Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/29

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Errors in English

so corrupted it, that it is now commonly applied to the things themselves, and not to the choice between them, as 'You may take either alternative,' 'I was forced to choose between two alternatives.' And, indeed, some people go so far as to say 'several alternatives were presented him.' "—E. S. Gould, Good English, Misused Words, p. 45.

always, all ways: Discriminate carefully between these terms. Always means "during all time"; all ways means "in every way."

amateur, novice: These terms are not synonymous. The distinction between them is that an amateur may be the equal in skill of a professional, but a novice is a beginner, and as such does not equal the professional in skill.

ambidextrous: Do not spell this word "ambidexterous" It is derived from the Latin dextra, the right hand, and ous. Although the form ambidexterous was common in England in the nineteenth century, it is not now in use.

ambition should not be used to signify mild energy as it imports persistent and inordinate or steadfast desire. "The heat leaves me without ambition for work" illustrates an altogether wrong use of the word.

amid, among: Discriminate carefully between these words. Amid denotes position when one object is surrounded by others from which it differs in nature or characteristics; among denotes an intermingling

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