Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/189

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Errors in English

sometimes treated as synonymous with establish; as, "On what do you predicate the assertion?"

prefer: The act or thing preferred should never be followed by than. Prefer is properly followed by the preposition to, or occasionally by above or before. Thus do not say "I prefer to talk than to dance," but "I prefer talking to dancing."

preferable: If the preference is stated in terms, as "This is preferable to that," the word is followed by the preposition to—never by than. The perference may, however, be implied; as, "This is preferable.

prejudice: Sometimes erroneously used for "prepossess" or "predispose." A prepossession is always favorable, a prejudice always unfavorable, unless the contrary is expressly stated. Predispose means "to dispose or incline beforehand." Therefore, we should not say that a person is prejudiced in any one's favor but that he is prepossessed or predisposed.

preposition: "The part of speech or particle that denotes the relation of an object to an action or thing; so called because it is usually placed before its object." The correct use of these little words is often puzzling to persons of education. For the purpose of their guidance the following partial list is given. A comprehensive work on the subject of their correct use is "English Synonyms, Antonyms and Prepositions," by Dr. James C. Fernald.