Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/107

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Errors in English

physician prescribes medicine to be taken by the spoonful more than once a day, these are correctly spoken of as spoonfuls. But supposing more than one medicine is to be taken and that the medicines do not assimilate thus requiring more than one spoon to administer them; then it would be correct to refer to the different doses as spoons full, since the words denote more than one spoon full. Spoonfuls denote one spoon filled more than once.

fulfil: Remember that in this word the "l" is not doubled but that it is in fulfilling.

full, fuller: Terms sometimes incorrectly used. A "full cup," is a cup completely filled, therefore it would seem illogical to say "my cup is fuller than yours." As a rule all words that in themselves express the idea of completion or perfection should be used only in the positive degree. A perfection greater than itself is inconceivable, yet in literature, and with speakers who are accustomed to a careful choice of words, this form of expression has been permitted for comparison in the absence of an absolute standard of measurement.

full: A coarse substitute for "intoxicated."

funeral: A term sometimes misused for "affair," or "business," as in the phrase "Not my funeral" meaning "No business of mine." The use is not to be commended.