Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/183

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Errors in English

pity, sympathy: Not synonymous terms. Pity awakens a feeling of grief or sorrow in one for the distress of another; sympathy is a feeling kindred with that of another for his state or condition. Sympathy implies a degree of equality which pity does not. We may pity one whom we disdain but we can not sympathize with him.

place: Used objectively without a preposition, or even adverbially, a provincialism common in parts of the United States; as, "She is always wanting to go places"; "Can't I go any place (correctly anywhere)?" "I must go some place (somewhere)"; "I can't find it any place." Such forms are solecisms.

place, plaice: Homophones, so care should be exercised in their use and spelling. A place is a particular point or portion of space; a plaice is a fish.

plank: Used usually with "down" this term is commonly employed by persons careless of their diction for "pay out" or "lay down": said especially of money, and a term to be avoided.

plead, pleaded or pled, pleading: The spelling of pled for the past is not warranted, and is a colloquialism. Careful speakers use pleaded.

pleasure is distinguished from happiness, although in common conversation the terms are frequently used as if they were synonymous. "By happiness," says Hamilton, "is meant the complement of all the pleasures of which we are susceptible." Crabb says,