A Desk-Book of Errors in English/J

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A Desk-Book of Errors in English by Frank Horace Vizetelly
J
Contents: IntroductionA B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

J

jag: Formerly a provincialism for "a load of hay"; now a euphemism for "drunk"; but as such a term to be avoided in polite society.

jar: Used in the phrase "Doesn't (or wouldn't) it jar you" is an erroneous use of the word jar in vogue among persons addicted to using the vulgarisms of the street. To jar is "to cause to shake as by a shock or blow; to jolt"; not, to disconcert or discompose.

jaw should not be used as a synonym for "mouth" or "talk." Such expressions as "Hold your jaw"; "Shut your jaw," and "What are you jawing about?" have no place in the vocabulary of persons of refinement.

Jew, Hebrew, Israelite: These terms are sometimes incorrectly used as synonyms. Hebrew is the ethnological and linguistic name, Israelite the national name, and Jew the popular name of the people; as, "The Egyptians oppressed the Hebrews"; "David was the typical king of the Israelites"; "The Jews revolted under the Maccabees." The three names have their special application to the people in the premonarchical period (Hebrew), in the monarchical period (Israelite), and in the period subsequent to the return from the Babylonian captivity (Jew).

jewels, jewelry: Words, sometimes, but mistakenly, used interchangeably. Jewels forming the stock in trade of a jeweler are termed collectively jewelry, the articles of adornment, as gems and precious stones, worn by a lady are her jewels.

jiggered, to be: A form of minced oath sometimes used as an equivalent for "to be hanged"; as, "I'll be jiggered if I do": an inelegant form of oath common among Englishmen.

join issue: Not to be confounded with to take issue. To take issue means "to deny"; to join issue, in strict usage, "to admit the right of denial," but not also "to agree in the truth of the denial." In the example "In their career father and son meet, join issue, and pursue their nefarious occupation in conjunction," join issue is improperly used for "agree" or "come to an agreement." To join issue is properly "to take opposite sides of a case," etc.

jollier: A slang term used to designate a person who treats another (from whom he expects a favor, or with whom he desires cordial relations) pleasantly and good-humoredly, or in an agreeable way so as to obtain his end. In its English sense a jollier is one given to chaffing and joking at another's expense.

jolly. Compare nice.

jolly, to: The occupation of a jollier: slang of widespread usage. Compare jollier.

josh: A vulgarism for 'chaff," "hoax," or "banter," which are more refined terms.

journal: From the French, properly means daily. Therefore to speak of a "daily journal" is absurd. Say, rather, "daily paper." Likewise avoid "weekly journal," "monthly journal," "quarterly journal" which mean weekly daily, monthly daily, quarterly daily, and are forms of expression in popular use as examples of violent catachresis. Say, rather, "daily newspaper," "weekly newspaper," "monthly" or "quarterly magazine" or "review," or simply "monthly" or "quarterly."

jump at or to: To embrace eagerly, as an offer or opportunity. In this sense never "jump to," but one may jump to the floor, as from a chair.

just going to. Compare going.