Amusing and thought-provoking, this A-to-Z compendium outlines common oral and written gaffes. Ambrose Bierce, a celebrated literary wit, assembled his informative compilation in 1909 from many years of observations and notes. He advocates precision in language, offering alternatives to grammatical lapses and inaccurate word choices.
- Moneyed for Wealthy: "The moneyed men of New York." One might as sensibly say, "The cattled men of Texas," or, "The lobstered men of the fish market."
Name for Title and Name: "His name was Mr. Smith." Surely no babe was ever christened Mister.
Juncture means a joining, a junction; its use to signify a time, however critical, is absurd. "At this juncture the woman screamed." In reading that account of it, we scream, too.
Times and usages have changed considerably in the past century. Bierce's strict rules remain, however, a timeless source of interest for wordsmiths and lovers of language.
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