Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: waist; waste.

waist; waste. Substituting “waste” for “waist” is most often a pun — e.g.: “County Is Waste-Deep in Reduction/Recycling Assistance” (headline), Tampa Trib., 9 Nov. 2008, Local News §, at 3. But not always — e.g.: o “Johnny Campbell, 22, tied a tow chain around his waste [read ‘waist’] and waded through waste-deep [read ‘waist-deep’] water to Guerrero’s car, but as he touched her hand, a rush of water pushed the car out of his reach.” Alex Branch & Scott Streater, “Flood Kills Mother, Child,” Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, 2 May 2004, at A1, A23. o “A prime spot for picture-taking is the fifth-floor rooftop of the City View Cafe on Dinh Tien Hoang Street, a few doors from the Thang Long Puppet Theatre where puppeteers stand waste-deep [read ‘waist-deep’] in water while manipulating fire-breathing dragons with bamboo sticks.” Carol Pucci, “Hello, Hanoi,” Seattle Times, 24 Feb. 2008, at L11. o “While crossing a swollen, waste-deep [read ‘waist-deep’] creek linked arm-in-arm 45 minutes earlier, one member of the Sammamish teen’s party had slipped and pulled two others underwater.” Craig Hill, “Personal Locators Can Be a Lifesaver,” Mobile Register, 14 Aug. 2008, Z §, at 9. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ————————————— Quotation of the Day: “As sentences should follow one another in harmonious sequence, so the paragraphs must fit onto one another like the automatic couplings of railway carriages.” Winston Churchill, My Early Life: A Roving Commission 211-12 (1930). —————————————  
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