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Bonnie Granat reports: <<The Third Edition of MMOS says this: Via: Via
implies a geographic context. Avoid using via as a synonym for by,
through, or by means of. Use the most specific term instead.>>
This clearly illustrates yet another frequently heard complaint about
MMOS: The authors demonstrate an appalling level of ignorance of modern
usage, and seem unfamiliar with the concept of consulting a modern
Although "via" did indeed have a primarily geographical context in
Roman times (the word literally means "way", so "via Appia" is the
Appian Way = road), the word has been broadly accepted for the past
1000 years or so* to mean "way" in a less literal sense. Although some
might argue, with some justification, that "via" is an informal and
possibly sloppy way to say "by means of", the word is nonetheless
broadly accepted in this sense.
* I'd wager the Romans, who knew something about turning a clever
phrase, also used the word metaphorically, but not being a Latin
scholar, I can't say this with any certainty.
See the Random House Unabridged and American Heritage (4th edn.)
dictionaries for support of this viewpoint. For that matter, see just
about any dictionary other than MMOS, which seems to feel it is
necessary to set their own standards for how words should be used,
irrespective of whether anyone else agrees.
--Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca
(try geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com if you don't get a reply)
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