Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: waiver.

waiver. “Waiver” (= voluntary relinquishment of a right or advantage) is primarily a noun; “waver” (= to vacillate) is primarily a verb. It is a fairly common solecism to misuse “waiver” for “waver” — e.g.: o “But when the defense lawyer found out the judge was waivering [read ‘wavering’], Mr. Polanski left the country.” Caryn James, “A Life in Exile from America, from Memory,” N.Y. Times, 17 Nov. 1993, at B1, B2. o “‘We continue our gentle adventure together. Our vows to disappear and our promises never to write another book have held for years . . . but sometimes they waiver [read ‘waver’].'” Walter Scott, “Personality Parade,” Parade, 3 July 1994, at 2 (quoting Richard Bach, the author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, on being married to the actress Leslie Parrish-Bach). When ‘waivered” is not misused for “wavered,” it often displaces the more straightforward verb “waived” — e.g.: “While none have been approved by EPA, the three ‘tertiary’ ethers are chemically similar to MTBE and would probably be waivered [read ‘waived’] by the EPA.” George H. Unzelman, “U.S. Clean Air Act Expands Role for Oxygenates,” Oil & Gas J., 15 Apr. 1991, at 44. Finally, “waver” occasionally ousts “waiver” from its rightful position — e.g.: “Out of the school’s 575 students, 38 have signed wavers [read ‘waivers’] to allow them not to wear the uniform.” Brian Hall, “Reaching Out,” Orange County Register, 1 Feb. 1996, at 3. Language-Change Index — (1) “waiver” misused for “waver”: Stage 1; (2) “waver” misused for “waiver”: Stage 1. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ————————————— Quotation of the Day: “The difference between an active-verb style and a passive-verb style — in clarity and vigor — is the difference between life and death for a writer.” William Zinsser, On Writing Well 111 (5th ed. 1994). —————————————
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