Thursday, August 1, 2013

crescendo/climax: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Thursday, August 1, 2013

When something is growing louder or more intense, it is going through a crescendo (from an Italian word meaning “growing”). Traditionalists object to its use when you mean “climax.” A crescendo of cheers by an enthusiastic audience grows until it reaches a climax, or peak. “Crescendo” as a verb is common, but also disapproved by many authorities. Instead of “the orchestra crescendos,” write “the orchestra plays a crescendo.”


Are some people really upset by this usage? Yes, indeed.

No comments:

Post a Comment