Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/36

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as . . . as
as far as
A Desk-Book of

by the article; but when they denote the same thing, the article is commonly used with the first only. "The black-and-white horse" would denote one horse marked with the two colors black and white. "The black and the white horse" would denote two horses, one black and the other white.

as . . . as, so . . . as. The Standard Dictionary says: A shade of difference in their meanings, as strictly used in comparisons, is often neglected. So . . . as suggests that, in the comparison of the persons or things mentioned, there is present in the mind of the speaker a consciousness of a considerable degree of the quality considered; as . . . as does not carry this impression. In "John is not as tall as James" there is no implication that the speaker regards either John or James as tall; there is merely a comparison of their heights. So, too, in "John is not as old as James" there is merely a comparison of ages. But if one says, "John is not so tall as James," though the so is not emphasized, there is understood usually to be a reference more or less distinct to something uncommon in the height of James as compared with the stature of other men or of other boys of his age; the speaker regards James as being tall. "John is not so old as James" suggests that, in some relation or other, James is thought of as being old; as in "James is taller than John." "Yes, but my boy is not so old as yours."

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