Bryan A. Garner is the author of the new book The Chicago Guide to Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation as well as the author of the “Grammar and Usage” chapter of The Chicago Manual of Style. His other best-selling books include
This month’s workout, “Word Usage,” centers on section 5.220 of CMOS. Writing and editing are more efficient when you never have to look up affect or effect or dither over whether it’s OK to write inasmuch.
Language has the power to both delight and confuse, and there are names for some of our most common confusions. Here are a few linguistic gaffes you will surely recognize, even if you’ve never heard their names.