Tips for Writers: Chaise Longue

The main character in my novel in progress is at a hotel and goes to the pool where she reclines in a . . . chaise longue. Longue, you ask? What the heck is that?

Too often, I see the term “chaise lounge” used in place of the correct form, “chaise longue” (plural: chaise longues).

Here’s what Garner’s Modern English Usage has to say on the subject: “Many people commit the embarrassing error of saying or writing ‘chaise lounge.’ The problem is that ‘lounge,’ when put after ‘chaise,’ looks distinctly low-rent.”

The correct form, “chaise longue,” is French, meaning “long chair.” The incorrect form is so common, however, that it may eventually be accepted. Not yet, though, at least not in my book.