Grammarist Featured Image V5 96

Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic

Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic means making well-meaning but negligible adjustments to an endeavor that is doomed to fail. It is a useful phrase, but it has been overused.  The expression goes back at least three decades (the earliest example we could find is from 1975), but its use has picked up sharply during the last few years. You know an expression has worn out its welcome when politicians take to it—for example: Palin derided the GOP “establishment” and accused them …

Read More

Waiver vs. waver

Waiver: 1. intentional relinquishment of a right or privilege; 2. a dispensation; 3. a deferment. Waver: 1. to move steadily back and forth; 2. to vacillate; 3. to tremble in sound.