Five Hundred Common Errors Corrected

Concise Rules for the Proper Use of Words in Writing or Speaking.

The most objectionable errors in speaking or writing are those in which

words are employed that are unsuitable to convey the meaning intended.

Thus, a person wishing to express his intention of going to a given

place says, I propose going, when, in fact, he purposes going. The

following affords an amusing illustration of this class of error: A

venerable matron was speaking of her son, who, she said, was quite

stage-struck: In fact, remarked the old lady, he is going to a

premature performance this evening! Considering that most amateur

performances are premature, it cannot be said that this word was

altogether misapplied, though, evidently, the maternal intention was to

convey quite another meaning.

Other errors arise from the substitution of sounds similar to the words

which should be employed; that is, spurious words instead of genuine

ones. Thus, some people say renumerative, when they mean

remunerative. A nurse, recommending her mistress to have a

perambulator for her child, advised her to purchase a preamputator!

Other errors are occasioned by imperfect knowledge of English grammar;

thus, many people say, Between you and I, instead of Between you and

me. And there are numerous other departures from the rules of grammar,

which will be pointed out hereafter.

Misuse of the Adjective--What beautiful butter! What a nice

landscape! They should say, What a beautiful landscape! What nice

butter! Again, errors are frequently occasioned by the following


Mispronunciation of Words--Many persons say pronoun-ciation instead of

pronunciation; others say pro-nun-ce-a-shun, instead of


Misdivision of Words and Syllables--This defect makes the words an

ambassador sound like a nambassador, or an adder like a nadder.

Imperfect Enunciation--As when a person says hebben for heaven, ebber

for ever, jocholate for chocolate.

To correct these errors by a systematic course of study would involve a

closer application than most persons could afford, but the simple and

concise rules and hints here given, founded upon usage and the authority

of scholars, will be of great assistance to inquirers.

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