Feb 11, 2013

Grammar Hammer: The Premier Premiere?

premi

It’s awards season, so for this week’s Grammar Hammer, I thought I’d tackle the trickiness of “premier” vs. “premiere” (also, a suggestion from a loyal reader.)

Paging through any number of magazines, how many times have you seen ads or read articles about various places or business touted as “the premiere [spa, resort, restaurant, software, etc.]“? This comes up more often than you might think in business writing. My handy-dandy AP Stylebook keeps things pretty simple when you’re trying to decide which word to use.

“Premiere” can be used as a noun or a verb and refers to a first performance.

QUICK TIP: Outside of the entertainment industry, you won’t have much occasion to use “premiere.” If you want to have some fun with your readers, tell them that a movie premieres at its premiere.

EXAMPLE: “My friends and I won free tickets to the premiere of the ballet.”

“Premier” – used as a noun to mean an individual who is the first minister in a national government that has a council of ministers, or used as an adjective to mean a first in status.

QUICK TIP: “Premier” is easy to remember because it will have almost nothing to do with a debut performance.

EXAMPLE: “My son’s class project about Canadian provinces included writing a report on the Quebec premier and what she does during an average day at work.”

EXAMPLE: “On these cold, wintry days, I remember my trip last spring to the Kauai Coffee Plantation – the premier coffee destination in Hawaii.”

So the next time that magazine you’re reading while you wait for the dentist touts the luxuries of the “premiere resort spot in the world,” you can sigh and shake your head at the unnecessary fancy-fied spelling used to try to get you to book a trip.

Have a grammar rule you’d like me to explore? Drop me a line at catherine.spicer@prnewswire.com.

Author Catherine Spicer is a manager of customer content services at PR Newswire.

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