Revised as of 1 September 2017
If you have a latter, you have to have a former, as they refer to comparisons of pairs of items. It doesn’t matter what the pairs are, just that there are two. And only two!
Of the two movies, I’d prefer to watch the former…and I’m sure you’d prefer to watch the latter.
…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.
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|Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com|
|Part of Grammar:|
|Adjective 1; Noun 2
[The former] The first-mentioned of two people or things
Preceding in time
Past, long past, or ancient
Preceding in order
Having once, or previously, been
[In combination; chiefly British] A person in a particular school year
|[The latter] The second-mentioned of two people or things
Situated or occurring nearer to the end of something than to the beginning
He continued to bask in his former glory.
Yeah, he’s a former student of mine.
It was mentioned during a former stage in the proceedings.
Oh, aye, in former times we milked the cows by hand.
Our former manufacturing process was too costly.
The former suggestion was preferred to the latter.
Bill Clinton is a former president.
“Where the tail plane and the fin are fitted in, there are two transverse formers in thicker wood” (Aerial Age, Volume 5).
I can’t tell them the fifth-formers did the damage!
|It took place in the latter half of 1989.
Heart disease dogged his latter years.
The project had low cash flows in its latter years.
The Russians could advance into either Germany or Austria — they chose the latter option.
|Adverb: formerly||Adjective: latter-day
|History of the Word:|
|1 Middle English from Old English forma + -er.||Old English lætra meaning slower and comparative of læt.|
C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?
Pinterest Photo Credits:
President Bush Remarks Over Georgia is a White House photo by Luke Sharrett and is in the public domain while Barack Obama on the Primary was photographed by Steve Jurvetson and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license; both are via Wikimedia Commons.