Your daily usage tip hot off the press.


Smarter words.


recognizance; reconnaissance; *reconnoissance.


recognizance; reconnaissance; *reconnoissance.  Recognizance = a bond or obligation, made in court, by which a person (called the recognizor) promises to perform some act or observe some condition (as to appear when called on, to pay a debt, or to keep the peace). E.g.: “The suspect was released on his own


     In British English, the -g- in recognisance (as it is spelled in BrE) is silent. But in American English, the -g- is regularly sounded.

     Reconnaissance = a preliminary survey; a military or intelligence-gathering examination of a region. *Reconnoissance is an archaic French spelling of reconnaissance; it is also a needless variant of recognizance and of recognition. The verb corresponding to reconnaissance is reconnoiter.


Quotation of the Day: "Writing too largely in abstract terms is one of the worst and most wide-spread of literary faults. It sounds learned; it saves the writer from having to use his eyes and ears; and it makes slovenly thinking possible because it does not require definiteness.” 

—David Lambuth et al.,

The Golden Book on Writing 32 (1964).


Bryan Garner's Writing Seminars: Come see what Garner has to offer at

E-mail Garner at

For profiles of Garner, check out the D Magazine, The New Yorker, and Dallas News.

View the new Garner's Modern English Usage and other Garner books here.

For a guide to the Language-Change Index, click here.

Never miss a tweet from Garner on Twitter. Follow @BryanAGarner.

Watch Bryan Garner's YouTube videos.

By subscribing to this service, you agree to notifications of Bryan Garner's seminars.


Copyright © 2016 LawProse, All rights reserved.


Our mailing address is:
14180 Dallas Parkway, Suite 280, Dallas, TX 75254

Subscription Center:   Unsubscribe |  Forward this Email |  Edit Profile