Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/39

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as, so
at length
Errors in English

struck with astonishment," which is the equivalent of "I am astonished."

at: Commonly but erroneously used for to, as an intensive in such phrases as "Where have you been at" "Where are you going at?" Used also occasionally to denote place: as, "Where does he live at?" Wherever used in such connections the word is redundant.

at all: These words, supposed to have an intensive effect, are frequently unnecessarily introduced. "It doesn't rain at all," would be just as expressive if written "It doesn't rain."

at auction: In England this expression is known as an Americanism. There, goods are put up to auction and are sold by it—that is by offering them to the highest bidder. "At private sale" also is peculiar to America.

at best: An erroneous form for "at the best."

at, in: Always in a country; either at or in a city, town, or village; at, if the place is regarded as a point; in, if it is inclusive; as, "We arrived at Paris;" "He lives in London."

at length: The assumption that at length means the same as at last, and is therefore superfluous, is an error. Both at length and at last presuppose long waiting; but at last views what comes after the waiting as a finality; at length views it as intermediate with reference to action or state that continues, or