Revised as of 21 February 2018
I’ve been running into a slew of slews and find myself falling into a slough. Mostly because I’ve learned that slough has some alternative spellings…dang it. I wanted to be all self-righteous about writers improperly using slough for slew, and I can’t. I hate that.
I can take heart, though, that slough is the more common choice for swamps and mucky depressions. I know I feel better about sloughing that dead skin off my feet instead of slewing it…slew the skin off my face just doesn’t feel right.
…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.
|Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Stack Exchange; Merriam-Webster: Slew; Slough|
|Part of Grammar:|
|Past tense for slay 2
Noun 1 and 2
Verb 1 and 3, intransitive & transitive
Alternative spelling: slue
|Noun 4 and 5
Verb 5, intransitive & transitive
Alternative spellings: slew, slue, sluff
A violent or uncontrollable sliding movement 1
[Informal] A large number or quantity of something 2
Kill (a person or animal) in a violent way 3
A place of deep mud or mire 4
A situation characterized by lack of progress or activity
Something that may be shed or cast off 5
A mass of dead tissue separating from an ulcer
A state of moral degradation or spiritual dejection
Crumble slowly and fall away
To plod through or as if through mud
Engulf in a slough
To get rid of or discard as irksome, objectionable, or disadvantageous (usually used with off)
|The phrase is a slew of.
I was assaulted by the thump and slew of the van.
He asked me a slew of questions.
“The telescope slewed to the coordinates as soon as it received the alert and within seven minutes of the start of the burst, it began observations” (myefe.com).
St. George slew the dragon.
A man was slain with a shotgun.
You slay me, you really do.
Those from Beaver Creek were taken in a slough which has no connection with the main stream during low water.
The economic slough of the interwar years have been difficult on many people.
The drugs can cause blistering and slough.
One hand can ruff while the other hand sloughs a loser.
Exfoliate once a week to slough off any dry skin.
He is concerned to slough off the country’s bad environmental image.
|Adjective: slayable, unslayable
Noun: slayer, sley,
|History of the Word:|
|1 Mid-18th century and originally in nautical use, althought it is of unknown origin.||First known use: before 12th century
Perhaps related to Low German slu(we) meaning husk, peel.
The verb dates from the early 18th century.
C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves? Also, please note that I try to be as accurate as I can, but mistakes happen or I miss something. Email me if you find errors, so I can fix them…and we’ll all benefit!
Pinterest Photo Credits:
“Slough: Redwood City” is Stickpen ‘s own work which he has placed in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. I took some drastic Photoshop liberties with it, slewing it right ’round on itself.