Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/54

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A Desk-Book of

bound: This word may be the participial adjective of buā, prepare, or the past participle of bindan, bind. The words should not be confused. "I am bound to have it:" yes, if constrained or compelled; but no, if merely resolved. It is true that in the United States a colloquial usage to this effect has become popular, but it is none the less an error of speech.

bountiful, plentiful: Bountiful which originally meant "generous in bestowing gifts" has gradually come to mean "showing abundance," "yielding in plenty." In the latter sense it is synonymous with plentiful.

bourne: From the French borne, bourne (Latin bodina, limit), means that which marks the end, and hence the end or goal. It does not mean country which it is so often supposed to mean—presumedly from Hamlet's "undiscovered country, from whose bourne no traveller returns." Readers who on this authority construe bourne as country make the mistake of substituting the word "which" for the phrase "whose" bourne.

brand-new often incorrectly written bran-new. The original and etymologically correct form of this word is brand-new, from brand, meaning "fire" or "burning," and new meaning "fresh"—the "fire-new" of Shakespeare (Twelfth Night, act. iii., sc. 2) is best explained by his own words, "fire-new from the mint," meaning "fresh and bright " like a new