par excellance/par excellence
Photoshop is the picture-editing software par excellence. We often italicize this phrase—meaning roughly “finest or most characteristic of its type,” “exemplary”—to indicate it is French. The French pronounce the final syllable “-ahnss” (with a nasalized N which is hard for English-speakers to master), but that is no justification for misspelling the word as “excellance.” Although they pronounce it differently, they spell “excellence” the same way we do.
Happy birthday, Charlotte Bronte (1816).
And speaking of French and English, Paul Brians' latest blog post discusses Franglais (or is it Engrench?).
This is the ten-year anniversary of the Common Errors in English Usage calendar. To celebrate, we are bringing back some of our favorite interesting, funny, but sometimes merely silly entries through the years before going on hiatus in 2016.
Enjoy the calendar? Buy the book!