Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/99

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
Errors in English

qualities that are useful, or that can be made productive of comfort, satisfaction, or enjoyment, as, a good view, good flour; well signifies having physical health, free from ailment; as, "two are sick, the rest are well." Compare good.

felicitate, congratulate: The distinction in the meanings of these words should be carefully noted. To felicitate is to pronounce one happy and in the strict sense, applies to self alone; congratulate is to wish joy to another. In recent years congratulate has been applied to one's self, and felicitate to another; thus the application of the meanings of these words have been reversed by careless usage.

Trench says, "When I congratulate a person (congratulor) I declare that I am sharer in his joy, that what has rejoiced him has rejoiced me also." Gratulation, does not signify participation, and therefore, is a mere felicitation (or admission of existing happiness or cause for happiness) addressed to another.

female: An opprobrious or contemptuous epithet for woman. Female should be restricted to its correct use. Do not say "With that modesty so characteristic of a female"; say rather, " characteristic of a woman." Compare lady.

fermentation, fomentation: Exercise care in the use of these words. Fermentation is a chemical decomposition of an organic compound; fomentation, is the act of treating with warm water.