The leading soprano in an opera is the prima donna (Italian for “leading lady”). As an insult, “prima donna” implies that the person under discussion is egotistical, demanding, and doesn’t work well as part of a team.
Don’t write “pre-Madonna” unless you intend to discuss the era before the singer Madonna became popular.
Paul Brians’ latest blog post discusses an unusual slip of the tongue.
This week's podcast: The Solstice and Celestial Terms.
End-of-year sale on the book: Use the coupon code FIFTEEN to get Common
Errors in English Usage 3rd Edition at $4 off the cover price. Order through wmjasco.com.
This is the tenth year 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!