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been here for upward of a year”; “For upward of three quarters of a century she has,” etc., meaning, for more than three quarters of a century.

Usage. Sometimes misused for use, though the two words are widely different in meaning. A near synonym of usage is custom. “With the National Assembly of France, law and usage (or custom] are nothing." A near synonym of use is utility. “ The Greeks, in the heroic age, seem to have been acquainted with the use [or utility] of iron.”

Strangely enough, Dr. Hodgson frequently makes this error in his Errors in the Use of English. He writes :

•Concerning the usage of either and neither as conjunctions," etc. “ But this usage [of prædicare) never found favor with classic writers either in Latin or in English.” “This usage [of ambition as a verb] occurs frequently in the Sub-Alpine Kingdom of Mr. Bayle St. John."

Use to. Properly, used to. “ We used to live there" : not, we use to live there.

Usually. See GENERALLY.

Utter. This verb is often misused for say, express. To utter means to speak, to pronounce; and its derivative utterance means the act, manner, or power of uttering, vocal expression; as, “the utterance of articulate sounds." We utter a cry; express a thought or sentiment ; speak our mind; and, though prayers are said, they may be uttered in a certain tone or manner. “Mr. Blank is right in all he utters": read says. “The court uttered a sentiment that all will applaud": read, expressed a sentiment.

The primary meaning of the adjective utter is outer, on the outside ; but it is no longer used in this sense. It is now used in the sense of complete, total, perfect, mere, entire ; but he that uses it indiscriminately as a synonym of


these words will frequently utter utter nonsense—i. e., he will utter that that is without the pale of sense. For example, we can not say utter concord, but we can say utter discord-i. e., without the pale of concord.

Valuable. The following sentence, which recently appeared in one of the more fastidious of our morning papers, is offered as an example of extreme slipshodness in the use of language: “Sea captains are among the most valuable contributors to the Park aviary." What the writer probably meant to say is, “Sea captains are among those whose contributions to the Park aviary are the most valuable.” A valued contributor would be quite correct. So, also, we say properly, “A valued friend."

Vast. This word is often met with in forcible-feeble diction, where it is used instead of great or large to qualify such words as number, majority, multitude, and the like. Big words and expletives should be used only where they are really needed ; where they are not really needed they go wide of the object aimed at. The sportsman that hunts small game with buckshot comes home emptyhanded.

Venal-Mercenary. Venal signifies, Ready to be sold; and applied to persons, as it commonly is applied, it is a much stronger term than mercenary. Persons that are venal are without principle. A mercenary spirit is engendered in those that devote themselves exclusively to trade. A person too studious of profit is mercenary.

Venial. This word, so like venal in appearance, is wholly unlike it in meaning. What may be tolerated without express disparagement or direct censure is venial. Garrulity is a venial offence in old age. The synonyms of venial are excusable and pardonable, the two latter being the stronger terms.

Veracity. This word, which means, The quality of being truthful, is sometimes misused for truth, thus :

“There was no reason to doubt the veracity [truth] of those facts." --Addison.

These two points have no more to do with the veracity (truth] of the Christian religion than chemistry Chas)."

Truth may be used in speaking both of persons and of facts, while veracity is properly used only of persons.

“The truth of the story is admitted on the veracity of the narrator."

In the phrase so often heard, “A man of truth and veracity,” veracity is entirely superfluous, it having the same meaning as truth.

Verbal. In strictness this word should not be used in the sense of oral, but its use in this sense is sanctioned by the best writers in the language, and also by the dictionaries.

“Without sending as much as a verbal message to Mrs. Slope's note.”

A message in words, no matter how sent, is a verbal message.

Verbal ellipses. We frequently, and very properly, omit a verb in one clause of a sentence, but the ellipsis is permissible only when the form of the verb in the other clause is such that it could take the place of the omitted verb without any change of form; thus, “I am surprised that he has acted as he has.” “Have you not sworn allegiance to me?” “I have."

The following are some examples of faulty ellipsis :

“But you will bear it as you have [borne] so many things.”

“I am anxious for the time [to come] when he will talk as much nonsense to me as I have (talked] to him."

“That foreign taste may have [exercised) and did exer. cise a powerful influence, is doubtless true.”

“Some part of the exemption and liability may [be], and no doubt is, due to mental and physical causes.”

“Blake wrote and drew with marvelous genius, but I doubt whether any one has [followed] or would care to follow in his steps."

“ He ridicules the notion that truth will prevail; it never has [prevailed), and it never will [prevail].”

“I never have [attacked) and never will attack a man for speculative opinions.”

Verbal nouns. Often where we find a simple noun, a verb in some shape is required in order properly to express the thought intended. In such cases a verbal (participial] noun will commonly suffice, though often a simple participle, and sometimes a verb in the infinitive, would better the diction.

The compiler's part has been limited, first, to the selection of the objects of portraiture; secondly, the choice of the historians from whom extracts should be made ; and, third, the preparation of short prefatory notes restricted to an outline of dates and incidents."-N. Y. Sun. Not so.

The compiler's part has been limited to the selecting, the choosing, and the preparing. True, the writer's diction is very common ; we see it every day and everywhere, but that does not make it correct. The compiler's part was to do something, and we can not express doing with a simple noun.

If the writer had taken more time he would probably have written objects to portray instead of objects of portraiture.

“We infer from the bold attitude of the Union Leaguers in regard to the taxation (taxing] of the liquor traffic that the club means at last to apply for a license.”—N. Y. Sun.

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The Government refuses to accept the proposals for an arrangement touching the national debt, the construction [constructing) of a railroad to Quito, and the establishment [establishing] of an official bank."

“The organization created for the completion of [to complete] the fund is now moving."

“Although the fund required for the completion of [to complete] this monumental tomb,” etc. The participial form would do, but the infinitive is very much better. See Noun CONSTRUCTION.

Verbiage. An unnecessary profusion of words is called verbiage : verbosity, wordiness.

“I thought what I read of it verbiage.”-Johnson.

Sometimes a better name than verbiage for wordiness would be emptiness. Witness :

“Clearness may be developed and cultivated in three ways. (a) By constantly practicing in heart and life the thoughts and ways of honesty and frankness.” The first sentence evidently means, “Clearness may be attained in three ways" ;

but what the second sentence means--if it means anything—is more than I can tell. Professor L. T. Townsend, Art of Speech, vol. i, p. 130, adds: “This may be regarded as the surest path to greater transparency of style." The transparency of Dr. Townsend's style is peculiar. Also, p. 144, we find : “The laws and rules? thus far laid down’ furnish ample foundation for the general statement that an easy and natural“ expression, an exact verbal incarnation of one's thinking, together with the power of using appropriate figures, and of making nice discriminations between approximate synonyms, each being an important factor in correct style, are attained in two ways :' (1) Through moral $ and men. tal discipline ; (2) Through continuous and intimate

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