Tuesday, August 12, 2008

'Utmost' was proper term

From Grammar Gremlins by Don K. Ferguson,

Knoxville News Sentinel, Aug. 8, 2008

"It is with the up most regret that I announce the closing of our branch office," read a memo distributed by a company.
There are two problems with this use of "up most."
First, it's spelled incorrectly. The correct form is "upmost," one word.
Second, it was used inappropriately in this instance.
The writer probably should have used "utmost," meaning "of the greatest intensity." ("Utmost" is more commonly used than the longer form, "uttermost.")
"Upmost" is an informal variant of "uppermost." Both mean "of the highest position or place." Example: The uppermost mountain peaks can be seen in the distance.

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