I’ve tripped over the word ‘garner’ in my reading in recent weeks. The word turned up in headlines and body copy mainly in Australian news web sites.
In most cases the writer has used it as an alternative for ‘gather’.
Garner is a legitimate word, yet I don’t like it. I suggest journalists and editors avoid it for two reasons:
First, while most readers understand what it means, garner isn’t as immediately clear or as unambiguous as gather or collect.
Second, it is journalese. That is, it is the kind of word you never read or in real life only in journalism.
Journalese is for hacks.
Although none of my dictionaries say so, I suspect the word is borderline archaic. My Oxford concise says the word is archaic when it is used to refer to a granary, but not otherwise.
Another currently fashionable journalese word to avoid is ‘aplenty‘.