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Is the expression 'grammatical error' grammatically correct? Shouldn't it be 'grammatic error'?

Technically, grammatic and grammatical are equivalent adjectives. There are many such pairs in English. In some there are shades of difference between the two: Compare historic, historical; magic, magical; classic, classical; economic, econmical. In some the -ic form is most commonly used as a noun: music, musical; cynic, cynical; critic, critical; logic, logical. But most -ic/-ical pairs are equivalent adjectives. Perhaps because -al marks adjectives in so many words besides these, to my ear the -ical form seems more "adjectival", which would incline me to choose it when I need an adjective.

It is interesting that though Webster's Unabridged and the OED both define grammatic and grammatical as equivalent, the American Heritage Dictionary doesn't even list grammatic. All in all, though they are technically equivalents, I'd go with "grammatical error."

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