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


Kelly Hashway said…
I've missed your grammarphobes posts. :)
BooksAndPals said…
I've missed them too. :)
Awww, thanks! I will be adding more of them back into the rotation. :)
R. Doug Wicker said…
YAY ! ! !

It's BACK ! ! !

Living in El Paso I can say with 100% certainty that the plural is indeed 'luminarias.' They're all over this town during the Christmas Season, including at Casa Wicker
I bet they look beautiful, R. Doug. You would be shocked at how many sites call them "luminaries!" It's just wrong.

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