Miscellaneous Entries. termagant (= a quarrelsome, overbearing woman) is pronounced /TUHR-muh-guhnt/, not /-juhnt/. terminus; terminal, n. “Terminus” = the place at the end of a travel route, esp. a railroad or bus line. The plural is “termini” or (much less commonly) “terminuses.” “Terminal” = a station on a transportation route. terra cotta. The noun is so written {a bust in terra cotta}, but the adjective is “terra-cotta” {a terra-cotta bust}. terrain; terrane. “Terrain” (dating from the mid-18th century) = the topography of a given region or piece of land. “Terrane” (dating from the mid-19th century) = (1) a specific geological formation in a given region; or (2) the rocks associated with such a formation. Although it originated as an altered spelling of “terrain,” “terrane” is now a standard geologist’s term. tessera (/TES-uhr-uh/) = (1) a small square tablet used in ancient Rome as a token; or (2) a small square block used in mosaic. The plural is “tesserae” (/TES-uhr-ee/). For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “If the plain man would only take the trouble to say quite plainly what he thinks, good and even easy writing would be the inevitable result. Yet this is just what the plain man will not do.” C.E.M. Joad, The Bookmark 89 (1926; repr. 1946).
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