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Stick to the point

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"Beamish said he has read some of the message-board comments from fans questioning his ability. 'They'd say, who is he? Is he that good? I've never heard of him before.' At one point and time I wanted people to know that's Horace Beamish and he makes plays."

As I recall, point in time first came into wide usage in connection with Richard Nixon and the Watergate affair, and while it spread like kudzu, it was scorned by usage authorities as redundant and ugly. But it stayed around to become a cliche, and now it's reached the point in time at which it's so popular it gets misquoted by Mr. Beamish and others.

Garner's Modern American Usage says of point in time: "The clumsy phrase is occasionally made worse by being preceded by particular. Stick with simple substitutes such as time, point, now, moment, and the like."

"The revolution, he said, must continue so 'we stop producing tyrants.' President Barack Obama and his national security team tread delicately Thursday in the aftermath of the removal of Morsi, urging the restive nation to quickly return authority to a democratically elected civilian government."

A surprising number of people seem not to know that the past tense of tread is trod. Maybe it's the same ones who don't know the past tense of lead is led.

"Pure as the dawn on the brow of thy beauty,

Watches thy Soul

from the mountains of God.

Over the fates of thy children departed,

Far from the land

where their footsteps have trod."

What shall we say?

Headline: "Korda fires caddy, turns to boyfriend." Under the headline: "A week ago Sunday, Bubba Watson roasted longtime caddie Ted Scott within earshot of TV cameras, blaming Scott for giving him the wrong club ... But Scott appears to have gotten off better than Jason Gilroyed, the caddie, or shall we say the former caddie, of 20-year-old American golfer Jessica Korda."

A non-golfer, I had to look it up. Apparently either caddy or caddie is acceptable.  But newspapers usually like to stick to one spelling in the same article.

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