Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/237

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United States
utter
Errors in English

character. Though common in commercial circles it is an expression that it is best to avoid.

upon: Often used for on in such phrases as "call upon," whether meaning visit or summon, and "speak (or write) upon." The reasonable tendency now is to use the simpler on whenever the idea of superposition is not involved.

usage. Compare habit.

use: This word is used in all sorts of incorrect and inelegant ways; yet the conjugation of the verb is positive and very simple—use; used; using. There appears to be no difficulty in applying it affirmatively but when used in a negative form one often hears such uncouth expressions as "You didn't use to," "you hadn't used to" instead of "You used not to," etc. It need scarcely be said that these expressions are vulgarisms of the worst type. "I usedn't to" is not pretty, but is less formal than "I used not to," and can not be objected to on grammatical grounds.

usually. Compare commonly.

utter as a verb should be distinguished from say, as articulate expression is differentiated from wriitten. To utter, save in the legal sense, is to emit audibly. Adjectively the word can be used only in an unfavorable sense for "complete." Utter discord there may be, but not utter harmony; utter silence, but not utter speech.

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