Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/73

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Errors in English

couple: Does not mean merely two, but two united, as it were by links. Thus a man and wife illustrate a couple; but to talk of " a couple of weeks " is an absurdity for were two weeks coupled so as to become one, the product (one week multiplied by two) would no longer be a week but a fortnight.

couple, two: Discriminate carefully between these terms. Couple as an indefinite amount is a Teutonism common in America. Do not say " He has a couple of dollars in the bank"; say rather, " He has some money in the bank." Compare couple.

courage. Compare bravery.

courier, currier: Discriminate carefully between these terms. A courier is a special messenger sent express with letters or despatches; an attendant on a party of travelers. A currier s a man who dresses leather or combs a horse.

covey: As this word means " a brood or hatch of birds," especially quails or partridges, it should not be applied to persons or things as is done by Thackeray in "The Virginians," ch. 27.

creditable is sometimes confounded with credible, but the one word means that which redounds to one's credit, whereas the other signifies that which is worthy of belief.

crime, sin, vice; Exercise care in the use of these words. Crime is an abstractly, flagrant violation of law or morality in general; sin, disagreement in