Thursday, August 28, 2008

for Lupner

bryan's latest tip to us all, borrowed from a man who has received loads o' my money. . .

Garner's Usage Tip of the Day


kudos.


"Kudos" (best pronounced /KYOO-dahs/ or /KYOO-dohs/, with no "-z" sound at the end) derives from the Greek word "kydos" ("glory"). A singular noun meaning "praise, glory," it is sometimes erroneously thought to be a plural -- e.g.: "Last week, he was nominated for best breakthrough performance by the Independent Spirit Awards, and more kudos [read 'honors'] seem in the offing." Lou Lumenick, "The 'Fisher' King," N.Y. Post, 16 Dec. 2002, at 37.

As a result of that mistake, "kudoes" (a mistaken plural) and "kudo" (a false singular) have come to plague many texts -- e.g.:

o "This is a great-looking show, too: Kudoes [read 'Kudos'] to the costumer (Ambra Wakefield) and choreographer (Lee Martino)." Eric Marchese, "Curtain Call," Orange County Register, 20 July 1996, at F3.

o "[Army] Archerd is the first [journalist] to receive the humanitarian kudo [read 'kudos'], which will be presented Jan. 28 at the BevWilshire." "Archerd to Receive Scopus," Daily Variety, 16 Sept. 2002, at 2.

The mistaken plural use, as well as the back-formed singular "kudo," came into vogue in World War II. See Atcheson L. Hench, "Singular 'Kudos' and Plural 'Kudos,'" 38 Am. Speech 303-04 (1963). But the print evidence of the plural use dates back to the 1920s.

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Quotation of the Day: "We need our shamans, if they will stay within the realm of the possible and the practical, and will accept help in mapping that realm." Dwight Bolinger, Language: The Loaded Weapon 180 (1980).

1 comment:

lupner said...

Interesting that the writer chose only to offer samples of its incorrect usage. Was it the HM ref that you posted ages ago that originally showed us the error of our ways?

A kudos to you, Mister Hawtrey!

Still never sounds quite right to me . . . but since I periodically tend to sound like Norm Crosby in conversation, not sure I should be commenting on points of language. Profession notwithstanding. Heh. Oops.