Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/96

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A Desk-Book of

exodus: Sometimes misused for exit or departure. Do not say "I made a hasty exodus"; say, rather, "My exit (or departure) was hasty."

expect is commonly misused for think, believe, suppose; also for suspect. Expect refers to the future, not to the past or present, usually with the implication of interest or desire. Yet "I expect it is," or even "I expect it was," is very common.

expect likely, expect probably. The Standard Dictionary says of these careless locutions, it is not the expectancy, but the future event, that is likely or probable. One may say "I think it is likely," "I think it [the act, event, or the like] probable," or "It seems likely" or "probable." When another person's expectancy is matter of conjecture, one may say "You probably expect to live many years"; i. e., "I think it probable that you expect," etc.; but "Probably you expect," etc., would be better.


face the music: Slang for to confront with boldness anything of an unpleasant character or any task especially difficult: a metonymic but inelegant phrase.

fade away: In modern parlance a slang phrase first introduced by Thackeray (Vanity Fair, ch. 60, p. 540), and meaning "disappear or vanish mysteriously." The phrase is in good usage, however, in