Editing for Grammarphobes Returns
I don't know about you, but I have missed doing my Editing for Grammarphobes blog posts, so I've decided to bring them back occasionally. Here's something I ran into last weekend while working on a piece for my freelance account. I have seen it written the wrong way several times and want to set the record straight.
When referring to the holiday decoration, which one is correct — luminarias or luminaries?
According to the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, eleventh edition, luminaria is right.
A luminaria is a "traditional Mexican Christmas lantern originally consisting of a candle set in sand inside a paper bag."
The plural luminaries refers to either "a person of prominence or brilliant achievement" or "a body that gives light," especially a celestial body.
Photo courtesy of the Frugal Monkey blog.