By Wynford Hicks
Wynford Hicks presents a few reliable recommendation during this booklet. i believe that each reader will establish at the very least one 'problem notice' and a few readers will establish many more.
Consider the variation among 'bate' (as in bated breath) and 'bait' (as in to set a trap). Or the excellence among 'fewer' and 'less' (fewer bushes supply much less wood).
Not the entire utilization endorsed by means of Mr Hicks may be universally agreed. but when you're uncertain or unsure, you'll do a long way worse than undertake his suggestions.
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Additional resources for Quite Literally: Problem Words and How to use Them
Guardian) belie means falsify, conceal; here it’s wrongly used to mean reveal: Hits like What’d I Say, however, belied another facet of his immense talent: his jazz skills. (Guardian) benefited, benefiting etc do not double the t. bereaved, bereft to be bereaved is to have lost a family member or partner through death; to be bereft is to be more generally deprived. berk see rhyming slang best, better see comparative, superlative A-Z 33 bete noire literary for bugbear, no longer needs the circumflex accent but it does need the e on noire; a betise is a blunder.
Quite literally 38 (Guardian) If two people are being interviewed separately, both adds nothing to the sense. So too with: Both Sailor and Jason Robinson have an infinite regard for each other. (Times) His parents both died of cancer within a month of one another. (Observer) Both these programmes have identical target audiences. (Sunday Times) They both had ambivalent attitudes in their behaviour to one another. (Elizabeth Jane Howard) In the following example both is wrong for another reason: it should refer to two things not three: Both Disney, the revisionists…and the commentators have tended to snuff out the life of the tales.
A-Z 45 cause célèbre something to campaign for, not against, as here: Elected officials…have made under-age drinking a cause célèbre in Westchester. (New York Times) caviar not caviare for sturgeon s roe celebrant, celebrator a celebrant says Mass; a celebrator makes merry. Celeste, Mary see Mary Celeste celibate is used to mean both unmarried (its original meaning) and abstaining from sex. In the case of gays celibate almost always means abstaining from sex: I give thanks to God for being gay.
Quite Literally: Problem Words and How to use Them by Wynford Hicks