Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/197

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Errors in English

raise, raze: Discriminate carefully between these homophones. To raise is to cause to rise, elevate; but to raze is to level with the ground, as a building.

rare: In the United States rare applied to meat is used to designate meat that is not well done; in England, the term is used to designate meat that is not fresh.

rarely or ever: Often incorrectly used for "rarely if ever": the word seldom is preferable.

rather: Superfluous with adjectives ending in -ish, when this implies rather; as, "rather warmish," "rather coldish." Charles Lamb jestingly made the error apparent in closing a letter with "yours ratherish unwell." But with adjectives where -ish expresses quality only, not degree, rather is admissible, and may make a neat distinction; as, "rather foolish."

rattle: In the sense of "to throw suddenly into confusion" this word is a colloquialism which has much currency. Disconcert is a preferable term though not nearly so expressive.

read. Compare peruse.

real used for very is an undesirable colloquialism. Avoid such locutions as "real glad"; "real smart"; "real pleased." Very is the correct word to use.

realized should not be used for "obtained."

receipt. Compare recipe.

recipe refers to the thing—the combined ingredients—directed to be taken, and receipt refers to what is