Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Helps for Better Writing (Part 2 of 11)

2. When do I use upon and entitled?

If we watch the screen credits of older films based on a book, we'll usually see, "Based upon the novel . . ." In recent years, the word upon has become more restrictive. (Notice: restrictive, which means it's not wrong, but it indicates a change in our use of language). The modern way to think of upon is to mean on top of. One authority says using upon is a stuffy way of saying on.

The use of entitled is similar. The word has long referred to the title. He wrote a book entitled Eat Less; Gain Weight. Today, titled is the preferred way to write. Entitled has also become restrictive, meaning to deserve. Margo feels she's entitled to a bigger advance because it's her fourth book and it's titled My Life as a Genius.

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