former, latter

 Former, properly used, should refer only to the first of two things and latter to the second of two things. Both words, since they require the reader to hark back to an earlier reference, should be used sparingly and only when what they refer to is immediately evident. Few editing shortcomings are more annoying and less excusable than requiring a reader to re-cover old ground.

Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • former, latter — Former applies to the first of two in a series. When you refer to the first of three or more, say either first or first named. In the sense in which it contrasts with former, latter refers to the second of two things mentioned. When you mention… …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • former, latter —    Former, properly used, should refer only to the first of two things and latter to the second of two things. Both words, since they require the reader to hark back to an earlier reference, should be used sparingly and only when what they refer… …   Dictionary of troublesome word

  • List of former Latter-day Saints — This is a list of well known Latter day Saints who have been excommunicated, or no longer profess to be Latter day Saints. Although The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints does not regularly disseminate information about the… …   Wikipedia

  • former — former, latter 1. These two words are used individually or contrastively (as the former and the latter) to refer to the first and second respectively of two people or things previously mentioned; in this role they are used attributively (before a …   Modern English usage

  • latter — former, latter 1. These two words are used individually or contrastively (as the former and the latter) to refer to the first and second respectively of two people or things previously mentioned; in this role they are used attributively (before a …   Modern English usage

  • latter — lat|ter1 W2 [ˈlætə US ər] n the latter formal the second of two people or things just mentioned ≠ ↑former ▪ Where unemployment and crime are high, it can be assumed that the latter is due to the former. latter 2 latter2 adj [only before noun]… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • latter, later — As is mentioned in the entry FORMER, latter means the second of two : I prefer your latter suggestion to your first. Latter also has the meaning of more advanced in time and near the end : In the latter years of his life, he was a happy man. In… …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • latter — See former, latter See latter, later …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • former — See former, latter …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • Latter — Lat ter, a. [OE. later, l[ae]tter, compar. of lat late. See {Late}, and cf. {Later}.] 1. Later; more recent; coming or happening after something else; opposed to {former}; as, the former and latter rain. [1913 Webster] 2. Of two things, the one… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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