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May 03, 2016


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Marcia Yudkin

Amazing that a reputable dictionary would use the example "small-sized house." "Small-sized" is redundant. How else could a house be small except in its size? Writers should always write "small house" instead of "small-sized house."

Do you agree, Lynn?

Marcia Yudkin

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi Marcia,

Great point! I was so focused on gathering examples, that I didn't think about the redundancy.

One could say "small- and medium-sized houses." But small-sized house? Redundant.


Liz Tucker

Hi Marcia,
I don't know if there is a difference between American and British English, but I think in the UK, we would be very unlikely to use your example of "aged" in the Jeremy Irons' sentence.

We would probably just say: Actor, Jeremy Irons, 67 etc and if we did want to be more wordy would use "age 67".

Really interesting blog and I will try to remember to use the correct form of age/aged when communicating with my North American colleagues!


Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Thanks for commenting, Liz.

I can't find any guidance in "New Oxford Style Manual." "Garner's Modern English Usage" points out that in British English "aged" is used (primarily in obituaries) where American English would be "at the age of." Here's one of its British examples:

"Patrick Saul, who has died aged 85, was the founder of the National Sound Archive."

Do you have a reference book you typically follow?



What difference does it make? at the age of or aged.
The point of language for a normal person is the mode of communication.
I am not an american or an english man and I understand both versions.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi Tony,

Some people care a lot about being consistent and correct in their writing. They may care because they have a large audience or because their communication is very important and must be correct. They are my target audience.



Hi Lynn,

Appreciate the guidance. I, a writer, had looked up pint-size versus pint-sized and
found the same; either option being permissible. One person insisted on the d
"sized" - but I suspect it was just a lay opinion.

I really wanted to know as I have a stellar piece and wanted to nail it, and wanted to verify IF indeed, I had the option of choice(?) here - or not.

I won't allude specifically in relation to what,
but suffice it to say as an example: "pint-size clown." Personally, I think by using the pint-size version, IT puts more emphasis on the clown itself, versus the "pint-sized clown" which points a bit more to the descriptive, aka the adjective of sized. ANY THOUGHTS?

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Trisha, they both sound fine to me. I believe "pint-size" emphasizes the pint--the small size--more.


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