Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/126

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A Desk-Book of

day should be kept holy, is without merit. The word is derived from the Anglo Saxon and means "whole"; and the divine direction as to the Sabbath is, therefore, simply that the day be observed in its integrity.

holy mackerel: An inane expression commonly used to denote surprise and one to be avoided by all persons with pretentions to refined diction.

hoodoo: A colloquialism designating any person regarded as bringing ill luck, as a "Jonah," on shipboard, in allusion to the Bible story of the prophet Jonah.

horde: This word means "a gathered multitude of human beings; a troop, gang, or crew; as the hordes of Cambyses." It is never correctly applied to things. Do not speak of a horde of rubbish.

horse sense: A colloquial phrase designating "rough common sense "used by W. D. Howells in "Hazard of New Fortunes," vol. i. p. 4.

how? should never be used for "What did you say? "Nor in making a request for the repetition of any statement not heard clearly or not readily understood. Condemned by Oliver Wendell Holmes in "A Rhymed Lesson," st. 43.

"Do put your accents in the proper spot;
Don't—let me beg you—don't say "How?" for "What?"

how is an adverb, but it is sometimes most inelegantly used as an interjection and very improperly used as a conjunction, which it is not. On