On Wednesday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will present his May REVISION

It is not a revise. 

Nor has it ever been.

Revise, according to the Free On-Line Dictionary – in complete harmony with Funk & Wagnall’s, Webster’s and the venerated OED – is defined as: 

1. To prepare a newly edited version of (a text). Or: 

2. To reconsider and change or modify.  I have revised my opinion of him. 

Most significantly, revise is a VERB. It is an action. 

And while the governor has a resume littered with action hero roles, the revised spending plan he will present on May 14 is still a REVISION

A REVISION, returning to the grail of the Free On-Line Dictionary, is a NOUN. It is defined as: 

1. The act or process of revising. 

The May REVISION is the end product of the governor and his aides’ revisalization of their initial January budget. 

Interestingly, the synonym for revise cited by the Free On-Line Dictionary is the word “correct” And although a VERB, the definitions of correct seem a fairly good description of what Schwarzenegger’s Department of Finance has been up to during the past four months. 

To correct is: 

1. To remove the errors or mistakes from. 

2. To indicate or mark the errors in. 

2. To punish for the purpose of improving or reforming.  (See Legislature

4. To adjust so as to meet a required standard or condition. 

Please revise the nomenclature of the May REVISION accordingly. 


Filed under: Budget and Economy


  1. As a long-time employee (1963 – 1974) of the Dept of Finance (NOT “DOF”), I can attest that it is in fact the “revision.” “May Revise” is never spoken of in the halls of Finance. Ever! Bless you,

    Comment by Martin Helmke — 5.13.2008 @ 7:23 am

  2. Greg,
    Thanks for setting folks straight on this annoying misuse of the term. Hearing it is akin to nails on a blackboard for me.

    Comment by Casey — 5.13.2008 @ 8:34 am

  3. Thanks Greg, Martin and Casey. Although my experience dates from the late 70s,the use of “revise” was a product of the drama focused on the May Revision. I thought the proper phrase was “May Budget Revision.” Legislative staff prefers short hand phrases used in place of standard sentences governed by basic rules of the english language. Nouns become verbs…There are many such phrases. Martin has a list….


    Comment by Fred Silva — 5.13.2008 @ 9:28 am

  4. To think one word could change the meaning of a simple comment. Gads, just think if one word changed a law. Wow what a concept.

    Comment by Paul — 5.13.2008 @ 9:56 am

  5. This is fantastic. Maybe you could follow up with posts on the many “invites” (vs. invitation) that are sent out in the Capitol community, as well as the use of the non-word “irregardless”

    Comment by Carolyn — 5.14.2008 @ 1:02 pm

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