Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/205

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Errors in English

was attempted by a less efficient man—good perhaps for some things but not for that particular work. The poor fellows who rode so gallantly to death at Balaklava were the right fellows for the work in hand, but at that fatal moment were forced into a wrong place. The phrase expresses a felt meaning and is good, as is acknowledged when, in terms of pride and satisfaction, we refer to "the man behind the gun."

rights and privileges: To be used with discrimination. A privilege is "something peculiar to one or some as distinguished from others; a prerogative"; so that the term is to be employed relatively. "The rights and privileges of the people," as often used absolutely in political platforms, demagogical speeches, and radical newspapers, is incorrect, since the people in this sense can have no privileges, i. e., "things peculiar to individuals." Milton's use is correct when he says "We do not mean to destroy all the people's rights and privileges, since he is speaking of the people relatively, as distinguished from the magisstrates and the king.—Standard Dictionary.

rise: Some lexicographers claim a distinction in the pronunciation of the word rise as a noun and rise as a verb, making the noun rhyme with "rice" and the verb rhyme with "prize," but common usage sanctions only one pronunciation, that rhyming with "prize."