• Carmen Milligan

Wednesday Word: Myriad



myr·​i·​ad | \ ˈmir-ē-əd \

Definition of myriad 1: ten thousand 2: a great number: a myriad of ideas

Sometimes I like to present an archaic word here, reintroducing something colorful and flowery into your vocabulary, like "gobsmacked"; and, sometimes, I just want to remind you that there is a plethora of words that are used, but not as commonly as they could be. "Myriad" is such a word.

It's just so much easier to use "lots", "much", "many", or "numerous". They all mean the same thing: a great big number of something.

Among the more pedantic grammar circles, there is also a little controversy around this word because it can be either a noun (like I am using it) or an adjective, whose usage came later than the noun-version. According to Grammar Girl: "Another hot debate is whether it is correct to say, “Disneyland has myriad delights" or “Disneyland has a myriad of delights." You commonly hear "a myriad of" and just as commonly hear people railing that it should be simply "myriad" because the word is an adjective and essentially equivalent to a number. The argument goes like this: You wouldn't say, "There are a ten thousand of delights," so you shouldn't say, "There are a myriad of delights.”

However, both have become acceptable, so if you are corrected, merely point said pedant to the Garner’s Modern English Usage reference book.

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