No penchant for basis

Back to blogging. In this edition, a caution on the use of penchant and a plea to avoid on a/an _____ basis.

People often employ penchant when they want to say that someone or something has a strong tendency to do something: “Adrian Peterson has a penchant for fumbling.” But penchant means “a strong liking or fondness; inclination; taste,” Webster’s says. Peterson might fumble a lot (too much for Vikings fans), but clearly, no running back has a strong liking or taste or preference for losing the football. Better: “Peterson fumbles frequently,” for example.

On a/an _____ basis shows up in such sentences as “Walton’s knee injury will be evaluated on a daily basis, coach Tom Pigskin said,” and “The company updates information on a regular basis.” It suffices to say that “Walton’s injury will be evaluated daily, Pigskin said,” and that “The company updates information regularly.” I don’t hope to blog on a frequent basis; I hope to blog frequently (as frequently as I can).


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