abusage

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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

Noun[edit]

abusage (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 “abusage” in Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief; William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors, The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford; New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 2002, ISBN 978-0-19-860457-0, page 10.