Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/209

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Errors in English

imperfect tense of see, and to be used as such only; seen is its past participle, and the form to be used, with the proper auxiliaries, in the tenses formed with the aid of the past participle. Not "I seen him," but "I saw him"; not "I have (or had) never saw it," but "I have (or had) never seen it."

say. Compare utter.

says I: A vulgarism sometimes heard from even the educated: entirely indefensible.

scan. Compare peruse.

scarcely, hardly: These words are not strictly synonymous. Scarcely is applied to quantity, hardly to degree; as, "Scarcely an hour has passed since we parted"; "He is hardly well enough to rise."

scared of should not be used for "fearful of." It should be used only when positive alarm, absolute fright is felt.

scholar: Alliteration is probably responsible for "Sunday-school scholar" for although the word originally signified one who attends school for instruction, it has now come to imply one who is distinguished for the pursuit and possession of knowledge; and, as such, it is a high-sounding title for a pupil, who may be a mere beginner, and is supposedly under the close personal supervision of a tutor.

school: A term which, apart from its use designating an educational institution, formerly also described "a large multitude or company" but is now re-