Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/152

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A Desk-Book of

longing to a ship; nautical, from the Latin nauta, a sailor, signifies belonging to a sailor or to the sailor's pursuit, navigation. A maritime nation must be well supplied with marine stores, must have a large naval force and be skilled in matters nautical.

marry: Now used correctly of both acceptance in marriage and union in matrimony: formerly condemned as incorrect.

masses: The masses, in the sense of the common people, the great body of the people, exclusive of the wealthy or privileged, has so entered into popular speech that the expression is now beyond criticism, although exception has been taken to it, on the ground that the subject of the mass should be specifically named. The masses of what?

matinee from the French matin, morning, is strictly a morning reception; and to talk of an "afternoon matinée" is therefore, if not a solecism, a contradiction in terms. Still nowadays the word is used to mean an afternoon rather than a morning reception, or entertainment.

me: "It is I," never "It is me." And so with all personal pronouns following the verb to be and in apposition with its subject. The same form of error is constantly made in such phrases as "She is better looking than me," where, if the elliptical verb were supplied, the correct construction would readily be seen to be "She is better looking than I (am)."