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close resemblance in sense. The principles of difference are here very various; in some cases, one word has an active and the other a passive meaning, as in the following:— 'veracity' and 'truth ;'.force' and • strength;' 'forgetfulness' and 'oblivion ;' “hatred' and odium ;' ability' and capacity;' trust' and • credit;' consent' and 'assent,' &c.

In another class it will be found that the one word differs from the other in intensity of meaning, as in * compunction' and 'remorse ;' diligence' and `industry;' 'intention' and 'purpose ; ' moment' and ‘instant;' “pertinacity' and 'obstinacy; ' plenty' and abundance;' temperance' and 'abstinence,' &c.

Again, words may differ from each other as being the one positive and the other negative in meaning ; one expressing the presence, and the other the absence of a quality; as in "desperate' and "hopeless ;' "disbelief' and 'unbelief;' 'injury' and 'disadvantage;' suspicion' and distrust,' &c.

Lastly, a fertile source of difference of meaning may be found in the principle by which one word has a generic, and the other a specific signification. This difference will be found between such words as ' leave' and 'quit ; ' 'bonds' and 'fetters ; ' 'list' and catalogue;' 'praise' and 'applause;' 'way' and road,' &c. 1

A knowledge of these and many other differences in the signification of words will be of incalculable advantage to the learner. It will not only prevent

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For more detailed information on this part of the study of English composition, the reader is referred to the Author's “ English Synonymes Classified and Explained.” Longman and Co.

inaccuracy of expression, but will materially increase his power of writing ; especially in narrative and description, where a graphic delineation is more particularly required.

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A very common error in writing is to use English words in a foreign sense. Some employ the word • assist' in the French sense of “to be present.' To assist at a ceremony means in English to take part in it; whereas, in French, it signifies to be present on the occasion.

To arrive' is another word that has been used incorrectly. A writer says: “I am a man, and cannot help feeling any sorrow that can arrive at man.” (It should be happen to man.')

“To progress' in the sense of 'to advance' is an Americanism we should do well to avoid.

Sir Archibald Alison, in his “History of Europe," uses the strange word implemented ;' thus : "All the stipulations of the treaty were implemented by the Austrians with true German faith.” Whatever may have been the author's meaning, there is no authority for this word.

Party' is a word frequently misused, and is vulgarly employed for 'person.' One person may be a party to a contract, because he takes part in an agreement which, of necessity, comprises more than one; but as applied to a single person in any other sense, the word is inadmissible. Some use the verb to obtain' incorrectly in the sense of 'to prevail,' as, “ This fashion could not long obtain.Obtain what? The verb to obtain ’ is transitive, and should be followed by its object.

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The adjective mutual' is frequently used improperly. When two persons speak of a third, they should not call him their mutual, but their common, friend. A and B may be mutual friends, and C may be a common friend to A and B.

The word avocation' is often improperly used for vocation. The main business of a man's life may, by a figure, be termed his vocation, or calling; but 'avocation properly means whatever may call him away from his usual occupation, and should never be used in the other sense.

But of all cases of the abuse of words, the false application of the verb “to ventilate' is the most flagrant. The word, in its original and proper sense, means to cause the air to circulate; but now some writers speak of ventilating a subject. “The question bas been well ventilated,” says a modern writer, using the word in the sense of to discuss at length, or to expatiate on a subject. This is an absurd and useless innovation, and one which no one who has any pretensions to good taste should think of adopting.

American writers generally use the word 'over' incorrectly, as in the following sentence: “ There was but one pair of horses in over a hundred that were tolerably good.” (It should be “in more than a hundred,' &c.)

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IMPROPRIETY IN PHRASES.

The next point for consideration is impropriety in phrases, as distinguished from single words. An incorrect expression of this sort will frequently arise from inconsistency. The phrase 'of all others,' used

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after the superlative, is open to objection. For example: “It celebrates the Church of England as the most perfect of all others.” Since the writer here means to distinguish the Church of England from all others, how can he properly speak of it as the most perfect of all others? It should be as more perfect than any other,' or, 'as the most perfect of all Churches.'

The expression among others,' as commonly applied, does not seem very philosophical. It has been said, “ Among other things, he spoke of his adventures in India.” Now surely we should here say, as well as, or besides other things, and not among them; for the phrase does not mean that he spoke of these adventures as mixed up with, or together with other things, but apart from them.

Faults of this sort are often made through inattention; as, “I do not reckon that we want a genius more than the rest of our neighbours.” This sentence was written by Dean Swift, and the following, open to a similar objection, are also from his pen :—“I had like to have gotten one or two broken heads for my impertinence.” “The first project was to shorten discourse by cutting polysyllables into one." lemnly declare that I have not wilfully committed the least mistake.” The terms in the last sentence are incompatible ; for a mistake never can be wilful. When Addison wrote

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“So the pure limpid stream, when foul with stains

Of rushing torrents,” &c.,

he fell into the same sort of inaccuracy. A stream cannot be pure and limpid when it is foul with stains.

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It is not uncommon to meet with the expression 'the greater majority' incorrectly applied; as, “The greater majority voted for the former member.” A member might be returned to Parliament by a greater majority on one occasion than on another; but in any one election there could not be two majorities to compare together; and consequently the expression, thus applied, is incorrect. (It should be a large majority.')

Another inconsistency is found in the expression so frequently met with, 'different to.' These two words, when used together, imply a contradiction. Different' means bearing asunder;' that is, going two ways, apart from each other; whereas to’ denotes approximation, or the coming together of things. We differ from others when we do not agree with them in opinion. Things are sometimes different from, and not to, each other.

It is satisfactory to observe that our best writers are now beginning to reject the preposition 'to'after the words “averse' and 'aversion.' "To' is here open to the same objection as in the last-mentioned

The word “averse' means turning from,' and we should say, properly, averse from, and not to, anything we may dislike.

We occasionally meet with a verb followed by a preposition, where no preposition is required; as, “He investigated into the matter.” This is incorrect; a magistrate may inquire into or about a case, but he investigates the case itself.

Irving, in his "Life of Washington," speaks of him as being taken down with a fever.” This is not English.

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