Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/24

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The person is, perhaps, exasperated or provoked. To aggravate, from the Latin aggravo "to make heavy," is to intensify, and applies only to conditions of fact; provoke, which calls forth anger, and exasperate, which heightens (or roughens) anger already provoked, allude to mental states. A patient may be so irritated that his condition is aggravated. Here to aggravate is to make worse; to irritate is to annoy, provoke.

ago. Compare since.

agreeable: Do not spell this word agreable. Its component parts are agree plus able; always double the "e" before the "a." Agreeable is often erroneously used for agreeably in correspondence. In this sense it is a commercial colloquialism, meaning "being in accordance or conformity," as with some previous action. "Agreeable to your request I have forwarded the goods." Correctly, this should be rendered "Agreeably with your request, etc.," meaning "so as to be agreeable."

agreeably. Compare agreeable.

aid. Compare help.

ain't: Avoid as inelegant. In such a phrase as "he ain't," it is both vulgar and ungrammatical; "he isn't" is the preferred form. "The contraction ain't for isn't is a vulgarism which ought not to need criticism. Yet ''tain't so' said an educated preacher once in my hearing. The safe rule re-