Category Archives: Grammar

Below is not an adjective, folks

(See below update/footnote. It made me gag to write that.)

I know I might be sent below — to one of those circles of linguistic hell (see McSweeney’s post a few days ago) — for pointing this out, but I feel it’s time that this lovely word, below, needs to be explained and understood. In a nutshell, it’s not an adjective, even though it seems to be increasingly misused as such, especially in formal/corporate/written communications (but strangely not in speech). “See below information” is simply incorrect. I apologize to readers of Glossophilia who know me to be generally non-prescriptive; I don’t usually brand any particular usage as wrong, especially if it’s pervasive and evolving. But in this case I’m willing to state my case and stand my ground, because I think it sounds so ugly. Continue reading

X v Y: To underestimate or overestimate: interchangeable, but only when it can’t be done?


During September, Glossophilia is looking at word pairs that often get muddled up with each other, or that essentially mean the same thing. Today’s is underestimate vs. overestimate. Continue reading