Abbildungen der Seite

a passive sense; Occupation has both an active and a passive sense.

POLITE [Lat.]; CIVIL [Lat.]; POLISHED [Lat.].-Polished may be applied to that which exhibits traces of finish in training or preparation; as, "A polished man," "Polished manners," "A polished discourse." Polished is opposed to rough; it is an attribute of external things.

Civil. The civil man is observant of the slight outward courtesies of intercourse between man and man. True civility is seen in the demeanor of those who respect others because they respect themselves, and is as far removed from condescension on the one side as from servility on the other.

Polite. The polite man is polished in such courtesies, and is in higher training. The courtier is polite, but even the rustic may be civil. The civil man is not necessarily polite. Civility is confined to no class or grade of society; Politeness is between equals, and that in the society of the better born and educated.

PEOPLE [O. E. or Lat. populus]; PERSONS [Lat.]. — In colloquial language, these terms are synonymous; as, "Many persons say so"; "Many people do it." The dif ference seems to be that in the term Persons, the individuals are more thought of, and with more deference; while in the term People, the individuals are merged in the aggregate. "At the dinner yesterday there were five people," would be, if not inelegant, expressive of contemptuousness. "People of that sort"; "Persons of distinction"; "People say"; "It is said by many respectable persons." It may be observed that Persons in this general sense does not appear in the objective case. Again, "This often pleases people" (not persons).

PERUSE READ [A. S.].—To Read is to interpret characters into their words whether mentally only or audibly also; and more generally, to gather the meaning by observation of anything which expresses itself by outward effects or indications; as, to read character in a face.

To Peruse, the etymology of which is quite uncertain, meant formerly to observe closely and in detail. This might be the matter of some book or not. Now to peruse is to read thoughtfully. One peruses at length a work in which one is interested; one reads, it may be, a name upon a sign-post.

PERSUADE [Lat.]; CONVINCE [Lat.].-Persuade has much in common with Convince; but conviction is the result of the understanding, persuasion of the will. Conviction is a necessity of the mind; persuasion, an acquiescence of the inclination. Conviction, being mental, is less active; persuasion, being moral, is the more active outwardly. We are convinced of truths and facts. We are persuaded to act and to behave. We speak of a persuasive manner, convincing proofs.

PURPOSE [O. Fr.]; PROPOSE [Lat.].—No two terms are more commonly confounded than Purpose and Propose; but the former denotes a settled, the latter a contingent, state of the mind. I propose to do something, if I have not yet made up my mind. I purpose when I have made it up. Yet the words Purpose and Propose might often be used indifferently, provided it be remembered that they express different aspects of the same thing. I purpose to do a thing when I have formed a practical intention to do it. I propose to do it when I recognize it as a design which I shall carry out, provided nothing should arise to hinder or deter me.

RESOLUTION [Lat.]; DETERMINATION [Lat.]; DECISION [Lat.].—A choice between action and inaction is Resolution. A choice between one motive and another is Determination. An irrevocable choice is Decision.. Decision commonly implies a choice among several courses of action. We determine what to do and resolve to carry out our determination. Determination is a less energetic form of decision. Resolution is a promise made to one's self to undertake a thing. It implies a finer moral choice. A stubborn man may be determined, a firm man is resolved, what to do. Both determination and decision are at an end when the action has been entered upon, but resolution may be carried on into the action itself.

Decision is an act of the mind, and supposes examination. Resolution is an act of the will, and supposes deliberation. Our decisions should be just, that we may not repent them. Our resolutions should be firm, that we may not break them.

In matters of science, we speak of the decision of a question, and of the resolution of a doubt or difficulty.

WATCH [A. S.]; OBSERVE [Lat.].—Watching is a strict, constant, close, and eager observation. We Observe with coolness the present state of a case. We watch for what is to take place hereafter. Where we are interested, we observe. Where we are suspicious, we watch.

WEIGHT [A. S.]; HEAVINESS [A. S.].—Weight is wholly indefinite, and is opposed to that which is imponderable. The lightest substances have some amount of weight. Weight, however, is used scientifically, while Heaviness is concrete, that is, expresses the sensation of weight. In their secondary senses, Heaviness is the weight of care or trouble, Weightiness, the urgency of fact or reasoning. Heavy

rather than weighty is the term employed to express the force which results from the weight of a body in motion. Thus we speak of a heavy, not a weighty, blow. The felled tree falls not weightily, but heavily, to the ground.

WHOLE [A. S.]; ENTIRE [O. Fr. or Lat.]; Complete [Lat.].-Whole and Entire are very nicely distinguished. In most cases the words are simply interchangeable. The entire house and the whole house are the same thing. But Whole relates to what is made up of parts, and a whole thing is a thing in which no part is wanting. Entire does not relate to any idea of parts, but simply to perfect and undiminished unity. So that in cases in which the idea is not resolvable into parts, Entire is used where Whole could not be. So we say, "A whole orange," "A whole number," "The whole quantity." But, "His character was marked by an entire absence of selfishness," "entire igno," "entire confidence," "entire control," and the like. Complete denotes the possession of all that is needful to constitute a thing, or to fulfill a purpose or a definition. A thing is entire which is not broken, or mutilated, or divided; it is complete when it wants nothing. Complete relates to what implies a thing in its perfection.


WING [Dan. Sw.]; PINION [Fr.].-The Pinion is a feathered wing; while Wing is more generally a lateral appendage of comparatively light material, moved with a vibratory motion, and supporting the flying body by its pressure upon the atmosphere. Hence, insects, for instance, have wings,

but not pinions.

SORRY [A. S.]; GRIEVED [Lat.]; HURT [O. Fr.].—Sorry and Grieved differ from the nouns Sorrow and Grief in being used in a lighter sense and of more ordinary matters.

We are commonly sorry for what is on our own account, and grieved on account of another. To be grieved is more than to be sorry. "I am sorry that I was not at home when you called"; "I was much grieved to hear the loss he had sustained."

Hurt is used of wounded feelings, and denotes the sense of having been treated unfairly, inconsiderately, or without due respect.

We are sorry for circumstances. We are grieved for acts and conduct. We are hurt by treatment or behavior.

SORROW; GRIEF.-Grief and Sorrow are very nearly alike, but Grief is the more active and demonstrative of the two. It expresses a poignant state of mental trouble, while Sorrow is more still and reflexive, and is more commonly tinged with regret. Grief contemplates things as they might have been, and deplores the fact of their occurrence. Being more active than Sorrow, it is often found mingled with compassion for others, and with remorse on our own account. Grief is caused by bitter calamities and misfortunes which come to us from outside. Sorrow may be the consequence of our own acts. Sorrow in the last degree is profound; Grief is violent. Sorrow mourns; Grief cries aloud.

TEDIOUS [Lat.]; IRKSOME [O. E.].—Tedious denotes the weariness caused by time. The nature of the thing to be done makes it irksome. The time taken up in doing a thing makes it tedious. Hence, Tedious denotes what is felt after a work is begun or a process commenced; while Irksome may denote the feeling which prevents one from undertaking at all.

TIMELY [A.S.]; SEASONABLE [Fr.]; OPPORTUNE [Lat.].— Timely means in good time; Seasonable, in right time.

« ZurückWeiter »