Page images

ly, so precisely, and so compactly illustrated, as in the following lines from a song in Sir George Etherege's 'She Would if She Could' (1704): *How long I shall love him I can no more tell, Than, had I a fever, when I should be well. My passion shall kill me before I will show it, And yet I would give all the world he did know it ; But oh how I sigh, when I think should he woo me,

I can not refuse what I know would undo me!'Discriminate in the use of Sick and Ill. Sick

is the stronger word of the two, and is generally the better word to use. In England, ill is more frequently employed than with us. Sick, there, is in general restricted to the expressing of nausea; as, Sick at the

stomach.” Discriminate in the use of SIGNATURE. Don't

say, “He wrote over his signature." Use under. The word under does not mean that the paper is under the hand in writing, but under the guarantee of one's signature, or seal, or under one's character, without disguise, or under a disguise, as, “He wrote under the name of Mark Twain.'"

Discriminate between SINCE and Ago. Since

is often used for ago, but ago never for since. “ Not long since,or “not long ago.” Since is followed by a verbal clause; as, “Since

they met you”; Since they were here." Discriminate in the use of SOME, SOMEWHAT,

and ABOUT. Don't say, "He has improved some since you saw him.” Use somewhat. Don't say, “ You will find the place some ten iniles distant." Use about.

Discriminate in the use of such adjectives and

phrases as SPLENDID, AWFUL, PERFECTLY SPLENDID, PERFECTLY AWFUL. Don't use these words when trivial things or events are spoken of. “She is too perfectly splendid for anything”; “Her dress was perfectly awful." Use more moderate and expressive terms.

Discriminate between STATE and Say. Don't say,

“ A man states that the street is undergoing repairs." Use says. State is a far more formal word than say, meaning to set forth the condition under which a person, or a thing, or a cause stands; as, “A merchant makes a statement of his financial condition."

Discriminate between STOP and Stay. Don't say, “Where are you stopping ?Use stay

ing. To stop means to cease going forward. To stay means to abide; to dwell; to sojourn; to tarry. We stay at a friend's, at home, at a hotel.

Discriminate in the use of STORM. A storm

denotes a violent condition of the atmosphere. It is wrong to say, “It storms," when it simply rains or snows.

Discriminate in the use of Such and So.

Don't say, “Such a handsome bonnet”; Such a lovely girl”; “ Such a rough road." Use so handsome, so lovely, etc.

Discriminate between Take and HAVE. High

authority claims that we must not say,“ Take dinner, tea, coffee, salad, beef,” etc.; but must use have some dinner, tea,” etc.

Discriminate in the use of TASTE. When taste

is used transitively, it should not be followed by of. Don't say, “ Taste of the meat”; “ Taste of the preserves”; omit of. The same rule applies to smell. The intransitive verbs taste and smell are often fol. lowed by of; as, “The bread tastes of fish”;

“It smells of creosote." Discriminate in the use of THAN and As.

Than and as, implying comparison, take the same case after as before them. “I rode farther than he (rode)”; not him. “He is richer than she"; not her. “You are stronger than I”; not me. The nominative case does not always follow than or as. teem you more than him"; that is to say, “I esteem you more than I esteem him”; “I will carry you farther than him." It thus

“I es

« PreviousContinue »