Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/102

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A Desk-Book of

first-rate is an adjectival not an adverbial expression. One may say correctly, "He is a first-rate walker," but not that "he walks, first-rate"

fish: When speaking of fish collectively this word represents the plural; speaking of fish severally the plural is formed by the addition of es.

fix: The colloquial use of this noun for a position involving embarrassment or a dilemma or predicament has not the sanction of literary usage. Do not say "I am in a bad fix" say, rather, "... in a bad condition," As a verb, it is better unused in the sense of set or arrange. As meaning "put into thorough adjustment or repair," with the word up added, it is sanctioned by popular usage; but the expression is thought inelegant and indefinite. Some more discriminating term is to be preferred. Fix, in the sense of "disable, injure, or kill," and "fix up" in the sense of "dress elegantly," are vulgarisms.

flap-doodle: An inelegant term for "pretentious silly talk characterized by an affectation of superior knowledge." Twaddle is a preferable synonym. Compare flub-dub.

flash for ostentatious display, as of money, is inelegant. Display is a preferable word.

flew is often misused for fled. Do not say "He flew the city" when you mean that he fled from it.