Grammar and Punctuation The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation


A veteran newsman said, "His career is meretricious." He probably meant meritorious. Instead, the sentence as it stands is an insult.

When you hear it, the first two syllables echo merit, but the similarity to meritorious ends there. Meretricious means "flashy," "cheap," "tawdry": The candidate made a meretricious display of piety.

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