Friday, November 22, 2013

substance-free: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Friday, November 22, 2013

An administrator at our university once announced that his goal was a “substance-free” campus, which I suppose fit in with the fad of the period for “virtual education.” What he really meant was, of course, a campus free of illegal drugs and alcohol, designated “controlled substances” in the law. This is a very silly expression, but if he’d just said “sober and straight” he would have sounded too censorious. How about “drug- and alcohol-free”?

The kid is all right: Paul Brians' latest blog post explains that "all right" remains properly two words, though attitudes about using "alright" are shifting.

The new edition of Common Errors in English Usage is now shipping, and it makes a great gift. When you order 5–9 copies and use the coupon code FIFTEEN, you pay only $13.48 each. Order 10 or more for just $12.15 each. All with free shipping in the US. Single-copy shoppers can still use the coupon code and get the new edition for $15.

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