Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/79

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Errors in English

depository a place in which anything is deposited for safe-keeping.

depravation, depravity: These terms are not synonymous. Depravation is the act or process of depraving or corrupting; depravity is the condition of being depraved.

desert. Compare abandon.

desert, dessert: Discriminate carefully between these words. A desert is a barren waste; an uncultivated and uninhabited wilderness; a dessert is a service, as of fruits or sweetmeats, at the close of a dinner.

despatch: This word may be spelt correctly either "despatch" or "dispatch," notwithstanding the fact that some writers condemn the word "dispatch."

develop is to "unfold" or "bring to light by degrees" and should not be used for "expose" which means to "reveal or lay bare," without regard to manner.

device, devise: Discriminate carefully between these words. A device is something designed, invented, or constructed for a special purpose or for promoting an end, and may be used in either a good or bad sense. A devise is a gift of lands by a last will and testament. Compare bequest.

die: A word often misapplied especially by persons accustomed to use inane superlatives as "She died with laughing"; "I thought she'd have died."