Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/66

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A Desk-Book of

citizen: Not to be used for person, except when civic relations are referred to. "All citizens are entitled to the protection of the law," but not "Ten citizens were walking up the street," unless reference is had to some civic relation, as when opposed to soldiers, policemen, residents of the country, or the like.

claim: "He claimed that the discovery was his," "I claim that this is true," etc. Incorrect if the meaning is simply assert or maintain; but correct if the meaning is assert with readiness to maintain, and confidence that the thing asserted can be maintained, with the added idea that it makes for the advantage or side of him who asserts and maintains it.

clever: In American colloquial usage clever means "good-natured and obliging"; in English use it means "skilful." The American synonym for the English meaning of "clever" is smart, and the English synonym for the American meaning of "clever" is jolly.

climax, acme: Discriminate carefully between these words. A climax is a successive increase in force of language for the purpose of intensifying it. The acme is the highest point or greatest intensity attained.

climb down: As to climb signifies ascension, this colloquialism of the United States is apparently unwarranted. If, however, a descent be laborious, as