Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/213

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
Errors in English

it designates a number of fish that move together; as, "a shoal of porpoises." Compare school.

should seem, would seem: Terms used chiefly to soften requests, orders or directions. The use of should in such a remark as "It should seem so"—implying that something suggested was correct—dates from pre-Elizabethan time. Here would should be substituted for should.

should, would: These words follow in the main the usage of shall and will, but with certain modifications required by their common use in dependent sentences. In general, in indirect quotation, should is to be used after a historical tense where the speaker quoted employed shall, and would where the speaker quoted will. Thus:

Direct quotation: "He said to me, 'You shall go.'"
Indirect " "He said that I should go."
Direct " "He said to me, 'Will you go?' "
Indirect " "He asked me if I would go."

The mixture of direct and indirect is always wrong; avoid, "He asked me would I go."

shut up: A coarse expression often too commonly used instead of "keep quiet." Compare forget it.

sideways should not be used for sidewise.

siege, seige: Discriminate carefully between these words. A siege is an investment as of a city by military forces; as, "the siege of Paris"; a seige is a flock