Booty Call

Do’s and Don’ts, Past and Present

From the original Manual of Style (1906):

"About many matters in this world, grammar and logic included, there is abundant room for differences of opinion. Grant writers the privilege of preferring theirs to yours."

15th edition (2003):

"Names of genes, or gene symbols, including any arabic numerals that form a part of such names, are usually italicized. (They were originally italicized because they were only inferred to exist.) . . . Human genes are set in full capitals, as are the genes for other primates. Mouse genes are usually spelled with an initial capital; rat gene symbols are treated similarly. Gene nomenclature systems for other organisms (yeast, fruit flies, nematodes, plants, fish) vary."

"The term ice age is best lowercased because of the uncertainty surrounding any formal use of the term. As with other geological terms, formal names are capitalized, informal ones are not (Pleistocene, Holocene, Illinoian glaciation, the second interglacial stage or II interglacial)."

New entries in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition:

boo·ty also boo·tie ´bü-t¯e [alter. of an English-based creole word, ultim. fr. Early Mod E *bottie buttocks, perh. fr bottom + -ie] (1928) slang: BUTTOCKS

bo·gart ´b¯o-gärt ... vt [prob. fr. Humphrey Bogart Ý1957 Am. film actor] (1966) 1 : BULLY, INTIMIDATE ~ed their way into the offices —Sarah Ferguson 2 : to use or consume without sharing <<b>~ a joint>

Dropped from Webster's after the 10th edition (1993):

long-play·ing . . . designed to be played at 33 1/3 revolutions per minute—used of a microgroove record

snol·ly·gos·ter . . . n [prob. alter. of snallygaster a mythical creature that preys on poultry and children] (ca. 1860) : a shrewd unprincipled person


Return to "Manual Labors: Two Essential Guides to American English Get a Makeover—and Word Geeks Rejoice" by Jorge Morales

 
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