Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/15

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xi
Introductory

enliness in speech. Not all slang is slovenly, incorrect, or vicious; much of it is virile, expressive, and picturesque. It is against the spread of that part of slang which is slovenly, incorrect, foolish, or vicious, that one should guard.

The purpose of these pages is not to dictate a precise course to be followed, nor to lay down rules that will prevent any speaker or writer from exercising his privilege as an individual of speaking or writing freely and independently the thoughts that are uppermost in his mind. It is, rather, to point out common errors which he may unconsciously commit, and to help him to avoid them and the vulgarisms of the street which have crept into the language, as well as those absurd blunders that have been recorded as the unconscious acts of persons qualified in other respects to rank as masters of English. To this end, and to this end only, the following vocabulary of errors in English has been compiled.

Thanks are due to the Funk & Wagnalls Company for permission to cite freely from the "Standard Dictionary of the English Language" in the following pages.