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Why not go a step further, and say, “I was obliged to occupy an appalling bed for the night”?
Don't write “a canine” when you mean “a dog."
Pedal extremities” is a poor expression for "feet.”
Possibly írom a false notion of delicacy, in much modern speech and writing, the ass has become the donkey. Now, although a donkey must be either an ass or a mule, neither an ass nor a mule is necessarily a donkey. An ass may be a wild-ass, or an unbroken domestic one, and so may a mule be either wild or unbroken. A donkey is an ass, or a mule, broken to the saddle, or to draught.
Don't hesitate to use the word "legs” in case of need. Saying "limbs” or “extremities" instead is not being delicate ; it is the height of indelicacy. “A nice man,” says Dean Swist, “is a man of nasty ideas." In the avoidance of certain proper words, and the substitution of other words for them, there is involved the admission of the existence of an indelicate thought. A French teacher once said to a squeamish young lady who hesitated to pronounce the word “leg” where it occurred in an account of the wounding of Napoleon : “Ah, Mademoiselle, la vraie délicatesse ne pense pas à de telles choses." True delicacy has no such ideas.
It is generally understood nowadays that the words “gentleman” and “lady” should be used with discretion in speaking of others, and never, as a rule, in speaking of one's self. In referring to the admirable traits of character possessed by a female acquaintance, it would be incorrect for one to say : She is a fine lady.” One should, in that case, say : “She is a fine woman." A fine woman is something infinitely superior to a fine lady. Again, were one to say of a certain person: “She is a well-dressed lady," the expression would imply that ladies may not be well-dressed, which is not a fact. Numerous cases might be cited in which the word is misused ; as, when a person speaks of a good lady, a modest lady, a charitable lady, an amiable lady, a handsome
lady, a graceful lady. In some of these cases the expression is wrong because the epithet is involved in the character; in others it is wrong because the epithet is applied to individuals as belonging to the female sex, not as restricted to those who are ladies. To advertise for a “saleslady” is as absurd as it would be to advertise for a
salesgentleman.". “ Saleswoman” is the correlative of salesman.” Sometimes we
advertisements reading like this : Boarding -- Two respectable young ladies can find home comforts in a private family,"
As if ladies could be other than respectable ! Even in a leading editorial of a careful newspaper there appeared these phrases : “Every well-bred gentleman," "every well-bred lady." As if to be a gentleman or a lady is not to be well-bred ! To speak of a man and his wife as “Mr. Soand-So and lady” is vulgar. In France a similar vulgarity is
There gentleman always says ma femme (my wife ), but the vulgar, through affectation, often say mon épouse ( my spouse ). Unless there is a distinct reason for using the word " lady," the word “woman" should be used. The only exceptions are in the case of youth
is customary, in speaking of well-grown boys and girls of a certain station, to call them "young gentlemen " and “young ladies.”
It is also customary, in speaking of old men and old women of a certain station, to call them “old gentle
and “old ladies." An additional epithet is frequently applied to them, as when we speak of a fine old gentleman," "a fine old lady," "a nice old gentleman,"
a nice old lady," a cross old gentleman," “a cross old lady."
It is strange that the persons who are most addicted to the use of the word “lady" are also the very ones who do not scruple to apply the word “female” to every degree of womankind. Yet, the words "male" and “ female” are not properly used as nouns, except in speaking of the lower animals. To the sexes of mankind, they are properly applied only as adjectives. We can say : The male pupils, the female pupils, the male
and of age.
.singers, the female singers, the male descendants, the female descendants, and so on; but we cannot say of a man : “He is a handsome male,” nor is it any better to say of a woman : “She is a handsome female." Women have reason to resent the word. “ Gents” wear
pants.” Gentlemen wear trousers. The word "pantaloons," from the Italian words, singular and plutal, pantalone, pantaloni, received into English through the French (
(pantalon ), – through whom the garment also came, – is in good usage, but trousers" is supplanting it.
A very prevalent error in the use of a word in
wrong sense may be found in the expression, our mutual friend." Dickens, whose English is often careless, helped establish the phrase by using it as a title for one of his novels. Primarily, the word "mutual” relates to persons, and to only two persons.
The idea that it conveys is reciprocity of sentiment or of action. Two persons may have a mutual affection or a mutual aversion, but there is no suggestion of a third person in the word. Two persons may mutually embrace, but they cannot mutually embrace some one else. Individually, every human being partakes of the lot of mutual dependence. Secondarily, the word may refer to many persons regarded as comprised in two divisions. The intercourse of two societies may be for their mutual advantage. Our common friend, common enemy, common acquaintance, or whatever the case may be, are the proper expressions ing, the friend, enemy, acquaintance, common to both of us - our friend, enemy, acquaintance, in common.
Avoid the use of "party" for man" or 'person." Instead of saying, “Who was the party that called you up ?” say, Who was it called you up ?”
"Individual” is another word to be avoided in the mere sense of “person." When used it should always convey some thought of a single person or thing as opposed to many. If, for instance, a traveler, 'looking from a mountain toward a distant city, could see each one of the houses, he rould not otherwise communicate the fact so well as by saying that he could " distinguish
the individual houses." It is good English to say : “The strength of a community depends on the character of the individuals composing it." “Who is that individual ?” is
The last clause in the sentence, “ Ought we to esteem the man who faces danger, or he who deceives ?" should be who deceives.”
“Me,' “him," and “them," "my," “his,” and “their” are often incorrectly used with participial nouns ; as, “I do not like him staying out so late at night.” The sentence should be : "I do not like his staying out so late at night."
As in the expression, "Who did you see ?” who is incorrectly used for whom, so whom is often incorrectly used for who. The error in the sentence, “For the benefit of those whom she thought were his friends," can be at once made apparent by enclosing in brackets two words which are parenthetical. It then reads : "For the benefit of those whom she thought ] [
his friends." Obviously the wording should be “who she thought were his friends."
" It is one of the subjects that is," etc. “In one of the houses that has," etc. In sentences like these, where the word one is used, followed by several words, among the last of which are a noun in the nominative plural, and its relative pronoun, nominative to a verb immediately succeeding, careless writers often put the verb in the singular number. In the first example given above, that relates to subjects, which is plural, and therefore requires are : “It is one of the subjects that are," etc. In the second example, that relates to houses, which, being plural, requires have : “In one of the houses that have," etc.
“ Plead," mispronounced "plěd,” is frequently used for “pleaded," as : “He plead (plěd) guilty to the indictment.” The sentence should be : “He pleaded guilty to the indictment.” “To plead” is a regular verb. The present is plead (pronounced pleed ), imperfect tense, pleaded (pronounced pleeded ), perfect participle, pleaded (pronounced pleeded ). BROOKLYN, N. Y.
Edward B. Hughes.
Why not go a step further, and say, “ I was lady, a graceful lady. In some of these obliged to occupy an appalling bed for the cases the expression is wrong because the night" ?
epithet is involved in the character ; in Don't write “a canine" when you mean others it is wrong because the epithet is ap“a dog."
plied to individuals as belonging to the " Pedal extremities" is a poor expression female sex, not as restricted to those who for "feet."
are ladies. To advertise for a “saleslady" Possibly from a false notion of delicacy, in is as absurd as it would be to advertise for a much modern speech and writing, the ass "salesgentleman.". “Saleswoman" is the has become the donkey. Now, although a correlative of “salesman." Sometimes we donkey must be either an ass or a mule, see advertisements reading like this : neither an ass nor a mule is necessarily a " Boarding – Two respectable young ladies donkey. An ass may be a wild-ass, or an can find home comforts in a private family," unbroken domestic one, and so may a mule etc. As if ladies could be other than rebe either wild or unbroken. A donkey is an spectable ! Even in a leading editorial of a ass, or a mule, broken to the saddle, or to
careful newspaper there appeared these draught.
phrases: “Every well-bred gentleman," Don't hesitate to use the word “legs" in every well-bred lady." As if to be a case of need. Saying "limbs” or “extremi
gentleman or a lady is not to be well-bred ! ties " instead is not being delicate ; it is the To speak of a man and his wife as “ Mr. Suheight of indelicacy. “A nice man,” says and-So and lady" is vulgar. In France a Dean Swist, “is a man of nasty ideas." In similar vulgarity is common. There a the avoidance of certain proper words, and gentleman always says ma femme ( my wife !, the substitution of other words for them, but the vulgar, through affectation, often there is involved the admission of the exist- say mon épouse (my spouse). Unless there ence of an indelicate thought. A French is a distinct reason for using the word teacher once said to a squeamish young lady “ lady," the word "woman" should be used. who hesitated to pronounce the word “leg” The only exceptions are in the case of youth where it occurred in an account of the and of age. It is customary, in speaking of wounding of Napoleon : "Ah, Mademoiselle, well-grown boys and girls of a certain stre la vraie délicatesse ne pense pas à de telles tion, to call them "young gentlemen" and choses." True delicacy has no such ideas. “young ladies.” It is also customary m
It is generally understood nowadays that speaking of old men and old women of the words “gentleman” and “lady" should certain station, to call them "old sont be used with discretion in speaking of men" and "old ladies." An addit others, and never, as a rule, in speaking of epithet is frequently applied to the one's self. In referring to the admirable when we speak of "a fine old gent traits of character possessed by a female ac- "a fine old lady," "a nice old som quaintance, it would be incorrect for one to a nice old lady," a cross alde say : “She is a fine lady.” One should, in a cross old lady." that case, say : “She is a fine woman." A It is strange that the pers fine woman is something infinitely superior most addicted to the use of to a fine lady. Again, were one to say of are also the very ones a certain person: “She is a well-dressed to apply the word "fem lady," the expression would imply that ladies of womankind. Yet may not be well-dressed, which is not a "female" are not fact. Numerous cases might be cited in except in speale which the word is misused; as, when a per- the sexes of son speaks of a good lady, a modest lady, a
plied charitable lady, an amiable lady, a handsome
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One of the Adams's litfirst story was receive one of rit" slips from
wrote the story, Mken," in the De
a young newspaper Minerver of Hudson
Jerney City “ The when" is the first of Mr. Uppear in the larger is the coming year half u will appear in various lovliger lives in Ridgefield
rin, whose stories, “The
The Lplisting of Effe," aput numbers of the Century Ilie later being printed in the
– is Mrs. H. H. Martin, of it. Ill. She is a New Yorker by
ducation, though her present 11 Illinois, where she leads a quiet The Country; with books and a garden Turecable neighbors as her chief inter
** The lpliiting of Effie" is a little sure on play pulanthropy which was suglol to Mr Varun during her connec111ill with a working wirls' luncheon club, where the valle help afforded by earnest
ni ensible en til genuine workers was CAli imuntrated by impulsive and un
Se sentimentality Ulso, the story casts un andre lance at the idle lives of the alighierari prosperous families, whose idents are adopted by their humbler sisters. Mr Maru believes that an “uplift" is
called highest class, and that the aims and ideals of that class
the judges who will now select the prizewinning scenario — the plot of the play which will be produced in New York within a year and bring to the fortunate writer a royalty on the gross box-office receipts, as well as the $500 prize. This royalty is now announced for the first time. It will be four per cent. of the first $4,000, five per cent. of the next $3,000, seven and one-half per cent. of all over $7,000 on the gross weekly receipts.
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