Friday, July 11, 2014

-wise, usagewise

Bryan Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day today addresses the suffix -wise. That suffix was an occasion of cultural angst in the late ’50s and early ’60s. The suffix even showed up in comic form in Leave It To Beaver. In real life, I heard it used not long ago in a startling way.

Garner recommends avoiding -wise generally, though he points to taxwise as a recent, plausible word of choice. And he adds that “some writers use the suffix playfully” — as did Billy Wilder and I. A. L. Diamond (The Apartment), as did the writers of Leave It to Beaver. And as did I, when I asked a friend, now our houseguest, what we should have on hand foodwise and drinkwise.

Related reading
All OCA Bryan Garner posts (Pinboard)

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comments: 2

The Crow said...

Educationalwise, this was an interesting post.


(Okay, am now seriously spooked! Not-a-robot number for this comment is the same as my pobox number in the town where I lived before moving to Hanover. If this happens again - numbers from my past - I might have to resort to using smoke signals. How big a fire do you suppose I'd need in order for you to see my smoke? )

Michael Leddy said...

Very strange. I once got teach.

The smoke signals should be large enough to show up on Google Maps. :)