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time or other by this universal term. It has well been called the strongest evidence of that natural indolence which [that] avoids the trouble of careful thought at all hazards, and [of] that restless hurry which [that] ever makes the word welcome that comes up first and saves time. Whatever is to be made, whatever needs repair, whatever requires arrangement-all is fixed. The farmer fixes his gates, the mechanic his work-bench, the seamstress her sewing machine, the fine lady her hair, and the schoolboy his rules. At a public meeting, it is fixed who are to be the candidates for office, rules are fixed to govern an institution, and when all arrangements have been made the people contentedly say: Now everything is nicely fixed."
Flee-Fly. These verbs, though near of kin, are not interchangeable. For example, we can not say, “He flew the city,” “He flew from his enemies,” “He flew at the approach of danger,” flew being the imperfect tense of to fly, which is properly used to express the actions of birds on the wing, of kites, arrows, etc. The imperfect tense of to flee is fled; hence, “ He fled the city,” “ He fled from his enemies,”
," "We fled at the approach of danger,” etc.
Flock Distinctions in the use of collective nouns have been thus pointed out :
A flock of girls is called a bevy; a bevy of wolves a pack; a pack of thieves a gang; a gang of angels a host; a host of porpoises a shoal; a shoal of buffalo a herd ; a herd of children a troop; a troop of partridges a covey ; a covey of beauties a galaxy; a galaxy of ruffians a horde ; a horde of rubbish a heap; a heap of oxen a drove ; a drove of blackguards a mob; a mob of whales a school; a school of worshipers a congregation ; a congregation of engineers a
corps ; a corps of robbers a band; a band of locusts a swarm ; a swarm of people a crowd.
Fly. “Why did the fly Texan, after handling the money and seeing it put into the bag, draw his pistol on the New York swindler as he was pushing the bag toward the panel ?”—Ed. N. Y. Sun.
I don't know what fly means in the sentence above, but I suspect that it's slang.
Forcible-feeble. This is a “novicy" kind of diction in which the would-be forcible writer defeats his object by the overuse of expletives.
Examples : “And yet the great centralization of wealth is one of the [great] evils of the day. All that Mr. utters [says) upon this point is forcible and just. This centralization is due to the enormous reproductive power of capital, to the immense advantage that costly and compli. cated machinery gives to great [large] establishments, and to the marked difference of personal force among men.” The first great is misplaced ; the word utters is misused ; the second great is ill-chosen. The other words in italics only enfeeble the sentence.
Again : “In countries where immense (large) estates exist, a breaking up of these vast demesnes into many minor freeholds would no doubt be a [of] very great advantage.” Substitute large for immense, and take out vast, many, and very, and the language becomes much more forcible. Again : “ The very first effect of the
taxation plan would be destructive to the interests of this great multitude [class]; it would impoverish our innumerable farmers, it would confiscate the earnings of sour] industrious tradesmen and artisans, it would [and] paralyze the hopes of struggling millions.” What a waste of
portly expletives is here! With them the sentence is high-flown and weak ; take them out and introduce the words inclosed in brackets, and it becomes simple and forcible.
Former and latter. The less a writer uses these words the better. In the interest of force and clearness their use should be studiously avoided. It is nearly always better to repeat the noun.
“The Suabian cities . . . now made another attempt to protect themselves against the encroachments of the reigning princes upon their rights. For two years a fierce war waged between them (the cities] and the latter (the princes], who were headed,” etc.—Bayard Taylor. In this sentence it is also better not to use them, but to repeat the noun. In using pronouns one can not be too sparing.
“In this treaty the emperor . . . infamously gave his allies to Charles the Bold's revenge. The latter (Charles] instantly seized,” etc.
In case of disagreement between the President and any member of the cabinet, has the former (President) the power of removal of (to remove] such officer ?”
“The gentleman was waiting to shoot tigers as they came to drink at a lake skirted by a jungle, when about midnight a deer emerged from the latter (jungle] and went to the water's edge.”
“Thus Texas, with a population of 2,650,000, would have to pay more than Massachusetts, with a population of 2,472,000, though the latter State [Massachusetts) has more than three times the wealth of the former (Texas).”
“ Li Hung Chang's degradation may mean much, and it may mean nothing ; it is more than probable that it is the latter (means nothing)."
“Such was Bonaparte's first interview with Barras. Subsequently the latter (Barras), finding himself,” etc.
“This physical double of Bonaparte was Marat. I had seen
a good deal of the latter [Marat] on the benches," etc.
The reader usually has to go back, if he would be sure which is former and which latter.
“Griffin paid no attention to Buttz. At the corner of Park and State Streets the latter (Buttz] drew a revolver," etc.
During the altercation between the moderator and the accused, the former (moderator] declared Mr. Blank suspended, whereupon the latter (Mr. Blank] rose and said: • You have,'” etc.
Forward. This word, like upward, downward, toward, and other compounds of ward, is often written with a final s, yet the s is generally considered a superfuity.
Frequently. See GENERALLY.
Friend-Acquaintance. Some philosopher has said that he that has half a dozen friends in the course of his life may deem himself fortunate ; and yet, to judge from many people's talk, one would suppose they had friends by the score. No man knows whether he has any friends or not until he has “their adoption tried”; hence, he that is desirous to call things by their right names will, as a rule, use the word acquaintance instead of friend. “Your friend” is a favorite and very objectionable way many people, especially young people, have of writing themselves at the end of their letters. In this way the obscure stripling protests himself the FRIEND of the first man in the land, and that, too, when he is, perhaps, a comparative stranger and asking a favor.
Future. Sometimes strangely misused for thereafter, after, afterward, subsequent, thus :
“ His future (subsequent] career is involved in mystery.”
Early the following year they bought a place in the country, where they resided [lived] a good deal for the future [afterward]."
" It was a triumph, and for the future [thereafter] Maurice found his men more easily managed.”
Many a time in the future [afterward, or subsequently] when the story was told,” etc.
“Her future [after] life was,” etc.
" At a future (subsequent] meeting Sir David was served with an indictment.”
“Upon all future (subsequent] occasions the Queen was very affable."
“And what was the future (subsequent] career of these two ?”
Future can not properly be used with a past tense, except where the statement has the effect of an indirect quotation; as, “ He said his whole future career depended on his yielding."
Gender. When nobody, no one, no person, not any one, one, or not anybody is the antecedent-i. e., when the an. tecedent may be of either sex-the masculine pronoun should always be used.
Nobody [else] ever [has] put so much of themselves [himself) into their [his] work.”—Leslie Stephen on Charlotte Brontë. "There was something indignant in her manner,
like one who felt herself [himself] under the mortifying necessity of conforming to the will of others.” The felt should be feels.
Generally. Here is a word that is very frequently used