Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/35

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Errors in English

apprehend, comprehend: These terms are neither synonymous nor interchangeable. To apprehend is to perceive; to comprehend is to understand.

approach: Sometimes incorrectly used for address, petition, etc. One is approached by indirect or covert intimation, suggestion, or question, which he may encourage if he will, or may put aside without formal refusal. Approach is often used in a bad sense, implying the use of bribery or intrigue. Do not say "the teachers have approached the Educational Department for longer intermissions," when you mean "the teachers have petitioned," etc.

apt, likely: Words sometimes misapplied. Apt implies natural fitness or tendency; likely applies to a contingent event considered as very probable.

aren't: For are not when the subject follows; as, "Aren't you?" "Aren't they?" The best conversational usage contracts the verb when the subject precedes: "we're not," "you're not," etc. Similarly we say "I'm not," "I'll not."

argue. Compare augur.

arraign at, before, for, on, after: "The criminal was arraigned at the court" is incorrect; a criminal is arraigned at the bar; before the court; for a crime; on an indictment; after the discovery of his crime.

articles: Two or more words connected by and referring to different things should each be preceded