Style matters #2: Slicing the ‘e’ off swathe

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While working as a sub-editor, an erudite colleague once pointed out to me that while we say – and more often write – the word swathe (which rhymes with lathe) as a noun, it is properly used only as a verb.

Furthermore, its noun form is swath (which rhymes with cloth) … tell that to newsreaders on radio and television or the average punter!

A little dictionary checking proved that my articulate colleague was pretty much spot on, with the tiny – and rare – exception that the only noun form for swathe refers to “a wrapping or bandage”.

Should you still doubt this revelation, Grammarist has an excellent, simple explanation to assuage your concerns.

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If you like what you’ve read here, you can see reporting4work’s similar posts at Style Matters

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