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The author's main purpose in this book is to teach precision in writing; and of good writing(which, essentially, is clear thinking made visible) precision is the point of capital concern. It isattained by choice of the word that accurately and adequately expresses what the writer has in mind, and by exclusion of that which either denotes or connotes something else. As Quintilian puts it, thewriter should so write that his reader not only may, but must, understand.Few words have more than one literal and serviceable meaning, however many metaphorical, derivative, related, or even unrelated, meanings lexicographers may think it worth while to gatherfrom all sorts and conditions of men, with which to bloat their absurd and misleading dictionaries.This actual and serviceable meaning-not always determined by derivation, and seldom by popularusage-is the one affirmed, according to his light, by the author of this little manual of solecisms.Narrow etymons of the mere scholar and loose locutions of the ignorant are alike denied a standing.The plan of the book is more illustrative than expository, the aim being to use the terms ofetymology and syntax as little as is compatible with clarity, familiar example being more easilyapprehended than technical precept. When both are employed the precept is commonly given afterthe example has prepared the student to apply it, not only to the matter in mind, but to similarmatters not mentioned. Everything in quotation marks is to be understood as disapproved.Not all locutions blacklisted herein are always to be reprobated as universal outlaws. Excepting inthe case of capital offenders-expressions ancestrally vulgar or irreclaimably degenerate-absoluteproscription is possible as to serious composition only; in other forms the writer must rely on hissense of values and the fitness of things. While it is true that some colloquialisms and, with less oflicense, even some slang, may be sparingly employed in light literature, for point, piquancy or any ofthe purposes of the skilled writer sensible to the necessity and charm of keeping at least one foot onthe ground, to others the virtue of restraint may be commended as distinctly superior to the joy ofindulgence.Precision is much, but not all; some words and phrases are disallowed on the ground of taste. Asthere are neither standards nor arbiters of taste, the book can do little more than reflect that of itsauthor, who is far indeed from professing impeccability. In neither taste nor precision is any man'spractice a court of last appeal, for writers all, both great and small, are habitual sinners against thelight; and their accuser is cheerfully aware that his own work will supply (as in making this book ithas supplied) many "awful examples"-his later work less abundantly, he hopes, than his earlier. Henevertheless believes that this does not disqualify him for showing by other instances than his ownhow not to write. The infallible teacher is still in the forest primeval, throwing seeds to the whiteblackbird

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Product Details
  • ISBN-13: 9798594861923
  • Publisher: Independently Published
  • Publisher Imprint: Independently Published
  • Height: 254 mm
  • No of Pages: 32
  • Spine Width: 2 mm
  • Width: 178 mm
  • ISBN-10: 8594861923
  • Publisher Date: 15 Jan 2021
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Language: English
  • Returnable: N
  • Weight: 72 gr

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