Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/146

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
A Desk-Book of

is improperly used in referring to a contingent event regarded as "very probable." Thus, though one should not say "It is liable to storm," but "likely to do so," one may say, "the building is liable to be blown down by the storm."

libel, slander: These are not synonymous terms. Libel differs from slander in that the latter is spoken whereas the former is written and published.

lick: An inelegant term used colloquially as a synonym for "effort"; as, "he put in his best licks. Say, rather, "He put forth his best efforts."

lid: A slang term for cover, hat, etc., used especially in the phrases keeping the lid down, sitting on the lid, political colloquialisms for closing up places of business, as pool-rooms, saloons, etc., or keeping a political situation in control.

lie. Compare lay.

lightening, lightning: The spelling of these words is sometimes confused. Lightening is to relieve "of weight"; as, "to lighten a burden"; lightning is a sudden flash of light due to pressure caused by atmospheric electricity. The shorter word designates the flash of light.

like, in the adverbial sense of "in the manner of," as, "He speaks like a philosopher," is correctly used, but the tendency to treat this word as a conjunction (which it is not) in substitution for as is altogether wrong. Do not say "Do like I do"; say, rather,