accord, award, kudos

accord, award

To accord is to render an honor, and implies a spontaneous bestowal “prompted by the dictates of the heart,” as Frank Vizetelly put it in his famous “A Desk-Book of Errors in English” 110 years ago. The word comes from the Latin, cor, for heart.

An award implies a grant that is given after careful consideration, as a judicial decision or a payment might be made, or that is given to a deserving person, perhaps the victor in a contest, with or without passion.

Also, of more than 11,000 athletes who took part in the 2016 Olympics, none won a kudo, because there is no such thing. The word is kudos, which is already singular, and needs no indefinite article. It is the Greek word for glory or acclaim. With 46 golds and a total of 121 medals, the Americans won plenty of kudos at the Olympics.


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The Writer's Stylebook is a unique collaboration between two former journalists -- my father, Lawrence, and me. Mr. Fellows, an impassioned wordsmith and journalist of long standing, created the original Stylebook, which he distributed to Connecticut newspapers and worked on for over a decade until his death 16 years ago. In 2003, the Connecticut Press Club published "Wordwatch: A Writer's Guide to Linguistic Distinctions," a compendium of nearly 300 of my father's word features. Unfortunately, that book is out of print and my father's features have been languishing in the attic of our family home in Westport -- until now. With the blessing of my mother, Ruth, I'm reviving the Stylebook and putting it online in the hope that it will find new readers. I think there's a need for a lively, illustrated guide to words and word usages that isn't wordy -- especially in today's fast-paced world!

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