Abbildungen der Seite
[ocr errors]

'modesty." In this case the flower itself is the emblem: “modesty” is the meaning given to it.

55. Expect, for suppose, or think; as, “I expect you had a pretty hard time of it yesterday.” Expect refers only to that which is to come.

56. Inaugurate, for begin or set up. To inaugurate is to induct into office with solemn ceremonies; thus we speak of the President's being inaugurated. But we can not inaugurate a thing

57. Name, for mention; as, “I never named the matter to any one." Name is properly used in the sense of “giving a name to," "mentioning by name, or "designating for any purpose by name"; but to use it interchangeably with “mention” is without authority.

[ocr errors]

Be careful in the use of prepositions, conjunctions, and other particles. When prepositions follow nouns, verbs, or adjectives, select those which usage has sanctioned. The following list from Angus' Hand-Book of the English Language will be of use for reference:

Accord with (neuter).

ing, from when describing an Accord to (active).

act or state. Accuse of crime, by one's friend.

Bestow upon. Acquit persons of.

Boast of. Affinity to or between.

Call on. Adapted to a thing or for a purpose. Change for. Agreeable to.

Confer on (give), with (converse). Agree with persons, to things, Confide in, when intransitive; among ourselves.

when transitive, confide it to. Amuse with, at, in.

Conformable to; so the verb and Angry with (a person), at (a thing). adverb. Anxious for, about, sometimes on. Compliance with. Attend to (listen).

Consonant to, sometimes with. Attend upon (wait).

Correspond with (by letter), to Averse to, when describing feel- (similar things).


Dependent on, upon.

Martyr for a cause, to a disease. Derogate from.

Marry to. Derogatory to a person or thing. Need of. Die of or by.

Notice of. Differ from

Observance of Difference with a person.

Prejudicial to. Difference between things.

Prejudice against. Difficulty in.

Profit by. Diminution of.

Provide for, with, against. Disappointed of what we do not Recreant to, from.

get; and in it when we get it Reconcile to. and it fails to answer our ex- Replete with. pectations.

Resemblance toc Disapprove of.

Resolve on. Discouragement to.

Respect for, to. Dissent from.

Grieve at, for. Distinguished for,from, sometimes Independent of.

Insist upon. Eager in.

Made of, for, from, with. Entertain by (a person), with (a Reduce to a state; under subjection. thing).

Regard for or to Exception is taken to statements; Smile at, upon.

sometimes against; the verb has Swerve from. sometimes from.

Taste of what is actually enjoyed, Expert at or in.

for what we have the capacity Fall under.

of enjoying. Free from.

Think of or on.
Frightened at.

Thirst for, after.
Glad of something gained, and of True of (predicable).

or at what befalls another. True to (faithful). Convenient to or for.

Wait on (serve), at a place), for Conversant with persons; in af- (await). fairs; about subjects.

Worthy of.
Many expressions have become so fixed that a change
would violate propriety. Bain mentions the following:
Use or employ means.

Take degrees.
Take steps.

Contract habits.
Acquire knowledge.

Lay up treasures.

Obtain rewards.
Win prizes.
Gain celebrity
Arrive at honors,
Conduct affairs.
Espouse a side.
Interpose authority.

Pursue a course.
Turn to account.
Serve for a warning.
Bear malice.
Profess principles.
Cultivate acquaintance.
Pass over in silence.


DIRECTION.-Substitute appropriate expressions for the italicized words:

1. They never swerved in their allegiance to him. 2. Favors are not always bestowed to the most deserving. 3. A strong young woman was employed to attend to the baly. 4. She was disappointed in not obtaining a reward. 5. He is conversant with the most intricate affairs of state. 6. He spoke most contemptibly of his assistant. 7. James sings like Charles does. 8. Congratulate to themselves. 9. That variety of faction into which we are still engaged 10. Nevertheless, it is open, I expect, to serious question. 11. The Irish are perpetually using “shall” for “will." 12. The rains rendered the roads impracticable.

13. Perhaps some people are quite indifferent whether or no it is said that they sip their coffee out of a jar.

14. The greatest masters of critical learning differ among one another.

15. The emblem of the lily is purity. 16. He predicated his action on a misconception of my meaning. 17. Macaulay speaks of an observation of the Sabbath. 18. I thus obtained a character for natural powers of reasoning. 19. I have no doubt but that the pistol is a relic of the buccaneers.

20. Hast thou walked in the world wi such little observance as to wonder that men are not what they seem?

21. A society for the prevention of cruelty to animals has been inaugurated.

22. Triplet disbarrassed her of a thick mantle and a hood that concealed her features.



23. He looked wretchedly. 24. She feels badly. 25. I doubt his lady could demean herself so low as to accept me. 26. He is resolved of going to the Persian court. 27. He has a good record, I am told, and preaches to acceptance. 28. I have a couple of dollars. 29. He accorded me the privilege. 30. The balance of the night was spent in finding a hiding-place. 31. Herschel discovered the telescope.

32. Observe me, Sir Anthony, I would by no means wish a daughter of mine to be a progeny of learning.

33. They stand upon security, and will not liberate him until it be obtained.

34. The children work hard to gain rewards. 35. In their perplexity, they knew not what course to follow. 36. James inserts his authority without due reflection. 37. He owns principles that are opposed to such a line of action.

38. H. D. Osgood has won the honor of representing his country at the court of Austria.

Precision.-Precision (from the Latin præcidere, to cut off,) is that property of diction which requires the use of such words as cut off all that we do not mean to express. If, for example, we wish to say, “He has sufficient money, but say instead, “He has enough money,” we express more than we intend. Sufficient means what one actually needs; enough, what one desires. When one has money to supply all his needs, he has sufficient; he has enough only when his desires are satisfied. The precise writer chooses words that express what he means to say without any addition or diminution.

Discourse may lack precision (1) Through the use of equivocal terms; (2) Through the confounding of synonyms.

Equivocal terms.-These are words and phrases that admit of being understood in a sense different from that in which the writer applies them. They are found in every

part of speech. Thus, "did" is used equivocally in this sentence: “He admired nothing except what you did.” To those who are ignorant of the facts, this might mean, “He admired nothing except your doings or actions,” or, “He admired nothing except what you admired."

There are few words in our language which have only one meaning. Some are used in many different senses, and the meaning intended by the writer must be inferred from the connection. There is usually no difficulty in this when the word is used in the same sense throughout a sentence, and in sentences near one another. Obscurity arises, however, if the same word has two different meanings in the same sentence.

[ocr errors]

Synonymous Words.-In the second place, precision is violated by the faulty use of synonymous words. As, by the changes of language, the same word is brought to designate different things, so different words are brought to designate the same thing, or nearly the same) No two words are the exact equivalents of each other, though it may answer practical purposes to use them as such. “Syn

“ onym" is commonly applied, therefore, to words not identical, but similar, in meaning; generically so alike as to be liable to be confounded, yet specifically so different as to require to be distinguished. Thus “hasten” and “hurry” both imply a quick movement, but “hurry” always adds the idea of excitement or irregularity, while “hasten" conveys only the notion of rapid movement.

The English language, more than any other, has words that are truly synonymous, and this on account of its composite character. In many cases we have two sets of derivatives, one set from the Latin, the other set from the Anglo-Saxon, which are nearly parallel in meaning; as,

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »