Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi 456-57 (James R. Osgood ed., 1883) (as quoted in Mark Twain: His Words, Wit, and Wisdom 215 (R. Kent Rasmussen ed., 1997)).
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