Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/161

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
Errors in English

neglect, negligence: The meanings of these words are sometimes confused. Neglect is the act of failing to perform something, as a duty or task, to leave undone; negligence is the habitual omission of that which should be done. Negligence is a trait of character while neglect may result from preoccupation. Fernald in "Synonyms, Antonyms, and Prepositions," says: "Neglect is transitive, negligence is intransitive; we speak of neglect of his books, friends, or duties, in which case we could not use negligence."

negociate, negotiate: The first, now obsolete, was the spelling formerly in vogue; the second is the correct spelling of to-day.

neither, either: For "none" and "any one," is not the best usage; "That he [Shakespeare] wrote the plays which bear his name we know; but … we do not know the years … in which either (correctly, any one) of them was first performed"; "Peasant, yeoman, artisan, tradesman, and gentleman could then be distinguished from one another almost as far as they could be seen. Except in cases of unusual audacity, neither (correctly, no one, or none) presumed to wear the dress of his betters."

neither, nor: In considering these words the Standard Dictionary says: "As disjunctive correlatives, each accompanied by a singular nominative, often incorrectly followed by a plural verb form; as,