Grammar and Punctuation The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Slipshod Extension

This term, coined by the renowned lexicographer H.W. Fowler about a century ago, refers to the tendency of careless or ignorant speakers and writers to debase a word by overextending it beyond its proper meaning.

Several examples of this maddening phenomenon (e.g., dilemma, literally, viable) are scattered throughout Confusing Words and Homonyms.

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