An editor with a large database company is tussling with colleagues over the proper use of the words comprise and composed of. She believes the correct usage would be: The alphabet comprises 26 letters or The alphabet is composed of 26 letters. She’s right. The use of the phrase is comprised of is widespread, even though it’s traditionally considered incorrect. When possible, it’s best to find an alternative entirely, such as consists of. This is part of a complete episode.