Posted by: episystechpubs | February 7, 2013

Editor’s Corner: “Is That Even a Word?” Article

Yesterday, a man (who shall remain nameless to protect him from being whipped with a cable) told me he’d heard people refer to Episys Console Control as Council Control. Unless we switched from data processing software to political and legislative software, Council Control is incorrect. Then I heard more rumors of people getting council and console confused. David Petersen was kind enough to do my work for me, and sent these definitions and examples to add to yesterday’s council and counsel:

· consul (noun)—an advisor, diplomat, representative

· console (noun)—a control terminal for an electronic device (e.g., a “computer or TV console”)

· console (verb)—to comfort, soothe, calm (e.g. “She consoled her friend after her bad break-up.”)

· council (noun)—a group of people meeting for a purpose

· counsel (verb, noun)—advise; advice, an attorney

Thank you David, and thanks to everyone for helping me keep these articles relevant!

And for today’s special feature…

I received this article the other day, and I wasn’t sure if anyone would be interested—but many of you sent it on to me from other places it was published. I’ll take that as a show of interest, so I’ve included it in its entirety. From

Is That Even a Word?

Posted: 30 Jan 2013 08:10 PM PST

No authoritarian authority exists that determines whether a given word is valid or bogus. In any language, there’s a complex and imperfect vetting procedure; at least in English, most serious writers agree on the correct or preferred form of a word that is one of two or more variants or on whether a word is acceptable at all. Here’s a list of words that have been under scrutiny in this approval process:

1. Administrate: A back-formation of administration and an unnecessary extension of administer

2. Commentate: A back-formation of commentator and an unnecessary extension of comment

3. Dimunition: Erroneous; the correct form is diminution (think of diminutive)

4. Exploitive: A younger, acceptable variant of exploitative

5. Firstly: As with secondly and thirdly, erroneous when enumerating points; use first and so on

6. Heighth: Rarely appears in print, but a frequent error in spoken discourse (Why isn’t height modeled on the form of depth, length, and width? Because it doesn’t shift in spelling and pronunciation from its associated term, tall, like the others, which are derived from deep, long, and wide, do. Neither do we say or write weighth.)

7. Irregardless: An unnecessary extension of regardless on the analogy of irrespective but ignoring that regardless, though it is not an antonym of regard, already has an antonymic affix

8. Miniscule: A common variant of minuscule, but widely considered erroneous

9. Orientate: A back-formation of orientation and an unnecessary extension of orient

10. Participator: Erroneous; the correct form is participant

11. Preventative: A common and acceptable variant of preventive

12. Societal: A variant of social with a distinct connotation (for example, “social occasion,” but “societal trends”)

13. Supposably: An erroneous variant of supposedly

14. ’Til: Also rendered til and till, a clipped form of until that is correct but informal English; use the full word except in colloquial usage

15. Undoubtably: An erroneous variant of undoubtedly

Kara Church

Senior Technical Editor

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