Page images

President is above his Cabinet ; over carries the idea of authority, as, the foreman is over the workmen ; upon denotes immediate influence, as, the effect of the sermon upon the congregation ; beyond gives the idea of extent; as, the power of the British throne beyond the United Kingdom. Above and over are often used interchangeably; as, the clouds above us or over us.

Discriminate in the use of ACROSS, OVER, and

THROUGH. Across and over have frequently the same meaning; as, to go over a bridge or across a bridge. Over generally carries the idea of something more than mere length, in distinction from across. Thus, "He walked over the farm," conveys, a different idea from the expression "He walked across the farm.” Through conveys the idea of “from outside to outside”; while across simply means from side to side. Thus, “He

He went across the

went through the hall." hall."

Discriminate between AMID or AMIDST, and AMONG

or AMONGST. Amid or amidst denotes in the midst or middle of, and hence surrounded by; as, a tree amidst the garden. Among, or amongst, as its etymology implies, denotes mixed or mingled with. It refers to a conjoining or association or collection of objects with which something is intermixed or mingled; as, “The philosopher was among his friends ” ; “The document was found among the books."

We may say, “Among the teachers, among the Frenchmen, among the opinions entertained, among the ideas promulgated," but we could not use amid or amidst in such cases. We may say amidst dangers, amidst afflictions, amidst sorrows. Anong or amongst could not be so employed.

Discriminate between At and By. Both these words

indicate nearness, but at gives peculiarly the idea of particular or customary nearness. “ He stood at the hall-door,” means more than “He stood by it," the first indicating the closest proximity, the other meaning in the neighborhood or vicinity, or near to it.

Discriminate between At and In. At is a less defi.

nite term than in. “He stood at the palacedoor," may mean in or very close to the entrance of the palace. While in makes prominent a reference to the interior, at does not do so. Before small towns and villages, and foreign cities far remote, at should be used; as, “He did business at Red Hook.” “They had an office at Monmouth." "She spent the winter at Honolulu.” In should be used before the names of the great political or geographical divisions of the globe,

or before those of countries and large cities; as, “He taught in London.” “They performed in New York.” At should be used before the number of a street and in (not on) before the name of the street. “He resides at No. 160, in Brunswick Terrace." At should be used after the verb Touch; as, The steamer touched at Bermuda."

Discriminate between Below and BENEATH. Be

neath is a stronger term than BELOW. If a thing is simply lower than the position we occupy, we say, “It is below us”; when very far below, we say, “It is beneath us." When we wish figuratively to express contemptuously something very low, beneath and not below should be used; as, “He is beneath (not below) our regard." "Such conduct is beneath the character of the officer, the dignity of the occasion,” etc.

Discriminate between BESIDE and BESIDES. Beside

means “by or at the side of " ; as, “He was sitting beside me.” It also means "aside from," "apart from,” or “out of”; as, “He was beside himself.” Besides means specially “in addition to,' moreover"; as, Other persons were there besides those mentioned.” Beside and besides are interchangeable in the sense of “over and above,"

distinct from," although besides is more generally used. Discriminate between By and NEAR. By denotes

closer proximity than near. Thus, “He sat by me” means “ close to me." “ He sat near me

might indicate an intervening object or person. Discriminate between By, With, and THROUGH.

By is used to denote the conscious agent, with and through in general the instrument. Thus, Through the information given the general, and

« PreviousContinue »