Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/148

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A Desk-Book of

limited"—admissible if suggesting the reverse of unlimited wealth, otherwise small or narrow.

lineament, liniment: The lineament is the outline or contour of a body or figure, especially the face. Liniment is a medicated liquid, sometimes oily, which is applied to the skin by rubbing as for the relief of pain. Exercise care in spelling these words.

lip: A very vulgar substitute for "impudence."

lit in the sense of lighted is not used by careful speakers. Do not say "Who lit (but 'who lighted') the gas?"

lit on: A common error for "come across," "met with," which should be discountenanced. Do not say "I lit on the quotation by accident"; say, rather, "I came across the quotation." Nor "I lit on him at the fair." One does not light on people whom one meets.

little. Compare few.

loan, lend: One may raise (put an end to) a loan by paying both principal and interest, and another may lend money to do so. The use of loan as a verb, meaning, "to grant the loan of or lend, as ships, money, linen, provisions, etc.," dates from the year 1200 and is accepted as good English. Some purists, however, characterize it colloquial.

lobster: A slang term used originally to designate a British soldier, probably, in the phrase boiled lobster, from his red coat: now applied indiscriminately