Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/136

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A Desk-Book of

in the sentence are stumbling-blocks of inexperienced or careless writers.

ivories: A slang term used to designate the keys of a piano; hence, the phrase, tickle the ivories, a coarse way of expressing ability to play the piano.


jag: Formerly a provincialism for "a load of hay"; now a euphemism for "drunk"; but as such a term to be avoided in polite society.

jar: Used in the phrase "Doesn't (or wouldn't) it jar you" is an erroneous use of the word jar in vogue among persons addicted to using the vulgarisms of the street. To jar is "to cause to shake as by a shock or blow; to jolt"; not, to disconcert or discompose.

jaw should not be used as a synonym for "mouth" or "talk." Such expressions as "Hold your jaw"; "Shut your jaw," and "What are you jawing about?" have no place in the vocabulary of persons of refinement.

Jew, Hebrew, Israelite: These terms are sometimes incorrectly used as synonyms. Hebrew is the ethnological and linguistic name, Israelite the national name, and Jew the popular name of the people; as, "The Egyptians oppressed the Hebrews"; "David was the typical king of the Israelites"; "The Jews revolted under the Maccabees." The three