Amar Pai's Reviews > Garner's Modern American Usage

Garner's Modern American Usage by Bryan A. Garner
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Oct 02, 12

bookshelves: enjoyed-flipping-through

Update 9/25/12: so, I bought this book. Glad I did-- been flipping through it some more, and it's quite fascinating. Garner can be quite funny even if he is a snoot.

I have to admit though-- upon further reflection, I still don't get the distinction between "erstwhile" and "former". I re-read Garner's explanation, in which he opines that erstwhile is necessary because "former" and "one-time" aren't sufficient, and realized that he never actually explains when you'd use one vs the other! The single usage example given in his entry on the topic isn't very elucidatory.

I know, "elucidatory" is awkward... no doubt Garner has a sternly worded essay on the subject. Mea culpa.

I checked this out from the library but realizing now, I need to buy it.

A while back, I accused the New Yorker of using fancy words just for the sake of it. One of the examples I gave was "erstwhile"-- why wouldn't you use the simpler word "former" instead? Don't they mean the same thing? Garner's entry on this topic straightened me out, I get it now. Right on
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message 1: by Matthew (new)

Matthew have you ever read language log:

you might like it.

Amar Pai cool, will check it out

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