Some Particularly Useless Words
Michigan Bar Journal, July 2003
2 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2011
Date Written: July 2003
This is a column from the Plain Language Department of the Michigan Bar Journal.
Of the many words in our language that have dubious value, two particular words stand out: particular and particularly. Particular means "of or belonging to a single, definite person, part, group, or thing; not general; distinct." So particular - or its ugly adverbial partner particularly - is used to signal that whatever is being written applies only to the person, part, group, or thing modified by particular or particularly. But when you write in the singular about a person, part, group, or thing, it is unnecessary to use a modifier, in addition to the singular, to specify that what you have written applies to only one person, part, group, or thing.
Keywords: writing plain language
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