Sayfadaki görseller


“Us ladies, the ladies of America, ladies' apparel," and so

If a woman of culture and refinement-in short, a lady—is compelled from any cause soever to work in a store, she is quite content to be called a sales-woman; not so, however, with your young woman who, being in a store, is in a better position than ever before. She-Heaven bless her !seethes with indignation if she is not called a saleslady.

Lady is often the proper term to use, and then it would be very improper to use any other term ; but it is very certain that the terms lady and gentleman are least used by those persons who are most worthy of being designated by them. With a nice discrimination worthy of special notice, one of our daily papers recently said: “Miss Jennie Halstead, daughter of the proprietor of the Cincinnati Commercial, is one of the most brilliant young women in Ohio."

In a late number of the London Queen was the following: “The terms ladies and gentlemen become in themselves vulgarisms when misapplied, and the improper application of the wrong term at the wrong time makes all the difference in the world to ears polite. Thus, calling a man a gentleman when he should be called a man, or speaking of a man as a man when he should be spoken of as a geneman; or alluding to a lady as a woman when she should 'luded to as a lady, or speaking of a woman as a lady be should properly be termed a woman. Tact and the fitness of things decide these points, there # rule to go upon to determine when a man is he is a gentleman; and, although he is far me one than the other, he does not thereby of a gentleman. In common parlance, a a to a man, and never a gentleman; to a inally a man and occasionally a gentle.


[ocr errors]

man ; but a man would far oftener term a woman a woman than he would term her a lady. When a man makes use of an adjective in speaking of a lady, he almost invariably calls her a woman. Thus he would say, 'I met a rather agreeable woman at dinner last night'; but he would not say, 'I met an agreeable lady'; but he might say, 'A lady, a friend of mine, told me,' etc., when he would not say, “A woman, a friend of mine, told me,' etc. Again, a man would say, 'Which of the ladies did you take in to dinner?' He would certainly not say, 'Which of the women,' etc.

Speaking of people en masse, it would be to belong to a very advanced school to refer to them in conversation as

men and women,' while it would be al but vulgar to style them ‘ladies and gentlemen,' the compromise between the two being to speak of them as ‘ladies and men. Thus a lady would say, 'I have asked two or three ladies and several men’; she would not say, 'I have asked several men and women'; neither would she say, 'I have asked several ladies and gentlemen.' And, speaking of numbers, it would be very usual to say, “There were a great many ladies, and but very few men present, or, “The ladies were in the majority, so few men l'eing present.' Again, a lady would not say, 'I expect two or three men,' but she would say, 'I expect two or three gentlemen.' When people are on ceremony with each other [one another], they might, perhaps, in speaking of a man, call him a gentleman; but, otherwise, it would be more usual to speak of him as a man. Ladies, when speaking of each other [one another), usually employ the term woman in preference to that of lady. Thus they would say, 'She is a very good-natured woman,'“What sort of a woman is she?' the term lady being entirely out of place under such circumstances. Again, the term young lady gives place as far as possible to the term girl, although


[ocr errors]

it greatly depends upon the amount of intimacy existing as to which term is employed.”

" Let the word lady go, and let ladylikeness be cultivated and intensified under the name of woman.

Man and woman are much more sonorous, humane, and desirable terms than gentleman and lady. It may also be said that in nine cases out of ten their use is much more gentlemanly and ladylike."-N. Y. Sun, Aug. 14, 1887.

“There's one good thing about the new woman-she doesn't call herself the new lady.”—Albany Press-Knickerbocker.

Last-Latter. Last should not be used of two only, since last is a superlative ; and latter should not be used of more than two, since latter is a comparative.

Lay-Lie. rors are frequent in the use of these two irregular verbs. Lay is often used for lie, and lie is sometimes used for lay. This confusion in their use is due, in some measure, doubtless, to the circumstance that lay appears in both verbs, it being the imperfect tense of to lie.

“A mason lays bricks,” “A ship lies at anchor," etc. ; “I must lie down”; “I must lay myself down"; “I must lay this book on the table”; He lies on the grass" : “He lays his plans well” ; “He lay on the grass" ; “He laid it away”; “He has lain in bed long enough “He has laid up some money” ; “He is laying out the grounds” ; “Ships lie at the wharf”; “Hens lay eggs”; “The ship lay at anchor”; “The hen laid an egg.” It will be seen that lay always expresses transitive action, and that lie expresses rest.

“Here lies our sovereign lord, the king,

Whose word no man relies on;
He never says a foolish thing,

Nor ever does a wise one."


We say,

-Written on the bedchamber door of Charles II, by the Earl of Rochester.

“ Dapple had to lay (lie] down on all fours before the lad could bestride him.”

“The Waterloo man was represented by a child of three -a Martin, of course--who laid (lay) down in the gutter."

The look of immovable endurance that underlaid (underlay) her expression.”

“ Those sterling qualities of generosity and discretion that underlaid [underlay] their more prominent attractions."

“No beds whatever, and for a whole week I never took off my clothes, but laid (lay] down in them wrapped in my cloak."

Learn. Long ago this verb was used as a synonym of teach, but in this sense it is now obsolete. To teach is to give instruction ; to learn is to take instruction. “I will learn, if you will teach me." See Teach.

Leave. There are grammarians who insist that this verb should not be used without an object; as, for example, it is used in such sentences as, “When do you leave?“I leave tomorrow." The object of the verb-home, town, or whatever it may be—is, of course, understood ; but this, say these gentlemen, is not permissible. On this point opinions will, I think, differ; they will, however, not differ with regard to the vulgarity of using leave in the sense of let; thus, “ Leave me be"; Leave it alone"; " Leave her be don't bother her”; Leave me see it.”

Sometimes misused in the sense of allow.

“If that system were left [allowed] to continue, after ten years or so no party would dare to suggest the maintenance of any tariff.”—N. Y. Sun.

Lend. See Loan.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Length-Side-Endways. The form preferred is lengthwise, etc.

Lengthened. Sometimes misused for long, though it does not mean long any more than strengthened means strong or heightened means high.

· For a lengthened (long) period the means which [that] I could with propriety devote to the purchase (purchasing, or, better, buying) of books were very limited.”

“ He astonished a literary friend who had accompanied him by repeating a lengthened (long) passage from one of the Eclogues of Virgil."

“Beguile the heavy hour with [by] studying the faces of [in] the congregation below, or [by] watching for the last leaf of the lengthening sermon.”

Lengthy. This word is of comparatively recent origin, and, though it is said to be an Americanism, it is a good deal used in England. The most careful writers, however, both here and elsewhere, prefer the word long : a long discussion," "a long discourse," etc.

Leniency. .Mr. Gould calls this word and lenience "two philological abortions." Lenity is undoubtedly the proper word to use, though both Webster and Worcester do recognize leniency and lenience.

The Standard Dictionary (1895) recognizes leniency, but not lenience.

Less. This word is much used instead of fewer. Less relates to quantity ; fewer to number. Instead of, “ There were not less than twenty persons present,” we should say, “ There were not fewer than twenty persons present.”

“The neat edition published by King contains no less [fewer) than sixty of the popular songs known chiefly to college boys,” etc.-N. Y. Tribune.

Lesser. This form of the comparative of little is ac

[ocr errors]


« ÖncekiDevam »