Porcupyn's Blog

September 21, 2007

The Changing English Language

Filed under: Uncategorized — Porcupyn @ 1:12 pm

Once upon a time, I used to spell the word now-a-days with hyphens; I have since switched. Nowadays, hyphens are becoming extinct by the hundreds!

The American usage of momentarily used to confuse me momentarily. Momentarily (sic), I would grasp the usage from the context. It appears that the Usage Panel agrees with me.

 Usage Note: Momentarily is widely used in speech to mean “in a moment,” as in The manager is on another line, but she’ll be with you momentarily. This usage rarely leads to ambiguity since the intended sense can usually be determined on the basis of the tense of the verb and the context. Nonetheless, many critics hold that the adverb should be reserved for the senses “for a moment,” and the extended usage is unacceptable to 59 percent of the Usage Panel.


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