Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/156

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A Desk-Book of

moneys, not monies, although often so (improperly) spelt. The rule is clear. Words ending in y necessarily have as their penultimate letter either a vowel or a consonant. If a vowel the plural is formed by adding s; if a consonant by changing the y into ies. Thus, boy, boys; baby, babies.

money to burn: A slang phrase used to denote possession of ample means.

more: Superlatives are often used, though improperly in a comparison of two. "He is the more promising pupil of the two"—not most. Certain scrupulously careful writers, as Augustine Birrell, will even write "the more part," instead of the customary "the most part"; and this usage, though possibly pedantic, is in other respects to be commended.

more strictly correct: A pleonasm. A correct statement may for the sake of emphasis be qualified as strictly correct. If "more strictly correct" is good grammar then "most strictly correct" would be also. Both sentences are erroneous.

more than probable: That which is probable is likely to happen, but that which is more than probable is almost sure to happen. To object to "more than probable," as some persons do, one would have to show that " probable" was absolute and incapable of degrees of comparison, whence of course it is a matter of common observation that some things are highly probable, while others are barely so. That a