Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/169

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Errors in English

is in the sense of making examination or careful note. Thus there is an observance of the law, but an observation of the works of nature.

occupancy, occupation: The word occupancy differs only slightly from occupation in meaning. The first refers rather to the state or fact of possession, while the second carries with it an idea of the rights or results of such occupancy. The right or legal fact of occupancy entitles a person to occupation at will. One may speak of the occupancy of a domain and the occupation, not occupancy, of a region by troops.

occur, take place: These terms are not always synonymous. Occurrences are due to chance or accident but things take place by arrangement. Compare transpire.

of: That the force of this word is not fully understood is proved by the fact that many ministers choose to omit it from the title of Scriptural books. Dean Alford in referring to the habit of announcing "The Book Genesis" instead of "The Book of Genesis," says, "This simply betrays the ignorance of the meaning of the preposition of. It is used to denote authorship, as the Book of Daniel; to denote subject matter, as the first Book of Kings; and as a note of apposition signifying which is called, as the Book of Genesis. . . . The pedant, who ignores of in the reading-desk must however, to be consistent, omit it elsewhere: I left the city London, and passed through