Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/83

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Errors in English

the word has certainly acquired a place in popular use, and is no more rendered unnecessary by the previous existence of give than donation is by the previous existence of gift. Donate should be used of the bestowal of important, ceremonious, or official gifts only.—Standard Dictionary.

done: Avoid using the past participle of verbs instead of the imperfect. Do not say, "You done it," or "you seen it," when you mean "you did it," or "you saw it." Nor use the past tense for the perfect participle, as in, "If you had came" when you mean "If you had come."

don't is a contraction of do not, and in this sense is permissible; but as signifying does not, the proper contraction for which is doesn't, its use is inaccurate. In writing, the uncontracted forms are much to be preferred, though in conventional speech the abbreviations are accepted.

don't believe, don't think: "I don't believe I'll go"; "I don't think it will rain"; solecisms now in almost universal use. Say, rather, "I believe I will not go"; "I think it will not rain."

don't make no error. See error.

dopey: A vulgar substitute for "sleepy; dull; thick-headed."

dose, doze: Discriminate carefully between these words. That which a physician prescribes is a dose; that which a sleepy patient may fall into is a doze.