abusage

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

First appeared in the 16th century as a general synonym of abuse, but fell into disuse after just a couple of centuries. The word re-emerged with a new grammar-specific sense after Eric Partridge published a book on grammar titled Usage and Abusage in 1942.

Noun[edit]

abusage (countable and uncountable, plural abusages)

  1. (obsolete) Abuse. [Attested from the mid 16th century until the mid 17th century.][1]
  2. Improper or incorrect use of language. [First attested in the mid 20th century.][1]
    A stickler for the rules of grammar, Mrs. Walker cringes when she encounters any abusage by the students in her freshman English class.


References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Lesley Brown (editor), The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2003 [1933], →ISBN), page 10