Thursday, July 17, 2008

S.O.S -- Choosy

These are a few words which we would all do well to make sure we use correctly:

is primarily "to make a selection"; "take by preference," and should not be used for wish.
Not I don't choose to do it," which is a vulgarism, but "I don't wish to do it."

clear, clearly, when used adverbially have distinct meanings. Clear indicates entire separation; entirely; clean; quite; but clearly means in a clear manner; luminously; plainly. Avoid "The distinction of ever it has been made has not been made clear" ; say rather, "...made clearly."

climb down, altho it was used six hundred years ago, is a vulgarism today, and should not be used when withdraw from a position of attitude that one has maintained is intended. In idiomatic English one climbs up a mountainside (in which sentence "up" is redundant), but climbs a mountain. And not infrequently one creeps down in making the descent.

close, near. There is a fine distinction in the meaning of these words. Those who are close to on are firmly attached as confidential friends, wheras those who are near are familiar or intimate, or connected by blood, as near relations. Near and close when used miserly are vulgarisms.

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