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                The Oxford Guide to English Usage

CONTENTS Table of Contents

 Title Page    TITLE

 Edition Notice    EDITION

 Notices    NOTICES

 Table of Contents    CONTENTS

 Introduction    FRONT_1

 Grammatical Terms Used in This Book    FRONT_2

 Abbreviations    FRONT_3

 Word Formation    1.0
 abbreviations    1.1
 -ability and -ibility    1.2
 -able and -ible    1.3
 ae and oe    1.4
 American spelling    1.5
 ante- and anti-    1.6
 -ant or ant    1.7
 a or an    1.8
 -ative or -ive    1.9
 by- prefix    1.10
 c and ck    1.11
 capital or small initials    1.12
 -cede or -ceed    1.13
 -ce or -se    1.14
 co- prefix    1.15
 doubling of final consonant    1.16
 dropping of silent -e    1.17
 -efy or -ify    1.18
 -ei or -ie-    1.19
 en- or in-    1.20
 -er and -est    1.21
 -erous or -rous    1.22
 final vowels before suffixes    1.23
 for- and fore-    1.24
 f to v    1.25
 -ful suffix    1.26
 hyphens    1.27
 -ified or -yfied    1.28
 in- or un-    1.29
 i to y    1.30
 -ize and -ise    1.31
 l and ll    1.32
 -ly    1.33
 -ness    1.34
 -or and -er    1.35
 -oul-    1.36
 -our or -or    1.37
 past of verbs, formation of    1.38
 plural formation    1.39
 possessive case    1.40
 -re or -er    1.41
 re- prefix    1.42
 silent final consonants    1.43
 -s suffix    1.44
 -xion or -ction    1.45
 -y, -ey, or -ie nouns    1.46
 -y or -ey adjectives    1.47
 y or i    1.48
 -yse or -yze    1.49
 y to i    1.50
 Difficult and confusable spellings    1.51

 Pronunciation    2.0
 A. General points of pronunciation    2.1
 a    2.2
 -age    2.3
 American pronunciation    2.4
 -arily    2.5
 -ed    2.6
 -edly, -edness    2.7
 -ein(e)    2.8
 -eity    2.9
 -eur    2.10
 g    2.11
 -gm    2.12
 h    2.13
 -ies    2.14
 -ile    2.15
 ng    2.16
 o    2.17
 ough    2.18
 phth    2.19
 pn-, ps-, pt-    2.20
 r    2.21
 reduced forms    2.22
 s, sh, z and zh    2.23
 stress    2.24
 t    2.25
 th    2.26
 u    2.27
 ul    2.28
 urr    2.29
 wh    2.30
 B. Preferred pronunciations    2.31

 Vocabulary    3.0

 Grammar    4.0
 adverbial relative clauses    4.1
 adverbs without -ly    4.2
 article, omission of    4.3
 as, case following    4.4
 as if, as though    4.5
 auxiliary verbs    4.6
 but, case following    4.7
 can and may    4.8
 collective nouns    4.9
 comparison of adjectives and adverbs    4.10
 comparisons    4.11
 compound subject    4.12
 co-ordination    4.13
 correlative conjunctions    4.14
 dare    4.15
 double passive    4.16
 either...or:    4.17
 either (pronoun)    4.18
 gender of indefinite expressions    4.19
 group possessive    4.20
 have    4.21
 he who, she who    4.22
 -ics, nouns in    4.23
 infinitive, present or perfect    4.24
 -ing (gerund and participle)    4.25
 I or me, we or us, etc.    4.26
 I should or I would    4.27
 I who, you who, etc.    4.28
 like    4.29
 -lily adverbs    4.30
 may or might    4.31
 measurement, nouns of    4.32
 need    4.33
 neither...nor    4.34
 neither (pronoun)    4.35
 none (pronoun)    4.36
 ought    4.37
 participles    4.38
 preposition at end    4.39
 quantity, nouns of    4.40
 reflexive pronouns    4.41
 relative clauses    4.42
 shall and will    4.43
 should and would    4.44
 singular or plural    4.45
 split infinitive    4.46
 -s plural or singular    4.47
 subjects joined by (either...) or    4.48
 subjunctive    4.49
 than, case following    4.50
 that (conjunction), omission of    4.51
 that (relative pronoun), omission of    4.52
 there is or there are    4.53
 to    4.54
 unattached phrases    4.55
 used to    4.56
 way, relative clause following    4.57
 were or was    4.58
 we (with phrase following)    4.59
 what (relative pronoun)    4.60
 which or that (relative pronouns)    4.61
 who and whom (interrogative and relative pronouns)    4.62
 who or which (relative pronouns)    4.63
 whose or of which in relative clauses    4.64
 who/whom or that (relative pronouns)    4.65
 you and I or you and me    4.66

 Appendix A.  Principles of Punctuation    A.0
 apostrophe    A.1
 brackets    A.2
 colon    A.3
 comma    A.4
 dash    A.5
 exclamation mark    A.6
 full stop    A.7
 hyphen:    A.8
 parentheses    A.9
 period:    A.10
 question mark    A.11
 quotation marks    A.12
 semicolon    A.13
 square brackets    A.14

 Appendix B.  Clich‚s and Modish and Inflated Diction    B.0

 Appendix C.  English Overseas    C.0
 1. The United States    C.1
 2. Canada    C.2
 3. Australia and New Zealand    C.3
 4. South Africa    C.4

FRONT_1 Introduction

      It is one thing to use language; it is quite another to
      understand how it works.

                  (Anthony Burgess, Joysprick)

   English usage is a subject as wide as the English language itself. By far
   the greater part of usage, however, raises no controversies and poses no
   problems for native speakers of English, just because it is their natural
   idiom. But there are certain limited areas --particular sounds, spellings,
   words, and constructions--about which there arises uncertainty,
   difficulty, or disagreement. The proper aim of a usage guide is to resolve
   these problems, rather than describe the whole of current usage.

   The Oxford Guide to English Usage has this aim. Within the limits just
   indicated, it offers guidance in as clear, concise, and systematic a
   manner as possible. In effecting its aims it makes use of five special
   features, explained below.

   1.  Layout. In the Guide the subject of usage is divided into four fields:
       word formation, pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar. Each field is
       covered by a separate section of the book, and each of the four
       sections has its own alphabetical arrangement of entries. Each entry
       is headed by its title in bold type. All the words that share a
       particular kind of spelling, sound, or construction can therefore be
       treated together.  This makes for both economy and comprehensiveness
       of treatment. Note that Pronunciation is in two parts: A deals with
       the pronunciation of particular letters, or groups of letters, while B
       is an alphabetical list of words whose pronunciation gives trouble.

   2.  Explanation. The explanations given in each entry are intended to be
       simple and straightforward. Where the subject is inevitably slightly
       complicated, they begin by setting out familiar facts as a basis from
       which to untangle the complexities. The explanations take into account
       the approaches developed by modern linguistic analysis, but employ the
       traditional terms of grammar as much as possible. (A glossary of all
       grammatical terms used will be found in FRONT_2.  Technical symbols
       and abbreviations, and the phonetic alphabet, are not used at all.

   3.  Exemplification. Throughout Vocabulary and Grammar and where
       appropriate elsewhere, example sentences are given to illustrate the
       point being discussed. The majority of these are real, rather than
       invented, examples. Many of them have been drawn from the works of
       some of the best twentieth-century writers (many equally good writers
       happen not to have been quoted). Even informal or substandard usage
       has been illustrated in this way; such examples frequently come from
       speeches put into the mouths of characters in novels, and hence no
       censure of the style of the author is implied. The aim is to
       illustrate the varieties of usage and to display the best, thereby
       making it more memorable than a mere collection of lapses and
       solecisms would be able to do.

   4.  Recommendation. Recommendations are clearly set out. The blob ° is
       used in the most clear-cut cases where a warning, restriction, or
       prohibition is stated. The square Ь is occasionally employed where no
       restriction needs to be enforced. The emphasis of the recommendations
       is on the degree of acceptability in standard English of a particular
       use, rather than on a dogmatic distinction of right and wrong. Much
       that is sometimes condemned as 'bad English' is better regarded as
       appropriate in informal contexts but inappropriate in formal ones. The
       appropriateness of usage to context is indicated by the fairly rough
       categories 'formal' and 'informal', 'standard', 'regional', and
       'non-standard', 'jocular', and so on. Some of the ways in which
       American usage differs from British are pointed out.

   5.  Reference. Ease of access to the entry sought by the user is a
       priority of the Guide. The division into four sections, explained
       above, means that (roughly speaking) only a quarter of the total range
       of pages need be looked through in order to find a particular entry.
       Within each section there are many cross-references to other entries;
       hypertext links are provided for these entries.

       In addition to the four main sections described at 1 above, the Guide
       has three appendices: A is an outline of the principles of
       punctuation; B lists some of the cliches and overworked diction most
       widely disliked at present; and C gives a brief description of the
       characteristics of the five major overseas varieties of English.

   Concise as it is, the Guide may be found by individual users to cover some
   ground that is already familiar and some that they consider it unnecessary
   to know about. It is impossible for an entry (especially in the field of
   grammar) not to include more facts than are strictly part of the question
   which the entry is designed to answer. Language is a closely woven,
   seamless fabric, not a set of building blocks or pigeon-holes, capable of
   independent treatment; hence there are bound to be some redundancies and
   some overlap between different entries. Moreover, every user has a
   different degree of knowledge and interest. It is the compiler's hope,
   however, that all will be instructed and enriched by any incidental gains
   in understanding of the language that the use of this Guide may afford.

FRONT_2 Grammatical Terms Used in This Book

   absolute  used independently of its customary  grammatical relationship or
             construction, e.g. Weather permitting, I will come.

   acronym   a word formed from the initial letters of other words, e.g.

   active    applied to a verb whose subject is also the source of the action
             of the verb, e.g. We saw him; opposite of passive.

   adjective a word that names an attribute, used to describe a noun or
             pronoun, e.g. small child, it is small.

   adverb    a word that modifies an adjective, verb, or another adverb,
             expressing a relation of place, time, circumstance, manner,
             cause, degree, etc.,  e.g. gently, accordingly, now, here, why.

   agent noun
             a noun denoting the doer of an action  e.g. builder.

   agent suffix
             a suffix added to a verb to form an  agent noun, e.g. -er.

   agree     to have the same grammatical number,  gender, case, or person as
             another word.

   analogy   the formation of a word, derivative, or construction in
             imitation of an existing word or pattern.

   animate   denoting a living being.

             a noun or phrase to which a relative  pronoun refers back.

             last but two.

   antonym   a word of contrary meaning to another.

             the placing of a word, especially a noun, syntactically parallel
             to another, e.g. William the Conqueror.

   article   a/an (indefinite article) or the (definite article).

             designating a noun, adjective, or phrase expressing an
             attribute, characteristically preceding  the word it qualifies,
             e.g. old in the old dog; opposite of predicative.

   auxiliary verb
             a verb used in forming tenses, moods, and voices of other verbs.

   case      the form (subjective, objective, or possessive) of a noun or
             pronoun, expressing relation to some other word.

   clause    a distinct part of a sentence including a subject (sometimes by
             implication) and predicate.

   collective noun
             a singular noun denoting many individuals; see "collective
             nouns" in topic 4.9

             an expression consisting of two (or more) words frequently
             juxtaposed, especially adjective + noun.

             the form of an adjective or adverb expressing a higher degree of
             a quality, e.g. braver, worse.

             the differentiation of the comparative and superlative degrees
             from the positive (basic) form of an adjective or adverb.

             a word or words necessary to complete a grammatical
             construction: the complement of a clause, e.g. John is (a)
             thoughtful (man), Solitude makes John thoughtful; of an
             adjective, e.g.  John is glad of your help; of a preposition,
             e.g. I thought of John.

   compound preposition
             a preposition made up of more than one word, e.g.  with regard

   concord   agreement between words in gender, number, or person, e.g. the
             girl who is here, you who are alive, Those men work.

             designating (1) a clause which expresses a condition, or (2) a
             mood of the verb used in the consequential clause of a
             conditional sentence, e.g. (1) If he had come, (2) I should have
             seen him.

   consonant (1) a speech sound in which breath is at least partly
             obstructed, combining with a vowel to form a syllable; (2) a
             letter usually used to represent (1); e.g. ewe is written with
             vowel + consonant + vowel, but is pronounced as consonant (y) +
             vowel (oo).

             the linking of two or more parts of a compound sentence that are
             equal in importance, e.g.  Adam delved and Eve span.

   correlative co-ordination
             co-ordination by means of pairs of corresponding words regularly
             used together, e.g. either..or.

   countable designating a noun that refers in the singular to one and in the
             plural to more than one, and can be qualified by a, one, every,
             etc. and many, two, three, etc.; opposite of mass (noun).

             denoting a word describing a small, liked, or despised specimen
             of the thing denoted by the corresponding root word, e.g.
             ringlet, Johnny, princeling.

   diphthong see digraph.

   direct object
             the object that expresses the primary object of the action of
             the verb, e.g. He sent a present to his son.

             having two syllables.

   double passive
             see "double passive" in topic 4.16.

   elide     to omit by elision.

   elision   the omission of a vowel or syllable in pronouncing, e.g. let's.

   ellipsis  the omission from a sentence of words needed to complete a
             construction or sense.

             involving ellipsis.

   feminine  the gender proper to female beings.

   finite    designating (part of) a verb limited by person and number, e.g.
             I am, He comes.

   formal    designating the type of English used publicly for some serious
             purpose, either in writing or in public speeches.

   future     the tense of a verb referring to an event yet to happen: simple
             future, e.g. I shall go; future in the past, referring to an
             event that was yet to happen at a time prior to the time of
             speaking, e.g.  He said he would go.

   gerund    the part of the verb which can be used like a noun, ending in
             -ing, e.g. What is the use of my scolding him?

   govern    (said of a verb or preposition) to have (a noun or pronoun, or a
             case) dependent on it.

   group possessive
             see "double passive" in topic 4.16.

   hard      designating a letter, chiefly c or g, that indicates a guttural
             sound, as in cot or got.

   if-clause a clause introduced by if.

             the mood  of a verb expressing command, e.g. Come here!

   inanimate opposite of animate.

   indirect object
             the person or thing affected by the action of the verb but not
             primarily acted upon, e.g. I gave him the book.

             the basic form of a verb that does not indicate a particular
             tense or number or person; the to-infinitive, used with
             preceding to, e.g. I want to know; the bare infinitive, without
             preceding to, e.g. Help me pack.

   inflexion a part of a word, usually a suffix, that expresses grammatical
             relationship, such as number, person, tense, etc.

   informal  designating the type of English used in private conversation,
             personal letters, and popular public communication.

             designating a verb that does not take a direct object, e.g.  I
             must think.

   intrusive r
             see item 2 in topic 2.21

   linking r see "r" in topic 2.21.

   loan-word a word adopted by one language from another.

   main clause
             the principal clause of a sentence.

   masculine the gender proper to male beings.

   mass noun a noun that refers to something regarded as grammatically
             indivisible, treated only as singular, and never qualified by
             those, many, two, three, etc.; opposite of countable noun.

   modal     relating to the mood of a verb; used to express mood.

   mood      form of a verb serving to indicate whether it is to express
             fact, command, permission, wish, etc.

             having one syllable.

   nominal   designating a phrase or clause that is used like a noun, e.g.
             What you need is a drink.

             a word coined for one occasion.

             designating (a part of) a verb not limited by person and number,
             e.g. the infinitive, gerund, or participle.

             see relative clauses.

   noun      a word used to denote a person, place, or thing.

   noun phrase
             a phrase functioning within the sentence as a noun, e.g. The one
             over there is mine.

   object    a noun or its equivalent governed by an active transitive verb,
             e.g. I will take that one.

   objective the case of a pronoun typically used when the pronoun is the
             object of a verb or governed by a preposition, e.g. me, him.

   paradigm  the complete pattern of inflexion of a noun, verb, etc.

             the part of a verb used like an adjective but retaining some
             verbal qualities (tense and government of an object) and also
             used to form compound verb forms:  the present participle ends
             in -ing, the past participle of regular verbs in -ed, e.g. While
             doing her work she had kept the baby amused.

   passive   designating a form of the verb by which the verbal action is
             attributed to the person or thing to whom it is actually
             directed (i.e.  the logical object is the grammatical subject),
             e.g. He was seen by us; opposite of active.

   past      a tense expressing past action or state, e.g. I arrived

   past perfect
             a tense expressing action already completed prior to the time of
             speaking, e.g. I had arrived by then.

             disparaging, depreciatory.

             last but one.

   perfect   a tense denoting completed action or action viewed in relation
             to the present; e.g. I have finished now; perfect infinitive,
             e.g. He seems to have finished now.

             a roundabout way of expressing something.

   person    one of the three classes of personal pronouns or verb-forms,
             denoting the person speaking (first person), the person spoken
             to (second person), and the person or thing spoken about (third

   phrasal verb
             an expression consisting of a verb and an adverb (and
             preposition), e.g. break down, look forward to.

   phrase    a group of words without a predicate, functioning like an
             adjective, adverb, or noun.

   plural    denoting more than one.

             having more than one syllable.

             the case of a noun or a pronoun indicating possession, e.g.
             John's; possessive pronoun, e.g. my, his.

   predicate the part of a clause consisting of what is said of the subject,
             including verb + complement or object.

             designating (especially) an adjective that forms part or the
             whole of the predicate, e.g. The dog is old.

   prefix    a verbal element placed at the beginning of a word to qualify
             its meaning, e.g. ex-, non-.

             a word governing a noun or pronoun, expressing the relation of
             the latter to other words, e.g.  seated at the table.

   prepositional phrase
             a phrase consisting of a preposition and its complement, e.g. I
             am surprised at your reaction.

   present   a tense expressing action now going on or habitually performed
             in past and future, e.g. He commutes daily.

   pronoun   a word used instead of a noun to designate (without naming) a
             person or thing already known or indefinite, e.g. I, you, he,
             etc., anyone, something, etc.

   proper name
             a name used to designate an individual person, animal, town,
             ship, etc.

   qualify   (of an adjective or adverb) to attribute some quality to (a noun
             or adjective/verb).

   reflexive implying the subject's action on himself or itself; reflexive
             pronoun e.g. myself, yourself, etc.

   relative  see "relative clauses" in topic 4.42.

             see relative clauses

   semivowel a sound intermediate between vowel and consonant, e.g.  the
             sound of y and w.

   sentence adverb
             an adverb that qualifies or comments on the whole sentence, not
             one of the elements in it, e.g. Unfortunately, he missed his

   simple future
             see future

   singular  denoting a single person or thing.

   soft      designating a letter, chiefly c or g, that indicates a sibilant
             sound, as in city or germ.

   split infinitive
             see "split infinitive" in topic 4.46.

   stem      the essential part of a word to which inflexions and other
             suffixes are added, e.g. unlimited.

   stress    the especially heavy vocal emphasis falling on one (the
             stressed) syllable of a word more than on the others.

   subject   the element in a clause (usually a noun or its equivalent) about
             which something is predicated (the latter is the predicate).

             the case of a pronoun typically used when the pronoun is the
             subject of a clause.

             the mood of a verb denoting what is imagined, wished, or
             possible, e.g. I insist that it be finished.

   subordinate clause
             a clause dependent on the main clause and functioning like a
             noun, adjective, or adverb within the sentence, e.g. He said
             that you had gone.

   substitute verb
             the verb do used in place of another verb, e.g. 'He likes
             chocolate.' 'Does he?'

   suffix    a verbal element added at the end of a word to form a
             derivative, e.g. -ation, -ing, -itis, -ize.

             the form of an adjective or adverb expressing the highest or a
             very high degree of a quality, e.g. bravest, worst.

   synonym   a word identical in sense and use with another.

             designating a verb that takes a direct object, e.g. I said

   unreal condition
             (especially in a conditional sentence) a condition which will
             not be or has not been fulfilled.

             designating a word, syllable, or vowel not having stress.

   variant   a form of a word etc. that differs in spelling or pronunciation
             from another (often the main or usual) form.

   verb      a part of speech that predicates.

   vowel     (1) an open speech sound made without audible friction and
             capable of forming a syllable with or without a consonant; (2) a
             letter usually used to represent (1), e.g.  a, e, i, o, u.

   wh-question word
             a convenient term for the interrogative and relative words, most
             beginning with wh: what, when, where, whether, which, who, whom,
             whose, how.

FRONT_3 Abbreviations

   Amer.     American

   COD       The Concise Oxford Dictionary (edn. 7, Oxford, 1982)

   Hart's Rules.
             Hart's Rules for Compositors and Readers (edn. 39, Oxford, 1983)

   MEU       H. W. Fowler, A Dictionary of Modern English Usage (edn. 2,
             revised by Sir Ernest Gowers, Oxford, 1965)

   NEB       The New English Bible (Oxford and Cambridge, 1970)

   ODWE      The Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors (Oxford, 1981)

   OED       The Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford, 1933) and its
             supplementary volumes, A-G (1972); H-N (1976); O-Scz (1982).

   TLS       The Times Literary Supplement

1.0 Word Formation

   This section is concerned with the ways in which the forms of English
   words and word elements change or vary. It deals primarily with their
   written form, but in many cases the choice between two or more possible
   written forms is also a choice between the corresponding spoken forms.
   What follows is therefore more than merely a guide to spelling, although
   it is that too. A great part is taken up with guidance on the way in which
   words change when they are inflected (e.g. the possessive case and plural
   of nouns, the past tense and past participle of verbs) or when
   derivational prefixes and suffixes are added (e.g. the adjectival -able
   and -ible suffixes, the adverbial -ly suffix).  Because this is intended
   as a very basic outline, little space has been given to the description of
   the meanings and uses of the inflected and compounded forms of words.
   Instead, the emphasis is on the identification of the correct, or most
   widely acceptable, written form.  Particular attention is given to the
   dropping, doubling, and alteration of letters when derivatives are formed.
   Space has also been given to problems of spelling that are not caused by
   derivation, especially the different ways of spelling the same sound in
   different words (e.g. y or i in cider, cipher, gypsy, pygmy, etc.).  A
   comprehensive coverage of all words requiring hyphens or capitals would
   require more space than is available here. The entries for these two
   subjects attempt only to offer guidelines in certain difficult but
   identifiable cases.  For a fuller treatment the reader is referred to the
   Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors and Hart's Rules for Compositors
   and Readers. Wherever possible, notes are added to indicate where the
   conventions of American spelling differ from those recommended here.

   In cases where there is widespread variation in the spelling of a
   particular word or form, the spelling recommended here is that preferred

1.1 abbreviations

   It is usual to indicate an abbreviation by placing a point (full stop)
   after it, e.g.

       H. G. Wells, five miles S. (= south),  B.Litt., Kt., Sun. (=
       Sunday), Jan. (= January), p. 7 (= page 7), ft., in., lb., cm.

   However, no point is necessary:

   1.  With a sequence of capitals alone, e.g. BBC, MA, QC, NNE, BC, AD, PLC
       (and not, of course, with acronyms, e.g.  Aslef, Naafi).

   2.  With the numerical abbreviations 1st, 2nd, etc.

   3.  C, F (of temperature), chemical symbols, and measures of length,
       weight, time, etc. in scientific and technical use.

   4.  Dr, Revd, Mr, Mrs, Ms, Mme, Mlle, St, Hants, Northants, p (= penny or

   5.  In words that are colloquial abbreviations, e.g. co-op, demo, recap,
       trad, vac.

1.2 -ability and -ibility

   Nouns ending in these suffixes undergo the same changes in the stem as
   adjectives in -able and -ible (see next entry).

1.3 -able and -ible

   Words ending in -able generally owe their form to the Latin termination
   -abilis or the Old French -able (or both), and words in -ible to the Latin
   -ibilis.  The suffix -able is also added to words of 'distinctly French or
   English origin' (OED, s.v. -ble), and as a living element to English

   A. Words ending in -able. The following alterations are made to the stem:

   1. Silent final -e is dropped (see "dropping of silent -e" in topic 1.17).

   Exceptions: words whose stem ends in -ce, -ee, -ge, -le, and the

   blameable                  rateable
   dyeable                    ropeable
   giveable (but forgivable)  saleable
   hireable                   shareable
   holeable                   sizeable
   likeable                   tameable
   liveable                   tuneable
   nameable                   unshakeable

   ° Amer. spelling tends to omit -e- in the words above.

   2. Final -y becomes -i- (see "y to i" in topic 1.50).

   Exception: flyable.

   3. A final consonant may be doubled (see "doubling of final consonant" in
   topic 1.16).


   inferable                  referable
   preferable                 transferable
      (but conferrable)

   4. Most verbs of more than two syllables ending in -ate drop this ending
   when forming adjectives in -able, e.g.  alienable, calculable,
   demonstrable, etc.  Verbs of two syllables ending in -ate form adjectives
   in -able regularly, e.g. creatable, debatable, dictatable, etc.

   For a list of -able words, see Hart's Rules, pp. 83-4.

   B. Words ending in -ible. These are fewer, since -ible is not a living
   suffix. Below is a list of the commonest.  Almost all form their negative
   in in-, il-, etc., so that the negative form can be inferred from the
   positive in the list below; the exceptions are indicated by (un).

   accessible           edible                 perfectible
   adducible            eligible               permissible
   admissible           exhaustible            persuasible
   audible              expressible            plausible
   avertible            extensible             possible
   collapsible          fallible               reducible
   combustible          (un)feasible           repressible
   compatible           flexible               reproducible
   comprehensible       forcible               resistible
   contemptible         fusible                responsible
   corrigible           gullible               reversible
   corruptible          indelible              risible
   credible             (un)intelligible       sensible
   defensible           irascible              (un)susceptible
   destructible         legible                tangible
   digestible           negligible             vendible
   dirigible            ostensible             vincible
   discernible          perceptible            visible

1.4 ae and oe

   In words derived from Latin and Greek, these are now always written as
   separate letters, not as ligatures ‘, oe, e.g.  aeon, Caesar, gynaecology;
   diarrhoea, homoeopathy, Oedipus.  The simple e is preferable in several
   words once commonly spelt with ae, oe, especially medieval ( formerly with
   ae) and ecology, ecumenical (formerly with initial oe).

   ° In Amer. spelling, e replaces ae, oe in many words, e.g. gynecology,

1.5 American spelling

   Differences between Amer. and British spelling are mentioned at the
   following places:

       "-able and -ible" in topic 1.3;
       "ae and oe" in topic 1.4;
       "-ce or -se" in topic 1.14;
       "doubling of final consonant" in topic 1.16;
       "dropping of silent -e" in topic 1.17;
       "hyphens" in topic 1.27;
       "l and ll" in topic 1.32;
       "-oul-" in topic 1.36;
       "-our or -or" in topic 1.37;
       "past of verbs, formation of" in topic 1.38;
       "-re or -er" in topic 1.41;
       "-xion or -ction" in topic 1.45;
       "-yse or -yze" in topic 1.49.

   See also "Difficult and confusable spellings" in topic 1.51 passim.

1.6 ante- and anti-

   ante- (from Latin) = 'before'; anti- (from Greek) = 'against, opposite

   Note especially antechamber and antitype.

1.7 -ant or ant

   -ant is the noun ending, -ent the adjective ending in the following:

   dependant                  dependent
   descendant                 descendent
   pendant                    pendent
   propellant                 propellent

   independent is both adjective and noun; dependence, independence are the
   abstract nouns.

   The following are correct spellings:

   ascendant, -nce, -ncy      relevant, -nce
   attendant, -nce            repellent
   expellent                  superintendent, -ncy
   impellent                  tendency
   intendant, -ncy            transcendent, -ncy

1.8 a or an

   A. Before h.

   1.  Where h is aspirated, use a, e.g. a harvest, hero, hope.

   2.  Where h is silent, use an, e.g. an heir, honour, honorarium.

   3.  In words in which the first syllable is unstressed, use a, e.g. a
       historic occasion, a hotel.

   ° The older usage was not to pronounce h and to write an, but this is now
   almost obsolete.

   B. Before capital letter abbreviations.

   Be guided by the pronunciation.

   1.  Where the abbreviation is pronounced as one or more letter name    s,

            a B road                       a UN resolution
            a PS                           a VIP


            an A road                      an MP
            an H-bomb                      an SOS

   2.  Where the abbreviation is pronounced as a word (an acronym), e.g.

         a RADA student              a SABENA airline typist


         an ACAS official            an OPEC minister

   But where the abbreviation would in speech be expanded to the full word,
   use a or an as appropriate to the latter, e.g. a MS 'a manuscript'.

1.9 -ative or -ive

   Correct are:

   (a)     authoritative      qualitative
           interpretative     quantitative

   (b)     assertive          preventive

1.10 by- prefix

   'Tending to form one word with the following noun, but a hyphen is still
   frequently found' (ODWE).

   One word: bygone, byline, byname, bypass, bypath, bystander, byway,
   byword; the others (e.g. by-election, by-road) are hyphened.

   ° Bye (noun) in sport, bye-bye (= good-bye) are the chief words with final

1.11 c and ck

   Words ending in -c interpose k before suffixes which otherwise would
   indicate a soft c, chiefly -ed, -er, -ing, -y, e.g.:

   bivouacker, -ing           panicky
   colicky                    picnicked, -er, -ing
   frolicked, -ing            plasticky
   mimicked, ing              trafficked, -ing

   Exceptions: arced, -ing, zinced, zincify, zincing.

   Before -ism, -ist, -ity, and -ize c (chiefly occurring in the suffix -ic)
   remains and is pronounced soft, e.g. Anglicism, physicist, domesticity,

1.12 capital or small initials

   There are four classes of word that especially give trouble.

   A. Compass points. Use capitals:

   1.  When abbreviated, e.g. NNE for north-north-east.
   2.  When denoting a region, e.g.  unemployment in the North.
   3.  When part of a geographical name with recognized status, e.g.
       Northern Ireland, East Africa, Western Australia.
   4.  In Bridge.

   Otherwise use small initials, e.g. facing (the) south, the wind was south,
   southbound, a southeaster.

   B. Parties, denominations, and organizations.

   'The general rule is: capitalization makes a word more specific and
   limited in its reference: contrast a Christian scientist (man of science)
   and a Christian Scientist (member of the Church of Christ Scientist).'
   (Hart's Rules,  pp. 10-11.)

   So, for example, Conservative, Socialist, Democratic (names of parties);
   Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Congregational; but conservative, socialist,
   democratic (as normal adjectives), catholic sympathies, orthodox views,
   congregational singing.

   C. Words derived from proper names.

   When connection with the proper name is indirect (the meaning associated
   with or suggested by the proper name), use a small initial letter, e.g.

   (nouns) boycott, jersey, mackintosh, quisling;

   (adjectives) herculean (labours), platonic (love), quixotic (temperament);

   (verbs) blarney, bowdlerize, pasteurize.

   When the connection of a derived adjective or verb with a proper name is
   immediate and alive, use a capital, e.g.

   Christian, Platonic (philosophy), Rembrandtesque, Roman;

   Anglicize, Christianize, Russify.

   ° Adjectives of nationality usually retain the capital even when used in
   transferred senses, e.g. Dutch courage, go Dutch, Russian salad, Turkish
   delight.  The chief exceptions are arabic (numeral), roman (numeral,

   D. Proprietary names.

   The name of a product or process, if registered as a trade mark, is a
   proprietary name, and should be given a capital initial, e.g.  Araldite,
   Coca-Cola, Marmite, Olivetti, Pyrex, Quaker Oats, Vaseline, Xerox.

1.13 -cede or -ceed

   Exceed, proceed, succeed; the other verbs similarly formed have -cede,
   e.g. concede, intercede, recede.  Note also supersede.

1.14 -ce or -se

   Advice, device, licence, and practice are nouns; the related verbs are
   spelt with -se: advise, devise, license, practise. Similarly prophecy
   (noun), prophesy (verb).

   ° Amer. spelling favours licence, practice for both noun and verb; but the
   nouns defence, offence, pretence are spelt with c in Britain, s in

1.15 co- prefix

   Most words with this prefix have no hyphen (even if a vowel, other than o,
   follows the prefix).  Those that have a hyphen are:

   1.  Words with o following, e.g. co-operate (and derivatives; but
       uncooperative), co-opt, co-ordinate (often coordinate in Mathematics;
       also uncoordinated).

   2.  Words in which the hyphen preserves correct syllabication, so aiding
       recognition, e.g. co-latitude, co-religionist, co-respondent
       (distinguished from correspondent).

   3.  Words, especially recent or nonce coinages, in which co- is a living
       prefix meaning 'fellow-', e.g. co-author, co-pilot, co-wife.

1.16 doubling of final consonant

   1.  When certain suffixes beginning with a vowel are added to nouns,
       adjectives, adverbs, and verbs, the final consonant of the stem word
       is doubled before the suffix:

       a.  if the preceding vowel is written with a single letter (or single
           letter preceded by qu) and
       b.  if that vowel bears the main stress (hence all monosyllables are

       So bed, bedding but head, heading; occЈr, occЈrred but ўffer, ўffered;
       befЎt, befЎtted but b‚nefit, b‚nefited.

       Suffixes which cause this doubling include:

       a.  The verb inflexions -ed, -ing, e.g.

           begged, begging            revved, revving
           equipped, equipping        trek, trekking

       b.  The adjective and adverb suffixes -er, -est, e.g. sadder, saddest.

       c.  Various derivational suffixes, especially -able, -age, -en, -er,
           -ery, -ish, -y, e.g.

           clubbable                  waggery
           tonnage                    priggish
           sadden                     shrubby

       Exception: bus makes bused, busing.

   2.  Words of more than one syllable, not stressed on the last syllable, do
       not double the final consonant, unless it is l, when a suffix
       beginning with a vowel is added, e.g.

       biased               gossipy                wainscoted
       blossoming           lettered               wickedest
       combated             pilotage               womanish

       Exception: worship makes worshipped, -ing.

       Note that some other words in which the final syllable has a full
       vowel (not obscure e or i), some of which are compounds, also double
       the final consonant, e.g.

       handicap             kidnap                 periwig
       hobnob               leapfrog               sandbag
       horsewhip            nonplus                zigzag

       ° Amer. sometimes kidnaped, kidnaping, worshiped, worshiping.

   3.  Consonants that are never doubled are h, w, x, y.

   4.  When endings beginning with a vowel are added, l is always doubled
       after a single vowel wherever the stress falls, e.g.

       controllable               jeweller
       flannelled                 panelling

       Note also woollen, woolly.

       Exceptions: parallel makes paralleled, -ing; devil makes devilish;
       some (rare) superlatives such as brutalest, loyalest, civil(l)est.

       ° In Amer. spelling l obeys the same rules as the other consonants
       (except h, w, x, y ), e.g. traveler, marvelous, but compelling, pally.

       Note also Amer. woolen (but woolly).

   5.  A silent final consonant is not doubled. Endings are added as if the
       consonant were pronounced, e.g.

       crocheted, -ing      rendezvouses (third person singular)
       pr‚cised             rendezvousing

1.17 dropping of silent -e

   A. When a suffix beginning with a vowel (including -y ) is added to a word
   ending in silent -e ( including e following another vowel), the -e is


   1.  Before suffixes beginning with e- (i.e. -ed, -er, -ery, -est), e.g.

       braver, bravery, bravest   hoed
       dyed, dyer                 issued
       eeriest                    manoeuvred
       freer, freest              queued

   2.  Before -able, e.g.

       adorable             bribable               manoeuvrable
       analysable           imaginable             usable


       a.  Words ending in -ce and -ge retain the e to indicate the softness
           of the consonant, e.g.  bridgeable, peaceable.
       b.  In a number of -able adjectives, e is retained in order to make
           the root word more easily recognizable.  See list on "-able and
           -ible" in topic 1.3
       c.  ee is retained, e.g. agreeable, feeable, foreseeable.
       d.  The few adjectives formed on verbs ending in consonant + -le; e.g.

   3.  Before -age, e.g. cleavage, dotage, linage (number of lines).

       Exceptions: acreage, mileage.

   4.  Before -ing, e.g. centring, fatiguing, housing, manoeuvreing. With
       change of i to y:  dying, lying, etc.  (See "i to y" in topic 1.30).


       a.  ee, oe, and ye remain, e.g.

           agreeing             eyeing                 shoeing
           canoeing             fleeing                tiptoeing
           dyeing               hoeing

       b.  blueing, cueing  (gluing, issuing, queuing, etc. are regular).
       c.  ageing (raging, staging, etc.  are regular).
       d.  routeing, singeing, swingeing, tingeing are distinguished from
           routing 'putting to flight', singing, swinging, and tinging

   5.  Before -ish, e.g.

       bluish               nicish                 roguish
       latish               purplish               whitish

       Exception: moreish.

   6.  Before -y, e.g.

       bony                 chancy                 mousy
       caky                 cliquy                 stagy

       Exceptions: See "-y or -ey adjectives" in topic 1.47

   B. When a suffix beginning with a consonant (e.g. -ful, -ling, -ly, -ment,
   -ness, -some) is added to a word ending in silent -e, the -e is retained,

   abridgement          definitely             judgement (judgment
   acknowledgement      fledgeling                often in legal works)
   amazement            houseful               useful
   awesome                                     whiteness

   Exceptions: argument, awful, duly, eerily, eeriness, truly, wholly.

   ° In Amer. spelling e is dropped after dg and before a suffix beginning
   with a consonant, e.g. fledgling, judgment.

   C. Final silent -e is omitted in Amer. spelling in several words in which
   it is found in British spelling, and so often is final silent -ue in the
   endings -gogue, -logue, e.g.

   ax                   adz                    program
   analog               epilog                 pedagog

1.18 -efy or -ify

   The chief words with -efy (-efied, -efication, etc.) are:

   liquefy              rarefy                 torrefy
   obstupefy            rubefy                 tumefy
   putrefy              stupefy

   All the others have -ify etc.  See also "-ified or -yfied" in topic 1.28

1.19 -ei or -ie-

   The rule 'i before e except after c' holds good for nearly all words in
   which the vowel-sound is ee, as Aries, hygienic, yield.

   Exceptions where ie follows c are:  prima facie, specie, species,

   Note also friend, adieu, review, view.

   The following words which are, or can be, pronounced with the ee- sound
   have ei:

   caffeine             either                 protein
   casein               forfeit                receipt
   ceiling              heinous                receive
   codeine              inveigle               seise
   conceit              Madeira                seize
   conceive             neither                seizure
   counterfeit          perceive               surfeit
   deceit               peripeteia             weir
   deceive              plebeian               weird

1.20 en- or in-

   The following pairs of words can give trouble:

   encrust (verb)             incrustation
   engrain (verb) to dye in   ingrain (adjective) dyed in
     the raw state              the yarn
                              ingrained deeply rooted
   enquire ask                inquire undertake a formal investigation
   enquiry question           inquiry official investigation
   ensure make sure           insure take out insurance (against risk:
                                 note assurance of life)

1.21 -er and -est

   These suffixes of comparison may require the following changes in

   1.  Doubling of final consonant (see "doubling of final consonant" in
       topic 1.16).

   2.  Dropping of silent -e (see "dropping of silent -e" in topic 1.17).

   3.  Y to i (see "y to i" in topic 1.50).

1.22 -erous or -rous

   The ending -erous is normal in adjectives related to nouns ending in -er,
   e.g. murderous, slanderous, thunderous.  The exceptions are:

   ambidextrous         disastrous             monstrous
   cumbrous             leprous                slumbrous
   dextrous             meandrous              wondrous

1.23 final vowels before suffixes

   A. For treatment of final -e and -y before suffixes, see "dropping of
   silent -e" in topic 1.17, and "y to i" in topic 1.50.

   B. For treatment of final -o before -s (suffix), see "plural formation" in
   topic 1.39, and "-s suffix" in topic 1.44.

   C. In nearly all other cases, the final vowels -a, -i, -o, and -u are
   unaffected by the addition of suffixes and do not themselves affect the
   suffixes. So:

   bikinied (girls)     mascaraed              (they) rumbaed
   echoed               mustachioed            taxied
   hennaed              radioed
   echoer               skier                  vetoer
   areas                emus                   (he) skis
   cameras              gnus                   taxis
   corgis               (he) rumbas
   echoing              scubaing               taxiing
   radioing             skiing                 vetoing

   Exceptions: idea'd (having ideas); past ski'd from ski (contrast skied
   from sky).

   D. Final -‚ in words taken from French is retained before all suffixes;
   the e of -ed is dropped after it, e.g.

   appliqu‚d            canap‚s                communiqu‚s
   appliqu‚ing          chass‚ing              emigr‚s
   attach‚s             clich‚d                souffl‚s

1.24 for- and fore-

   The prefix for- means 'away, out, completely, or implies prohibition or
   abstention' (MEU).  Fore- is the same as the ordinary word so spelt, =
   'beforehand, in front'.

   Note especially:

   forbear refrain            forebear ancestor
   forgather                  foreclose
   forgo abstain from         forego (esp. in foregoing (list),
                                 foregone (conclusion)

1.25 f to v

   Certain nouns that end in f or f followed by silent e change this f to v
   in some derivatives.  Most are familiar, but with a few derivatives there
   is variation between f and v or uncertainty about which consonant is
   correct; only these are dealt with below.

   beef: plural beeves oxen, beefs kinds of beef.
   calf (young bovine animal): calfish calflike; calves-foot jelly.
   calf (of leg): (enormously)calved having (enormous) calves.
   corf (basket): plural corves.
   dwarf: plural dwarfs. ° Dwarves only in J. R. R. Tolkien's writings.
   elf: elfish and elvish are both acceptable;
   elfin but elven.
   handkerchief: plural handkerchiefs.
   hoof: plural usually hoofs, but hooves is commonly found, e.g.
       The useless tool for horses' hooves (Graham Greene);
       Listening for Sebastian's retreating hooves
       (Evelyn Waugh); adjective hoofed or hooved.
   knife: verb knife.
   leaf: leaved having leaves (broad- leaved etc.)
      but leafed as past of leaf (through a book, etc.).
   life: lifelong lasting a lifetime; livelong
      (day, etc., poetic: the i is short);
      the plural of still life is still lifes.
   oaf: plural oafs.
   roof: plural roofs. ° Rooves is
      commonly heard and sometimes written, e.g. Several acres of
      bright red rooves(George Orwell). Its written
      use should be avoided.
   scarf (garment): plural scarves;
   scarfed wearing a scarf.
   scarf (joint): plural and verb keep f.
   sheaf: plural sheaves; verb sheaf or
      sheave; sheaved made into a sheaf.
   shelf: plural shelves; shelvy having sandbanks.
   staff: plural staffs but archaic and musical staves.
   turf: plural turfs or turves; verb turf; turfy.
   wharf: plural wharfs or wharves.
   wolf: wolfish of a wolf.

1.26 -ful suffix

   The adjectival suffix -ful may require the following changes in spelling:

   1.  Change of y to i (see "y to i" in topic 1.50).

   2.  Simplification of -ll (see "l and ll" in topic 1.32).

1.27 hyphens

   A. Hyphens are used to connect words that are more closely linked to each
   other than to the surrounding syntax.  Unfortunately their use is not
   consistent. Some pairs or groups of words are written as a single word
   (e.g. motorway, railwayman), others, despite their equally close bond, as
   separate words (e.g.  motor cycle, pay phone); very similar pairs may be
   found with a hyphen (e.g. motor-cyclist, pay-bed).  There are no hard and
   fast rules that will predict in every case whether a group of words should
   be written as one, with a hyphen, or separately.  Useful lists can be
   found in Hart's Rules, pp. 76-81; numerous individual items are entered in

   1.  Groups consisting of attributive noun + noun are probably the most
       unpredictable.  It is the nature of English syntax to produce
       limitless numbers of groups of this kind. Such a group generally
       remains written as separate words until it is recognized as a lexical
       item with a special meaning, when it may receive a hyphen. Eventually
       it may be written as one word, but this usually happens when the two
       nouns are monosyllabic and there is no clash between the final letter
       of the first and the first letter of the second.

       This generalization is, however, a very weak guide to what happens in
       practice. Compare, for example, coal tar, coal-face, coalfield; oil
       well, oil-painting, oilfield; blood cell, blood-pressure, bloodstream.

   2.  Nouns derived from phrasal verbs, consisting of verb + adverb, are
       slightly more predictable. They are never written as two words,
       frequently hyphened, and sometimes written as one, e.g. fall-out,
       play-off, set-back, turn-out; feedback, layout, runoff, turnover.
       Phrases consisting of agent-noun in -er + adverb are usually hyphened,
       e.g. picker-up, runner-up; those consisting of gerund in -ing + adverb
       are usually left as two words, e.g. Your coming back so soon surprised
       me, unless they have become a unit with a special meaning, e.g. Gave
       him a going-over.

   3.  Various collocations which are not hyphened when they play their
       normal part in the sentence are given hyphens when they are
       transferred to attributive position before a noun, e.g.

       a.  adjective + noun: a common-sense argument (but This is common
           sense), an open-air restaurant (but eating in the open air).
       b.  preposition + noun: an out-of-date aircraft (but This is out of
           date), an in-depth interview (but interviewing him in depth).
       c.  participle + adverb: The longed-for departure and Tugged-at leaves
           and whirling branches (Iris Murdoch) (but the departure greatly
           longed for; leaves tugged at by the wind).
       d.  other syntactic groups used attributively, e.g. A tremendous
           wrapping-up-and-throwing-away gesture (J. B.  Priestley); An
           all-but-unbearable mixture (Lynne Reid Banks).

   4.  Collocations of adverb + adjective (or participle) are usually written
       as two words when attributive as well as when predicative, e.g. a less
       interesting topic, an amazingly good performance, but may very
       occasionally take a hyphen to avoid misunderstanding, e.g. Sir Edgar,
       who had heard one or two more-sophisticated rumours (Angus Wilson)
       (this does not mean 'one or two additional sophisticated rumours').

       See also well.

   5.  When two words that form a close collocation but are not normally
       joined by a hyphen enter into combination with another word that
       requires a hyphen, it may be necessary to join them with a hyphen as
       well in order to avoid an awkward or even absurd result, e.g.  natural
       gas needs no hyphen in natural gas pipeline, but natural- gas-producer
       may be preferred to the ambiguous natural gas-producer; crushed ice +
       -making looks odd in crushed ice-making machine, and so
       crushed-ice-making machine may be preferred.  Occasionally a real
       distinction in meaning may be indicated, e.g.  The non-German-speakers
       at the conference used interpreters versus The non-German speakers at
       the conference were all Austrians.  Many people, however, prefer to
       avoid the use of long series of hyphened words.

   6.  A group of words that has been turned into a syntactic unit, often
       behaving as a different part of speech from the words of which it is
       composed, normally has hyphens, e.g. court-martial (verb),
       happy-go-lucky (adjective), good-for-nothing, stick-in-the-mud,
       ne'er-do-well (nouns).

   7.  A hyphen is used to indicate a common second element in all but the
       last word of a list, e.g. two-, three-, or fourfold.

   B. Hyphens are also used within the word to connect a prefix or suffix to
   the stem. With most prefixes and suffixes it is normal to write the whole
   compound as a single word; the use of the hyphen is exceptional, and the
   writing of prefix or suffix and stem as two words virtually unknown.

   The hyphen is used in the following cases:

   1.  After a number of prefixes that are considered to be living formative
       elements, i.e. prefixes that can be freely used to form new compounds:
       ex- (formerly), e.g. ex-President; neo- (denoting a revived movement),
       e.g. neo-Nazism; non-, e.g. non-stick; pro- ( = in favour of), e.g.
       pro-marketeer; self-, e.g. self-destructive.

       Exceptions: Neoplatonism (-ic, etc.); selfsame, unselfconscious.

   2.  After a number of prefixes to aid recognition of the second element,
       e.g. anti-g, or to distinguish the compound from another word
       identically spelt, e.g. un-ionized (as against unionized); see also
       "co- prefix" in topic 1.15, "re- prefix" in topic 1.42.

   3.  Between a prefix ending with a vowel and a stem beginning with the
       same vowel, e.g. de-escalate, pre-empt; see also "co- prefix" in
       topic 1.15, "re- prefix" in topic 1.42.

   4.  Between a prefix and a stem beginning with a capital letter, e.g.
       anti-Darwinian, hyper-Calvinism, Pre-Raphaelite.

   5.  With some living suffixes forming specially coined compounds, e.g.
       Mickey Mouse-like; or still regarded to some extent as full words,
       such as -wise (= as regards -), e.g. Weather-wise we have had a good

   6.  With suffixes in irregularly formed compounds, e.g. unget-at-able.

   7.  With the suffix -like after a stem ending in -l, e.g. eel-like, when
       attached to a word of two or more syllables, e.g. cabbage-like, and
       with the suffix -less after a stem ending in double -l, e.g.
       bell-less, will-lessness.

   Note:   In Amer. spelling there is a greater tendency than in British
   spelling to write compounds as one word, rather than hyphened, e.g.
   nonplaying, nonprofit, roundhouse, runback, sandlot.

1.28 -ified or -yfied

   -ified is usual, whatever the stem of the preceding element, e.g.

   citified             dandified              townified
   countrified          Frenchified            whiskified

   But ladyfied.

1.29 in- or un-

   There is no comprehensive set of rules governing the choice between these
   two negative prefixes. The following guidelines are offered.  Note that
   in- takes the form of il-, im-, or ir- before initial l, m, or r.

   1.  in- is from Latin and properly belongs to words derived from Latin,
       whereas un-, as a native prefix, has a natural ability to combine with
       any English word.  Hence

       a.  un- may be expected to spread to words originally having in-. This
           has happened when the in- word has developed a sense more specific
           than merely the negative of the stem word:

           unapt                      inept
           unartistic                 inartistic
           unhuman                    inhuman
           unmaterial                 immaterial
           unmoral                    immoral
           unreligious                irreligious
           unsanitary                 insanitary
           unsolvable                 insoluble

       b.  It is always possible, for the sake of a particular effect, for a
           writer to coin a nonce-word with un-:

               A small bullied-looking woman with unabundant brown hair
               (Kingsley Amis)
               Joyce's arithmetic is solid and unnonsensical (Anthony

   2.  Adjectives ending in -ed and -ing rarely accept in- (while participles
       can of course be formed from verbs like inactivate, indispose, etc.).

       Exception: inexperienced.

   3.  in- seems to be preferred before the prefixes ad-, co- (col-, com-,
       con-, cor-), de-, di(s)-, ex-, per-.

       Important exceptions are:

       unadventurous        uncooperative          undevout
       uncommunicative      undemonstrative        unexceptionabIe
       unconditional        undeniable             unexceptional
       unconscionable       undesirable            unpersuasive
       unconscious          undetectable

   4.  un- is preferred before the prefixes em-, en-, im-, in-, inte(r)-.

   5.  Adjectives ending in -able usually take in- if the stem preceding the
       suffix -able is not, by itself, an English word:

           educable, stem educ-, negative in-
           palpable, stem palp-, negative im-

       Exceptions: unamenable, unamiable, unconscionable.

       They usually take un- if the stem has only one syllable and is an
       English word:

       unbridgeable               unreadable
       unlovable                  unsaleable

       Exceptions: incurable, immovable, impassable (that cannot be
       traversed: impassible = unfeeling).

       But no generalization covers those with a polysyllabic English stem:

       illimitable                undeniable
       invariable                 unmistakable

   Note: Rule 2 overrides rule 3 (e.g. uncomplaining, undisputed,
   unperturbed); rule 3 overrides rule 5 (unconscionable); rule 4 overrides
   rule 5 (unimpressible).

1.30 i to y

   When the suffix -ing is added to words (chiefly verbs) that end in -ie, e
   is dropped (see "dropping of silent -e" in topic 1.17), and i becomes y,

   dying         lying         tying         vying

   Exceptions: hie, sortie, stymie make hieing, sortieing, stymieing.

1.31 -ize and -ise

   -ize should be preferred to -ise as a verbal ending in words in which both
   are in use.

   1.  The choice arises only where the ending is pronounced eyes, not where
       it is ice, iss or eez.  So: precise, promise, expertise, remise.

   2.  The choice applies only to the verbal suffix (of Greek origin), added
       to nouns and adjectives with the sense 'make into, treat with, or act
       in the way of (that which is indicated by the stem word)'.

       Hence are eliminated

       a.  nouns in -ise:

           compromise           exercise               revise
           demise               franchise              surmise
           disguise             merchandise            surprise

       b.  verbs corresponding to a noun which has -is- as a part of the stem
           (e.g. in the syllables -vis-, -cis-, -mis-), or identical with a
           noun in -ise.

           Some of the more common verbs in -ise are:

           advertise            despise                incise
           advise               devise                 merchandise
           apprise              disguise               premise
           arise                emprise                prise (open)
           chastise             enfranchise            revise
           circumcise           enterprise             supervise
           comprise             excise                 surmise
           compromise           exercise               surprise
           demise               improvise              televise

   3.  In most cases, -ize verbs are formed on familiar English stems, e.g.
       authorize, familiarize, symbolize; or with a slight alteration to the
       stem, e.g. agonize, dogmatize, sterilize.  A few words have no such
       immediate stem: aggrandize (cf.  aggrandizement), appetize (cf.
       appetite), baptize (cf. baptism), catechize (cf. catechism), recognize
       (cf. recognition); and capsize.

1.32 l and ll

   Whether to write a single or double l can be a problem in the following

   1.  Where a suffix is added to single final l: see "doubling of final
       consonant" in topic 1.16.

   2.  l is single when it is the last letter of the following verbs:

       annul                enrol                  fulfil
       appal                enthral                instil
       distil               extol

       These double the l before suffixes beginning with a vowel (see
       "doubling of final consonant" in topic 1.16), but not before -ment:

       annulment            enthralment            distillation
       enrolment            fulfilment             enthralling

       ° In Amer. spelling l is usually double in all these words except
       annul(ment), extol.

   3.  Final -ll is usually simplified to l before suffixes or word elements
       that begin with a consonant, e.g.

       almighty, almost, etc.  fulfil                 skilful
       chilblain               gratefully             thraldom
       dully                   instalment             wilful

       Exception: Before -ness, -ll remains in dullness, fullness.

       ° In Amer. spelling ll is usual in skillful, thralldom, willful.

1.33 -ly

   The suffix -ly is added to words (mainly nouns and adjectives) to form
   adjectives and adverbs, e.g. earth, earthly; part, partly; sad, sadly.
   With certain words one of the following spelling changes may be required:

   1.  If the word ends in double ll, add only -y, e.g. fully, shrilly.

   2.  If the word ends in consonant + le, change e to y, e.g. ably, singly,

       Exception: supplely (distinguished from the noun and verb supply).

   3.  If the word ends in consonant + y, change y to i and add -ly, e.g.
       drily, happily.

       Exceptions: shyly, slyly, spryly, wryly.

   4.  If he word ends in unstressed -ey, change ey to i and add -ly, e.g.

   5.  If the word has more than one syllable and ends in -ic, add -ally,
       even if there is no corresponding adjective in -ical, e.g. basically,

       Exceptions: politicly (from the adjective politic, distinguished from
       politically, from the adjective political), publicly ( ° not

   6.  Final -e is exceptionally dropped before -ly in duly, eerily, truly,
       wholly (palely, puerilely, vilely, etc., are regular).

   7.  Final -y is exceptionally changed to i before -ly in daily, gaily
       (greyly, coyly are regular).

1.34 -ness

   As a suffix added to adjectives, it may require the change of y to i: see
   "y to i" in topic 1.50

1.35 -or and -er

   These two suffixes, denoting 'one who or that which performs (the action
   of the verb)' are from Latin ( through French) and Old English
   respectively, but their origin is not a sure guide to their distribution.

   1.  -er is the living suffix, forming most newly-coined agent nouns; but
       -or is frequently used with words of Latin origin to coin technical

   2.  -er is usual after doubled consonants (except -ss-), after soft c and
       g, after -i-, after ch and sh, and after -er, -graph, -ion, and -iz-,

           chopper, producer, avenger, qualifier, launcher, furnisher,
           discoverer, photographer, executioner, organizer.

       Principal exceptions: counsellor, carburettor, conqueror.

   3.  -or follows -at- to form a suffix -ator, often but not always in words
       related to verbs in -ate, e.g. duplicator, incubator.

       Exception: debater.

       Note: nouns in -olater, as idolater, do not contain the agent suffix.

   4.  No rule can predict whether a given word having -s-, -ss-, or -t-
       (apart from -at-) before the suffix requires -or or -er.  So
       supervisor, compressor, prospector, but adviser, presser, perfecter.
       -tor usually follows -c, unstressed i, and u, e.g. actor, compositor,
       executor; -ter usually follows f, gh, l, r, and s, e.g. drifter,
       fighter, defaulter, exporter, protester; but there are numerous

   5.  A functional distinction is made between -or and -er in the following:

       accepter one who accepts   acceptor (in scientific use)
       adapter one who adapts     adaptor electrical device
       caster one who casts,      castor beaver; plant giving oil;
          casting machine            sugar (sprinkler); wheel
       censer vessel for incense  censor official
       conveyer one who conveys   conveyor device
       resister one who resists   resistor electrical device
       sailer ship of specified   sailor seaman

   6.  A number of words have -er in normal use but -or in Law:

       abetter                    mortgager (mortgagor)
       accepter                   settler

1.36 -oul-

   In the words mould, moulder, moult, and smoulder, Amer. spelling favours o
   alone instead of ou.

1.37 -our or -or

   1.  In agent nouns, only -or occurs as the ending (cf. -or and -er) e.g.
       actor, counsellor.

       Exception: saviour.

   2.  In abstract nouns, -our is usual, e.g. colour, favour, humour. Only
       the following end in -or:

       error                pallor                 terror
       horror               squalor                torpor
       languor              stupor                 tremor

       ° In Amer. English -or is usual in nearly all words in which British
       English has -our (glamour and saviour are the main exceptions).

   3.  Nouns in -our change this to -or before the suffixes -ation, -iferous,
       -ific, -ize, and -ous, e.g.

           coloration, humorous, odoriferous, soporific, vaporize,

       But -our keeps the u before -able, -er, -ful, -ism, -ist, -ite, and
       -less, e.g.

           armourer, behaviourism, colourful, favourite, honourable,
           labourite, odourless, rigourist.

1.38 past of verbs, formation of

   A. Regular verbs add -ed for the past tense and past participle, and may
   make the following spelling changes:

   1.  Doubling of final consonant (see "doubling of final consonant" in
       topic 1.16).
   2.  Dropping of silent -e (see "dropping of silent -e" in topic 1.17).
   3.  Change of y to i (see "y to i" in topic 1.50).

   Note laid, paid, and said from lay, pay, and say.

   B. A number of verbs vary in their past tense and past participle between
   a regular form and a form with -t (and in some cases a different
   vowel-sound in the stem):

   burn       kneel      leap       smell      spill
   dream      lean       learn      spell      spoil

   The -t form is usual in Received Pronunciation (see Received Pronunciation
   in topic 2.0) and should be written by those who pronounce it. The regular
   form is usual in Amer. English.

   Bereaved is regular when the reference is to the loss of relatives by
   death; bereft is used when the reference is to loss of immaterial

   Cleave is a rare word with two opposite meanings:  (i) = stick; A man . .
   shall cleave unto his wife (Genesis 2:24) (regular).  (ii) = split; past
   tense clave is archaic; clove, cleft, and regular cleaved are all
   permissible, but cleaved is usual in scientific and technical contexts;
   past participle, in fixed expressions, cloven-footed, cloven hoof, cleft
   palate, cleft stick; cleaved is technical, but probably also best used
   outside the fixed expressions.

   ° Earn is regular. There is no form earnt.

   C. A number of verbs vary in the past participle only between the regular
   form and one ending in -(e)n:

       hew, mow, saw, sew, shear, show, sow, strew, swell.

   In most of these the latter form is to be preferred; in British English it
   is obligatory when the participle is used attributively as an adjective.
   So new-mown hay, a sawn-off (Amer.  sawed-off) shotgun, shorn (not
   sheared) of one's strength, a swollen gland; swollen or swelled head (=
   conceit) is a colloquial exception.

   D. The past tense has -a-, the past participle -u-, in

   begin                shrink                 stink
   drink                sing                   swim
   ring                 sink

   ° It is an error to use begun, drunk, etc. for the past tense, as if they
   followed clung, flung, spun, etc.

   E. The past tense and past participle of the following verbs can cause

   abide (by) makes abided
   alight makes alighted
   bet: betted is increasingly common beside bet
   bid (make a bid): bid
   bid (command; say (goodnight, etc.)):
      bid is usual (bade, bidden are archaic)
   broadcast unchanged in past tense and past participle
   chide: chided is now usual (older chid)
   forecast unchanged in past tense and past participle
   hang: hanged is frequent for the capital punishment;
      otherwise only hung
   knit: knitted is usual, but knit is common
      in metaphorical use (he knit his brows)
   light makes past lit, past participle lit
      in predicative use (a fire was lit) but lighted
      attributively (a lighted match)
   quit makes quitted ° Amer. quit
   reeve (nautical) makes rove
   rid unchanged in past tense and past participle
   speed makes sped but speeded in the senses
      'cause to go at (a certain) speed' and 'travel
      at illegal or dangerous speed'
   spit makes spat ° Amer. spit
   stave (to dent) staved or
   stove; (to ward off) staved
   sweat makes sweated ° Amer. sweat
   thrive: thrived is increasingly common beside
      throve, thriven

1.39 plural formation

   Most nouns simply add -s, e.g.  cats, dogs, horses, cameras.

   A. The regular plural suffix -s is preceded by -e-:

   1.  After sibilant consonants, where ease of pronunciation requires a
       separating vowel, i.e. after

           ch: e.g. benches, coaches, matches (but not conchs, lochs,
           stomachs where the ch has a different sound)
           s: e.g. buses, gases, pluses, yeses (note that single s is not
           sh: e.g. ashes, bushes
           ss: e.g. grasses, successes
           x: e.g. boxes, sphinxes
           z: e.g. buzzes, waltzes (note quizzes with doubling of z)

       Proper names follow the same rule, e.g. the Joneses, the Rogerses, the
       two Charleses.

       ° -es should not be replaced by an apostrophe, as the Jones'.

   2.  After -y (not preceded by a vowel), which changes to i, e.g. ladies,
       soliloquies, spies.

       Exceptions: proper names, e.g. the Willoughbys, the three Marys; also
       trilbys, lay-bys, standbys, zlotys (Polish currency).

   3.  After -o in certain words:

       bravoes (= ruffians;        haloes                 potatoes
          bravos = shouts          heroes                 salvoes (= dis-
          of 'bravo!')             innuendoes               charges salvos
       buffaloes                   mangoes                  = reservations,
       calicoes                    mementoes                excuses)
       cargoes                     mosquitoes             stuccoes
       dingoes                     mottoes                tomatoes
       dominoes                    Negroes                tornadoes
       echoes                      noes                   torpedoes
       embargoes                   peccadilloes           vetoes
       goes                        porticoes              volcanoes

       Words not in this list add only -s.

       It is helpful to remember that -e- is never inserted:

       a.  when the o is preceded by another vowel, e.g.  cuckoos, embryos,
       b.  when the word is an abbreviation, e.g. hippos, kilos.
       c.  with proper names, e.g. Lotharios, Figaros, the Munros.

   4.  With words which change final f to v (see "f to v" in topic 1.25),
       e.g. calves, scarves.

   B. Plural of compound nouns.

   1.  Compounds made up of a noun followed by an adjective, a prepositional
       phrase, or an adverb attach -s to the noun, e.g.

       (a)    courts martial      heirs presumptive
              cousins-german      poets laureate

       But brigadier-generals, lieutenant-colonels, sergeant-majors.

       (b)    men-of-war          tugs of war

       (c)    hangers-on          whippers-in

       Note: In informal usage -s is not infrequently transferred to the
       second element of compounds of type (a).

   2.  Compounds which contain no noun, or in which the noun element is now
       disguised, add -s at the end. So also do nouns formed from phrasal
       verbs and compounds ending in -ful, e.g.

       (a)    ne'er-do-wells      will-o'-the-wisps

       (b)    pullovers           set-ups

       (c)    handfuls            spoonfuls

   3.  Compounds containing man or woman make both elements plural, as
       usually do those made up of two words linked by and, e.g.

       (a)    gentlemen ushers    women doctors

       (b)    pros and cons       ups and downs

   C. The plural of the following nouns with a singular in -s is unchanged:

   biceps               means                  species
   congeries            mews                   superficies
   forceps              series                 thrips

   The following are mass nouns, not plurals:

   bona fides (= 'good faith'),   kudos

   ° The singulars bona-fide (as a noun; there is an adjective bona-fide),
   congery, kudo, sometimes seen, are erroneous.

   D. Plural of nouns of foreign origin. The terminations that may form their
   plurals according to a foreign pattern are given in alphabetical order
   below; to each is added a list of the words that normally follow this
   pattern. It is recommended that the regular plural (in -s) should be used
   for all the other words with these terminations, even though some are
   found with either type of plural.

   1.  -a (Latin and Greek) becomes -ae:

       alga                 lamina                 nebula
       alumna               larva                  papilla

       Note: formula has -ae in mathematical and scientific use.

   2.  -eau, -eu (French) add -x:

       beau                 chateau                plateau
       bureau               milieu                 tableau

   3.  -ex, -ix (Latin) become -ices:

       appendix             cortex                 matrix
       calix                helix                  radix

       Note: index, vortex have -ices in mathematical and scientific use
       (otherwise regular).

   4.  -is (Greek and Latin) becomes -es (pronounced eez):

       amanuensis           crisis                 oasis
       analysis             ellipsis               parenthesis
       antithesis           hypothesis             synopsis
       axis                 metamorphosis          thesis

   5.  -o (Italian) becomes -i:

       concerto grosso (concerti grossi)
       graffito                   ripieno
       maestro                    virtuoso

       Note: solo and soprano sometimes have -i in technical contexts
       (otherwise regular).

   6.  -on (Greek) becomes -a:

       criterion            parhelion              phenomenon

       Note: The plural of automaton is in -a when used collectively
       (otherwise regular).

   7.    -s (French) is unchanged in the plural (Note: it is silent in the
       singular, but pronounced -z in the plural):

       chamois              corps                  fracas
       chassis              faux pas               patois

       Also (not a noun in French): rendezvous.

   8.  -um (Latin) becomes -a:

       addendum             datum                  maximum
       bacterium            desideratum            minimum
       candelabrum          dictum                 quantum
       compendium           effluvium              scholium
       corrigendum          emporium               spectrum
       cranium              epithalamium           speculum
       crematorium          erratum                stratum

       Note: medium in scientific use, and in the sense 'a means of
       communication' (as mass medium ) has plural in -a; the collective
       plural of memorandum 'things to be noted' is in -a; rostrum has -a in
       technical use; otherwise these words are regular.  In the technical
       sense 'starting-point' datum has a regular plural.

   9.  -us (Latin) becomes -i:

       alumnus              fungus                 nucleus
       bacillus             gladiolus              radius
       bronchus             locus                  stimulus
       cactus               narcissus              terminus

       Note: focus has plural in -i in scientific use, but otherwise is
       regular; genius has plural genii when used to mean 'guardian spirit',
       but in its usual sense is regular; corpus, genus, opus become corpora,
       genera, opera.

   ° The following words of foreign origin are plural nouns; they should
   normally not be construed as singulars (see also as separate entries in

   bacteria             graffiti               phenomena
   candelabra           insignia               regalia
   criteria             media                  strata

   E. There is no need to use an apostrophe before -s:

   1.  After figures: the 1890s.
   2.  After abbreviations: MPs, SOSs.

   But it is needed in: dot the i's and cross the t's, fair do's, do's and

1.40 possessive case

   To form the possessive:

   1.  Normally, add -'s in the singular and -s' (i.e. apostrophe following
       the plural suffix -s) in the plural, e.g.

       Bill's book                the Johnsons' dog
       his master's voice         a girls' school

       Nouns that do not form plural in -s add -'s to the plural form, e.g.

       children's books           women's liberation

   2.  Nouns ending in s add 's for the singular possessive, e.g.

       boss's                     Hicks's
       Burns's                    St James's Square
       Charles's                  Tess's
       Father Christmas's         Thomas's

       To form the plural possessive, they add an apostrophe to the s of the
       plural in the normal way, e.g.

       bosses'                    the octopuses' tentacles
       the Joneses' dog           the Thomases' dog

       French names ending in silent s or x add -'s, which is pronounced as
       z, e.g.

       Dumas's (= Dumah's)        Cr‚mieux's

       Names ending in -es pronounced iz are treated like plurals and take
       only an apostrophe (following the pronunciation, which is iz, not
       iziz), e.g.

       Bridges'                   Moses'
       Hodges'                    Riches'

       Polysyllables not accented on the last or second last syllable can
       take the apostrophe alone, but the form with -'s is equally
       acceptable, e.g.

       Barnabas'            or                     Barnabas's
       Nicholas'            or                     Nicholas's

       It is the custom in classical works to use the apostrophe only,
       irrespective of pronunciation, for ancient classical names ending in
       -s, e.g.

       Ceres'               Herodotus'             Venus'
       Demosthenes'         Mars'                  Xerxes'

       Jesus' 'is an accepted liturgical archaism' (Hart's Rules, p. 3l). But
       in non-liturgical use, Jesus's is acceptable (used, e.g., in the NEB,
       John 2: 3).

       With the possessive preceding the word sake, be guided by the
       pronunciation, e.g.

       for goodness' sake   but                    for God's sake
       for conscience' sake (!)                    for Charles's sake

       After -x and -z, use -'s, e.g.  Ajax's, Berlioz's music, Leibniz's
       law, Lenz's law.

   3.  Expressions such as:

       a fortnight's holiday      two weeks' holiday
       a pound's worth            two pounds' worth
       your money's worth

       contain possessives and should have apostrophes correctly placed.

   4.  In I'm going to the butcher's, grocer's, etc.  there is a possessive
       with ellipsis of the word 'shop'. The same construction is used in I'm
       going to Brown's, Green's, etc., so that properly an apostrophe is
       called for.  Where a business calls itself Brown, Green, or the like
       (e.g. Marks and Spencer, J. Sainsbury) the apostrophe would be
       expected before -s.  But many businesses use the title Browns, Greens,
       etc., without an apostrophe (e.g. Debenhams, Barclays Bank). No
       apostrophe is necessary in a Debenhams store or in (go to or take to)
       the cleaners.

   5.  The apostrophe must not be used:

       a.  with the plural non-possessive -s: notices such as TEA'S are often
           seen, but are wrong.
       b.  with the possessive of pronouns: hers, its, ours, theirs, yours;
           the possessive of who is whose.

       ° it's = it is; who's = who is.

       ° There are no words her's, our's, their's, your's.

1.41 -re or -er

   The principal words in which the ending -re (with the unstressed er
   sound--there are others with the sound ruh, e.g. macabre, or ray, e.g.
   padre) is found are:

     accoutre            centre        louvre
   * acre              * euchre      * lucre
     amphitheatre        fibre         lustre
   * cadre               goitre        manoeuvre
     calibre             litre       * massacre
   * meagre              ochre         sepulchre
   * mediocre          * ogre          sombre
     metre (note meter   philtre       sceptre
           the measuring reconnoitre   theatre
           device)       sabre         titre
     mitre               spectre     * wiseacre

   ° All but those marked * are spelt with -er in Amer.  English.

1.42 re- prefix

   This prefix is followed by a hyphen:

   1.  Before another e, e.g. re-echo, re-entry.

   2.  So as to distinguish the compound so formed from the more familiar
       identically spelt word written solid, e.g.

       re-cover (put new cover on):  recover
       re-form (form again):  reform
       re-sign (sign again):  resign

1.43 silent final consonants

   Words borrowed from French having silent final consonants give difficulty
   when inflexions are added to them:

   A. In the plural: see "plural formation" in topic 1.39.

   B. In the possessive: see "possessive case" in topic 1.40.

   C. With verbal inflexions: see "dropping of silent -e" in topic 1.17.

1.44 -s suffix

   A. As the inflexion of the plural of nouns: see plural formation.

   B. As the inflexion of the third person singular present indicative of
   verbs, it requires the same changes in the stem as the plural ending,
   namely the insertion of -e-:

   1.  After sibilants (ch, s, sh, x, z), e.g.  catches, tosses, pushes,
       fixes, buzzes; note that single s and z are subject to doubling of
       final consonant (see "doubling of final consonant" in topic 1.16)
       though the forms in which they occur are rare, e.g. gasses,
       nonplusses, quizzes, whizzes.

   2.  After y, which is subject to the change of y to i (see 1.50), e.g.
       cries, flies, carries, copies.

   3.  After o: echo, go, torpedo, veto, like the corresponding nouns, insert
       -e- before -s; crescendo, radio, solo, zero should follow their nouns
       in having -s, but in practice there is variation.

1.45 -xion or -ction

   Complexion, crucifixion, effluxion, fluxion, genuflexion, inflexion all
   have -x-; connection, reflection (which formerly sometimes had -x-) have
   -ct-; deflexion is increasingly being replaced by deflection.

   ° In Amer. spelling -ction is more usual in connection, deflection,
   genuflection, inflection, reflection.

1.46 -y, -ey, or -ie nouns

   The diminutive or pet form of nouns can be spelt -y, -ey, or -ie. The
   majority of nouns which end in the sound of -y are so spelt (whether
   diminutives or of other origin), e.g.

   aunty                granny                 nappy
   baby                 missy                  potty

   The following are the main diminutives spelt with -ey (-ey nouns of other
   kinds are excluded from the list):

   goosey               lovey-dovey            Sawney
   housey-housey        matey                  slavey
   Limey                nursey

   The following list contains the diminutives in -ie, together with a number
   of similar nouns that are not in fact diminutives but do end in -ie. Note
   that most Scottish diminutives are spelt with -ie, e.g. corbie, kiltie.

   beanie                       genie (spirit;         movie
   birdie                          plural genii)       nightie
   bookie                       Geordie                oldie
   brownie                      gillie                 pinkie (little
   budgie                       girlie                    finger)
   caddie (golf; tea caddy)     goalie                 pixie
   chappie                      hippie                 quickie
   charlie                      junkie                 rookie
   clippie                      Kewpie (doll)          sheltie
   cookie                       laddie                 softie
   coolie                       lassie                 Tin Lizzie
   dearie                       mealie (maize;         walkie-talkie
   doggie (noun;                   mealy adjective)    zombie
      doggy adjective)          mountie

   Note: bogie (wheeled undercarriage), bogey (golf), bogy (ghost).

1.47 -y or -ey adjectives

   When -y is added to a word to form an adjective, the following changes in
   spelling occur:

   1.  Doubling of final consonant (see "doubling of final consonant" in
       topic 1.16).

   2.  Dropping of silent -e (see "dropping of silent -e" in topic 1.17).


       a.  After u:

           bluey                gluey                  tissuey

       b.  In words that are not well established in the written language,
           where the retention of -e helps to clarify the sense:

           cagey                dikey                  pricey
           cottagey             matey                  villagey
           dicey                pacey

           Note also holey (distinguished from holy); phoney (of unknown

   3.  Insertion of -e- when -y is also the final letter of the stem:

       clayey        skyey         sprayey       wheyey

       Also in gooey.

   4.  Adjectives ending in unstressed -ey (2 (a) and (b) and 3 above) change
       this -ey to -i- before the comparative and superlative suffixes -er
       and -est and the adverbial suffix -ly, e.g.

       cagey: cagily        matey: matily          pricey: pricier
       dicey: dicier        pacey: pacier          phoney: phonily
       gooey: gooier

       Before -ness there is variation, e.g.

       cagey: cageyness     matey: mateyness,      phoney: phoniness
       clayey: clayeyness   matiness               wheyey: wheyiness

1.48 y or i

   There is often uncertainty about whether y or i should be written in the
   following words:

   Write i in:                Write y in:
   cider                      gypsy
   cipher                     lyke-wake
   dike                       lynch law
   Libya                      pygmy
   lich-gate                  style (manner)
   linchpin                   stylus
   sibyl (classical)          stymie
   sillabub                   Sybil (frequently as Christian name)
   silvan                     syrup
   siphon                     tyke
   siren                      tympanum (ear-drum)
   stile (in fence)           tyre (of wheel)
   timpani(drums)             wych-elm
   tiro                       wych-hazel

1.49 -yse or -yze

   This verbal ending (e.g. in analyse, catalyse, paralyse) is not a suffix
   but part of the Greek stem -lyse. It should not be written with z (though
   z is normally used in such words in America).

1.50 y to i

   Words that end in -y change this to -i- before certain suffixes. The
   conditions are:

   A. When the -y is not preceded by a vowel (except -u -in -guy, -quy).

   -y does not change to -i- when preceded by a vowel (other than u in -guy,
   -quy).  So enjoyable, conveyed, parleyed, gayer, gayest, donkeys, buys,
   employer, joyful, coyly, enjoyment, greyness.

   Exceptions: daily, gaily, and adjectives ending in unstressed -ey (see "-y
   or -ey adjectives" in topic 1.47).

   B. When the suffix is:

   1.  -able, e.g. deniable, justifiable, variable.

       Exception: flyable.

   2.  -ed (the past tense and past participle), e.g. carried, denied, tried.

   3.  -er (agent-noun suffix), e.g. carrier, crier, supplier.

       Exceptions: flyer, fryer, shyer (one who, a horse which, shies), skyer
       (in cricket). Note that drier, prier, trier (one who tries) are

   4.  -er, -est (comparative and superlative); e.g. drier, driest; happier,

   5.    -es (noun plural and third person singular present indicative), e.g.
       ladies, soliloquies, spies; carries, denies, tries.

       Exceptions: see "plural formation" in topic 1.39

   6.  -ful (adjectives), e.g. beautiful, fanciful. (Bellyful is a noun, not
       an adjective.)

   7.  -less (adjectives), e.g. merciless, remediless.

       Exceptions: some rare compounds, e.g. countryless, hobbyless,

   8.  -ly (adverbs), e.g. drily, happily, plaguily.

       Exceptions: shyly, slyly, spryly, wryly.

   9.  -ment (nouns), e.g. embodiment, merriment.

   10. -ness (nouns), e.g. happiness, cliquiness.

       Exceptions: dryness, flyness, shyness, slyness, spryness, wryness;
       busyness (distinguished from business).

1.51 Difficult and confusable spellings

   (not covered in previous entries)

   The list below contains words (i) which occasion difficulty in spelling;
   (ii) of which various spellings exist; or (iii) which need to be
   distinguished from other words spelt similarly.

   In each case the recommended form is given, and in some cases, for the
   sake of clarity, is followed by the rejected variant. Where the rejected
   variant is widely separated in alphabetical position from the recommended
   form, the former has been given an entry preceded by the mark and followed
   by 'use' and the recommended form.  The wording added to some entries
   constitutes a guide to the sense, not an exhaustive definition or


       adaptation ° not adaption


       ° aerie: use eyrie



       ait ° not eyot

       align, alignment ° not aline, alinement


       almanac (almanack only in some titles)

       aluminium ° Amer. aluminum

       ambiance (term in art)

       ambience surroundings

       amok ° not amuck


       annex (verb)

       annexe (noun)

       any one (of a number)

       anyone anybody

       any time

       any way any manner

       anyway at all events

       apophthegm ° Amer. apothegm





       aught anything

       autarchy despotism

       autarky self-sufficiency


       ay yes (plural the ayes have it)

       aye always

       babu ° not baboo


       bail out obtain release, relieve financially

       bale out parachute from aircraft

       balk (verb)

       balmy like balm

       barmy (informal) mad

       baulk timber

       bayoneted, -ing

       behove ° Amer. behoove

       bivouac (noun and verb)

       bivouacked, bivouacking

       blond (of man or his hair)

       blonde (of woman or her hair)

       born: be born (of child)

       borne: have borne have carried or given birth to; be borne be carried:
       be borne by be carried by or given birth to by (a mother)


       brier ° not briar

       bur clinging seed

       burr rough edge, drill, rock, accent, etc.

       cabbala, cabbalistic


       calendar almanac

       calender press



       calliper leg support; (plural) compasses ° not caliper

       callous (adjective)

       callus (noun)

       camellia shrub

       canvas (noun) cloth

       canvas (verb) to cover with canvas (past canvased)

       canvass (verb) (past canvassed)







       cheque (bank)

       chequer (noun) pattern (verb) variegate; ° Amer. checker

       chilli pepper


       chord combination of notes, line joining points on curve

       chukka boot

       chukker (polo)

       clarinettist ° Amer. clarinetist

       coco palm

       cocoa chocolate


       colander strainer



       complement make complete, that which makes complete

       compliment praise







       cord string, flex, spinal cord, rib of cloth

       cornelian ° not carnelian

       corslet armour, underwear

       cosy  ° Amer. cozy

       council assembly

       councillor member of council

       counsel advice, barrister

       counsellor adviser

       court martial (noun)

       court-martial (verb)

       crape black fabric

       cr€pe crape fabric other than black; rubber; pancake

       crevasse large fissure in ice

       crevice small fissure


       crumby covered in crumbs

       crummy (informal) dirty, inferior

       curb restrain, restraint


       ° czar use tsar

       dare say ° not daresay


       depositary (person)

       depository (place)



       despatch: use dispatch


       devest (only Law: gen. use divest)

       didicoi (tinker)

       dilatation (medical)


       dinghy boat

       dingy grimy

       disc ° Amer. disk

       discreet judicious

       discrete separate

       disk (sometimes in computing) ° Amer. in all senses of disc



       dissociate ° not disassociate




       douse quench

       dowse use divining rod

       draft (noun) military party, money order, rough sketch (verb) sketch °
       Amer. in all senses of draught

       draftsman one who drafts documents

       draught act of drawing, take of fish, act of drinking, vessel's depth,
       current of air ° Amer. draft

       draughtsman one who makes drawings, plans, etc; piece in game of





       educationist ° not educationalist


       ° eikon: use icon

       eirenicon ° not irenicon



       employee (masculine and feminine; no accent)


       enclosure (but Inclosure Acts)



       envelop (verb)

       envelope (noun)


       every one (of a number)

       everyone everybody

       exalt raise, praise

       exult rejoice

       ° eyot: use ait

       eyrie ° not aerie



       fee'd (a fee'd lawyer)



       felloe (of wheel) ° not felly

       ferrule cap on stick

       ferule cane

       fetid ° not foetid


       flu ° not 'flu

       foetal, foetus ° Amer. fetal, fetus


       forbade (past tense of forbid)


       for ever for always

       forever continually


       fount (type) ° Amer. font

       fungous (adjective)

       fungus (noun)

       furore ° Amer. furor



       gaol (official use ° Amer. jail (both forms found in Brit. literary

       gaoler (as for gaol)

       gauge (measure)

       gazump ° not gazoomph, etc.

       gibe jeer

       gild make gold

       ° gild association: use guild


       gormandize eat greedily


       gourmand glutton





       grayling (fish, butterfly)

       grey ° Amer. gray

       griffin fabulous creature ° not gryphon

       griffon vulture, dog

       grill for cooking

       grille grating

       grisly terrible

       grizzly grey-haired; bear

       groin (anatomy; architecture)

       grommet ° not grummet

       groyne breakwater


       guild association

       gybe (nautical) ° Amer. jibe

       haema-, haemo- (prefix meaning 'blood')








       haulm stem





       homogeneous having parts all the same

       homogenize make homogeneous

       homogenous having common descent


       ° hooping cough use whooping cough



       hurrah; hurray ° not hooray, hooray

       hussy ° not huzzy






       ignoramus plural ignoramuses

       ° imbed: use embed



       ° inclose, inclosure: use en-


       in so far





       ° irenicon: use eirenicon

       its of it

       it's it is

       jail (see gaol)

       jailor (see gaol)


       jam pack tightly; conserve

       jamb door-post

       ° jibe: use gibe, gybe ° Amer. also = accord with

       joust combat ° not just

       ° kabbala: use cabbala

       ° kaftan: use caftan


       kerb pavement ° Amer. curb


       ° khalif use caliph







       lachrymal of tears

       lachrymose tearful



       lacrimal (in science)

       lacrimate, -ation -atory (in science)


       ledger account book

       leger line (in music)


       lickerish greedy

       lightening making light

       lightning (accompanying thunder)


       linage number of lines

       lineage ancestry

       lineament feature

       liniment embrocation

       liqueur flavoured alcoholic liquor



       litchi Chinese fruit






       loath(some)  adjectives

       loathe (verb)



       longitude ° not longtitude

       lour frown

       Mac (prefix) spelling depends on the custom of the one bearing the
       name, and this must be followed; in alphabetical arrangement, treat as
       Mac however spelt. Mac, Mc, M(c) or M'

       mac (informal) mackintosh




       ° Mahomet: use Muhammad



       manikin dwarf, anatomical model

       manila hemp, paper

       manilla African  bracelet

       mannequin (live) model

       manoeuvrable ° Amer. maneuverable


       mantel cloak



       marshal (noun and verb)

       marten weasel

       martial of war (martial law)

       martin bird

       marvellous ° Amer. marvelous


       matt lustreless

       medieval not ° mediaeval


       mendacity lying

       mendicity the state of being a beggar

       millenary of a thousand; thousandth anniversay

       millennium thousand years


       milli- (prefix meaning one-thousandth)

       milometer ° not mileometer


       minuscule ° not miniscule

       mischievous ° not mischievious

       miscible (in science)


       missis (slang) ° not missus




       mizen (nautical)



       mongoose (plural mongooses)

       moustache ° Amer. mustache

       mouth (verb) ° not mouthe

       mucous (adjective)

       mucus (noun)



       Muslim ° not Moslem

       na‹ive, na‹vety

       naught nothing



       net not subject to deduction


       nonsuch unrivalled person or thing

       no one nobody

       nought the figure zero


       nurseling ° Amer. nursling

       O (interjection) used to form a vocative (O Caesar) and when not
       separated by punctuation from what follows (O for the wings of a dove)


       °of: not to be written instead of have in such constructions as 'Did
       you go?' 'I would have if it hadn't rained.'


       on to ° not onto




       outcast person cast out

       outcaste (India) person with no caste




       palaeo- (prefix = ancient)

       palate roof of mouth

       palette artist's board

       pallet mattress, part of machine, organ valve, platform for loads


       panda animal

       pander pimp; to gratify

       panellist ° Amer. panelist



       parallel, paralleled, paralleling



       pastel (crayon)



       pawpaw (fruit) ° not papaw

       pedal (noun) foot lever (verb) operate pedal

       peddle follow occupation of pedlar; trifle



       pedlar vendor of small wares ° Amer. peddler

       peen (verb) strike with pein


       pein of hammer

       Pekingese dog, inhabitant of Peking ° not Pekinese

       peninsula (noun)

       peninsular (adjective)

       pennant (nautical) piece of rigging, flag

       pennon (military) long narrow flag

       phone (informal) telephone ° not 'phone


       pi pious

       pidgin simplified language

       pie jumbled type


       pigeon bird; not one's pigeon not one's affair

       piggy back ° not pick-a-back


       pilaff ° not pilau, pilaw

       pimento ° not pimiento

       plane (informal) aeroplane ° not 'plane

       plenitude ° not plentitude

       plimsoll (shoe) ° not plimsole

       plough ° Amer. plow

       pommel knob, saddle-bow




       predacious ° not predaceous

       predominant(ly) ° not predominate(ly)

       premise (verb) to say as introduction

       premises (plural noun) foregoing matters, building

       premiss (in logic) proposition


       principal chief

       principle fundamental truth, moral basis

       prise force open

       Prive Council

       Privy Counsellor

       program (in computing) ° Amer. in all senses

       programme (general)




       pummel pound with fists


       putt (in golf)

       pyjamas ° Amer. pajamas

       quadraphony, quadrophonic ° not quadri- or quadro-


       quatercentenary ° not quarter-



       rabbet groove in woodwork (also rebate)

       racket  (for ball games) ° not racquet

       rackets game

       racoon ° not raccoon

       radical (chemistry)

       radicle (botany)

       raja ° not rajah


       rattan plant, cane (also rotan)

       raze ° not rase


       recce (slang) reconnaissance


       Renaissance ° not Renascence

       renege ° not renegue

       repairable (of material) able to be repaired

       reparable (of loss) able to be made good

       reverend (deserving reverence; title of clergy)

       reverent (showing reverence)

       review survey, reconsideration, report

       revue musical entertainment

       rhyme ° not rime

       riband (sport, heraldry)


       rigor (medical) shivering-fit

       rigour severity

       Riley (slang: the life of Riley)

       rill stream

       rille (on moon)

       rime frost

       rogues' gallery

       role (no accent)



       rule the roost ° not roast

       rumba ° not rhumba

       saccharin (adjective)

       salutary beneficial

       salutatory welcoming

       sanatorium ° Amer. sanitarium


       satire literary work

       satiric(al) of satire

       satyr woodland deity

       satyric of Greek drama with satyrs


       scallop ° not scollop

       scallywag ° Amer. scalawag

       sceptic ° Amer. skeptic

       scrimmage tussle ° also term in Amer. football

       scrummage (Rugby)

       sear to scorch, wither(ed)


       seigneur feudal lord

       seigneurial of a seigneur

       seigniory lordship



       sere catch of gun-lock; term in ecology

       sergeant (military, police)

       serjeant (law)

       sestet (in a sonnet)

       ° sett (noun): use set

       sextet (in music, etc.)


       shanty hut, song

       sheath (noun)

       sheathe (verb)


       shemozzle rumpus

       sherif Muslim leader

       sheriff county officer

       show ° not shew



       slew turn ° not slue

       smart alec

       smooth (adjective and verb) ° not smoothe



       some time (come and see me some time)

       sometime  former, formerly

       spirituel (masculine and feminine) having refinement of mind



       stanch (verb) stop a fow

       State (capital S for the political unit)

       stationary (adjective) at rest

       stationery (noun) papaer, etc.

       staunch loyal

       stoep (South Africa) veranda

       storey division of building  ° Amer. story

       storeyed having storeys

       storied celebrated in story

       stoup for holy water, etc.

       straight without curve

       strait narrow

       sty for pigs; swelling on eyelid ° not stye


       sulphur ° Amer. sulfur


       summons (noun) a command to appear (plural summonses)

       summons (verb) issue a summons (inflected summonsed)

       swap ° not swop

       sycamine, sycomore (Biblical trees)

       sycamore (member of maple genus)

       syllabication ° not syllabification

       synthesist, synthesize ° not synthet-

       teasel (plant)



       tehee (laugh)

       tell (archaeology)

       template ° not templet


       thank you ° not thankyou

       tic contraction of muscles

       tick-tack semaphonre

       titbit ° Amer. tidbit

       titillate excite

       titivate smarten up




       tonsillar, tonsillitis



       Trades Union Congress

       trade union

       traipse trudge ° not trapes


       tranquillity, tranquillize






       troop assembly of soldiers

       trooper member of troop

       troupe company of performers

       trouper member of troupe


       Turco- (combining form of Turkish)

       tympanum ear-drum

       'un (informal for one)

       underlie, underlying

       unequivocal, -ally ° not unequivocable, -ably

       valance curtain, drapery

       valence (in chemistry)

       Vandyke beard, brown





       vice tool ° Amer. vise

       villain evil-doer

       villein serf

       visor ° not vizor


       waiver forgoing of legal right



       waver be unsteady

       way: under way not ° under weigh

       whiskey (Irish)

       whisky (Scothch)

       Whit Monday, Sunday

       Whitsunday (Scottish; not a Sunday)


       whooping cough

       who's who is

       whose of whom

       wistaria ° not wisteria


       woeful ° not woful

       wrath  anger

       wreath (noun)

       wreathe (verb)

       wroth angry


2.0 Pronunciation

   For one thing, you speak quite differently from Roy. Now
   mind you, I'm not saying that one kind of voice is better
   than another kind, although ... the B.B.C. seems to have
   very definite views on the subject.

                (Marghanita Laski, The Village)

   This section aims at resolving the uncertainty felt by many speakers both
   about some of the general variations in the pronunciation of English, and
   about a large number of individual words whose pronunciation is variable.
   Accordingly, the section is in two parts:  A, general points of
   pronunciation, and B, a list of preferred pronunciations.

   The aim of recommending one type of pronunciation rather than another, or
   of giving a word a recommended spoken form, naturally implies the
   existence of a standard. There are of course many varieties of English,
   even within the limits of the British Isles, but it is not the business of
   this section to describe them. The treatment here is based upon Received
   Pronunciation (RP), namely 'the pronunciation of that variety of British
   English widely considered to be least regional, being originally that used
   by educated speakers in southern England'. (1) This is not to suggest that
   other varieties are inferior; rather, RP is here taken as a neutral
   national standard, just as it is in its use in broadcasting or in the
   teaching of English as a foreign language.

    (1)  A Supplement to the OED, Volume 3

2.1 A. General points of pronunciation

   This first part of Pronunciationis concerned with general variations and
   uncertainties in pronunciation. Even when RP alone is taken as the model,
   it is impossible to lay down a set of rules that will establish the
   correct pronunciation of every word and hold it constant, since
   pronunciation is continually changing. Some changes affect a particular
   sound in its every occurrence throughout the vocabulary, while others
   occur only in the environment of a few other sounds.  Some changes occur
   gradually and imperceptibly; some are limited to a section of the
   community. At any time there is bound to be considerable variation in
   pronunciation. One of the purposes of the entries that follow is to draw
   attention to such variation and to indicate the degree of acceptability of
   each variant in standard English.  Uncertainty about pronunciation also
   arises from the irregularity of English spelling. It is all too often
   impossible to guess how a particular letter or group of letters in an
   unfamiliar word should be pronounced.  Broadly speaking, there are
   particular letters and letter sequences which repeatedly cause such
   uncertainty (e.g. g (hard and soft); final -ed; final -ade).  To settle
   these uncertainties is the other main purpose of the entries that follow.

   The entries are arranged in alphabetical order of heading; the headings
   are not, of course, complete words, but are either individual letters of
   the alphabet or sequences of letters making up parts (usually the
   beginnings or endings) of words. Some entries cover sounds that are spelt
   in various ways: the heading given is the typical spelling. There are also
   three entries of a different sort:  they deal with (a) the main
   distinguishing features of American pronunciation, (b) the reduction of
   common words in rapid speech, and (c) patterns of stress.

2.2 a

   1.  There is variation in the pronunciation of a between the sound heard
       in calm, father and that heard in cat, fan, in

       a.  the suffix -graph (in photograph, telegraph, etc.) and

       b.  the prefix trans- (as in transfer, translate, etc.).

       a.  In -graph, a as in calm seems to be the more generally acceptable
           form in RP. Note that when the suffix - ic is added (e.g. in
           photographic), only a as in cat can be used.

       b.  In trans-, either kind of a is acceptable.

   2.  The word endings -ada, -ade, and -ado occasion difficulty, since in
       some words the pronunciation of the a is as in calm, in others as in

       a.  In -ada words, a is as in calm, e.g. armada, cicada.

       b.  In most -ade words, a is as in made, e.g. accolade, barricade,

           Exceptions: a as in calm in

           aubade        fa‡ade     roulade
           ballade       pomade     saccade
           charade       promenade

           and in unassimilated loan-words from French, e.g. d‚gringolade,

       c.  In most -ado words, a is as in calm, e.g.

           aficionado       bravado
           amontillado      desperado
           avocado          Mikado

           Exceptions: a as in made in bastinado, gambado, tornado.

   3.  a in the word-ending -alia is like a in alien, e.g. in marginalia,
       pastoralia, penetralia.

   4.  a before ls and lt in many words is pronounced either like aw in bawl
       or o in doll, e.g. in

       alter        halt        salt
       false        palsy       waltz

       The same variation occurs with au in fault, vault. Note: in several
       words a before Is and It can only be pronounced like a in sally, e.g.

       Alsation     altruism    salsify
       alter ego    caltrop     saltation

   5.  The word endings -ata, -atum, and -atus occasion difficulty. In most
       words the a is pronounced as in mate, e.g. in

       apparatus                flatus
       datum (plural data)      hiatus
       desideratum (plural      meatus
          desiderata)           ultimatum

       Exceptions: cantata, erratum, sonata, toccata with a as in calm;
       stratum, stratus with a as in mate or as in calm.

2.3 -age

   The standard pronunciation of the following words of French origin ending
   in -age is with stress on the first syllable, a as in calm, and g as in

   barrage        fuselage       mirage
   camouflage     garage         montage
   dressage       massage        sabotage

   Note that collage is stressed on the second syllable.

   ° The pronunciation of -age as in cabbage in any of these words is
   non-standard. The placing of the stress on the final syllable in some of
   these words is a feature of Amer.  pronunciation.

   ЬThe substitution of the sound of g as in large for that in r‚gime by some
   speakers in several of these words is acceptable.

2.4 American pronunciation

   Where the Amer. pronunciation of individual forms and words significantly
   differs from the British, this is indicated as part of the individual
   entries in this Section. There remain certain constant features of
   'General American'  (2) pronunciation that, being generally distributed,
   are not worth noting for every word or form in which they occur. The
   principal features are these:

   1.  r is sounded wherever it is written, i.e. after vowels finally and
       before consonants, as well as before vowels, e.g. in burn, car, form.

   2.  The sound of I is 'dark' (as in British bell, fill) everywhere; the
       British sound of l as in land, light is not used.

   3.  (t)t between vowels sounds like d (and this d often sounds like a kind
       of r), e.g. in latter, ladder, tomato.

   4.  The vowel of boat, dote, know, no, etc. is a pure long vowel, not a
       diphthong as in British English.

   5.  Where British English has four vowels, (i) a as in bat, (ii) ah as in
       dance, father, (iii) o as in hot, long, and (iv) aw as in law, Amer.
       English has only three, differently distributed, viz.: (i) a as in
       bat, dance, (ii) ah as in father, hot, and (iii) aw as in long, law.

   6.  The sound of you (spelt u, ew, etc.) after s, t, d, n, is replaced by
       the sound of oo, e.g. in resume, Tuesday, due, new, etc.

   7.  The sound of u as in up (also spelt o in come, etc.) sounds like the
       obscure sound of a as in aloft, china.

   8.  er is pronounced as in herd in words where it is like ar in hard in
       British English, e.g. in clerk, derby.

   9.  The vowels in the first syllables of (a) ferry, herald, merry, etc.,
       (b) fairy, hairy, Mary, etc., and (c) carry, Harry, marry, etc. (i.e.
       when r follows) are not distinguished from one another by most General
       American speakers.

   10. In words of four syllables and over, in which the main stress falls on
       the first or second syllable, there is a strong secondary stress on
       the last syllable but one, the vowel of which is fully enunciated, not
       reduced as in British English, e.g. cўntempl…tive, t‚mpor…ry,

    (2) 'A form of U.S. speech without marked dialectal or regional
       characteristics' (A Supplement to the OED, Volume 1).

2.5 -arily

   In a few adverbs that end in the sequence -arily there is a tendency to
   place the stress on the a rather than the first syllable of the word. The
   reason lies in the stress pattern of four- and five-syllable words.

   Adjectives of four syllables ending in -ary which are stressed on the
   first syllable are generally pronounced with elision of one of the middle
   syllables, e.g. military, necessary, temporary pronounced milit'ry,
   necess'ry, temp'rary.  This trisyllabic pattern is much easier to

   The addition of the adverbial suffix -ly converts the word back into an
   unwieldly tetrasyllable that cannot be further elided:  milit(a)rily,
   necess(a)rily, temp(o)rarily.  Hence the use of these adverbs is sometimes
   avoided by saying in a military fashion, in a solitary way, etc.

   A number of these adverbs are, however, in common use, e.g.

   arbitrarily             necessarily                temporarily
   ordinarily              momentarily                voluntarily

   Because of the awkwardness of placing the stress on the first syllable,
   colloquial speech has adopted a pronunciation with stress on the third
   syllable, with the a sounding like e in verily. This is probably a
   borrowing from Amer. English, in which this pronunciation problem does not
   arise. In adjectives like necessary the ending -ary quite regularly
   receives a secondary stress (see "American pronunciation" in topic 2.4
   above), which can then be converted into a main stress when -ly is added.

   This pronunciation is much easier and more natural in rapid, colloquial
   speech, in which it would be pedantic to censure it.

   ° In formal and careful speech, the standard pronunciation of arbitrarily,
   momentarily, necessarily, ordinarily, temporarily, and voluntarily is with
   stress on the first syllable.

   The case of the word primarily is somewhat different.  It contains only
   four syllables, which, with stress on the first, can be reduced by elision
   of the second syllable to the easily pronounced spoken form prim'rily.

   ° There is therefore no need to pronounce the word with stress on the
   second syllable, pri-merr-ily, or even worse, pri-marr-ily. These are
   widely unacceptable.

2.6 -ed

   1.  In the following adjectives the ending -ed is pronounced as a separate

       accursed         naked         wicked
       cragged          rugged        wretched
       deuced           sacred

       Note deuced can also be pronounced as one syllable.

   2.  The following words represent two different spoken forms each with
       meanings that differ according to whether -ed is pronounced as a
       separate syllable or not. In most cases the former pronunciation
       indicates an adjective (as with the list under 1 above), the latter
       the past tense and past participle of a verb, but some are more

                   (a) -ed as separate           (b) -ed pronounced 'd
   aged            = very old (he is very        = having the age of (one,
                   aged, an aged man)            etc.) (he is aged three, a
                                                 boy aged three); past of to
                                                 age (he has aged greatly)

   beloved         used before noun (beloved     used as predicate (he was
                   brethren); = beloved person   beloved by all)
                   (my beloved is mine)

   blessed         = fortunate, holy, sacred     part of to bless; sometimes
                   (blessed are the meek, the    also in senses listed in
                   blessed saints); = blessed    left-hand column
                   person (Isles of the

   crabbed         = cross-grained, hard to      past of to crab
                   follow, etc.

   crooked         = not straight, dishonest     = having a transverse handle
                                                 (crooked stick); past of to

   cursed          before noun = damnable        past of to curse

   dogged          = tenacious                   past of to dog

   jagged          = indented                    past of to jag

   learned         = erudite                     past of to learn (usually

   ragged          = rough, torn, etc.           past of to rag

2.7 -edly, -edness

   When the further suffixes -ly (forming adverbs ) and -ness (forming nouns)
   are added to adjectives ending in the suffix -ed, an uncertainty arises
   about whether to pronounce this -ed- as a separate syllable or not. The
   adjectives to which these suffixes are added can be divided into three

   1.  Those in which -ed is already a separate syllable ( a) because it is
       preceded by d or t or (b) because the adjective is one of those
       discussed in the entry for -ed above; e.g. belated, decided, excited
       levelheaded, wicked.  When both -ly and -ness are added, -ed- remains
       a separate syllable, e.g. (i) belatedly, decidedly, excitedly,
       wickedly; (ii) belatedness, levelheadedness, wickedness.

   2.  Those in which the syllable preceding -ed is unstressed, i.e. if -(e)d
       is removed the word ends in an unstressed syllable; e.g. bad-
       tempered, embarrassed, hurried, self-centred.  When both -ly and -ness
       are added, -ed- remains non-syllabic (i.e. it sounds like 'd), e.g.

       (i)  abandonedly             frenziedly                 old-fashionedly
            bad-temperedly          good-humouredly            self-centredly
            biasedly                hurriedly                  shamefacedly
            dignifiedy              ill-naturedly              worriedly

       (ii) bad-tempered-ness   selfcentredness (= -center'dness)
            hurriedness         shamefacedness

   3.  Those in which the syllable preceding -ed is stressed, i.e. if -(e)d
       is removed the word ends in a stressed syllable, or is a monosyllable,
       e.g.  assured, fixed.

   ° (i) When -ly is added -ed becomes an extra syllable, e.g.

   advisedly               declaredly             professedly
   allegedly               deservedly             resignedly
   amusedly                designedly             surprisedly
   assuredly               displeasedly           undisguisedly
   avowedly                fixedly                unfeignedly
   constrainedly           markedly               unreservedly


   There are a few definite exceptions to this rule, e.g. subduedly, tiredly
   (ed is not a separate syllable).  There are also several words in which
   variation is found, e.g.  confessedly, depravedly, depressedly (three or
   four syllables according to OED); inspiredly (four syllables in OED, but
   now probably three).

   ° Note that some adverbs formed on adjectives in -ed sound awkward and
   ugly whether -ed- is pronounced as a separate syllable or not.  Because of
   this, some authorities (e.g. MEU) discourage the formation of words like
   boredly, charmedly, discouragedly, experiencedly.

   (ii) When -ness is added, there is greater variation.  The older usage
   seems to have been to make -ed- an extra syllable. In OED the following
   are so marked:

   absorbedness          estrangedness            forcedness
   assuredness           exposedness              markedness
   confirmedness         fixedness                surprisedness

   The following have ed or 'd as alternative pronunciation:

   ashamedness                   pleasedness
   detachedness                  preparedness

   But 'd is the only pronunciation in blurredness, subduedness. However,
   many other words are not specially marked, and it seems likely that it has
   become increasingly rare for -ed- to be separately sounded.

   Ь It is acceptable not to make -ed- a separate syllable in words of this

2.8 -ein(e)

   The ending -ein(e) (originally disyllabic) is now usually pronounced like
   -ene in polythene in

      caffeine       codeine        casein        protein

2.9 -eity

   The traditional pronunciation of e in this termination is as in me, e.g.

   contemporaneity         heterogeneity                spontaneity
   corporeity              homogeneity                  velleity
   deity                   simultaneity

   Among younger speakers there is a marked tendency to substitute the sound
   of e in caf‚, suede. The reasons for this are probably:

   1.  The difficulty of making the sounds of e (as in me) and i distinct
       when they come together.  Cf. the words rabies, species, protein, etc.
       in which e and i were originally separate syllables but have now
       fused. Because of this difficulty, many users of the traditional
       pronunciation of e actually make the first two syllables of deity
       sound like deer, and so with the other words.

   2.  The influence of the reformed pronunciation of Latin in which e has
       the sound of e in caf‚.

       The same variation is found in the sequence -ei- in the words deism,
       deist, reify, reification (but not theism, theist).

   ° The pronunciation of e as in me is the only generally acceptable one in
   all these words.

2.10 -eur

   This termination, occurring in words originally taken from French, in
   which it is the agent suffix, normally carries the stress and sounds like
   er in deter, refer, e.g. in:

   agent provocateur          entrepreneur             restaurateur
   coiffeur                   litterateur              sabreur
   colporteur                 masseur                  seigneur
   connoisseur                poseur                   tirailleur
     (con-a-ser)              raconteur                voyeur

   Stress is on the first syllable usually in

              amateur (and amateurish: am-a-ter-ish)
              chauffeur                 saboteur

   Stress can be on either the first or the third syllable in secateurs.

   Feminine nouns can be formed from some of these by the substitution of -se
   for -r: the resulting termination is pronounced like urze in furze, e.g.
   coiffeuse, masseuse, saboteuse.

   liqueur is pronounced Ii-cure (Amer. li-cur).

2.11 g

   A. In certain less familiar words and words taken from foreign languages,
   especially Greek, there is often uncertainty as to whether g preceding e,
   i, and (especially) y is pronounced hard as in get or soft as in gem.

   1.  The prefix gyn(o)- meaning 'woman' now always has a hard g.

   2.  The element -gyn- with the same meaning, occurring inside the word,
       usually has a soft g, as in androgynous, misogynist.

   3.  The elements gyr- (from a root meaning ' ring') and -gitis (in names
       of diseases) always have a soft g, as in

       gyrate                            gyro (-scope,
       gyration                            compass, etc.)
       gyre (poetic, =                    laryngitis
         gyrate, gyration)                meningitis

   4.  The following, among many other more familiar words, have a hard g:

       gibbous                           gill (fish's organ)
       gig (all senses)                  gingham

   5.  The following have a soft g:

       gibber              giro                      gypsum
       gibe                  (payment system)        gyrfalcon
       gill (measure)      gybe                      gyve
       gillyflower         gypsophila                panegyric

   6.  There is variation in:

       demagogic, -y, gibberish, hegemony, pedagogic, -y.

   ° g should be hard in analogous.

   B. See "-age" in topic 2.3.

2.12 -gm

   g is silent in the sequence gm at the end of the word:

   apophthegm                       paradigm
   diaphragm                        phlegm

   But g is pronounced when this sequence comes between vowels:

   apophthegmatic                   paradigmatic
   enigma                           phlegmatic

2.13 h

   1.  Initial h is silent in heir, honest, honour, hour, and their
       derivatives; also in honorarium.  It is sounded in habitu‚.

   2.  Initial h used commonly to be silent if the first syllable was
       unstressed, as in habitual, hereditary, historic, hotel. This
       pronunciation is now old-fashioned.  (see "a or an" in topic 1.8.)

2.14 -ies

   The ending -ies is usually pronounced as one syllable (like ies in diesel)

   caries                  rabies                   series
   congeries               scabies                  species

   ° The reduction of this ending to a sound like the ending of the plural
   words armies, babies, etc., is best avoided.

2.15 -ile

   The ending -ile is normally pronounced like isle, e.g. in

   docile                  fertile             sterile
   domicile                missile             virile

   ° The usual Amer.  pronunciation in most words of this kind is with the
   sound of il in daffodil or pencil.

   The pronunciation is like eel in:

   automobile              -mobile (suffix)

   -ile forms two syllables in campanile (rhyming with Ely), cantabile
   (pronounced can-tah-bi-ly), and sal volatile (rhyming with philately).

2.16 ng

   There is a distinction in Standard English between ng representing a
   single sound (which is represented by n alone before c, k, q, and x, as in
   zinc, ink, tranquil, and lynx) and ng representing a compound consisting
   of this sound followed by the sound of hard g.

   1.  The single sound is the only one to occur at the end of a word, e.g.

           bring       furlong       song       writing

   2.  The single sound also occurs in the middle of words, but usually in
       words that are a compound of a word ending in -ng (as in 1 above) + a
       suffix, e.g.

       bringer                 kingly              stringy
       bringing                longish             wrongful
       hanged                  singable

   3.  The compound sound, ng + g, is otherwise normal in the middle of
       words, e.g.

          anger       language        hungry         singly

       And exceptionally, according to rule 2, in diphthongize, longer, -est,
       prolongation, stronger, -est, younger, -est. °

   4.  It is non-standard:

       a.  To use -in for -ing (suffix), i.e. to pronounce bringing, writing
           as bringin, writin.

       b.  To use n for ng in length, strength. (The pronunciation lenkth,
           strenkth is acceptable.)

       c.  To use nk for ng in anything, everything, nothing, something.

       d.  To use the compound sound ng + g in all cases of ng, i.e. in words
           covered by rules 1 and 2 as well as 3.  This pronunciation is,
           however, normal in certain regional forms of English.

2.17 o

   1.  In many words the sound normally represented in English by u as in
       butter, sun is written instead with o, e.g. above, come, front. There
       are a few words in which there is variation in pronunciation between
       the above sound (as in come, etc.) and the more usual sound of o (as
       in body, lot, etc.) The earlier pronunciation of most of these was
       with the u-sound; the o-sound was introduced under the influence of
       the spelling.

       a.  More usually with the u-sound:

           accomplice     frontier      pommel
           accomplish     mongrel

       b.  More usually with the o-sound:

           combat         hovel         pomegranate
           conduit        hover         sojourn

       c.  Still variable (either is acceptable):

                   comrade                    constable

   2.  Before ff, ft, ss, st, and th, in certain words, there was formerly a
       variety of RP in which o was pronounced like aw in law or oa in broad,
       so that off often, cross, lost, and cloth sounded like orf, orphan,

       ° This pronunciation is now non-standard.

   3.  Before double ll, o has the long sound (as in pole) in some words, and
       the short sound (as in Polly) in others.

       a.  With the long sound:

           boll          roll           toll
           droll         scroll         troll
           knoll         stroll         wholly
           poll          swollen

       b.  With the short sound:  doll, loll, and most words in which another
           syllable follows, e.g. collar, holly, etc.

   4.  Before lt, o is pronounced long, as in pole, e.g. bolt, colt, molten,

       ° The substitution of short o, as in doll, in these words is

   5.  Before lv, o is pronounced short, as in doll, e.g.

       absolve          evolve           revolve
       devolve          involve          revolver
       dissolve         resolve          solve

       ° The substitution of long o, as in pole, in these words is

2.18 ough

   Difficult though this spelling is for foreign learners, most words in
   which it occurs are familiar to the ordinary English speaker.
   Pronunciation difficulties may arise, however, with the following words:

   brougham   (a kind of carriage) broo-am or broom
   chough     (bird) chuff
   clough     (ravine) cluff
   hough      (animal's joint), same as, and sounds like, hock
   slough     (bog) rhymes with plough
   slough     (snake's skin) sluff
   sough      (sound) suff ( can also rhyme with plough)

2.19 phth

   This sequence should sound like fth (in fifth, twelfth), e.g.  in
   diphtheria, dipthong, monophthong, naphtha, ophthalmic.

   ° It is non-standard to pronounce these as if written dip-theria, etc.

   Initially, as in the words phthisical, phthisis, the ph can be silent; it
   is also usually silent in apophthegm.

2.20 pn-, ps-, pt-

   These sequences occur at the beginning of many words taken from Greek. In
   all of them it is normal not to pronounce the initial p-.  The exception
   is psi representing the name of a Greek letter, used, e.g., as a symbol.

2.21 r

   1.  When r is the last letter of a word (always following a vowel, or
       another r) or precedes 'silent' final e (where it may follow a
       consonant, e.g. in acre which really = aker), it is normally silent in
       RP, e.g. in

       aware                   four                  pure
       err                     here                  runner
       far                     kilometre

       But when another word, beginning with a vowel sound, follows in the
       same sentence, it is normal to pronounce the final r, e.g. in

       aware of it
       four hours
       pure air
       to err is human
       here it is
       runner -up
       far away
       a kilometre of track

       This is called the 'linking r'.

       ° It is standard to use linking r and unnatural to try to avoid it.

   2.  A closely connected feature of the spoken language is what is called
       'intrusive r'.

       a.  The commonest occurrence of this is when a word ending with the
           obscure sound of a, as china, comma, Jonah, loofah, etc. is
           immediately followed by a word beginning with a vowel sound. An
           intrusive r is added to the end of the first word as if it were
           spelt with -er so as to ease the passage from one word to the

           Typical examples are:

           the area-r of the island       an umbrella-r
           the pasta-r is cooked             organization
           sonata-r in E flat             a villa-r in Italy

           Here the sound spelt -a at the end of area, pasta, etc., which
           sounds the same as -er, -re at the end of runner, kilometre, is
           treated as if it were spelt with an r following.

       b.  In the same way, some speakers unconsciously equate (i) the
           spelling a or ah in grandma, Shah with the identical-sounding ar
           in far, (ii) the spelling aw in law, draw with the similar our in
           four or ore in bore, tore, and (iii) the spelling eu in milieu,
           cordon bleu with the similar er(r) in err, prefer.  Thus, just as
           linking r is used with far, four, bore, tore, err, and prefer,
           such speakers introduce an intrusive r in, e.g.

           is grandma-r at home?          a milieu-r in
           The Shah-r of Iran               which...
           draw-r a picture               a cordon bleu-r
           law-r and order                  in the kitchen

       c.  Intrusive r is often introduced before inflexional endings, e.g.

           The boys are keen on scubering (i.e. scubaing) (Berkely Mather)
           oohing and ah-r-ing
           draw-r-ing room

           and even within the word withdraw-r-al.

       d.  Intrusive r has been noted since the end of the eighteenth
           century.  In the mid-nineteenth century it was regarded as
           unpardonable in an educated person, but acknowledged to occur
           widely even among the cultivated.

           Its use after obscure a (as described under 2a above), where it
           greatly aids the flow of the sentence and is relatively
           unobtrusive, is acceptable in rapid, informal speech. The
           avoidance of intrusive r here by the insertion of a hiatus or a
           catch in the breath would sound affected and pedantic.

       ° The use of intrusive r after the sounds of ah, aw, and eu (described
       under 2b ) is very widely unacceptable and should be avoided if
       possible. Its use before inflexional endings (2c above) is illiterate
       or jocular.

       ° In formal speech, the use of intrusive r in any context conveys an
       impression of unsuitable carelessness and should not be used at all.

   3.  There is a tendency in certain words to drop r if it is closely
       followed (or in a few cases, preceded) by another r at the beginning
       of an unstressed syllable, e.g. in

       deteriorate mispronounced deteriate
       February mispronounced Febuary
       honorary mispronounced honary (prefer hon'rary)
       itinerary mispronounced itinery
       library mispronounced lib'ry
       secretary mispronounced seketry or seketerry
       temporary mispronounced tempary (prefer temp'rary)

   ° This pronunciation should be avoided, especially in formal speech.

2.22 reduced forms

   In rapid speech, many of the shorter words whose function is essentially
   grammatical rather than lexical, being lightly stressed, tend to be
   reduced either by the obscuring of their vowels or the loss of a consonant
   or both.  They may even be attached to one another or to more prominent
   words.  similarly, some words such as pronouns and auxiliary verbs are in
   rapid speech omitted altogether, while longer words of frequent occurrence
   are shortened by the elision of unstressed syllables.  Typical examples

   gunna, wanna         = going to, want to
   kinda, sorta         = kind of, sort of
   gimme, lemme         = give me, let me
   'snot                = it's not
   innit, wannit        = isn't it, wasn't it
   doncha dunno         = don't you, I don't know
   what's he say, where d'you find it, we done it, what you want it for?
   'spect or I'xpect    = I expect
   (I) spose            = I suppose
   cos, course, on'y, praps, probly = because, of course, only, perhaps,

   ° Most of these reduced forms (with the possible exception of innit,
   wannit) are natural in informal RP, but severely mar the quality and
   clarity of careful and prepared discourse, where they should be avoided.

2.23 s, sh, z and zh

   In certain kinds of word, where the spelling is ci, si, or ti, or where it
   is s before long u, there is variation between two or more of the four
   sounds which may be phonetically represented as:

   s  as in sun           zh representing the
   sh as in ship                sound of s in leisure
   z  as in zone                or g in r‚gime

   1.  There is variation between s and sh in words such as:

       appreciate                association                 negotiation
       appreciation              negotiate                   sociology

       This variation does not occur in all words with a similar structure:
       only s is used in glaciation, pronunciation (=-see-ay-shon), and only
       sh in partiality (par-shee-al-ity). Note that there can be a variant
       having the sound of s only with words in which the following i
       constitutes a separate syllable;  hence only sh occurs in initial,
       racial, sociable, spatial, special, etc.  It is possible that speakers
       avoid using sh in words that end in -tion, which also contains the sh-
       sound, so as to prevent the occurrence of this sound in adjacent
       syllables, e.g. in appreciation = appreshi-ashon.

   2.  There is variation between s and sh in sensual, sexual, issue, tissue,
       and between z and zh in casual, casuist, visual.

   3.  There is variation between sh and rh in aversion, equation, immersion,
       transition, version.

       Ь Either variant is acceptable in each of these kinds of word,
       although in all of them sh is the traditional pronunciation.

   4.  In the names of some countries and regions ending in -sia, and in the
       adjectives derived from them, there is variation between sh and zh,
       and in some cases z and s as well. So:

       Asian      = A-shan or A-zhan
       Asiatic    = A-shi-at-ic or A-zhi-at-ic or A-zi-at-ic or A-si-at-ic
       Friesian   = Free-zi-an or Free-zhan
       Indonesian = Indo-nee-shan or -zhan  or -zi-an or -si-an
       Persian    = Per-shan or Per-zhan
       Polynesian (varies like Indonesian)
       Rhodesian  = Ro-dee-shan or -zhan or -zi-an or -si-an

   ° In all except Friesian the pronunciation with sh is traditional in RP
   and therefore the most widely acceptable. The pronunciation with zh is
   also generally acceptable.

2.24 stress

   1.  The position of the stress accent is the key to the pronunciation of
       many English polysyllabic words. If it is known on which syllable the
       stress falls, it is very often possible to deduce the pronunciation of
       the vowels. This is largely because the vowels of unstressed syllables
       in English are subject to reduction in length, obscuration of quality,
       and, quite often, complete elision.  Compare the sound of the vowel in
       the stressed syllable in the words on the left with that of the vowel
       in the same syllable, unstressed, in the related words on the right:

       a: hum nity                     hЈman
          mon rchic                    mўnarch
          practic lity                 pr ctically(ic'ly)
          secret rial                  s‚cretary (-try)
       e: pres‚nt (verb)               pr‚sent (noun)
          prot‚st                      protest tion
          myst‚rious                   mystery (=myst'ry)
       i: satЎrical                    s tirist
          combЎne                      combin tion
          anxЎety                       nxious (=anksh'ous)
       o: ecўnomy                      econўmic
          oppўse                       ўpposite
          histўric                     hЎstory (=hist'ry)
       u: luxЈrious                    lЈxury
          indЈstrial                   Ўndustry

       Because the position of the stress has such an important effect on the
       phonetic shape of the word, it is not surprising that many of the most
       hotly disputed questions of pronunciation centre on the placing of the
       stress.  For example, in controversy, stress on the first syllable
       causes the four vowels to sound like those of collar turning, while
       stress on the second causes them to sound like those of an opposite:
       two quite different sequences of vowels.

   2.  It is impossible to formulate rules accounting for the position of the
       stress in every English word, whether by reference to the spelling or
       on the basis of grammatical function. If it were, most of the
       controversies about pronunciation could be cleared up overnight.
       Instead, three very general observations can be made.

       a.  Within very broad limits, the stress can fall on any syllable.
           These limits are roughly defined by the statement that more than
           three unstressed syllables cannot easily be uttered in sequence.
           Hence, for example, five-syllable words with stress on the first
           or last syllable are rare. Very often in polysyllabic words at
           least one syllable besides the main stressed syllable bears a
           medium or secondary stress, e.g. c terpЌllar, c•ntrovЉrtibЎlity.

       b.  Although there is such fluidity in the occurrence of stress, some
           patterns of stress are clearly associated with some patterns of
           spelling or with grammatical function (or, especially, with
           variation of grammatical function in a single word).  For example,
           almost all words ending in the suffixes -ic and -ical are stressed
           on the syllable immediately preceding the suffix. There is only a
           handful of exceptions: Arabic, arithmetic (noun), arsenic,
           catholic, choleric, heretic, lunatic, politic(s), rhetoric.

       c.  If the recent and current changes and variations in stress in a
           large number of words are categorized, a small number of general
           tendencies can be discerned.  Most of these can be ascribed to the
           influence exerted by the existing fixed stress patterns over other
           words (many of which may conform to other existing patterns of
           stress).  It will be the purpose of the remaining part of this
           entry to describe some of these tendencies and to relate them to
           the existing canons of acceptibility.

   3.  Two-syllable words

       While there is no general rule that says which syllable the stress
       will fall on, there is a fixed pattern to which quite a large number
       of words conform, by which nouns and adjectives are stressed on the
       first syllable, and verbs on the second.

       A large number of words beginning with a (Latin) prefix have stress on
       the first syllable if they are nouns or adjectives, but on the second
       if they are verbs, e.g.

       accent                    import                   transfer
       compound                  present                  transport
       conflict                  suspect

       The same distinction is made in some words ending in -ment, e.g.

       ferment                    segment
       fragment                   torment

       And words ending in -ate with stress on the first syllable are usually
       nouns, while those with stress on the second are mainly verbs, e.g.

       nouns: climate                             verbs: create
              curate                                     dictate
              dictate                                    frustrate
              mandate                                    vacate

       This pattern has recently exercised an influence over several other
       words not originally conforming to it. The words

       ally                         defect                         rampage
       combine                      intern

       were all originally stressed on the second syllable; as verbs, they
       still are, but as nouns, they are all usually stressed on the first.
       Exactly the same tendency has affected

          dispute       research       recess       romance

       but in these words, the pronunciation of the noun with stress on the
       first syllable is rejected in good usage.  The following nouns and
       adjectives (not corresponding to identically spelt verbs) show the
       same transference of stress:  adept, adult, chagrin, supine.

       In the verbs combat, contact, harass, and traverse, originally
       stressed on the first syllable, a tendency towards stress on the
       second syllable is discernible, but the new stress has been accepted
       only in the word traverse.

   4.  Three-syllable words

       Of the three possible stress patterns in three-syllable words, that
       with stress on the first syllable is the strongest and
       best-established, exercising an influence over words conforming to the
       other two patterns.

       a.  Words with stress on the final syllable are relatively rare. A
           number of them have been attracted to the dominant pattern; in
           some this pattern (stress on the first syllable) is acceptable in
           RP, e.g.  artisan, commandant, confidant, partisan, promenade; in
           others it is not, e.g. cigarette, magazine.

       b.  Many words originally having stress on the second syllable now
           normally or commonly have stress on the first, e.g.

           abdomen         decorous       recondite
           acumen          obdurate       remonstrate
           albumen         precedence     secretive
           aspirant        precedent      sonorous
           communal          (noun)       subsidence
           composite       quandary       vagary

           Other words are also affected by this tendency, but the
           pronunciation with stress on the first syllable has not been
           accepted as standard, e.g. in

              Byzantine             contribute
              clandestine           distribute

           Note:  This tendency to move the stress back from the second to
           the first syllable of three-syllable words has been observed for
           at least a century. A case that typically illustrates it is the
           word sonorous.  In 1884 W. W. Skeat, in his Etymological
           Dictionary of the English Language (edn. 2), wrote: 'Properly
           sonўrous; it will probably, sooner or later, become sўnorous.' The
           first dictionary to recognize the change was Webster's New
           International of 1909, which adds the newer pronunciation with the
           comment 'now often, esp. in British usage'. Fifty years after
           Skeat, G. B. Shaw wrote to The Times (2 Jan. 1934): 'An announcer
           who pronounced decadent and sonorous as dekkadent and sonnerus
           would provoke Providence to strike him dumb'-- testifying both to
           the prevalence of the new pronunciation and to the opposition it
           aroused. In 1956 Compton Mackenzie, in an Oxford Union Debate,
           protested against the pronunciation of quandary, sonorous, and
           decorous with stress on the first syllable (B. Foster, The
           Changing English Language, 1968, p.  243). Foster (ibid.),
           however, records his surprise in about 1935 at hearing a
           schoolmaster use the older pronunciation of sonorous.  The newer
           pronunciation was first mentioned in the Concise Oxford Dictionary
           in 1964; the two pronunciations are both heard, but the newer one
           probably now prevails.

       c.  There is a tendency in a few words to move the stress from the
           first to the second syllable. It is generally resisted in standard
           usage, e.g.  in

           combatant               exquisite                     urinal
           deficit                 stigmata

           all of which have stress on the first syllable. But it has
           prevailed in aggrandize, chastisement, conversant, doctrinal,
           environs, pariah.

   5.  Four-syllable words

       In a very large group of four-syllable words there is a clash between
       two opposing tendencies. One is the impulse to place the stress on the
       first syllable; the other is the influence of antepenultimate stress
       which is so prevalent in three-syllable words.  Broadly speaking, it
       has been traditional in RP to favour stress on the first syllable, so
       that the shift to the second syllable has been strongly resisted in:

       applicable               demonstrable              intricacy
       aristocrat               formidable                kilometre
       capitalist               hospitable                lamentable
       controversy              illustrative              remediless

       In many words the two tendencies can be reconciled by the elision of
       one of the two middle unstressed syllables:

       adversary                 necessary                  promissory
       comparable                participle                 referable
       migratory                 preferable                 voluntary
       momentary                 primarily

       However, many words traditionally stressed on the first syllable have
       been, or are being, adapted to the antepenultimate stress pattern,

       centenary                 hegemony                   nomenclature
       despicable                metallurgy                 pejorative
       disputable                miscellany                 peremptory

       Because antepenultimate stress has been accepted in most of these
       words, it is difficult to reject it in the words in the first list
       simply on the ground of tradition.  Analogy is the obvious argument in
       some cases, i.e.  the analogy of capital, demonstrate, illustrate,
       intricate, kilocycle (or centimetre), and remedy for the words related
       to them in the list, but this cannot be used with the remaining words.

   6.  Five-syllable words

       Five-syllable words originally stressed on the first syllable have
       been affected by the difficulty of uttering more than three unstressed
       syllables in sequence (see 2a above).  The stress has been shifted to
       the second syllable in laboratory, obligatory, whereas in veterinary
       the fourth syllable is elided, and usually the second as well. For
       arbitrarily, momentarily, etc., see "-arily" in topic 2.5.

2.25 t

   1.   In rapid speech, t is often dropped from the sequence cts, so that
       acts, ducts, pacts sound like axe, ducks, packs.

       ° This should be avoided in careful speech.

   2.  The sounding of t in often is a spelling pronunciation: the
       traditional form in RP rhymes with soften.

2.26 th

   1.  Monosyllabic nouns ending in -th after a vowel sound (or vowel + r)
       form the plural by adding -s in the usual way, but the resulting
       sequence ths is pronounced in two different ways. In some words It
       voiceless as in myths, in others voiced as in mouths.

       a.  The following are like myth:

           berth           girth           sleuth
           birth           growth          sloth
           breath          hearth             (animal)
           death           heath           smith
           faith           moth            wraith

       b.  The following are like mouth:

           bath           sheath           wreath
           oath           swath            youth
           path           truth

           cloth, lath vary, but are now commonly like myth.

   2.  Note that final th is like th in bathe, father in:

       bequeath              booth
       betroth               mouth (verb)

2.27 u

   The sound of long u, as in cube, cubic, cue, use is also spelt eu, ew, and
   ui, as in feud, few, pursuit. It is properly a compound of two sounds, the
   semi-vowel y followed by the long vowel elsewhere written oo. Hence the
   word you (=y + oo) sounds like the name of the letter U, ewe, and yew.

   When this compound sound follows certain consonants the y is lost, leaving
   only the oo-sound.

   1.  Where it follows ch,j, r, and the sound of sh, the y element was lost
       in the mid-eighteenth century.

       So brewed, chews, chute, Jules, rude, sound like brood, choose, shoot,
       joules, rood.

       The y element was also lost at about the same time or a little later
       where it follows an l preceded by another consonant; so blew, clue,
       glue, etc. sound as if they were spelt bloo, cloo, gloo, etc.

   2.  Where this compound sound follows an l not preceded by another
       consonant, loss of the y-element is now very common in a syllable that
       bears the main or secondary stress.  COD, for instance, gives only the
       oo pronunciation in many words, e.g. Lewis, Lucifer, lucrative, lucre,
       etc., and either pronunciation for many others, e.g. lubricate, Lucan,
       lucid, ludicrous, etc.

       It is equally common in internal stressed syllables; in COD the words
       allude, alluvial, collusion, voluminous, etc.  are given both
       pronunciations. So also in a syllable which bears a secondary stress:
       absolute, interlude.

       Ь In all syllables of these kinds, the oo-sound is probably the
       predominant type, but either is acceptable.

       ° In unstressed syllables, however, it is not usual for the y-element
       to be lost.  The yoo-sound is the only one possible in, e.g.

       curlew                       purlieu                        value
       deluge                       soluble                        volume
       prelude                      valuable

       Contrast solute (= sol-yoot) with salute (= sa-loot).

   3.  After s, there is again variation between the compound sound and the
       oo-sound. The latter has now a very strong foothold. Very few people,
       if any, pronounce Susan and Sue with a yoo, and most people pronounce
       super (the word and the prefix) with oo.  On the other hand, most
       people probably use yoo in pseudo- and in internal syllables, as in
       assume, presume, pursue. Common words such as sewage, sewer, suet,
       suicide, sue, and suit show wide variation: some people pronounce the
       first four (in which another vowel follows ew or u) with oo, but the
       last two with yoo.

       In an unstressed syllable, the y- sound is kept, as with l in 2 above:

           capsule              consular            insulate
           chasuble             hirsute             peninsula

       Ь Apart from in Susan, Sue, and super, and the words in which the
       vowel occurs in an unstressed syllable, either pronunciation is
       acceptable, although yoo is the traditional one.

   4.  After d, n, t, and th, the loss of the y-sound is non-standard, e.g.
       in due, new, tune, enthusiasm.

       Note:   In Amer. English loss of the y-sound is normal after these
       consonants and l and s.

       ° The tendency to make t and d preceding this sound in stressed
       syllables sound like ch and j, e.g. Tuesday, duel as if Choosday,
       jewel, should be avoided in careful speech.  In unstressed syllables
       (e.g. in picture, procedure) it is normal.

2.28 ul

   After b, f, and p, the sequence ul sounds like ool in wool in some words,
   e.g. in bull, full, pull, and like ull in hull in others, e.g. in bulk,
   fulminate, pulp. In a few words there is uncertainty about the sound of u,
   or actual variation.

   (a) Normally with u as in hull:

   Bulgarian          fulminate     pulmonary
   ebullient          pullulate     pulverize

   (b) Normally with u as in bull:

   bulwark         fulsome         fulmar         fulvous

   (c) With variation: fulcrum

2.29 urr

   In Standard English the stressed vowel of furry and occurring is like that
   of stirring, not that of hurry and occurrence.

   ° The identity of the two sounds is normal in Amer. English.

2.30 wh

   In some regions wh is distinguished from w by being preceded or
   accompanied by an h-sound.

   Ь This pronunciation is not standard in RP, but is acceptable to most

2.31 B. Preferred pronunciations

   The entries in this list are of three kinds. Some of the words in it have
   only one current pronunciation, which cannot, however, he deduced with
   certainty from the written form. These are mainly words that are
   encountered in writing and are not part of the average person's spoken
   vocabulary.  Another class of words included here have a single,
   universally accepted pronunciation, which, in rapid or careless speech,
   undergoes a significant slurring or reduction. These reduced forms are
   noted, with a warning to use the fully enunciated form in careful speech
   so as to avoid giving an impression of sloppiness or casualness.  Much the
   largest group are words for which two or more different pronunciations
   exist. Both (or all) are given, with notes giving a rough guide to the
   currency and acceptability of each.

   The approach adopted here is fairly flexible, allowing for the inevitable
   subjectivity of judgements about pronunciation and the fact that there is
   variation and inconsistency even in the speech of an individual person.

   Where the American pronunciation is significantly different from the
   British (disregarding the differences that are constant, such as the
   American pronunciation of r where it is silent in British speech), a note
   of it has been added, usually in brackets at the end of the entry.  In a
   few cases the American pronunciation stands alone after the recommended
   one, implying that the use of the American form is incorrect in British
   speech. It will be found that in many cases the American pronunciation
   coincides with an older British one that is now being ousted. It is hoped
   that this will dispel the impression that all innovations are
   Americanisms, and give a clearer idea of the relationship between the two
   varieties of English pronunciation.

   The symbol ° is used to warn against forms especially to be avoided; Ь
   introduces most of the cases of peaceful coexistence of two variant

   abdomen   stress on 1st syllable in general use; on 2nd in the speech of
             many members of the medical profession.

   accomplice, accomplish
             the older (and Amer.) pronunciation has 2nd syllable as in
             comma; but pronunciation as come is now predominant.

   acoustic  2nd syllable as coo, not cow.

   acumen    stress on 1st syllable.

   adept, adult
             (adjective and noun):  stress on 1st syllable.

   adversary stress on 1st syllable.


             stress on 2nd syllable.

   ague      2 syllables.

   albumen   stress on 1st syllable.

   ally      (noun): stress on 1st syllable; (verb) on 2nd syllable; allied
             preceding a noun is stressed on 1st syllable.

   analogous g as in log; not a-na-lo-jus.

   Antarctic ° do not drop the first c.

   anti-     (prefix): rhymes with shanty, not, as often Amer., ant eye.

   antiquary stress on 1st syllable.

   apache    (Indian): rhymes with patchy; (street ruffian) rhymes with cash.

   apartheid 3rd syllable like hate.  ° Not apart-ite or apart-hide.


   apparatus 3rd syllable like rate; not appar-ah-tus.

             stress on 1st syllable.

   apposite  3rd syllable like that of opposite.

             stress properly on 1st syllable, in informal speech on 3rd.

   Arctic    ° do not drop the first c.

   Argentine 3rd syllable as in turpentine.

             stress on 1st syllable.  ° Not (except Amer.) a-rist-ocrat.

   artisan   stress originally on 3rd syllable; pronunciation with stress on
             1st syllable is Amer., and now common in Britain.

   aspirant  stress on 1st syllable.

   asthma    ass-ma is the familiar pronunciation; to sound the th is
             didactic (Amer. az-ma).

   ate       rhymes with bet (Amer. with bate).

   audacious au as in audience, not as in gaucho.

   auld lang syne
             3rd word like sign, not zine.

   azure     the older pronunciation was with -zure like -sure in pleasure;
             now usually az-yoor.

   banal     2nd syllable like that of canal or morale (Amer. rhymes with

   basalt    1st a as in gas, 2nd as in salt; stress on either.

   bathos    a as in paper.


   bolero    (dance): stress on 2nd syllable; (jacket) stress on 1st.

   booth     rhymes with smooth (Amer. with tooth).

   bouquet   first syllable as book, not as beau.

   Bourbon   (dynasty): 1st syllable as that of bourgeois; (US whisky) 1st
             syllable as bur.

   breeches  rhymes with pitches.

   brochure  stress on 1st syllable.

   brusque   should be Anglicized: broosk or brusk.

   bureau    stress on 1st syllable.

   burgh     (in Scotland): sounds like borough.

   Byzantine stress on 2nd syllable.

   cadaver   2nd syllable as in waver.

             2nd syllable like 1st of average.

   cadre     rhymes with harder.

   caliph    rhymes with bailiff.

   camellia  rhymes with Amelia.

   canine    Ь 1st syllable may be as can or cane (the latter probably

   canton    (subdivision): 2nd syllable as 1st of tonic; (military, also in
             cantonment) 2nd syllable as that of cartoon.

             stress on 1st syllable.

   carillon  rhymes with trillion (Amer. carry-lon).

   caryatid  stress on 2nd a.

   catacomb  3rd syllable, in the older pronunciation, as comb; now
             frequently rhyming with tomb.

   centenary sen-tee-nary (Amer. sen-te-nary).

   cento     c as in cent, not cello.

   centrifugal, centripetal
             stress originally on 2nd syllable; but pronunciation with stress
             on 3rd syllable seems to be usual among younger speakers.

             stress on 1st and 4th syllables, not 2nd and 4th.

   cervical  Ь stress either on 1st syllable (with last two syllables as in
             vertical) or on 2nd (rhyming with cycle): both pronunciations
             have been common for at least a century and a half (Amer. only
             the first pronunciation).

   chaff     rhymes with staff.

   chagrin   stress on 1st syllable; 2nd as grin (Amer. stress on 2nd

   chamois   (antelope): sham-wah; (leather) shammy.

             traditionally with stress on 1st syllable; now often on 2nd.

   chimera   ch = k not sh

             strictly ch = k, but pronunciation as sh is common.

   choleric  1st two syllables like collar.

   cigarette stress on 3rd syllable (Amer. on 1st).

             stress on 2nd syllable.

   clangour  rhymes with anger.

   clientele kleeon-tell.

   clique    rhymes with leak, not lick.

   coccyx    cc = ks.

   colander  1st syllable as cull.

   combat    (verb), combatant, -ive:  stress on 1st syllable (Amer. on 2nd).

   combine   (noun): stress on 1st syllable.

             stress originally on 3rd syllable; now often on 1st.

   communal  stress on 1st syllable.

   commune   (noun): stress on 1st syllable.

             stress on 1st syllable, not on 2nd.

             the older (and Amer.)  pronunciation has stress on 2nd syllable,
             but stress on 3rd is now common.

             2nd syllable as pill.

   composite stress on 1st syllable; 3rd as that of opposite (Amer.  stress
             on 2nd syllable).

   conch     originally = conk; now often with ch as in lunch.

   conduit   last three letters like those of circuit (Amer. con-doo-it).

             the older pronunciation has stress on last syllable, which
             rhymes with ant; stress on 1st syllable is now common.

   congener  stress on 1st syllable; o as in con; g as in gin.

   congeries Ь con-jeer-eez or con-jeer-y-eez.

             stress on 2nd syllable; pronunciation with stress on 4th
             syllable is also common.

   conjugal  stress on 1st syllable.

             stress on 1st syllable; sue like swi in swift.

             (adjective): stress on 2nd syllable; (verb) on 1st syllable, 3rd
             syllable as mate.

   contact   (noun and verb): stress on 1st syllable.

             stress on 2nd syllable.

             (on the contrary): stress on 1st syllable; (perversely) stress
             on 2nd syllable.

             stress on 2nd syllable.  ° The former pronunciation with stress
             on 1st syllable has survived in dialect and is frequently heard,
             but is not standard.

             stress on 1st syllable.  ° The pronunciation with stress on 2nd
             syllable seems to be increasingly common, but is strongly
             disapproved by many users of RP.

   contumacy stress on 1st syllable (Amer. on 2nd).

   contumely 3 syllables with stress on the 1st.

             now usually stressed on 2nd syllable; formerly on 1st.

   courier   ou as in could.

   courteous 1st syllable like curt.

   courtesan 1st syllable like court.

   courtesy  1st syllable like curt.

   covert    1st syllable like that of cover. ° Does not rhyme with overt.

   culinary  cul- now usually as in culprit; formerly as in peculiar.

   dais      originally one syllable; now only with two.

   data      1st syllable as date. ° Does not rhyme with sonata.

   decade    stress on 1st syllable.

   defect    (noun): stress on 1st syllable is now usual.

   deficit   stress on 1st syllable.

   deify, deity
             e as in me.  ° Pronunciation with e as in suede, f€te is common
             among younger speakers, but is disapproved of by many users of

   delirious 2nd syllable as 1st of lyrical, not Leary.

   demesne   2nd syllable sounds like main.

             stress on 1st syllable.

             1st two syllables like those of depreciation.

   derisive, derisory
             2nd syllable like rice.

             in formal speech, stress on 1st syllable; informally, especially
             for greater emphasis, on 2nd.

   desuetude as for consuetude.

   desultory stress on 1st syllable.

             ° do not drop 4th syllable, i.e. not deteri-ate.

   detour    dee-tour not day-tour (Amer.  de-tour).

   deus ex machina
             day-us ex mak-ina, not ma-shee-na.

   dilemma   1st syllable like dill.

   dinghy    ding-gy, not rhyming with stringy.

   diphtheria, diphthong
             ph = f not p.

             the older (and Amer.)  pronunciation has stress on 1st syllable,
             but it is now usually on the 3rd (with i as in pin).

             stress on 2nd syllable.

   dispute   (noun): stress on 2nd syllable, not on 1st.

   dissect   1st syllable as Diss. ° Does not rhyme with bisect.

             stress on 2nd syllable.

   doctrinal the older pronunciation has stress on 1st syllable, but it is
             now usually on the 2nd (with i as in mine).

   dolorous, dolour
             1st syllable like doll (Amer. like dole).

   dour      rhymes with poor not power.

   dubiety   last 3 syllables like those of anxiety.

   ducat     1st syllable like duck.

   dynast, dynastic, dynasty
             1st syllable like din (Amer. like dine).

   ebullient u as in dull, not as in bull.

   economic  Ь e as in extra or as in equal: both are current.

   Edwardian 2nd syllable as ward.

   e'er      (poetry, = ever): sounds like air.

   efficacy  stress on 1st syllable, not 2nd.

   ego       1st syllable as that of eager.

   egocentric, egoism,
             etc.: 1st syllable like egg (Amer. usually as ego).

   either    ei as in height or seize:  both are widely current (Amer.  only
             the second pronunciation).

   elixir    rhymes with mixer.

   enclave   en- as in end, a as in slave.

   entirety  now usually entire-ety; formerly entire-ty.

   envelope  en- as in end not on.

   environs  rhymes with sirens.

   epos      e as in epic.

   epoxy     stress on 2nd syllable.

   equerry   stress properly on 2nd syllable, but commonly on 1st.

   espionage now usually with -age as in camouflage.

   et cetera etsetera. ° Not eksetera.

             stress originally on 1st syllable, but now usually on 2nd.

   exquisite stress on 1st syllable.

             1st a is silent.

   fakir     sounds like fake-ear.

   falcon    a as in talk, not as in alcove.

   fascia    rhymes with Alsatia.

   fascism, fascist
             1st syllable like that of fashion.

   February  ° do not drop the 1st r:  feb-roor-y, not feb-yoor-y or
             feb-wa-ry or feb-yoo-erry (Amer. feb-roo-erry).

   fetid, fetish
             e as in fetter.

   fifth     in careful speech, do not drop the 2nd f.

   finance   Ь stress on 1st syllable (only with i as in fine) or on 2nd
             (with i as in fin or fine).

   forbade   2nd syllable like bad.

             in careful speech, stress on 1st syllable; informally, on 2nd.

   forte     (one's strong point):  originally (and Amer.) like fort, but now
             usually like the musical term forte.

   foyer     foy-ay or fwah-yay (Amer.  foy-er).

   fracas    (singular): frack-ah, (plural) frack-ahz (Amer. frake-us).

   fulminate u as in dull.

   fulsome   u formerly as in dull, now always as in full.

   furore    3 syllables (Amer. furor with 2).

   Gaelic    1st syllable as gale.

   gala      1st a as in calm. ° The former pronunciation with a as in gale
             is still used in the North and US.

   gallant   (brave, etc.): stress on 1st syllable; (polite and attentive to
             ladies) stress on 1st or 2nd syllable.

   garage    stress on 1st syllable, age as in camouflage (or rhyming with
             large). ° Pronunciation so as to rhyme with carriage is
             non-standard (Amer. ga-rahge).

   garrulity stress on 2nd syllable, which sounds like rule.

   garrulous stress on 1st syllable.

   gaseous   1st syllable like gas.

   genuine   ine as in engine.

   genus     e as in genius; genera (plural) has e as in general.

   gibber, gibberish
             now usually with g as in gin; g as in give was formerly frequent
             in the first word and normal in the second.

   glacial   lst a as in glade.

   golf      o as in got. ° The pronunciation goff is old-fashioned.

   gone      o as in on. ° The pronunciation gawn is non-standard.

             ° In careful speech, do not drop the 1st n (or the whole 2nd

   gratis    a properly as in grate; but grahtis and grattis are commonly

   greasy    Ь s may be as in cease or easy.

   grievous  ° does not rhyme with previous.

   gunwale   gunn'l.

   half-past ° In careful speech, avoid saying hah past or hoff posst.

             stress on 1st syllable (Amer. often on 2nd).

   have      in rapid speech, the weakstressed infinitive have is reduced to
             've and sounds like the weakly stressed form of the preposition
             of. When stress is restored to it, it should become have, not
             of, as in 'You couldn't 've done it', 'I could have' (not 'I
             could of').

   hectare   2nd syllable like tar, not tare.

   hegemony  stress on 2nd syllable, g as in get or (as also Amer.) as in

   Hegira    stress on 1st syllable, which is like hedge.

   heinous   ei as in rein.

   homo-     (prefix = same): o as in from.

             1st two syllables rhyme with Romeo.

             last three syllables sound like genius.

             h silent, a as in rare.

             stress properly on 1st syllable.

   hotel     h to be pronounced.

             stress on 1st syllable, i as in whiff

   hovel, hover
             o as in hot. ° The former pronunciation with o as in love is now
             only Amer.

   idyll     i as in idiot; it may be like i in idea in idyllic (with stress
             on 2nd syllable) and usually is in idyllist (with stress on 1st

             stress on 1st syllable (Amer. on 2nd).

   imbroglio g is silent; rhymes with folio.

   impious   stress on 1st syllable; on 2nd in impiety.

   importune stress on 3rd syllable or (with some speakers) on 2nd.

   inchoate  stress on 1st syllable.

   indict    c is silent; rhymes with incite.

             stress on 3rd syllable.

             stress originally on 2nd syllable, but now usually on 3rd.

   infamous  stress on 1st syllable.

   inherent  1st e as in here.

   intaglio  g is silent, a as in pal or pass.

   integral  stress on 1st syllable.

   intern    (verb): stress on 2nd syllable; (noun, Amer.) on 1st.

             stress on 3rd syllable, last two syllables like knee sign.

             stress on 2nd syllable.

             stress on 2nd syllable; 3rd syllable like tin.

   intricacy stress on 1st syllable.

   invalid   (sick person): stress on 1st syllable, 2nd as in lid or machine;
             (verb) stress on 1st or 3rd syllable, 2nd i as in machine; (not
             valid) stress on 2nd syllable.

   inveigle  originally rhyming with beagle, but now commonly with Hegel.

   inventory like infantry with v instead of f.

             stress on 2nd syllable.

             ° not irrevalent, a blunder sometimes heard.

             stress on 2nd syllable.

             stress on 2nd syllable.

   issue     ss as in mission; but pronunciation to rhyme with miss you is
             very common.

   isthmus   do not drop the th.

   January   jan-yoor-y (Amer.  jan-yoo-erry).

   jejune    stress on 2nd syllable.

   jewellery jewel-ry. ° Not jool-ery.

   joule     (unit): rhymes with fool.

   jubilee   stress on 1st syllable ° Not 3rd.

   jugular   1st syllable like jug:  formerly as in conjugal.

   junta     pronounce as written. ° Hoonta, an attempt to reproduce the
             Spanish pronunciation, is chiefly Amer.

   kilometre stress on 1st syllable, as with kilocycle, kilolitre. ° Not on
             2nd syllable; the pattern is that of millimetre, centimetre
             (units), not that of speedometer, milometer, etc. (devices).

   knoll     o as in no.

             stress on 2nd syllable.  ° The former pronunciation, with stress
             on 1st syllable, is now chiefly used by Amer. speakers (with o
             as in Tory).

             stress on 1st syllable.

   languor   as for clangour.

   lasso     stress on 2nd syllable, o as in do.

   lather    rhymes with gather, not rather.

   launch    rhymes with haunch, not branch.

   leeward   (in general use): lee-ward; (nautical) like lured.

   leisure   rhymes with pleasure (Amer.  with seizure).

   length    ng as in long. ° Not lenth.

   levee     (reception, assembly): like levy; (Amer., embankment) may be
             stressed on 2nd syllable.

   library   in careful speech avoid dropping the 2nd syllable (li-bry).

   lichen    sounds like liken.

             1st syllable like left; in Navy, like let (Amer. like loot).

   liquorice licker-iss.

   longevity ng as in lunge.

   longitude ng as in lunge. ° Not (latitude and) longtitude, an error
             sometimes heard.

             originally rhyming with arrived, but now usually like past tense

   lour      rhymes with hour.


   machete   ch as in attach; rhymes with Betty (or with some speakers,

             ch as in mechanical, not as in machine.

   machismo, macho
             ch as in attach, not as in mechanical.

   magazine  stress on 3rd syllable (Amer. and Northern pronunciation has
             stress on 1st).

   maieutic  1st syllable like may.

   mandatory stress on 1st syllable.

   margarine g as in Margery.

   marital   stress on 1st syllable.

   massage   stress on 1st syllable (Amer. on 2nd).

   matrix    a as in mate; matrices (plural) the same, with stress on 1st

   medicine  two syllables (med-sin).  ° The pronunciation with three
             syllables is normal in Scotland and the US, but disapproved of
             by many users of RP.

   mediocre  1st syllable like mead.

   metallurgy, -ist
             stress on 2nd syllable. ° The older pronunciation with stress on
             1st syllable, becoming rare in Britain, is chiefly Amer.

             stress on 3rd syllable.

   metope    two syllables.

   midwifery stress on 1st syllable, i as in whiff

   mien      sounds like mean.

   migraine  1st syllable like me (Amer. like my).

   migratory stress on 1st syllable.

   millenary stress on 2nd syllable, which is like Len or lean.

             stress on 2nd syllable (Amer. on 1st).

             stress on 1st syllable.  ° Not rhyming with previous.

             stress on 2nd syllable.

   mocha     (coffee): originally (and Amer.) rhyming with coca, now often
             like mocker.

   momentary, -ily
             stress on 1st syllable.

   municipal stress on 2nd syllable.

   nadir     nay-dear.

   na‹ve     nah-Eve or nigh-Eve.

   na‹vety   has 3 syllables.

   nascent   a as in fascinate.

             in formal speech, has stress on 1st syllable, with reduction or
             elision of a; informally, especially in emphatic use, stressed
             on 3rd syllable (e.g. not necessarily!).

   neither   as for either.

   nephew    ph sounds like v (Amer. like f).

   nicety    has three syllables.

   niche     nitch has been the pronunciation for two or three centuries;
             neesh, now common, is remodelled on the French form.

             stress on 2nd syllable. The pronunciation with stress on 1st and
             3rd syllables is now chiefly Amer.

             stress on 1st syllable, ch as in machine.

   nuclear   newk-lee-er. ° Not as if spelt nucular.

   nucleic   stress on 2nd syllable, which has e as in equal.

   obdurate  stress on 1st syllable.

   obeisance 2nd syllable like base.

             stress on 2nd syllable.

   obscenity e as in scent.

             2nd syllable like the 1st in current.

   o'er      (poetry, over): sounds like ore.

   of        see have.

   often     the t is silent, as in soften.

   ominous   1st syllable as that of omelette.

             ph =f not p.

   opus      o as in open.

   ormolu    orm-o-loo with weak 2nd o as in Caroline.

   p         (abbreviation for penny, pence):  in formal context, say penny
             (after 1) or pence. ° 'Pee' is informal only.

   pace      (with all due respect to): like pacey.

   paella    pah-ell-a.

   panegyric stress on 3rd syllable, g as in gin, y as in lyric.

   paprika   stress on 1st syllable (Amer. on 2nd).

   pariah    the older pronunciation has the stress on 1st syllable, rhyming
             with carrier; the pronunciation with stress on 2nd syllable,
             rhyming with Isaiah, is now common (and normal Amer.).

             stress on 1st syllable; 1st i may be dropped.

             in careful speech, avoid dropping the 4th syllable (particuly).

   partisan  as artisan.

   pasty     (pie): a now usually as in lass; the older sound, as in past, is
             sometimes used in Cornish pasty.

   patent    1st syllable like pate. ° Some who use this pronunciation for
             the general sense, have 1st syllable like pat in Patent Office,
             letters patent.

   pathos    as for bathos.

   patriarch 1st a as in paper.

             a as in pat or paper.

   patron, patroness
             a as in paper.

   patronage, patronize
             a as in pat.

             stress on 2nd syllable.

             stress on 2nd syllable (Amer. on 1st).

   perhaps   in careful speech, two syllables with h, not r, sounded;
             informally praps.

             stress on oe; -poeia rhymes with idea.

             2nd h is silent.

   phthisis  ph is silent.

   pianist   stress on 1st i, ia as in Ian

   piano     (instrument): a as in man; (musical direction) a as in calm.

   piazza    zz = ts.

   pistachio a as in calm or man, ch as in machine.

   plaid, plait
             rhyme with lad, flat.

   plastic   rhymes with fantastic. ° The pronunciation with a as in calm
             sounds affected to many people.

   pogrom    originally with stress on the 2nd syllable (as in Russian); now
             usually on the 1st.

             the older pronunciation was with 1st e silent, o as in come or
             from, and stress either on o or the 1st a; the pronunciation
             pom-gran-it is still used by some speakers, but pommy-gran-it is
             now usual.

   porpoise  oise like ose in purpose.

             h is silent.

             stress on 2nd syllable (Amer. on 3rd), pot- like Poe.

             originally with stress on 2nd syllable, now usually on 1st,
             which sounds like press.

   precedent (adjective): stress on 2nd syllable; (noun) as for precedence.

             as for precedence.

             stress on 1st syllable.

   premise   (verb): stress on 2nd syllable, rhyming with surmise.

   prestige  stress on 2nd syllable, i and g as in r‚gime.

             rhymes with religious.

   prima facie
             pry-ma fay-shee.

   primarily stress on 1st syllable, with a reduced or elided. ° The
             pronunciation with stress on the 2nd syllable, used by some (but
             not all) Americans, is disapproved of by many users of RP.

   Primates  (order of mammals) originally with 3 syllables, but now often
             with 2.

   primer    (elementary school-book): i as in prime. ° The older
             pronunciation with i as in prim survives in Australia and New

   privacy   Ьi as in privet or private; the former is probably commoner; the
             latter is the older and Amer. pronunciation.

   probably  in careful speech, 3 syllables; informally often probbly.

   proboscis pro-boss-iss.

   process   (noun): o as in probe. ° An older pronunciation with o as in
             profit is now only Amer.

   process   (verb, to treat): like the noun; (to walk in procession) stress
             on 2nd syllable.

             stress on 1st syllable.

             2nd syllable like nun. ° Not pro-noun-ciation.

   prosody   1st syllable like that of prospect.

   protean   stress on 1st syllable.

   prot‚g‚   1st syllable like that of protestant (Amer. like that of

   proven    o as in prove.

   proviso   2nd syllable as that of revise.

   puissance (show-jumping):  pronounced with approximation to French, pui =
             pwi, a nasalized; (in poetry) may be pwiss-ance or pew-iss-ance,
             depending on scansion.


   pyramidal stress on 2nd syllable.

   quaff     rhymes with scoff

   quagmire  a originally as in wag, now usually as in quad.

   qualm     rhymes with calm; the older pronunciation, rhyming with shawm,
             is now rare.

   quandary  stress on 1st syllable; the older pronunciation, with stress on
             2nd syllable, is rarely, if ever, heard.

   quasi     the vowels are like those in wayside.

             kwatt-er-, not quarter-.

             1st two syllables like question.

   rabid     1st syllable like that of rabbit.

   rabies    2nd syllable like bees, not like the 2nd syllable of babies.

   rampage   (verb): stress on 2nd syllable; (noun) on 1st syllable.

   rapport   stress on 2nd syllable, which sounds like pore (Amer. like

             1st two syllables like ratty, stress on 3rd.

   rationale ale as in morale.

   really    rhymes with ideally, clearly, not with freely.

   recess    (noun and verb): stress on 2nd syllable.

   recognize ° do not drop the g.

   recondite stress on 1st or 2nd syllable. The former is the commoner, the
             latter, the older, pronunciation.

             2nd syllable like the 1st of Cupid.

   referable stress on 1st syllable.

   remediable, -al
             stress on 2nd syllable, e as in medium.

             stress on 1st syllable; the older pronunciation, with stress on
             2nd syllable, is rare.

             stress on 2nd syllable, ai as in plaice.

   renege    the traditional pronunciation rhymes with league.  ЬA
             pronunciation to rhyme with plague, for long dialectal, is now
             common. ° g is hard as in get, not as in allege.

   reportage age as in camouflage, but with stress.

   research  (noun): stress on 2nd syllable (Amer. on 1st).

   respite   stress on 1st syllable, 2nd like spite (Amer. like spit).

             pronunciation with final t silent and second a nasalized is
             preferred by many, but that with ant = ont is widespread.

             anch as in ranch.

   ribald    1st syllable like rib.

   risible   rhymes with visible.

   risqu‚    Ь rees-kay or riss-kay.

   romance   stress on 2nd syllable. ° Pronunciation with stress on 1st
             syllable, usually in sense 'love affair, love story', is
             non-standard (except when used jocularly).

   Romany    1st syllable as that of Romulus.

   rotatory  stress on 1st syllable.

   rowan     ow. often as in low, although in Scotland, whence the word
             comes, it is as in cow.

   rowlock   rhymes with Pollock.

             now always rhymes with religious.

   sahib     sah-ib.

   salsify   sal-si-fee.

   salve     (noun, ointment; verb, soothe): properly rhymes with halve, but
             now usually with valve (Amer. with have).

   salve     (save ship): rhymes with valve.

   satiety   as for dubiety.

   Saudi     rhymes with rowdy, not bawdy.

   scabies   as for rabies.

   scabrous  1st syllable like that of scabious (Amer. like scab).

   scallop   rhymes with wallop.

   scarify   (make an incision): rhymes with clarify. ° Not to be confused
             with slang scarify (terrify) pronounced scare-ify.

   scenario  sc as in scene, ario as in impresario (Amer. with a as in Mary).

   schedule  sch as in Schubert (Amer.  as in school).

   schism    properly, ch is silent (siz'm); but skiz'm is often heard.

   schist    (rock): sch as in Schubert.

   schizo-   skitso.

   scilicet  1st syllable like that of silent.

   scone     rhymes with on.

   second    (to support): stress on 1st syllable; (to transfer) on 2nd.

   secretary sek-re-try. ° Not sek-e-try or sek-e-terry or (Amer.)

   secretive stress on 1st syllable.

   seise, seisin
             ei as in seize.

   seismic   1st syllable like size.

   seraglio  g silent, a as in ask.

   sheik     sounds like shake (Amer. like chic).

             i as in simple (Amer.  as in Simon).

   sinecure  properly, i as in sign, but i as in sin is common.

   Sinhalese sin-hal-ese.

   Sioux     soo.

   sisal     1st syllable like the 2nd of precise.

   sixth     in careful speech, avoid the pronunciation sikth.

   slalom    a as in spa.

   slaver    (dribble): a as in have.

   sleight   sounds like slight.

   sloth     rhymes with both.

   slough    (bog): rhymes with bough; (to cast a skin) with tough.

   sobriquet 1st syllable like that of sober.

   sojourn   1st o as in sob (Amer. as in sober).

   solder    o as in sob (Amer.  pronunciation is sodder or sawder).

   solecism  o as in sob.

   solenoid  stress on 1st syllable, o as in sober or as in sob.

   sonorous  stress on 1st syllable, 1st o as in sob.

   soporific 1st o now usually as in sob (formerly also as in sober).

   sough     (rushing sound): rhymes with tough.

             sov'renty. ° Not sov-rain-ity.

   Soviet    o as in sober. The pronunciation with o as in sob is also very

   species   ci as in precious. Not spee-seez.

   spinet    Ь may be stressed on either syllable.

             as for deify, deity.

   stalwart  1st syllable like stall.

   status    1st syllable like stay. ° Not statt-us.

   stigmata  stress on 1st syllable. ° Not with ata as in sonata.

   strafe    rhymes with staff.

             a as in Stratford.

   stratum, strata
             a of first syllable like 1st a of sonata.

   strength  ng as in strong. ° Not strenth.

   suave, suavity
             a as 1st a in lava.

             stress originally on 2nd syllable with i as in side;
             pronunciation with stress on 1st syllable and i as in sit is
             increasingly common.

             1st a as in ant, not aunt.

             (in grammar): stress on 1st syllable; (having separate
             existence, permanent) on 2nd syllable.

   suffragan g as in get.

             stress on 4th syllable.


   supine    (adjective): stress on 1st syllable (Amer.  on 2nd).

   suppose   ° in careful speech, avoid the elision of the u; informal l
             s'pose so, s'posing it happens?

   surety    now usually three syllables (sure-et-y); originally two

             ° do not drop the l; sur-vey-lance, not sur-vey-ance.

   suzerain  u as in Susan.

   swath     a as in water; in plural, th as in paths.

   syndrome  two syllables (formerly three).

             Ь stress on 1st or 3rd syllable.

             stress on 1st syllable (with weakening or dropping of o):
             temp-ra-rily. ° Not tempo-rar-ily.

   Tibetan   2nd syllable like bet, not beat.

   tirade    tie-raid.

   tissue    as for issue.

   tonne     sounds like ton. ° To avoid misunderstanding, metric can be
             prefixed; but in most spoken contexts the slight difference
             between the imperial and metric weights will not matter.

   tortoise  as for porpoise.

             3rd syllable like the 2nd of croquet (Amer. like kit).

   towards   the form with two syllables is now the most common; some
             speakers use the pronunciation tords in all contexts, others
             only in some.

   trachea   stress on e (Amer. on 1st a, pronounced as in trade).

   trait     2nd t is silent (in Amer.  pronunciation, it is sounded).

             stress properly on 1st syllable; now often (and Amer.) on 2nd.

             stress on 1st syllable is implied by the single r (see "doubling
             of final consonant" in topic 1.16; but the form transferrable
             was formerly common, and accounts for the common pronunciation
             with stress on 2nd syllable.

             Ь tran-sizh-on or tran-zish-on.

             Ь last two syllables either like those of apparent or like

   trauma, traumatic
             au as in cause (Amer. as in gaucho).

   traverse  (noun): stress on 1st syllable; (verb) on 2nd syllable.  (The
             original pronunciation of the verb exactly like the noun is
             still usual in Amer. English.)

   trefoil   stress on 1st syllable, e as in even or as in ever.

   triumvir  1st two syllables like those of triumphant.

   troth     rhymes with both (Amer. with cloth).

   trow      rhymes with know.

   truculent 1st u as in truck; formerly as in true.

   turquoise Ь tur-kwoyz or tur-kwahz.

   ululate   yool-yoo-late. The alternative pronunciation ull-yoo-late seems
             now to be chiefly Amer.

   umbilical stress on 2nd syllable.

             2nd syllable like press.

   untoward  the older pronunciation rhymed with lowered, but the
             pronunciation with stress on the 3rd syllable is now usual.

   Uranus    stress on 1st syllable.

   urinal    stress on 1st syllable.

   usual     in careful speech, avoid complete loss of u (yoo-zh'l).

   uvula     yoo-vyoo-la.

   uxorious  1st u as Uxbridge.

   vagary    the original pronunciation was with stress on 2nd syllable, but
             this has been almost entirely superseded by that with stress on
             1st syllable.

   vagina, vaginal
             stress on 2nd syllable, as in china.

   valance   rhymes with balance.

   valence, -cy
             (chemistry): a as in ale.

   valet     those who employ them sound the t.

   Valkyrie  stress on 1st syllable.

   vase      a as in dance (Amer. rhymes with face or phase).

   veld      sounds like felt.

   venison   the old pronunciation ven-z'n is now rare; ven-i-z'n or
             ven-i-s'n are usual.

             stress on 1st syllable, with reduction or elision of 2nd e and a
             (vet-rin-ry). ° Not vet-nar or (Amer.) vet-rin-ery.

   vice      (in the place of): rhymes with spicy.

              three syllables, 2nd e as in errant.

   victualler, victuals
             sound like vitt-ell-er, vittles.

   viola     (instrument): stress on 2nd syllable, i as in Fiona; (flower)
             stress on 1st syllable, i as in vie.

   vitamin   i as in hit (Amer. as in vital).

   viz.      (=videlicet): when reading aloud, it is customary to substitute
             namely; 'viz' is chiefly jocular.

             stress on 1st syllable.

   waistcoat the older pronunciation was wess-kot (with 2nd syllable like
             that of mascot); but the pronunciation as spelt has replaced it,
             except among older speakers.

   walnut, walrus
             ° do not drop the l.

   werewolf  1st syllable like weir.

   whoop     (cry of excitement, whoop it up): = woop; (cough, whooping
             cough) = hoop; both rhyme with loop.

   wrath     rhymes with cloth (Amer. with hath).

   wroth     as for troth.

   yoghurt   yogg-urt (Amer. yoh-gurt).

   zoology   in careful speech, best pronounced with 1st o as in zone; there
             are a number of other compounds of zoo- in technical use, in
             which this is the normal pronunciation.

3.0 Vocabulary

          The perfect use of language is that in which every word
          carries the meaning that it is intended to, no less and
          no more.
                (C. Connolly, Enemies of Promise)

   THIS section is concerned with problems of meaning, construction,
   derivation, and diction, associated with individual words. The main aim is
   to recommend the meaning or construction most appropriate for serious
   writing or formal speaking, but some attention is paid to informal and
   American usage.

             (noun) should be used in formal contexts as the singular of
             aborigines; Aboriginal, Aboriginals (with capitals) are
             preferable for singular and plural when referring to the
             aboriginal inhabitants of Australia.
             ° Aborigine is informal only.

   account,  to reckon, consider, is not followed by as, e.g. Mere
             morality...was once accounted a shameful and cynical thing (G.
             B. Shaw).

   affect,   to have an influence on, e.g. Hugh was immensely affected by the
             way Randall had put it (Iris Murdoch).
             ° Do not confuse with effect to accomplish, e.g. He picked at
             the German's lapel, hoping to effect a closer relationship by
             touch (Patrick White).
             ° There is a noun effect 'result, property', e.g. to good
             effect, personal effects, sound effects; but there is no noun
             affect except in the specialized language of Psychology.

   affinity  between or with, not to or for, since mutual relationship or
             attraction is meant, e.g. Ann felt an affinity with them, as she
             too were an old dusty object (Iris Murdoch); Points of affinity
             between Stephen and Bloom (Anthony Burgess).

   afflict:  see inflict

   aftermath can be used of any after-effects, e.g. The aftermath of the
             wedding seemed to mean different things to different people (The
             Times). It is pedantic to object to the sense 'unpleasant
             consequences' on the ground of derivation.

   agenda    (from a Latin plural) is usually a singular noun (with plural
             agendas), e.g. It's a short agenda, by the way (Edward Hyams).
             But it is occasionally found in its original use as a plural
             meaning 'things to be done' or 'items of business to be
             considered' (singular agend).

   aggravate (1) To make worse, e.g.  The war...simply aggravates the
             permanent human situation (C. S.  Lewis). (2) To annoy,
             ° Sense (2) is regarded by some people as incorrect, but is
             common informally. The participial adjective aggravating is
             often used in sense (2) by good writers, e.g. He had pronounced
             and aggravating views on what the United States was doing for
             the world (Graham Greene).

   ain't     (= are not, is not, have not has not) is not used in Standard
             English except in representations of dialect speech, or
             humorously.  Aren't (= are not) is also a recognized
             colloquialism for am not in the interrogative construction
             aren't I.

   alibi,    a plea that when an alleged act took place one was elsewhere.
             ° The sense 'an excuse' is informal and to many people
             unacceptable, e.g. Low spirits make you seem complaining...I
             have an alibi because I'm going to have a baby (L. P. Hartley).

   all of    (= the whole of, the entirety of, every one of) is usual before
             pronouns, e.g. And so say all of us, or emphatically, often
             paralleling none of etc., before nouns, e.g.  Marshall Stone has
             all of the problems but none of the attributes of a star
             (Frederick Raphael).  Otherwise all + noun is normal, e.g.  All
             the King's men.
             ° The general use of all of before nouns is Amer. only.

   all right.
             This phrase is popularly thought of as a unit, e.g. an all-right
             bloke, but its unitary nature has not yet been recognized in
             spelling by the standard language, probably because the
             expression remains largely an informal one.
             ° Alright, though widely seen in the popular press, remains
             non-standard, even where the standard spelling is somewhat
             cumbersome, as in: I just wanted to make sure it was all all
             right (Iris Murdoch).

   allude    means 'refer indirectly'; an allusion is 'an indirect
             reference', e.g. He would allude to her, and hear her discussed,
             but never mention her by name (E. M. Forster).
             ° The words are not, except very informally, mere synonyms for
             refer, reference.

             (adjective and noun).  The use of alternative with reference to
             more than two options, though sometimes criticized, is
             acceptable, e.g. We have been driven to Proletarian Democracy by
             the failure of all the alternative systems (G. B. Shaw).
             ° Do not confuse with alternate happening or following in turns,
             e.g. Just as every sense is afflicted with a fitting torment so
             is every spiritual faculty;...the sensitive faculty with
             alternate longing and rage (James Joyce).

             ° Beware of using this when all (adjective) together (adverb) is
             meant, e.g. The dogs were now running, all together.The reverse
             error, of using all together for the adverb altogether, should
             also be avoided; altogether is correct in There's too much going
             on altogether at the moment (Evelyn  Waugh).

   amend,    to alter to something that sounds better, make improvements in;
             to make better e.g. If you consider my expression inadequate I
             am willing to amend it (G. B. Shaw); I have amended my life,
             have I not? (James Joyce); noun amendment.
             ° Do not confuse with emend to remove errors from (something
             written), e.g. An instance of how the dictionary may be emended
             or censored (Frederic Raphael); noun emendation. An emendation
             will almost always be an amendment, but the converse is not

   analogous means 'similar in certain respects'.  It is not a mere synonym
             for similar.

             (1) To be aware of (something) in advance and take suitable
             action, to deal with (a thing) or perform (an action) before
             someone else has had time to act so as to gain an advantage, to
             take action appropriate to (an event) before the due time, e.g.
             His power to anticipate every change of volume and tempo (C. Day
             Lewis); I shall anticipate any such opposition by tendering my
             resignation now (Angus Wilson); She had anticipated execution by
             suicide (Robert Graves); Some unknown writer in the second
             century...suddenly anticipated the whole technique of
             modern...narrative (C. S. Lewis).
             (2) To take action before (another person) has had the
             opportunity to do so, e.g. I'm sorry--do go on. I did not mean
             to anticipate you (John le Carr‚).
             (3) To expect (used only with an event as a direct object), e.g.
             Serious writers...anticipated that the detective story might
             supersede traditional fiction; Left-wing socialists really
             anticipated a Fascist dictatorship (A. J. P. Taylor).
             ° Sense (3) is well established in informal use, but is regarded
             as incorrect by many people. Use expect in formal contexts. In
             any case, anticipate cannot be followed, as expect can, by
             infinitive constructions (I expect to see him or him to come) or
             a personal object (I expect him today) and cannot mean 'expect
             as one's due' (I expect good behaviour from pupils).

   antithetical to
             means 'characterize by direct opposition to'; it is not a mere
             synonym for opposed to.

   approve   (1) (Followed by direct object) authorize, e.g. I will give
             letters of introduction to persons approved by you (NEB).
             (2) (Followed by of) consider good, e.g. All the books approved
             of by young persons of cultivated taste (C. P. Snow).
             ° Approve should not be used in sense (2) with a direct object,
             as (wrongly) in Laziness, rudeness, and untidiness are not
             approved in this establishment (correctly, approved of).

   apt,      followed by the to-infinitive, carries no implication that the
             state or action expressed by the infinitive is undesirable from
             the point of view of its grammatical subject (though it often is
             from that of the writer), e.g. In weather like this he is apt to
             bowl at the batsman's head (Robert Graves). It indicates that
             the subject of the sentence is habitually predisposed to doing
             what is expressed by the verb, e.g.  Time was apt to become
             confusing (Muriel Spark).  Compare liable, which, however, is
             not complementary to apt to, but overlaps with it; apt to,
             followed by a verb with undesirable overtones, = 'habitually or
             customarily liable to'.

   aren't    see ain't.

   Argentine, Argentinian
             can be both noun (a native of Argentina) and adjective (=
             belonging to Argentina).
             ° Only the former is used in Argentine Republic, and it also has
             the advantage of brevity when used in other contexts.  It rhymes
             with turpentine.

   artiste,  a professional singer, dancer, or similar public performer:
             used of persons of either sex.

   as        (1) = that, which, or who (relative) is now non-standard except
             after same, such, e.g. Such comments as seem to be needed
             (George Orwell); but not I know somebody who knows this kid as
             went blind (Alan Sillitoe, representing regional speech).
             (2) = that (conjunction), introducing a noun clause, is now
             non-standard, e.g. in I don't know as you'll like it.

   Asian     is to be preferred when used of persons to Asiatic, which is now
             widely considered derogatory; the formation of Asian is in any
             case more closely parallel to that of European, African, etc.
             Asiatic is acceptable in other contexts, e.g.  Asiatic coastal
             regions; The Royal Asiatic Society; Asiatic cholera.

   as from   is used in formal dating to mean 'from' or 'after' and followed
             by an actual date, e.g. As from 10 p.m. on 15 October. As of,
             originally Amer., has the same meaning and use.
             ° As of now, yesterday, and the like, are informal and humorous

   aside from
             Amer., = apart from, except for.

   as if, as though
             (1) Followed by the past tense when the verb refers to an unreal
             possibility (i.e. when the statement introduced by as if, as
             though is untrue, or unlikely), e.g.  Every critic writes as if
             he were infallible (Cyril Connolly); It's not as though he lived
             like a Milord (Evelyn Waugh).  (2) Followed by the present tense
             when the statement is true, or might be true; this is especially
             common when the verbs look or sound precede, e.g. I suppose you
             get on pretty well with your parents. You look as though you do
             (Kingsley Amis); He speaks as though even the rules which we
             freely invent are somehow suggested to us in virtue of their
             being right (Mary Warnock).

             Someone called it to my attention (Alison Lurie) represents an
             illogical reversal of the idiom, not uncommon in speech; someone
             called (or drew) my attention to it or someone brought it to my
             attention would be better in formal contexts.

   author    (verb) is a rarely required synonym for write; co-author,
             however, is acceptable as a verb.

   avenge:   one avenges an injured person or oneself on (occasionally
             against) an offender, or a wrong on an offender; the noun is
             vengeance (on), and the idea is usually of justifiable
             retribution, as distinct from revenge, though the distinction is
             not absolute.

   aware     is normally a predicative adjective followed by an of-phrase or
             a that-clause, but can also be preceded by an adverb in the
             sense 'aware of, appreciative of (the subject indicated by the
             adverb)', a chiefly Amer. use, e.g. The most intellectually
             ambitious and the most technically aware (W. S. Graham).
             ° To use aware without any qualifying word at all is modish but
             meaningless, e.g.  Aware, provincial, intelligent, tall
             Englishman (New Statesman).

   bacteria  is the plural of bacterium, not a singular noun.

   baluster, a short pillar with a curving outline, especially in a
             balustrade; banister, an upright supporting a stair handrail
             (usually in the plural).

   beg the question,
             to assume the truth of the thing which is to be proved, e.g. I
             scoffed at that pompous question-begging word 'Evolution' (H. G.
             ° It does not mean (1) to avoid giving a straight answer; or (2)
             to invite the obvious question (that...).

   behalf    on behalf of X (= in X's interest, as X's representative) should
             not be confused with on the part of x (= proceeding from or done
             by X); behalf cannot replace part in His death was largely due
             to panic on his part.

   benign    (in Medicine) has malignant as its antonym.

   beside    (preposition) is used of spatial relationships, or in figurative
             adaptations of these, e.g. Beside oneself with joy; Quite beside
             the question; We all seemed children beside him (Evelyn Waugh);
             besides = in addition to, other than, e.g. Besides this I
             started my second year by joining the Ruskin School of Art
             (Evelyn Waugh).

   between.  There are no grounds for objection to the use of between 'to
             express the relation of a thing to many surrounding things
             severally and collectively' (OED); among should not be
             substituted in, e.g., Cordial relations between Britain, Greece,
             and Turkey.
             see also choose between.

   bi-       (prefix). Biannual = appearing (etc.) twice a year, half-yearly;
             biennial = recurring (etc.) every two years, two-yearly.
             Bimonthly, bi-weekly, and bi-yearly are ambiguous in sense,
             meaning either 'twice a month (etc.)' or 'every two months
             (etc.)'; they are best avoided.
             ° Use twice a month or semi-monthly, twice a week or
             semi-weekly, and twice a year in the first sense, and every two
             months, fortnightly or every two weeks, and every two years in
             the second sense.

   billion,  etc. (1) Traditional British usage has a billion = a million
             million (1,000,000,000,000 = 10 to the power of 12), a trillion
             = a million to the power of 3 (10 to the power of 18), and a
             quadrillion = a million to the power of 4 (10 to the power of
             24); the logic is that the initial bi-, tri-, quadri-, etc.
             relate to the powers of a million.
             (2) The US usage makes each 'step' from million to quadrillion,
             and beyond, a power of 1,000; i.e.  million = 1000 to the power
             of 2, billion = 1000 to the power of 3, trillion = l000 to the
             power of 4, quadrillion = l000 to the power of 5.
             (3) For the quantity 'thousand million' (l000 to the power of 3
             = l0 to the power of 9), the older British term milliard is now
             rare.  Many people who have frequent need to refer to the
             quantity, namely astronomers and economists, use the American
             billion for this. Most British national newspapers have
             officially adopted it too.
             ° In general contexts it is probably safer to use thousand
             million (X,000 m.). But where the sense is vague, e.g. A billion
             miles away, Billions of stars, the exact value is immaterial.
             Note that American trillion (10 to the power of 12) =
             traditional British billion.

   but       = 'except', followed by a pronoun: see but, case following.

             is properly the plural of candelabrum and is best kept so in
             written English.
             ° Candelabra (singular), candelabras (plural) are frequent

   censure,  to criticize harshly and unfavourably, e.g. Laura censured his
             immoral marriage (E. M. Forster).
             ° Do not confuse with censor to suppress (the whole or parts of
             books, plays, etc.).

   centre about, (a)round,
             meaning (figuratively) 'to gather, revolve, or turn around' is
             criticized by many authorities, though used by good writers,
             e.g. A rather restless, cultureless life, centring round tinned
             food, Picture Post, the radio and the internal combustion engine
             (George Orwell). It can be avoided by using to be centred in or
             on, e.g. My universe was still centred in my mother's fragrant
             person (Richard Church).

   century.  Strictly, since the first century ran from the year 1 to the
             year 100, the first year of a given century should be that
             ending in the digits 0l, and the last year of the preceding
             century should be the year before, ending in two noughts.
             ° In popular usage, understandably, the reference of these terms
             has been moved back one year, so that one will expect the
             twenty-first century to run from 2000 to 2099.  Beware of
             ambiguity in their written use.

             The use of this word after an adjective as a substitute for an
             abstract-noun termination (-ness, -ty, or the like), or for the
             word kind, devalues it and should be avoided, e.g. the
             uniqueness and antiquity of the fabric, not the unique and
             ancient character of the fabric.

   charisma  (1) Properly, a theological word (plural charismata) designating
             any of the gifts of the Holy Spirit (see I Corinthians 12). (2)
             In general use (usually as a mass noun, with no plural), a term
             (drawn from the works of the German sociologist Max Weber) for
             the capacity to inspire followers with devotion and enthusiasm.

             (1) Designating a Christian movement that lays stress on the
             charismata. (2) Generally, 'having the capacity to inspire with
             devotion and enthusiasm', e.g. A forcefully charismatic hero
             compensating in physical presence for what he politically lacks
             (Terry Eagleton).

   choose between:
             this construction and choice between, are normally followed by
             and in written English; informally or is sometimes used, e.g.
             The poorest girl alive may not be able to choose between being
             Queen of England or Principal of Newnham; but she can choose
             between ragpicking and flowerselling (G. B. Shaw).

   chronic   is used of a disease that is long-lasting, though its
             manifestations may be intermittent (the opposite is acute
             'coming sharply to a crisis'); it is used in much the same way
             of other conditions, e.g. The chronic unemployment of the
             nineteen-twenties (A. J. P.  Taylor); The commodities of which
             there is a chronic shortage (George Orwell).
             ° The sense 'objectionable, bad, severe' is very informal.

             is followed by with in sense (1) of compare and by to in sense
             (2).  The latter is much the more usual use, e.g. The little
             wooden crib-figures...were by no means comparable to the
             mass-produced figures (Muriel Spark).

   compare.  In formal use, the following distinctions of sense are made:
             (1) 'Make a comparison of x with y', followed by with, e.g.
             You've got to compare method with method, and ideal with ideal
             (John le Carr‚).
             (2)'Say to be similar to, liken to', followed by to, e.g. To
             call a bishop a mitred fool and compare him to a mouse (G. B.
             (3) Intransitively, = 'to be compared', followed by with, e.g.
             None can compare with thee (NEB).  ° Compare with is loosely
             used in sense (2); the senses overlap, e.g.  How can you compare
             the Brigadier with my father? (John Osborne).  Conversely, in
             the separate clause (as) compared with or to x, only sense (1)
             is possible, but to occurs as well as with, e.g.
             Tarzan...bewails his human ugliness as compared to the beauty of
             the apes (Tom Stoppard); Earth is tractable stuff compared with
             coal (George Orwell).

             is usually followed by with, especially in by or in comparison
             with. It is followed by to when the sense is 'the action of
             likening (to)', e.g. The comparison of philosophy to a yelping
             she-dog (Jowett).

             disposed to please others or comply with others' wishes; noun
             complaisance, e.g. The indulgent complaisance which Horace did
             not bother to disguise (Frederic Raphael).
             ° Do not confuse with complacent self-satisfied (noun

   compose   can be used to mean 'constitute, make up' with the constituents
             as subject and the whole as object, e.g. The tribes which
             composed the German nation. It is more commonly used in the
             passive with the whole as subject and the constituents as
             object, e.g.  His...face was composed of little layers of flesh
             like pallid fungus (Iris Murdoch).

   comprise. The proper constructions with comprise are the converse of those
             used with compose. (1) In the active, meaning 'consist of', with
             the whole as subject and the constituents as objects, e.g.  The
             faculty comprises the following six departments.
             ° In sense (1), comprise differs from consist in not being
             followed by of. Unlike include, comprise indicates a
             comprehensive statement of constituents.
             (2) In the passive, meaning 'to be embraced or comprehended in',
             with the constituents as subject and the whole as object, e.g.
             Fifty American dollars comprised in a single note (Graham
             ° Comprise is often used as a synonym of compose, e.g. The
             twenty-odd children who now comprise the school (Miss Read).
             This is regarded as incorrect by many people. It is especially
             objectionable in the passive, since comprise is not followed by
             of; write The faculty is composed (not comprised) of six

   condole,  to express sympathy, is always followed by with, e.g. Many...had
             come...to condole with them on their brother's death (NEB).
             ° Do not confuse with console 'to comfort', followed by direct
             object, e.g. Console one another...with these words (NEB).

   conduce,  to lead or contribute (to a result), is always followed by to;
             similarly conducive (adjective); e.g. The enterprise was
             popular, since it conduced to cut price jobs (J. I. M. Stewart).

   conform   may be followed by to or with, e.g. The United Nations...
             conformed to Anglo-American plans (A. J. P. Taylor); Having
             himself no particular opinions or tastes he relied upon whatever
             conformed with those of his companion (John le Carr‚).

             a collection of things massed together, is a singular noun, e.g.
             A congeries of halls and inns on the site (J. I. M. Stewart); it
             is unchanged in the plural.
             ° The form congery, formed in the misapprehension that congeries
             is plural only, is erroneous.

   connote, denote.
             Connote means 'to imply in addition to the primary meaning, to
             imply as a consequence or condition', e.g. Literature has needed
             to learn how to exploit all the connotations that lie latent in
             a word (Anthony Burgess).
             Denote means 'to be the sign of, indicate, signify', e.g. A
             proper name will convey no information beyond the bare fact that
             it denotes a person (Stephen Ullman).
             ° The two terms are kept rigidly distinct in Logic, but in
             popular usage connote is frequently used to mean 'convey to the
             mind', or 'mean in actual use' and hence verges on the sense of
             denote. Denote cannot be used in the senses of connote, e.g. in
             His silence does not connote hesitation (Iris Murdoch).

             following as a result, adverb consequently, e.g. Two engaged in
             a common pursuit do not consequently share personal identity
             (Muriel Spark). These are nearly always to be used rather than
             consequential 'following as an indirect result' and
             consequentially, which are rarer and more specialized.

   consist   consist of = be composed of, made up of; consist in = have as
             its essential quality, e.g. All enjoyment consists in undetected
             sinning (G. B. Shaw).

             always happening, very frequent and without cessation;
             continuous, connected, unbroken, uninterrupted; similarly the
             adverbs; e.g. He was continually sending Tiberius not very
             helpful military advice (Robert Graves); There was a continuous
             rattle from the one-armed bandits (Graham Greene).

   continuance, continuation.
             The former relates mainly to the intransitive senses of continue
             (to be still in existence), the latter to its transitive senses
             (to keep up, to resume), e.g. The great question of our
             continuance after death  (J. S. Huxley); As if contemplating a
             continuation of her assault (William Trevor).

   cousin    (1) The children of brothers or sisters are first cousins to
             each other. (2) The children of first cousins are second cousins
             to each other. (3) The child of one's first cousin, and the
             first cousin of one's parent, is one's first cousin once
             removed. (4) The grandchild of one's first cousin, or the first
             cousin of one's grandparent, is one's first cousin twice
             removed; and so on. (5) Cousin-german = first cousin.

   credible, able to be believed.
             ° Do not confuse with credulous, too ready to believe things, as
             e.g. in Even if one is credible (correctly credulous) enough to
             believe in their ability (Daily Telegraph).

             used figuratively, means 'a progressive increase in force or
             effect'. Do not use it when climax is meant, e.g. in The storm
             reached a crescendo (correctly a climax) at midnight.

   criteria  is the plural of criterion, not a singular noun.

   crucial,  decisive, critical, e.g. His medical studies were not merely an
             episode in the development of his persona but crucial to it
             (Frederic Raphael).
             ° The weakened sense 'important' is informal only.

   data      (1) In scientific, philosophical, and general use usually
             considered as a number of items and treated as plural, e.g.  Let
             us give the name of 'sense-data' to the things which are
             immediately known in sensation: such things as colours, sounds,
             (etc.) (Bertrand Russell); The optical data are incomplete
             (Nature); the singular is datum, e.g. Personality is not a datum
             from which we start (C. S. Lewis).
             (2) In computing and allied disciplines it is treated as a mass
             noun (i.e. a collective item), and used with words like this,
             that, and much, and with singular verbs; it is sometimes so
             treated in general use, e.g. Useful data has been obtained
             (Winston Churchill).
             ° Some people object to use (2).
             ° Data is not a singular countable noun and therefore  cannotbe
             preceded by a, every, each, either, neither, and cannot be given
             a plural form datas.

   decidedly, decisively.
             Decidedly, definitely; undoubtedly, e.g.  The bungalow had a
             decidedly English appearance (Muriel Spark).  Decisively (1)
             conclusively, so as to decide the question, e.g. The definition
             of 'capital' itself depends decisively on the level of
             technology employed (E. F.  Schumacher); (2) resolutely,
             unhesitatingly, e.g. The young lady, whose taste has to be
             considered, decisively objected to him (G. B. Shaw).

   decimate, (originally) to kill or destroy one in every ten of; (now
             usually) to destroy or remove a large proportion of, e.g. All my
             parents' friends, my friends' brothers were getting killed. Our
             circle was decimated (Rosamond Lehmann).
             ° Decimate does not mean 'defeat utterly'.

   decline   (verb: to refuse an invitation) has no derived noun; we have to
             make do with refusal if declining cannot be used.

             decisive, unconditional, final; (of an edition) authoritative;
             e.g. The Gold Cup flat handicap, the official and definitive
             result of which he had read in the Evening Telegraph (James
             ° Do not use instead of definite (= having exact limits,
             distinct, precise); it cannot replace the latter in We finally
             received a definite no.

   delusion, illusion.
             A general distinction can be drawn, though it is not absolute.
             Delusion would naturally occur in psychiatric contexts, and is
             used similarly outside them, to denote a false idea, impression,
             or belief held tenaciously, arising mainly from the internal
             workings of the mind; e.g.  delusions of grandeur, and He's been
             sent here for delusions. His most serious delusion is that he's
             a murderer (Robert Graves).
             Illusion denotes a false impression derived either from the
             external world, e.g.  optical illusion, and A partition making
             two tiny boxes, giving at least the illusion of privacy (Doris
             Lessing), or from faulty thinking, e.g. I still imagine I could
             live in Rome, but it may be an illusion (Iris Murdoch).
             It is in this second sense that illusion is almost equivalent to
             delusion; cf. I hope to strike some small blows for what I
             believe to be right, but I have no delusions that knock-outs are
             likely (Frederic Raphael). It should be remembered that delusion
             carries the sense of being deluded (by oneself or another),
             whereas no verb is implied in illusion; on the other hand, one
             can be said to be disillusioned, whereas delusion forms no such

   demean    (1) Demean oneself = conduct oneself (usually with adverbial
             expression), e.g. Even on the scaffold he demeaned himself with
             dignity. (2) Demean (someone or something) = lower in status,
             especially with oneself, e.g. Their nobles would not demean
             themselves to serve their governor (NEB).

   denote:   see connote.

   depend,   to be contingent on (a condition or cause), is followed by on or
             ° The use of it depends followed, without on or upon, by an
             interrogative clause, is informal only, e.g. It depends what you
             have.. in mind in forming a library of gramophone records
             whether you think it worth acquiring (The Times).

   depreciate, deprecate.
             Depreciate (1) to make or become lower in value; (2) to
             belittle, disparage, e.g. To defend our record we seem forced to
             depreciate the Africans (Listener); To become a little more
             forthcoming and less self- depreciating (Richard Adams).
             Deprecate (1) (with a plan, proceeding, purpose, etc. as the
             object) to express a wish against or disapproval of, e.g. I
             deprecate this extreme course, because it is good neither for my
             pocket nor for their own souls (G. B. Shaw); Polly.. patted her
             father's head in deprecation of such forcible metaphor (Anthony
             (2) (with a person as the object) to express disapproval of, to
             reprove; to disparage, e.g. Anyone who has reprinted his reviews
             is in no position to deprecate our reprinter (Christopher
             ° Sense (2) of deprecate tends to take on the sense of
             depreciate (2), especially in conjunction with self.  This use
             is frequently found in good writers, e.g. A humorous
             self-deprecation about one's own advancing senility (Aldous
             Huxley); The old, self-deprecating expression (Susan Hill). It
             is, however, widely regarded as incorrect.

   derisive  = scoffing; derisory = (1) scoffing, (2) so small or unimportant
             as to be ridiculous (now the more usual sense), e.g.  A
             part...once looked upon as discreditable and derisory (Anthony

   dialect   (form of speech) forms dialectal as its adjective; dialectic
             (form of reasoning) can be adjective as well as noun, or can
             have dialectical as its adjective.

   dice      is the normal singular as well as the plural (one dice, two
             dice); the old singular, die, is found only in the die is cast,
             straight (or true) as a die, and in mathematical discussions,
             e.g. Rolling a die will generate a stream of random numbers.

   dichotomy in non-technical use means 'differentiation into contrasting
             categories' and is frequently followed by between, e.g.  An
             absolute dichotomy between science and reason on the one hand
             and faith and poetry on the other.
             ° It does not mean dilemma or ambivalence.

   die       (noun): see dice.

   different can be followed by from to or than.
             (1) Different from is the most usual expression in both written
             and spoken English; it is the most favoured by good writers, and
             is acceptable in all contexts, e.g. It is also an 'important'
             book, in a sense different from the sense in which that word is
             generally used (George Orwell).
             (2) Different to is common informally. It sometimes sounds more
             natural than different from, and should then be used; e.g.  when
             yoked with similar and followed by a phrase introduced by to:
             His looks are neither especially similar nor markedly different
             to those of his twin brother.
             (3) Different than is an established idiom in American English,
             but is not uncommon in British use, e.g. Both came from a
             different world than the housing estate outside London (Doris
             Lessing).  Both different to and different than are especially
             valuable as a means of avoiding the repetition and the relative
             construction required after different from in sentences like I
             was a very different man in 1935 from what I was in 1916 (Joyce
             Cary).  This could be recast as I was a very different man in
             1935 than I was in 1916 or than in 1916. Compare The American
             theatre, which is suffering from a different malaise than ours,
             which is greatly preferable to suffering from a different
             malaise from that which ours is suffering from.
             This construction is especially common when different is part of
             an adverbial clause (e.g. in a different way) or when the adverb
             differently is used, and has been employed by good writers since
             the seventeenth century, e.g. Things were constructed very
             differently now than in former times (Trollope); Sebastian was a
             drunkard in quite a different sense to myself (Evelyn Waugh);
             Puts one in a different position to your own father (John

             a technical term Mathematics, an abbreviation for differential
             gear, or a term for a maintained difference in wage between
             groups of workers.
             ° It is not a synonym for difference.

   digraph   = a group of two letter standing for a single sound, e.g.  ea in
             head, gh in cough; ligature = a typographical symbol consisting
             of two letters joined together, e.g.  fi, fl. The term diphthong
             is best restricted to the sense for which there is no synonym,
             namely 'a union of two vowels pronounced in one syllable', which
             is something primarily spoken and heard, not written; i in find,
             ei in rein, and eau in bureau all represent diphthongs.  One
             cause of confusion is that Latin had two diphthongs (ae and oe)
             often printed as ligatures ‘ and oe in English words derived
             from Latin these are now digraphs ‘ and oe (sometimes modified
             into e:  see "ae and oe" in topic 1.4 representing single vowel

   dilemma   (1) A choice between two (or sometimes more than two)
             undesirable or awkward alternatives, e.g. The unpleasant dilemma
             of being obliged either to kill the father or give up the
             daughter. (2) More loosely, a perplexing situation in which a
             choice has to be made, e.g. The dilemma of the 1960s about
             whether nice girls should sleep with men (Alan Watkins).
             ° It is not merely a synonym for problem.

             see digraph.

   direct    is used as an adverb in two of the main senses of the adjective:
             (1) straight, e.g. Another door led direct to the house (Evelyn
             Waugh); (2) without intermediaries, e.g. I appeal now, over your
             head, direct to the august oracle (G. B. Shaw).

   directly  is used in most of the main senses of the adjective, e.g. Why
             don't you deal directly with the wholesalers? (G. B. Shaw); The
             wind is blowing directly on shore; directly opposite, opposed.
             ° It is not usually used to mean 'straight', since it has an
             extra sense, used in similar contexts, 'immediately, without
             delay', e.g.  Just a night in London--I'll be back directly
             (Iris Murdoch).

             to thwart, disconcert; similarly discomfiture; e.g.  He
             discomfited his opponents by obliging them to disagree with a
             great logician (Frederic Raphael).
             ° Do not confuse with discomfort (now rare as a verb, = make

             lack of interest, indifference, e.g. Buried the world under a
             heavy snowfall of disinterest (Christopher Fry).
             ° The use of disinterest in this sense may be objected to on the
             same grounds as sense (2) of disinterested; but the word is
             rarely used in any other sense, and the possible alternative
             uninterest is very rare indeed.

             (1) Impartial, unbiased, e.g. Thanks to his scientific mind he
             understood--a proof of disinterested intelligence which had
             pleased her (Virginia Woolf).  The noun is disinterestedness.
             (2) Uninterested, indifferent, e.g. It is not that we are
             disinterested in these subjects, but that we are better
             qualified to talk about our own interests (The Times). The noun
             is disinterest.
             ° Sense (2) is common in informal use, but is widely regarded as
             incorrect and is avoided by careful writers, who prefer

   disposal  is the noun from dispose of (get off one's hands, deal with);
             disposition is the noun from dispose (arrange, incline).

             serving to distinguish, characteristic, e.g. It had smelled like
             this soap today, a light, entirely distinctive smell (Susan
             ° Do not confuse with distinct, separate, individual, definite,
             e.g.  Trying to put into words an impression that was not
             distinct in my own mind (W. Somerset Maugham).

   drunk, drunken.
             In older and literary usage, the predicative and attributive
             forms respectively; now usually allocated to distinct senses,
             namely 'intoxicated' and 'given to drink', e.g. They were lazy,
             irresponsible, and drunken; but on this occasion they were not
             drunk. Drunken also means 'caused by or exhibiting drunkenness',
             e.g. a drunken brawl.

   due to    (1) That ought to be given to, e.g. Pay Caesar what is due to
             Caesar (NEB). (2) To be ascribed to, e.g. Half the diseases of
             modern civilization are due to starvation of the affections in
             the young (G. B. Shaw). Due is here an adjective with a
             complementary prepositional phrase, like liable (to), subject
             (to). As an adjective it needs to be attached to a noun as
             complement (see example above), or as part of a verbless
             adjective clause, e.g. A few days' temporary absence of mind due
             to sunstroke was...nothing to worry about (Muriel Spark).
             (3) = owing to. A sentence conforming to type (2) above like He
             suffered a few days' absence of mind due to sunstroke can be
             equated with He suffered a few days' absence of mind, owing to
             sunstroke. In this way due to has borrowed from owing to the
             status of independent compound preposition, a use not uncommon
             even with good writers, e.g. It...didn't begin until twenty past
             due to a hitch (William Trevor); Due to an unlikely run of
             nineteens and zeros, I gained the equivalent of three hundred
             pounds (Graham Greene).
             ° The use of due to as a compound preposition is widely regarded
             as unacceptable. It can often be avoided by the addition of the
             verb to be and that, e.g. It is due to your provident care
             that...improvements are being made (NEB).

   effect:   see affect.

   e.g., i.e.:
             E.g. (short for Latin exempli gratia) = for example, for
             instance; it introduces one or more typical examples of what
             precedes it: Many countries of Asia, e.g.  India, Indonesia, and
             Malaysia, were once ruled by European powers. I.e.  (short for
             Latin id est) = that is; it introduces an amplification or
             explanation of what precedes it: It was natural that the largest
             nation (i.e. India) should take the lead; The United States
             presence, i.e. the maintenance of American military personnel,
             in south-east Asia.

   egoism, -ist(ic), egotism, -ist(ic).
             Egoism is the term used in Philosophy and Psychology, and
             denotes self-interest (often contrasted with altruism), e.g.
             Egoistic instincts concerned with self-preservation or the good
             of the Ego (Gilbert Murray).  Egotism is the practice of talking
             or thinking excessively about oneself, self-centredness, e.g. He
             is petty, selfish, vain, egotistical; he is spoilt; he is a
             tyrant (Virginia Woolf).
             ° In practice the senses tend to merge, e.g. Human loves don't
             last, ...they are far too egoistic (Iris Murdoch); A complete
             egotist in all his dealings with women (Joyce Gary).

             remarkable in a bad sense; gross, outrageous; used mainly with
             words like ass, impostor, liar, blunder, folly, waste, e.g. Wark
             tenderly forgives her most egregious clerical errors (Martin

   either    (adjective and pronoun). (1) One or other of the two, e.g.
             Simple explanations are for simple minds.  I've no use for
             either (Joe Orton).  (2) Each of the two, e.g. Every few
             kilometres on either side of the road, there were Haitian and
             Dominican guard-posts (Graham Greene).
             ° Either is frequently used in sense (2), in preference to each,
             with reference to a thing that comes naturally in a pair, e.g.
             end, hand, side. This use is sometimes ignorantly condemned but
             is both the older sense of either and commonly found in good
             writers of all periods.

   elder     (adjective) the earlier-born (of two related or indicated
             persons), e.g. The first and elder wife...returned...to Jericho
             (Muriel Spark); He is my elder by ten years. Eldest first-born
             or oldest surviving (member of family, son, daughter, etc.).

   elusive   (rather than elusory) is the usual adjective related to elude;
             illusory (rather than illusive) is the usual adjective related
             to illusion.

   enjoin:   one can enjoin an action, etc., on someone, or enjoin someone to
             do something; the former is more usual; e.g. To...enjoin
             celibacy on its laity as well as on its clergy and That enables
             and enjoins the citizen to earn his own living (G. B. Shaw).

   enormity  (1) Great wickedness (of something), e.g. Hugh was made entirely
             speechless...by the enormity of the proposal (Iris Murdoch); a
             serious crime or offence, e.g. They had met to pass sentence on
             Wingfield for his enormities (David Garnett).
             (2) Enormousness, e.g. The war in its entire magnitude did not
             exist for the average civilian... The enormity of it was quite
             beyond most of us (G. B. Shaw).
             ° Sense (2) is commonly found, but is regarded by many people as

   enthuse,  to show or fill with enthusiasm, is chiefly informal.

   ° equally as
             (+ adjective) should not be used for equally, e.g. in How to
             apply it in a calm, unruffled manner was equally as important
             (G. F. Newman), or for as, e.g. The Government are equally as
             guilty as the Opposition.

   event:    in the event of is followed by a noun or gerund, e.g.  In the
             event of the earl's death, the title will lapse.
             ° In the event that, treated as a compound conjunction, is
             ungainly and avoided by good writers; it is even worse with that
             omitted, e.g. In the event the car overturns.

   ever.     When placed after a wh-question word in order to intensify it,
             ever should be written separately, e.g. Where ever have you
             been?, when ever is he coming?, who ever would have thought it?,
             why ever did you do it?, how ever shall I escape? When used with
             a relative pronoun or adverb to give it indefinite or general
             force, ever is written as one word with it, e.g.  Wherever you
             go I'll follow; whenever he washes up he breaks something;
             there's a reward for whoever (not whomever) finds it; whatever
             else you do, don't get lost; however it's done, it's difficult.

   evidence, evince.
             Evidence (verb), to serve as evidence for the existence or truth
             of, e.g. There was an innate refinement...about Gerty which was
             unmistakably evidenced in her delicate hands (James Joyce).
             Evince, to show that one has a (hidden or unseen) quality, e.g.
             Highly evolved sentiments and needs (sometimes said to be
             distinctively human, though birds and animals... evince them)
             (G. B. Shaw).
             ° Evince should not be confused with evoke to call up (a
             response, a feeling, etc.), e.g. A timely and generous act which
             evoked afresh outburst of emotion (James Joyce).

             extremely; excessively, beyond measure, immoderately, e.g.  The
             excessively rational terms employed by people with a secret
             panic (Muriel Spark).

   excepting (preposition) is only used after not and always.

             to which exception may be taken; unexceptionable with which no
             fault may be found, e.g.  The opposite claim would seem to him
             unexceptionable even if he disagreed with it (George Orwell).
             ° Do not confuse with (un)exceptional, that is (not) an
             exception, unusual.

   excess.   In excess of 'to a greater amount or degree than' forms an
             adverbial phrase.
             ° Prefer more than where the phrase qualified is the subject or
             object, e.g. in The Data Centre, which processes in excess of
             1200 jobs per week.

   expect    (1) in the sense 'suppose, think' is informal; (2) see

   explicit, express
             Explicit, distinctly expressing all that is meant, leaving
             nothing implied, e.g. I had been too tactful,... too vague...But
             I now saw that I ought to have been more explicit (Iris
             Murdoch); express, definite, unmistakable in import, e.g.
             Idolatry fulsome enough to irritate Jonson into an express
             disavowal of it (G. B. Shaw).

   exposure (to)
             may be use figuratively to mean 'being made subject (to an
             influence, etc.)' but should not be used for experience (of),
             e.g. in Candidates who have had exposure to North American

   express   (adjective): see explicit

   facility  in the sense 'ease in doing something', e.g. I knew that I had a
             facility with words (George Orwell), should not be confused with
             a similar sense of faculty, viz. 'a particular kind of ability',
             e.g.  Hess...had that odd faculty, peculiar to lunatics, of
             falling into strained positions (Rebecca West).

   factious: see fractious.

             made for a special purpose; not natural; artificial; e.g. Heroic
             tragedy is decadent because it is factitious; it substitutes
             violent emotionalism for emotion (and) the purple patch for
             poetry (L. C. Knights); fictitious, feigned, simulated;
             imaginary, e.g. Afraid of being suspected, he gave a fictitious
             account of his movements.

   farther, farthest:
             though originally interchangeable with further, furthest, these
             words are now only used where the sense of 'distance' is
             involved, e.g. One whose actual dwelling lay presumably amid the
             farther mysteries of the cosmos (J. I. M. Stewart).
             ° Even in this sense many people prefer further, furthest.

   feasible  capable of being done, achieved, or dealt with, e.g. Young
             people believing that niceness and innocence are politically as
             well as morally feasible (J. I. M. Stewart).
             ° It is sometimes used to mean 'possible' or 'probable'; but
             whichever of these two words is appropriate should be used

   fewer:    see less.

             see factitious.

             easily set on fire; preferable as a warning of danger to
             inflammable, which may be mistaken for a negative (= not easily
             set on fire). The real negatives are non-flammable and

   flaunt,   to display proudly or ostentatiously, e.g. The wicked flaunt
             themselves on every side (NEB); As though to defy reason, as
             though to flaunt a divine indestructibility, the question will
             not go away:  is God? (Tom Stoppard).
             ° Do not confuse with flout 'to disobey openly and scornfully',
             e.g.  His deliberate flouting of one still supposedly iron rule
             (Frederic Raphael): flout should have been used by the public
             figure reported as having said Those wanting to flaunt the
             policy would recognize that public opinion was not behind them.

             as a sequel to, consequent on, is used in two ways.  (1)
             Properly, as an adjective, dependent on a preceding noun, e.g.
             During demonstrations following the hanging of two British
             soldiers. (2) By extension, as an independent quasi-preposition,
             e.g. The prologue was written by the company following an
             incident witnessed by them.
             ° Many people regard use (2) as erroneous (cf. due to (3)).  It
             can also give rise to ambiguity, e.g.  Police arrested a man
             following the hunt. In any case, following should not be used as
             a mere synonym for after (e.g. Following supper they went to

   for:      The subject of a clause of which the verb is the to-infinitive
             is normally preceded by for, e.g.  For him to stay elsewhere is
             unthinkable (contrast that he should stay elsewhere...) But if
             the clause is a direct object in a main sentence, for is
             omitted: hence I could not bear for him to stay elsewhere.
             (Daily Mail) is non-standard.

   forensic  (1) of or used in courts of law, e.g.  forensic medicine,
             forensic science; (2) of or involving  forensic science, e.g. An
             object which has been sent for forensic examination.
             ° Sense (2) is often deplored as an illogical extension, but is

   former (latter).
             When referring the first (last) of three or more, the first (the
             last) should he used, not the former (the latter).

             means 'happening by chance, accidental', e.g. His presence is
             not fortuitous. He has a role to play (Andr‚ Brink).
             ° It does not mean either 'fortunate' or 'timely', as
             (incorrectly) in He could not believe it. It was too fortuitous
             to be chance.

             unruly; peevish; e.g Block tackle and a strangling pully will
             bring your lion to heel, no matter how fractious (James Joyce).
             ° Do not confuse with factious 'given to, or proceeding from,
             faction', e.g.  In spite of such a divisive past and a fractious
             (correctly, factious) present (New York Times).

   fruition, fulfilment, especially in the phrase be brought to, come to,
             grow to, reach, etc. fruition, once stigmatized as a misuse, is
             now standard.

   fulsome   is a pejorative term, applied to nouns such as flattery,
             servility, affection, etc., and means 'cloying, excessive,
             disgusting by excess', e.g. They listened to fulsome speeches,
             doggedly translated by a wilting Olga Fiodorovna (Beryl
             ° Fulsome is not now regarded as a synonym of copious, though
             this was its original meaning.

   further, furthest:
             see farther, farthest.

   geriatric means 'pertaining to the health and welfare of the elderly'; it
             is incorrect to use it as a synonym of senile or elderly, or as
             a noun meaning 'elderly or senile person'.

   gourmand, glutton; gourmet, connoisseur of good food.

   graffiti  is the plural of graffito; it is not a singular mass noun.

   half.     The use of half in expressions of time to mean half-past is
             indigenous to Britain and has been remarked on since the 1930s,
             e.g.  We'd easily get the half-five bus (William Trevor); it is
             to be distinguished from the use of half + the succeeding hour
             (i.e. half-nine = half-past eight) in parts of Scotland and
             Ireland. It remains non-standard.

   hardly    (1) Hardly is not used with negative constructions.
             ° Expressions like Without hardly a word of comment (substitute
             with hardly or almost without a word..) and I couldn't hardly
             tell what he meant (substitute I could hardly tell...) are
             (2) Hardly and scarcely are followed by when or before, not
             than, e.g. Hardly had Grimes left the house when a tall young
             man...presented himself at the front door (Evelyn Waugh).

   heir apparent,
             one whose right of inheritance cannot be superseded by the birth
             of another heir; as opposed to an heir presumptive, whose right
             can be so superseded.
             ° Heir apparent does not mean 'seeming heir'.

   help.     More than, or as little as, one can help are illogical but
             established idioms, e.g.  They will not respect more than they
             can help treaties extracted from them under duress (Winston

   hoi polloi
             can be preceded by the, even though hoi represents the Greek
             definite article, e.g. The screens with which working
             archaeologists baffle the hoi polloi (Frederic Raphael).

   ° homogenous
             is a frequent error for homogeneous, and is probably due partly
             to the form of the related verb homogenize. A word homogenous
             exists, but has a technical meaning that is quite different and
             very restricted in its use. Homogeneous means 'of the same kind,
             uniform', e.g. The style throughout was homogeneous but the
             authors' names were multiform (Evelyn Waugh).

   hopefully, thankfully.
             These adverbs are used in two ways: (1) As adverbs of manner =
             'in a hopeful/thankful way', 'with hope/gratitude', e.g.  The
             prevailing mentality of that deluded time was still hopefully
             parliamentary (G. B. Shaw); When it thankfully dawned on her
             that the travel agency would be open (Muriel Spark). (2) As
             sentence adverbs, outside the clause structure and conveying the
             speaker's comment on the statement, e.g. Hopefully they will be
             available in the autumn (Guardian); The editor, thankfully, has
             left them as they were written (TLS).
             ° Use (2) is widely regarded as unacceptable.  The main reason
             is that other commenting sentence adverbs, such as regrettably,
             fortunately, etc., can be converted to the form it is
             regrettable, fortunate, etc., that--, but these are to be
             resolved as it is to be hoped or one hopes that-- and one is
             thankful that--., (The same objection could be, but is not, made
             to happily and unhappily which mean one is (un)happy not it is
             (un)happy that--, e.g. in Unhappily children do hurt flies (Jean
             Rhys).) A further objection is that absurdity or ambiguity can
             arise from the interplay of senses (1) and (2), e.g. There is
             also a screen, hopefully forming a backdrop to the whole stage
             (Tom Stoppard); Any decision to trust Egypt...and move forward
             hopefully toward peace... in the Middle East (Guardian Weekly).
             This use of hopefully probably arose as a translation of German
             hoffentlich, used in the same way, and first became popular in
             America in the late 196Os; the same American provenance, but not
             the German, holds good for thankfully.  It is recommended that
             sense (2) should be restricted to informal contexts.

   i.e.:     see e.g., i.e.

   if        in certain constructions (usually linking two adjectives or
             adverbs that qualify the same noun or verb) can be ambiguous,
             e.g. A great play, if not the greatest, by this author.
             ° It is best to paraphrase such sentences as, e.g., either A
             great play, though not the greatest by this author or A great
             play, perhaps (or very nearly) the greatest by this author.

   ignorant  is better followed by of than by about, e.g. Is this famous
             teacher of Israel ignorant of such things? (NEB).

   ilk.      Of that ilk is a Scots term, meaning 'of the same place,
             territorial designation, or name', e.g. Wemyss of that ilk =
             Wemyss of Wemyss.
             ° By a misunderstanding ilk has come to mean 'sort, lot'
             (usually pejorative), e.g. Joan Baez and other vocalists of that
             ilk (David Lodge). This should be avoided in formal English.

   ill       used predicatively = 'unwell'; sick used predicatively = 'about
             to or likely to vomit, in the act of vomiting', e.g. I felt
             sick; I was violently sick; used attributively = 'unwell', e.g.
             a sick man, except in collocations like sick bay, sick leave.
             ° It is non-standard to use ill predicatively for 'in the act of
             vomiting' or sick predicatively for 'unwell' (though the latter
             is standard Amer.), except in the phrase off sick 'away on sick

   illusion: see delusion.

   illusory: see elusive.

   impact    used figuratively, is best confined to contexts in which someone
             or something is imagined as striking another, e.g. The most
             dynamic colour combination if used too often loses its impact
             (i.e., on the eye). It is weakened if used as a mere synonym for
             effect, impression, or influence.

             The total resistance of an electric circuit to the flow of
             alternating current.
             ° Do not confuse with impediment, a hindrance, a defect (in
             speech, etc.), e.g. Convinced of the existence of a serious
             impediment to his marriage (Evelyn Waugh).

   imply, infer.
             Imply (1) to involve the truth or existence of; (2) to express
             indirectly, insinuate, hint at. Infer (1) to reach (an opinion),
             deduce, from facts and reasoning, e.g. She left it to my
             intelligence to infer her meaning. I inferred it all right (W.
             Somerset Maugham); He is a philosopher's God, logically inferred
             from self-evident premises (Tom Stoppard). (2) = imply, sense
             (2), e.g. I have inferred once, and I repeat, that Limehouse is
             the most overrated excitement in London (H. V. Morton).
             ° Sense (2) of infer is generally unacceptable, since it is the
             reverse of the primary sense of the verb.

             official licence to print.
             ° Do not confuse with imprint, the name of the
             publisher/printer, place of publication/printing, etc., on the
             title-page or at the end of a book.

   inapt, inept.
             Inapt = 'not apt', 'unsuitable'; inept = (1) without aptitude,
             unskilful, e.g. Fox-trots and quicksteps, at which he had been
             so inept (David Lodge); (2) inappropriate, e.g. Not much less
             than famous for looking ineptly dressed (Anthony Powell); (3)
             absurd, silly, e.g. Here l was, awkward and tongue-tied, and all
             the time in danger of saying something inept or even rude
             (Siegfried Sassoon).

   inchoate  means 'just begun, underdeveloped', e.g. Trying to give his work
             a finished look--and all the time it's pathetically
             obvious...that the stuff's fatally inchoate (John Wain).
             ° It does not mean chaotic or incoherent.

   include:  see comprise (1)

   industrial action
             is an imprecise, often inappropriate, and sometimes socially
             divisive expression. If possible, use strike, work-to-rule,
             overtime ban, etc., as appropriate.

   infer:    see imply

             see flammable.

   inflict, afflict.
             One inflicts something on someone or afflicts someone with
             something; something is inflicted on one, or one is afflicted
             with something.
             ° Do not use inflict with where afflict with is meant, e.g. in
             The miners are still out, and industry is inflicted (correctly,
             afflicted) with a kind of creeping paralysis.

             clever at inventing, etc.; noun ingenuity; ingenuous open,
             frank, innocent; noun ingenuousness.

   insignia  is a plural noun, e.g Fourteen different airline insignia (David
             Lodge); its singular, rarely encountered, is insigne.

             a blend of insinuation and innuendo, at best only jocular.

   intense,  existing, having some quality, in a high degree, e.g. The
             intense evening sunshine (Iris Murdoch); intensive employing
             much effort, concentrated, e.g. Intensive care; The intensive
             geological surveys of the Sahara (Margaret Drabble).

   interface (noun) (1) A surface forming a common boundary between two
             regions, e.g. The concepts of surface tension apply to the
             interfaces between solid and solid, solid and liquid (etc.).
             (2) A piece of equipment in which interaction occurs between two
             systems, processes, etc., e.g. Modular interfaces can easily be
             designed to adapt the general-purpose computer to the equipment.
             (3) A point or area of interaction between two systems,
             organizations, or disciplines, e.g. The interface between
             physics and music is of direct relevance to...the psychological
             effects of hearing (Nature).
             ° Sense (3) is widely regarded as unacceptable, since it is
             often debased into a high-sounding synonym for boundary,
             meeting-point, interaction, liaison, link, etc., e.g. The need
             for the interface of lecturer and student will diminish.

   interface (verb), to connect (equipment) with (equipment) by means of an
             interface; (of equipment) to be connected by an interface; e.g.
             A multiplexed analog-to-digital converter interfaced to a PDP
             11-40 computer (Lancet).
             ° Interface should not be used as a synonym for interact (with),
             as, e.g., in The ideal candidate will have the ability to
             interface effectively with the heads of staff of various

             confinement (from verb intern).
             ° Do not confuse with interment, burial (from verb inter).

   into:     it is common informally, but incorrect in formal prose, to use
             in where into is required, especially after verbs of motion,
             e.g.  Practically knocked me over in his eagerness to get in the
             house (David Lodge).

   invite    (noun = 'invitation'), although over three centuries old,
             remains informal (and somewhat non-standard) only.

   ironic, ironical, ironically.
             The noun irony can mean (1) a way of speaking in which the
             intended meaning (for those with insight) is the opposite to, or
             very different from, that expressed by the words used (and
             apprehended by the victim of the irony); or (2) a condition of
             affairs or events that is the opposite of what might be
             expected, especially when the outcome of an action appears as if
             it is in mockery of the agent's intention.  The adjectives
             ironic, ironical, and the adverb ironically are commonly used in
             sense (1) of irony, e.g.  Ironical silent apology for the
             absence of naked women and tanks of gin from the amenities
             (Kingsley Amis). They are also frequently found in sense (2),
             e.g. The outcome was ironic. The expenditure of British treasure
             served to rearm the United States rather than to strengthen
             Great Britain (A. J. P.  Taylor); The fact that after all she
             had been faithful to me was ironic (Graham Greene).
             ° Some people object to this use, especially when ironically is
             used to introduce a trivial oddity, e.g.  It was ironic that he
             thought himself locked out when the key was in his pocket all
             the time.

   kind of, sort of
             (1) A kind of, sort of should not be followed by a before the
             noun, e.g. a kind of shock, not a kind of a shock. (2) Kind of,
             sort of, etc., followed by a plural noun, are often treated as
             plural and qualified by plural words like these, those, or
             followed by a plural verb, e.g. They would be on those sort of
             terms (Anthony Powell). This is widely regarded as incorrect
             except in informal use:  substitute that (etc.) kind (or sort)
             of or of that kind (or sort), e.g. this kind of car is unpopular
             or cars of this kind are unpopular.  (3) Kind of, sort of used
             adverbially, e.g. I kind of expected it, are informal only.

   kudos     is a mass noun like glory or fame, e.g. He's made a lot of kudos
             out of the strike (Evelyn Waugh).
             ° It is not a plural noun and there is no singular kudo.

   latter:   see former.

   laudable, praiseworthy, e.g. The Opposition's abstention from criticism of
             the Government in this crisis was laudable; laudatory,
             expressing praise, e.g. One politician's remarks about another
             are not always laudatory.

   lay       (verb), past laid, = 'put down, arrange', etc. is only
             transitive, e.g. Lay her on the bed; They laid her on the bed;
             (reflexive, somewhat archaic) I will both lay me down in peace,
             and sleep (Authorized Version).
             ° To use lay intransitively, to mean 'lie', e.g. She wants to
             lay down; She was laying on the bed is non-standard, even though
             fairly common in spoken English. Cf. lie.

   leading question,
             in Law, is a question so worded that it prompts a person to give
             the desired answer, e.g. The solicitor...at once asked me some
             leading questions...I had to try to be both forthcoming and
             discreet (C. P. Snow).
             ° It does not mean a 'principal' (or 'loaded' or 'searching')

   learn     with a person as the object, = 'teach' is non-standard, or
             occasionally jocular as in I'll learn you.

   less      (adjective) is the comparative of (a) little, and, like the
             latter, is used with mass nouns, e.g. I owe him little duty and
             less love (Shakespeare); fewer is the comparative of (a) few,
             and both are used with plural countable nouns, e.g. Few people
             have their houses broken into; and fewer still have them burnt
             (G. B. Shaw).
             ° Less quite often used informally as the comparative of few,
             probably on the analogy of more, which is the comparative both
             of much (with mass nouns) and many (with plural countable
             nouns), e.g. I wish that they would send less delicacies and
             frills and some more plain and substantial things (Susan Hill).
             This is regarded as incorrect in formal English.
             ° Less should not be used as the comparative of small (or some
             similar adjective such as low), e.g.  a lower price not a less

   lesser,   not so great as the other or the rest, e.g. He opened The Times
             with the rich crackle that drowns all lesser sounds (John
             ° Lesser should not be used when the meaning is 'not so big' or
             'not so large': its opposition to greater is essential. It
             cannot replace smaller in A smaller prize will probably be

   lest      is very formal (in ordinary English, so that...not or in case is
             used); it is followed by should or (in exalted style) the
             subjunctive, e.g. Lest the eye wander aimlessly, a Doric temple
             stood by the water's edge (Evelyn Waugh); Lest some too sudden
             gesture or burst of emotion should turn the petals brown
             (Patrick White).

   let,      to allow (followed by the bare infinitive) is rarely used in the
             passive: the effect is usually unidiomatic, e.g. Halfdan's two
             sons... are let owe their lives to a trick (Gwyn Jones).
             Allowed to is usual.

   liable    (1) can be followed by to + a noun or noun phrase in the sense
             'subject to, likely to suffer from', or by an infinitive; (2)
             carries the implication that the action or experience expressed
             by the infinitive is undesirable, e.g.  Receiving in the bedroom
             is liable to get a woman talked about (Tom Stoppard); (3) can
             indicate either the mere possibility, or the habituality, of
             what is expressed by the verb, e.g.  The cruellest question
             which a novelist is liable to be asked (Frederic Raphael); The
             kind of point that one is always liable to miss (George Orwell).
             ° The sense 'likely to' is Amer., e.g. Boston is liable to be
             the ultimate place for holding the convention. Contrast apt.

   lie       (verb) past lay, lain, = 'recline' 'be situated', is only
             intransitive, e.g. Lie down on the bed; The ship lay at anchor
             until yesterday; Her left arm, on which she had lain all night,
             was numb.
             ° To use lie transitively, to mean 'lay', e.g. Lie her on the
             bed is non-standard. The past lay and participle lain are quite
             often wrongly used for laid out of over-correctness, e.g. He had
             lain this peer's honour in the dust. Cf. lay.

   ligature: see digraph.

   like,     indicating resemblance between two things: (1) It is normally
             used as an adjective followed by a noun, noun phrase, or pronoun
             (in the objective case), e.g. A man with human frailties like
             our own (NEB); He loathes people like you and me (not.. and I).
             It can be used to mean 'such as' (introducing a particular
             example of a class about which something is said), e.g. With a
             strongly patterned dress like that you shouldn't really wear any
             jewellery (Iris Murdoch).
             ° In formal contexts some people prefer such as to be used if
             more than one example is mentioned, e.g. British composers such
             as Elgar, Vaughan Williams, and Britten.
             (2) It is often used as a conjunction with a dependent clause,
             e.g. Everything went wrong...like it does in dreams (Iris
             Murdoch); Not with a starched apron like the others had (Jean
             Rhys), or with an adverbial phrase, e.g. With glossy hair,
             black, and a nose like on someone historical (Patrick White); It
             was as if I saw myself. Like in a looking-glass (Jean Rhys).
             ° Although this is not uncommon in formal writing, it is often
             'condemned as vulgar or slovenly' (OED), and is best avoided,
             except informally. Use as, e.g. Are you going to kill me as you
             killed the Egyptian? (NEB), or recast the sentence, e.g. A
             costume like those that the others wore.
             (3) It is often informally used to mean 'as if', e.g. The light
             at either end of the tunnel was like you were looking through a
             sheet of yellow cellophane (Patrick White); You wake like
             someone hit you on the head (T. S. Eliot).
             ° This use is very informal.

   likely    (adverb), in the sense 'probably', must be preceded by more,
             most, or very, e.g. Its inhabitants...very likely do make that
             claim for it (George Orwell).
             ° The use without the qualifying adverb is Amer., e.g. They'll
             likely turn ugly (Eugene O'Neill).

   linguist  means 'one whose subject is linguistics' as well as 'one skilled
             in the use of languages'; there is no other suitable term
             (linguistician is disfavoured).

             In very informal speech, literally is used as an intensifying
             adverb without meaning apart from its emotive force.
             ° This use should be avoided in writing or formal speech, since
             it almost invariably involves absurdity, e.g. The dwarfs
             mentioned here are literally within a stone's throw of the Milky
             Way (New Scientist). The appropriate use is seen in She emerged,
             fully armed, from the head of Zeus who was suffering from a
             literally splitting headache (Frederic Raphael).

   loan      (verb) has some justification where a businesslike loan is in
             question, e.g. The gas industry is using a major part of its
             profits to benefit the PSBR by loaning money to Government
             (Observer). Otherwise it is a needless variant for lend.

   locate    can mean 'discover the place where someone or somebody is', e.g.
             She had located and could usefully excavate her Saharan highland
             emporium (Margaret Drabble); it should not be used to mean
             merely 'find'.

   lot.      A lot of, though somewhat informal, is acceptable in serious
             writing; lots of is not.

   luncheon  is an especially formal variant of lunch; the latter should
             normally be used, except in fixed expressions like luncheon

             growing profusely, prolific, profuse, exuberant, e.g.  His hair
             does not seem to have been luxuriant even in its best days (G.
             B. Shaw).
             ° Do not confuse with luxurious (the adjective relating to
             luxury), e.g. The food, which had always been good, was now
             luxurious (C. P. Snow).

   majority  can mean 'the greater number of a countable set', and is then
             followed by the plural, e.g.  The majority of the plays produced
             were failures (G. B. Shaw).
             ° Great (or huge, vast, etc.) can precede majority in this
             sense, e.g.  The first thing you gather from the vast majority
             of the speakers (C. S.  Lewis); but not greater, greatest (since
             'more' is already contained in the word).
             ° Majority is not used to mean 'the greater part of an
             uncountable mass', e.g. I was doing most (or the greater part)
             of the cooking (not the majority of the cooking).

             domineering, e.g. People might say she was tyrannical,
             domineering, masterful (Virginia Woolf).
             ° Do not confuse with masterly, very skilful, e.g. A masterly
             compound of friendly argumentation and menace (Iris Murdoch).

   maximize, to make as great as possible.
             ° It should not be used for 'to make as good, easy, (etc). as
             possible' or 'to make the most of' as in To maximize customer
             service; To maximize this situation.

   means     (1) Money resources: a plural noun, e.g.  You might find out
             from Larry...what his means are (G. B. Shaw).
             (2) That by which a result is brought about.  It may be used
             either as a singular noun or as a plural one, without any change
             in form, e.g. (singular) The press was, at this time, the only
             means of..  influencing opinion at home (A. J. P. Taylor);
             (plural) All the time-honoured means of meeting the opposite sex
             (Frederic Raphael).
             ° Beware of mixing singular and plural, as in The right to
             resist by every (singular) means that are (plural) consonant
             with the law of God.

   media,    agency, means (of communication etc.), is a plural noun, e.g.
             The communication media inflate language because they dare not
             be honest (Anthony Burgess). Its singular is medium (rare except
             in mass medium).
             ° Media cannot be treated as a singular noun or form a plural
             medias. Medium (in Spiritualism) forms its plural in -s.

   militate: see mitigate.

   milliard: see billion.

   minimize, to reduce to, or estimate at, the smallest possible amount or
             degree, e.g. Each side was inclined to minimize its own losses
             in battle.
             ° It does not mean lessen and therefore cannot be qualified by
             adverbs like greatly.

   minority. Large, vast, etc. minority can mean either 'a considerable
             number who are yet less than  half', or 'a number who are very
             much the minority': it is best to avoid the ambiguity.

   mitigate, appease, alleviate moderate (usually transitive), e.g.  Its heat
             mitigated by the strong sea-wind (Anthony Burgess).
             ° Do not confuse with militate (intransitive) against, to serve
             as a strong influence against, e.g. The very fact that Leamas
             was a professional could militate against his interests (John le
             Carr‚): it is only the idea of countering that they have in

   momentum, impetus.
             ° Do not confuse with moment 'importance', e.g. He has marked
             his entrance with an error of some moment (not momentum).

   more than one
             is followed by a singular verb and is referred back to by
             singular pronouns, e.g. More than one popular dancing man
             inquired anxiously at his bank (Evelyn Waugh).

   motivate, to cause (a person) to act in a particular way.
             ° It does not mean 'supply a motive, justify', e.g. (wrongly) in
             The publisher motivates the slim size of these volumes by
             claiming it makes them more likely to be read.

   mutual    (1) Felt, done, etc., by each to(wards) the other, e.g. The
             mutual affection of father and son was rather touching (W.
             Somerset Maugham).
             (2) Standing in a (specified) relation to each other, e.g. Kings
             and subjects, mutual foes (Shelley). This sense is now rare.
             (3) Common to two (or more) parties, e.g. a mutual friend or
             ° Sense (3) is acceptable in a small number of collocations,
             such as the two indicated, in which common might be ambiguous;
             cf. They had already formed a small island of mutual Englishness
             (Muriel Spark):  common Englishness might imply vulgarity.
             Otherwise common is preferable, e.g. in By common (rather than
             mutual) consent the Chinese meal had been abandoned.

   nature.   ° Avoid using adjective + nature as a periphrasis for an
             abstract noun, e.g. write The dangerousness of the spot, not The
             dangerous nature of the spot.

   need      (this needs changing, etc.): see want.

             In the neighbourhood of is an unnecessarily cumbersome
             periphrasis for round about.

   neither   (adverb). ° It is non-standard to use it instead of either to
             strengthen a preceding negative, e.g. There were no books either
             (not neither).

             see flammable.

   normalcy  is chiefly Amer.
             ° Prefer normality.

   not only: see only (4).

   no way    (1) (Initially, followed inversion of verb and subject) =  'not
             at all, by no means', e.g. No way will you stop prices or
             unemployment going up again (James Callaghan). ° Informal only.
             (2) (Emphatic) = 'certainly not', e.g. 'Did you go up in the
             elevator?' 'No way.' ° Chiefly Amer.; informal only.

   number.   A number (of) is constructed with the plural, the number (of)
             the singular, e.g. Many of you are feeble and sick, and a number
             have died (NEB); The number of men who make a definite
             contribution to anything whatsoever is small (Virginia Woolf).

   obligate  (verb) is in Britain only used in Law.
             ° There is no gain in using it (as often in Amer. usage) for

             in the sense 'unaware of, unconscious of', may be followed by of
             or to, e.g. 'When the summer comes,' said Lord Marchmain,
             oblivious of the deep corn and swelling fruit.. outside his
             windows (Evelyn Waugh); Rose seemed oblivious to individuals
             (Angus Wilson).
             ° This sense, which developed from the older sense 'forgetful',
             is sometimes censured, but is now fully established in the

   of        used for have: see of, in topic 1.51 and have in topic 2.31.

   off of    used for the preposition off e.g.  Picked him off of the floor,
             is non-standard.

   one       (pronoun) (1) 'any person, the speaker or writer as representing
             people in general' has one, one's, and oneself as objective,
             possessive, and reflexive forms.
             ° These forms should be used to point back to a previous use of
             one, e.g. One always did, in foreign parts, become friendly with
             one's fellow-countrymen more quickly than one did at home
             (Muriel Spark).  One should not be mixed with he (him, his,
             etc.) (acceptable Amer.  usage) or we, you, etc.
             (2) = single thing or person, following any and every; the
             resulting phrase is written as two words and is distinct from
             anyone, everyone ( = anybody, everybody), e.g.  Any one (of
             these) will do; Perhaps every one of my conclusions would be
             negatived by other observers (George Orwell).

   ongoing   has a valid use as adjective meaning 'that goes on', i.e. 'that
             is happening and will continue' (just as oncoming means 'that
             comes on'), e.g. The refugee problem in our time is an ongoing
             problem (Robert Kee).
             ° The vague or tautologous use of ongoing should be avoided, as
             in the clich‚ ongoing situation, or in We have an ongoing
             military relationship which we are continuing (Guardian).

   only      (1) In spoken English, it usual to place only between subject
             and verb, e.g. He only saw Bill yesterday: intonation is used to
             show whether only limits he, saw, Bill, or yesterday.
             (2) It is an established idiom that, in a sentence containing
             only + verb + another item, in the absence of special
             intonation, only is understood as limiting, not the subject or
             verb, but the other item.  I only want some water is the natural
             way of saying I want only some water. If there is more than one
             item following the verb, only often limits the item nearest the
             end of the sentence, e.g. A type of mind that can only accept
             ideas if they are put in the language he would use himself
             (Doris Lessing) ( = only if... ); but not always, e.g. The
             captain was a thin unapproachable man...who only appeared once
             at table (Graham Greene) ( = only once). This idiom is tacitly
             recognized by all good writers, e.g.  They only met on the most
             formal occasions (C. P. Snow); The contractors were only waiting
             for the final signature to start their work of destruction
             (Evelyn Waugh); The Nonconformist sects only influenced
             minorities (George Orwell).
             (3) Despite the idiom described under (2), there are often
             sentences in which confusion can arise, e.g. Patrick only talked
             as much as he did, which was not as much as all that, to keep
             the ball in the air (Kingsley Amis), where at first sight only
             might appear to limit he (referring to some other person) but
             really limits to keep...air. If confusion or ambiguity is likely
             to arise, only should be placed before the item which it limits,
             e.g. They sought to convert others only by the fervour of their
             sentiments and the earnestness of their example (Frederic
             Raphael); The coalminer is second in importance only to the man
             who ploughs the soil (George Orwell).
             (4) Not only should always be placed next to the item which it
             qualifies, and not in the position before the verb. This is a
             fairly common slip, e.g. Katherine's marriage not only kept her
             away, but at least two of Mr. March's cousins (C. P. Snow); kept
             not only her would be better. If placing it before the verb is
             inevitable, the verb should be repeated after but (also), e.g.
             It not only brings the coal out but brings the roof down as well
             (George Orwell).

   orient, orientate.
             In meaning the two words are virtually synonymous.  In general,
             as opposed to technical, use, orientate seems to be predominant,
             but either is acceptable.

   other than
             can be used where other is an adjective or pronoun, e.g. He was
             no other than the rightful lord; The acts of any person other
             than myself.
             ° Other cannot be treated as an adverb: otherwise than should be
             used instead, e.g. in It is impossible to refer to them other
             than very cursorily.

   out       used as a preposition instead of out of, e.g. You should of
             [sic] pushed him out the nest long ago (character in work by
             Muriel Spark), is non-standard.

   outside of
             (1) = apart from (a sense outside cannot have) is informal only,
             e.g. The need of some big belief outside of art (Roger Fry, in a
             (2) = beyond the limits of, e.g.  The most important such
             facility outside of Japan (Gramophone).
             ° In sense (2) outside alone is preferable: the of is redundant.

             ° Do not use in the sense 'remaining undetermined, unpaid, etc.'
             in contexts where ambiguity with the sense 'eminent, striking'
             can arise, e.g. The other outstanding result (in sport).

   overly,   excessively, too, is still regarded as an unassimilated
             Americanism, e.g. Those overly rationalistic readers (TLS).
             ° Use excessively, too, or over- instead; for not overly, not
             very or none too make satisfactory replacements.

   overseas  (adjective and adverb) is now more usual than oversea.

   overview  is an Americanism that has not found acceptance in Britain:
             survey, review, or outline are adequate substitutes.

   owing to, unlike due to, has for long been established as a compound
             preposition, e.g. My rooms became uninhabitable, owing to a
             burst gas-pipe (C. P. Snow).
             ° Owing to the fact that should be avoided: use a conjunction
             like because.

   pace      means 'despite (someone)'s opinion', e.g. Our civilization, pace
             Chesterton, is founded on coal (George Orwell).
             ° It does not mean 'according to (someone)' or 'notwithstanding

             (1) (In technical use especially in Mathematics and Computing)
             (roughly) a quantity constant in the case considered, but
             varying between different cases.
             (2) (In extended use) a defining characteristic, especially one
             that can be measured, e.g. The three major parameters of
             colour--brightness, hue, and saturation.
             (3) (Loosely) a limit or boundary, e.g.  The considerable
             element of indeterminacy which exists within the parameters of
             the parole system (The Times); an aspect or feature, e.g. The
             main parameters of the problem.
             ° Use (3) is a popular dilution of the word's meaning, probably
             influenced (at least in the first quotation) by perimeter; it
             should be avoided.

   parricide refers to the killing of one's father, one's close relative, or
             a person regarded as sacred, or to treason; patricide only to
             the killing of one's father.

   part      (on the part of): see behalf.

   partially, partly.
             Apart from the (rare) use of partially to mean 'in a partial or
             biased way', these two words are largely interchangeable.  Note,
             however, that partly... partly is more usual than
             partially...partially,  e.g.  Partly in verse and partly in

   peer,     as in to have no peer, means 'equal', not 'superior'.

   pence     is sometimes informally used as a singular, e.g. How Fine Fare,
             on lard, is one pence up on Sainsbury's (Malcolm Bradbury).
             ° This use is very informal. Normally penny should be used in
             the singular.

             (informal abbreviation perk) a casual profit, incidental benefit
             attaching to an employment, thing to which a person has sole
             right, e.g. Free travel by train was a perquisite of railway
             managerial staff.
             ° Do not confuse with prerequisite 'something required as a
             previous condition (for, of, or to something)', e.g. Her mere
             comforting presence beside me which was already a prerequisite
             to peaceful sleep (Lynne Reid Banks).

             is limited in sense to 'the action of persisting in one's
             course', e.g. They made repeated requests for compensation, but
             an official apology was the only reward for their persistency;
             persistence is sometimes used in that sense, but more often for
             'continued existence', e.g. One of the more surprising things
             about the life-ways of primitive societies is their persistence
             (Sean O'Faolain).

             easily understood, clearly expressed; expressing things clearly;
             similarly perspicuity; e.g.  There is nothing more desirable in
             composition than perspicuity (Southey).
             ° Do not confuse with perspicacious, having or showing insight,
             and perspicacity, e.g. Her perspicacity at having guessed his
             passion (Vita Sackville-West).

   petit bourgeois, petty bourgeois.
             The meaning (and with many people, the pronunciation) of these
             is the same. If the former is used, the correct French
             inflections should be added: petits bourgeois (plural),
             petite(s) bourgeoise(s) (feminine (plural)); also petite
             bourgeoisie.  With petty bourgeois it should be remembered that
             the sense of the original French petit is not English petty,
             although that may be one of its main connotations.

   phenomena is the plural of phenomenon.
             ° It cannot be used as a singular and cannot form a plural

             (of a style of fiction) dealing with the adventures of rogues.
             ° It does not mean 'transitory' or 'roaming'.

   pivotal,  being that on which anything pivots or turns, e.g.  The pardon
             of Richard Nixon was pivotal to those who made up their minds at
             the last minute.
             ° Do not use it merely to mean vital.

   plaid,    shawl-like garment; tartan, woollen cloth with distinctive
             pattern; the pattern itself.

   ° plus    (conjunction) = 'and in addition', is an Amer. colloquialism of
             little acceptability, e.g.  --have big names at big savings.
             Plus you get one year manufacturer's guarantee (Advertisement).

   polity,   a form of civil government, e.g. A republican polity; a state.
             ° It does not mean policy or politics.

             can mean: (1) Like a portent, ominous, e.g. Fiery-eyed with a
             sense of portentous utterance (Muriel Spark). (2) Prodigious,
             e.g.  Every movement of his portentous frame (James Joyce). (3)
             Solemn, ponderous, and somewhat pompous, e.g. Our last
             conversation must have sounded to you rather portentous (Iris
             Murdoch); A portentous commentary on Holy Scripture (Lord
             ° Sense (3) is sometimes criticized, but is an established,
             slightly jocular use.
             ° The form portentious (due to the influence of pretentious) is

   post, pre.
             Their use as full words (not prefixes) to mean 'after' and
             'before' is unnecessary and disagreeable, e.g. in Post the
             Geneva meeting of Opec (Daily Telegraph); Pre my being in office
             (Henry Kissinger).

   practicable, practical.
             When applied to things, practicable means 'able to be done',
             e.g. (with the negative impracticable), Schemes which look very
             fine on paper, but which, as we well know, are impracticable (C.
             S. Lewis); practical 'concerned with practice, suitable for use,
             suited to the conditions', e.g. Having considered the problem,
             he came up with several practical suggestions; It is essential
             that the plan should cover all the practical details.

   pre:      see post, pre.

             like a precipice, e.g. Our rooms were...reached by a precipitous
             marble staircase (Evelyn Waugh).
             ° Do not confuse with precipitate, hasty, rash, e.g. They were
             all a little out of breath from precipitate arrival (Patrick

   predicate (verb) (1) (Followed of) to assert as a property of, e.g.  That
             easy Bohemianism--conventionally predicated of the 'artistic'
             temperament (J. I. M. Stewart).  (2) (Followed by on) to found
             or base (something) on, e.g. A new conception of
             reality...predicated on dissatisfaction with formalist
             literature (TLS)
             ° Sense (2) tends to sound pretentious. Use found, or base, on.

   pre-empt  (1) To obtain beforehand, secure for oneself in advance, e.g.
             Sound allows the mind an inventive role systematically
             pre-empted by the cinema (Frederic Raphael). (2) To preclude,
             forestall, e.g. The Nazi regime by its own grotesque vileness
             pre-empted fictional effort (Listener).
             ° Sense (2) is better expressed by a verb such as preclude or
             ° Pre-empt is not a synonym for prevent.

   prefer.   The rejected alternative introduced by to, e.g.  Men preferred
             darkness to light (NEB).  But when the rejected alternative is
             an infinitive, it is preceded by rather than (not than alone),
             e.g. I'd prefer to be stung to death rather than to wake
             up...with half of me shot away (John Osborne).

   preferable to
             means 'more desirable than' and is therefore intensified by far,
             greatly, or much, not more, e.g. After a hundred and eighty
             (skips) an unclear head seemed much preferable to more skips
             (Kingsley Amis).

             The alternatives are introduced by for and over, e.g. The
             preference for a single word over a phrase or clause (Anthony
             Burgess); but in preference is followed by to, e.g. Both were
             sensitive to artistic impressions musical in preference to
             plastic or pictorial (James Joyce).

   prejudice (1) = bias, is followed by against or in favour of; (2) =
             detriment, is followed by to; (3) = injury, is followed by of
             (in the phrase to the prejudice of).

   prepared: to be prepared to, to be willing to, has been criticized as
             officialese by some authorities, but is now established usage,
             e.g. One should kill oneself, which, of course, I was not
             prepared to do (Cyril Connolly).

             see perquisite.

             to lay down as a rule be followed; proscribe, to forbid by law.

   presently (1) After a short time, e.g. Presently we left the table and sat
             in the garden-room (Evelyn Waugh). (2) At present, currently,
             e.g. The praise presently being heaped upon him  (The
             ° Sense (2) (for long current in American English) is regarded
             as incorrect by some people but is widely used and often sounds
             more natural than at present.

             (1) Characterized by juggling or magic, delusive, deceptive,
             e.g. The prestigious balancing act which he was constantly
             obliged to perform (TLS):  now rare. (2) Having or showing
             prestige, e.g. A career in pure science is still more socially
             prestigious than one in engineering (The Times): a fully
             acceptable sense.

             to speak or act evasively or misleadingly, e.g. I never have
             told a lie...On many occasions I have resorted to prevarication;
             but on great occasions I have always told the truth (G. B.
             Shaw); procrastinate, to postpone action, e.g.
             Hamlet...pronounces himself a procrastinator, an undecided man,
             even a coward (C. S. Lewis).

   prevent   is followed by the objective case and from + the gerund, or by
             the possessive case + the gerund, e.g. prevent me from going or
             prevent my going.
             ° Prevent me going is informal only.

   ° pre-war as an adverb, in, e.g., Some time pre-war there was a large
             contract out for tender (Daily Telegraph): prefer before the

   pristine  (1) Ancient, original, e.Stone which faithfully reproduced its
             pristine alternations of milk and cream (J. I. M. Stewart). (2)
             Having its original, unspoilt condition, e.g. Pristine snow
             reflects about 90 per cent of incident sunlight (Fred Hoyle).
             ° Pristine does not mean 'spotless', 'pure', or 'fresh'.

             see prevaricate.

   prone     (followed by to) is used like, and means much the same as,
             liable, except that it usually qualifies a personal subject,
             e.g. My literary temperament rendering me especially prone to
             'all that kind of poisonous nonsense' (Cyril Connolly).

             means 'a comparative part, share, or ratio'; it is not a mere
             synonym for part.

             see prescribe.

             the leading character in a story or incident.
             ° In Greek drama there was only one protagonist, but this is no
             reason to debar the use of the word in the plural, e.g.
             We...sometimes mistook a mere supernumerary in a fine dress for
             one of the protagonists (C. S. Lewis).
             ° Do not confuse with proponent:  the word contains the Greek
             prefix prot- 'first', not the prefix pro- 'in favour of', and
             does not mean 'champion, advocate'.

   protest   (verb, transitive) to affirm solemnly, e.g. He barely attempted
             to protest his innocence (George Orwell).
             ° The sense 'protest against', e.g.  in The residents have
             protested the sale, is Amer. only.

   proven.   It is not standard to use this as the ordinary past participle
             of prove in British English (it is standard Scots and Amer.); it
             is, however, common attributively in certain expressions, such
             as of proven ability.

             origin, place of origin, is used in Britain; the form
             provenience is its usual Amer. equivalent.

   prudent,  showing carefulness and foresight, e.g.  It seemed prudent to
             inform him of my plans rather than let him hear about them
             indirectly; prudential, involving or marked by prudence, e.g.
             The humble little outfit of prudential maxims which really
             underlay much of the talk about Shakespeare's characters (C. S.

   pry,      to prise (open, etc.): chiefly Amer., but occasionally in
             British literary use, e.g. For her to pry his fingers open
             (David Garnett).  The normal sense is 'peer' or 'inquire'.

             see billion.

   question  (1) No question that (sometimes but), no doubt that, e.g.  There
             can be no question that the burning of Joan of Arc must have
             been a most instructive and interesting experiment (G. B. Shaw);
             There is no question but Leslie was an unusually handsome boy
             (Anthony Powell).
             (2) No question of, no possibility of, e.g. There can be no
             question of tabulating successes and failures and trying to
             decide whether the successes are too numerous to be accounted
             for by chance (C. S. Lewis).  See also beg the question,leading

   quote     (noun = quotation) is informal only (except in Printing and

   ° re      (in the matter of, referring to) is better avoided and should
             not be used for 'about, concerning'.

   reason.   The reason (why)..is..should be followed by that, not because,
             e.g. The reason why such a suggestion sounds hopeless...is that
             few people are able to imagine the radio being used for the
             dissemination of anything except tripe (George Orwell).

   recoup    (1) (transitive) to recompense (oneself or a person) for (a loss
             or expenditure), e.g. Dixon felt he could recoup himself a
             little for the expensiveness of the drinks (Kingsley Amis); also
             to recoup one's losses; (2) (intransitive) to make good one's
             loss, e.g. I had...acquired so many debts that if I didn't
             return to England to recoup, we might have to run for it (Chaim
             ° This word is not synonymous with recuperate except partly in
             sense (2) above ('to make good one's loss').

             (1) (intransitive) to recover from exhaustion, ill-health,
             financial loss, etc., e.g. I've got a good mind...to put all my
             winnings on red and give him a chance to recuperate (Graham
             Greene); (2) (transitive) to recover (health, a loss, material).
             In sense (2) recover is preferable.

   redolent, smelling of something, e.g. Corley's breath redolent of rotten
             cornjuice (James Joyce); also used figuratively to mean
             'strongly suggestive or reminiscent of', e.g.  The missive most
             redolent of money and sex (Martin Amis).

             ° For the plural, referendums is preferable to referenda.

   refute,   to prove (a statement, opinion, accusation, etc.), to be false,
             e.g. The case against most of them must have been so easily
             refuted that they could hardly rank as suspects (Rebecca West);
             to prove (a person) to be in error, e.g. One of those German
             scholars whose function is to be refuted in a footnote (Frederic
             ° Refute does not mean 'deny' or 'repudiate' (an allegation

   regalia   is a plural noun, meaning 'emblems of royalty or of an order'.
             It has no singular in ordinary English.

   region:   in the region of, unwieldy periphrasis for roundabout, is better

   register office
             is the official term for the institution informally often called
             the registry office.

             in a regretful manner; regrettably, it is to be regretted
             ° Regretfully should not be used where regrettably is intended:
             The investigators, who must regretfully remain anonymous (TLS),
             reads as a guess at the investigators' feelings instead of an
             expression of the writer's opinion, which was what was intended.
             The influence of hopefully (2) may be discernible here.

   renege    (intransitive), to fail to fulfil an agreement or undertaking,
             is usually constructed with on, e.g.  It...reneged on Britain's
             commitment to the East African Asians (The Times).

   resource  is often confused with recourse and resort. Resource means (1) a
             reserve upon which one can draw (often used in the plural); (2)
             an action or procedure to which one can turn in difficulty, an
             expedient; (3) mental capabilities for amusing oneself, etc.
             (often used in the plural, e.g. Left to his own resources); (4)
             ability to deal with a crisis, e.g. A man of infinite resource.
             Recourse means the action of turning to a possible source of
             help; frequently in the phrases have recourse to, without
             recourse to. Resort means (1) the action of turning to a
             possible source of help ( = recourse; but resorting is more
             usual than resort after without); frequently in the phrase in
             the last resort, as a last expedient, in the end; (2) a thing to
             which one can turn in difficulty.

   responsible for
             (1) Liable to be called to account for, e.g. I'm not responsible
             for what uncle Percy does (E. M. Forster).
             (2) Obliged to take care of or carry out, e.g. Both they and the
             singers, who were responsible for their respective duties (NEB).
             (3) Being the cause of, e.g. A war-criminal responsible for so
             many unidentified deaths (Graham Greene).
             ° Beware of using senses (1) or (2) in expressions in which
             sense (3) can be understood, with absurd results, e.g. Now, as
             Secretary for Trade, he is directly responsible for pollution
             (The Times).

   restive   (1) Unmanageable, rejecting control, obstinate, e.g. The
             I.L.P....had been increasingly restive during the second Labour
             government, and now, refusing to accept Labour-party discipline
             in the house of commons, voluntarily disaffiliated from the
             Labour party (A. J. P.  Taylor).
             (2) Restless, fidgety, e.g.  The audiences were not bad, though
             apt to be restive and noisy at the back (J. B. Priestley).
             ° Sense (2) is objected to by some authorities but is quite
             commonly used by good writers.

   revenge:  one revenges oneself or a wrong (on an offender); one is
             revenged (for a wrong): the noun is revenge, and the idea is
             usually of satisfaction of the offended party's resentment. Cf.

   reverend, deserving reverence; reverent, showing reverence. (The) Revd,
             plural Revds, is the abbreviation of Reverend as a clergy title
             (not Rev.).

   reversal  is the noun corresponding to the verb reverse; reversion is the
             noun corresponding to the verb revert.

   same.     ° It is non-standard to use the phrase same as as a kind of
             conjunction meaning 'in the same way as, just as', e.g. But I
             shouldn't be able to serve them personally, same as I do now (L.
             P. Hartley).
             ° The phrase same like, used for just like or in the same way
             as, is illiterate, e.g. I have rich friends, same like you (Iris

   sanction  (verb) to give approval to, to authorize, e.g. This council
             sanctioned the proclamation of a state of war with Germany from
             11 p.m. (A. J. P. Taylor).
             ° It does not mean 'impose sanctions on'.

   sc.       (short for Latin scilicet = scire licet one is permitted to
             know) introduces (1) a word to be supplied, e.g. He asserted
             that he had met him (sc. the defendant) on that evening, or (2)
             a word to be substituted for one already used, in order to
             render an expression intelligible, e.g. 'I wouldn't of (sc.
             have) done' was her answer.

   scabrous  (1) (In Botany and Zoology) having a rough surface. (2)
             Encrusted with dirt, grimy, e.g. The streaky green distempered
             walls and the scabrous wooden W.C. seat (John Braine). (3)
             Risqu‚, salacious, indecent, e.g. Silly and scabrous titters
             about Greek pederasty (C. S.  Lewis).
             ° Scabrous does not mean 'scathing, abusive, scurrilous'.

   scarify,  to loosen the surface of (soil, etc.); to make slight cuts in
             (skin, tissue) surgically.
             ° The verb scarify (pronounced scare-ify) 'scare, terrify', e.g.
             To be on the brink of a great happiness is a scarifying feeling
             (Noel Coward), is informal only.

   scenario  (1) An outline of the plof a play. (2) A film script giving
             details of scenes, stage-directions, etc. (3) An outline of an
             imagined (usually future) sequence of events, e.g. Several of
             the computer 'scenarios' include a catastrophic and sudden
             collapse of population (Observer).
             ° Sense (3) is valid when a detailed narrative of events that
             might happen under certain conditions is denoted. The word
             should not be used as a loose synonym for scene, situation,
             circumstance, etc.

   scilicet: see sc.

   Scottish  is now the usual adjective; Scotch is restricted to a fairly
             large number of fixed expressions, e.g. Scotch broth, egg,
             whisky; Scots is used mainly for the Scottish dialect of
             English, in the names of regiments, and in Scotsman, Scotswoman
             (Scotchman, -woman are old-fashioned ). To designate the
             inhabitants of Scotland, the plural noun Scots is normal.

             suitable for the time of year, occurring at the right time or
             season, opportune; unseasonable occurring at the wrong time or
             season, e.g. You are apt to be pressed to drink a glass of
             vinegary port at an unseasonable hour (Somerset Maugham).
             ° Do not confuse with seasonal, occurring at or associated with
             a particular season, e.g. There is a certain seasonal tendency
             to think better of the Government...in spring (The Economist)

   senior, superior
             are followed by to. They contain the idea of 'more' (advanced in
             years, exalted in position, etc.) and so cannot be constructed
             with more...than, e.g.  There are several officers senior, or
             superior in rank, to him, not... more senior, or more superior
             in rank, than him.

             ability to feel, sensitiveness, delicacy of feeling, e.g. The
             man's moving fingers...showed no sign of acute sensibility
             (Graham Greene).
             ° Sensibility is not the noun corresponding to sensible meaning
             'having good sense'; i.e. it does not mean 'possession of good

   sensual,  gratifying to the body; indulging oneself with physical
             pleasures, showing that one does this, e.g. His sensual eye took
             in her slim feminine figure (Angus Wilson); sensuous, affecting
             or appealing to the senses (without the pejorative implications
             of sensual), e.g. I got up and ran about the...meadow in my bare
             feet. I remember the sensuous pleasure of it (C. Day Lewis).

             the making of pleasant discoveries by accident, or the knack or
             fact of doing this; the adjective (usually applied to a
             discovery, event, fact, etc.) is serendipitous.
             ° Serendipitous does not mean merely 'fortunate'.

   sic       (Latin for thus) is placed in brackets after a word that appears
             odd or erroneous to show that the word is quoted exactly as it
             stands in the original, e.g. Daisy Ashford's novel The Young
             Visiters (sic).

   sick      see ill.

   ° sit, stand.
             The use of the past participle sat, stood with the verb to be,
             meaning to be sitting, standing, is non-standard, e.g. No
             really, I'd be sat there falling asleep if I did come (Kingsley

   situation A useful noun for expressing the sense 'position of affairs,
             combination of circumstances' which may validly be preceded by a
             defining adjective, e.g. the financial, industrial, military,
             political, situation.
             ° The substitution of an attributive noun for an adjective
             before situation should be carefully considered. It should not
             be used when the resulting phrase will be tautologous (e.g. a
             crisis situation, people in work situations: crises and work are
             themselves situations). The placing of an attributive phrase
             before situation is nearly always ugly and should be avoided,
             e.g. The deep space situation, a balance-of-terror situation, a
             standing credit situation.
             ° The combination of ongoing with situation is a clich‚ to be

   sled      is Amer. for sledge; sleigh is a sledge for passengers that is
             drawn by horses (or reindeer).

   so        used adverbially as a means of linking two clauses and meaning
             'therefore' may be preceded by and but need not be; e.g. Leopold
             Bloom is a modern Ulysses, so he has to encounter Sirens and a
             Cyclops (Anthony Burgess); I had received no word from Martha
             all day, so I was drawn back to the casino (Graham Greene).

   so-called (1) has long been used in the sense 'called by this term, but
             not entitled to it'; (2) is now often used quite neutrally,
             without implication of incorrectness, especially in Science.

   sort of   see kind of.

             except for its use in Law, is an equivalent of speciality
             restricted to North America.

   spectate, to be a spectator, is at best informal.
             ° Watch is usually an adequate substitute, e.g. in A spectating,
             as opposed to a reading, audience (Listener).

   strata    is the plural of stratum.
             ° It is incorrect to treat it as a singular noun, e.g. in The
             movement has...sunk to a wider and more anonymous strata.

   style.    (1) Adjective + -style used to qualify a noun, e.g. European-
             style clothing, contemporary-style dancing, is acceptable.
             (2) Adjective or noun + -style, forming an adverb, is somewhat
             informal, e.g. A revolution, British-style (A. J. P. Taylor).

             actually existing; real value; of solid material; having much
             property; in essentials; e.g. substantial damages, progress; a
             substantial house, yeoman; substantial agreement.
             ° It is not merely a synonym of large.

             (adjective) is used mainly in technical senses; e.g.
             substantive rank, in the services, is permanent, not acting or

             (verb) to put (someone or something) in place of another:
             constructed with for; e.g. Democracy substitutes election by the
             incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few (G. B.
             ° The sense 'replace (someone or something) by or with another'
             is incorrect, or at best highly informal, e.g. in Having
             substituted her hat with a steel safety helmet, she went on a
             tour of the site (better, Having replaced her hat...with or
             Having substituted a steel safety helmet for...)

   such as   see like.

   superior  see senior

             hypothetical, conjectural; supposititious, fraudulently
             substituted (especially of a child displacing a real heir), e.g.
             Russia is the supposititious child of necessity in the household
             of theory (H. G. Wells).

             (transitive), to make to occur at the same time, e.g.  Everyday
             cordialities would be synchronized with gazes of rapt ardour
             (Martin Amis).
             ° It is not a synonym for combine or co-ordinate.

   than      see
             other than,

             see hopefully.

   the       (article). When a name like The Times or The Hague is used
             attributively, The is dropped, e.g.  A Times correspondent, Last
             year's Hague conference. If the precedes the name in such a
             construction, it belongs to the succeeding noun, not to the
             name, and is therefore not given a capital initial (or italics),
             e.g. A report from the Times correspondent.

   the       (adverb) prefixed to a comparative means 'thereby' or 'by so
             much', e.g. What student is the better for mastering these
             futile distinctions? This combination can enter into the further
             construction seen in The more the merrier (i.e. 'by how much
             more, by that much merrier'). It cannot enter into a
             construction with than: the tendency to insert it before more
             and less (putting any the more, none the less for anymore, no
             less) should be resisted, e.g. in The intellectual release had
             been no less (not none the less) marked than the physical.

   then      may be used as an adjective preceding a noun as a neat
             alternative to at that time or similar phrase, e.g. Hearing that
             they were on personal terms with the then Prime Minister
             (Frederic Raphael).
             ° It should not be placed before the noun if it would sound
             equally well in its usual position, e.g.  Harold Macmillan was
             the then Prime Minister could equally well be was then the Prime
             Minister. The same applies to an adverbial use of then before
             attributive adjectives, e.g.  The then existing constitution:
             write The constitution then existing.

   there-    adverbs, e.g. therein, thereon, thereof, etc., belong mainly to
             very formal diction and should be avoided in ordinary writing
             (apart from certain idiomatic adverbs, e.g. thereabouts,
             thereby, thereupon); e.g. We did not question this reasoning,
             and there lay our mistake (Evelyn Waugh): a lesser writer might
             have written therein. But such adverbs can be employed for
             special effectiveness, e.g. This idea brought him rocketing back
             to earth. But he stood thereupon like a giant (Iris Murdoch).

   through,  up to and including, e.g. Friday through Tuesday, though useful,
             is Amer. only.

   too       followed by an adjective used attributively should be confined
             to poetry or special effects in prose, e.g. Metropolis, that
             too-great city (W. H. Auden); A small too-pretty house (Graham
             ° In normal prose it is a clumsy construction, e.g.  The crash
             came during a too-tight loop.

             and fine tooth-comb, arising from a misapprehension of
             fine-tooth comb, are now established expressions whose
             illogicality it is pedantic to object to.

   tortuous, torturous.
             Do not confuse:  tortuous means (1) twisting, e.g.  Through
             tortuous lanes where the overhanging boughs whipped the
             windscreen (Evelyn Waugh); (2) devious, e.g. Control had his
             reasons; they were usually so bloody tortuous it took you a week
             to work them out (John le Carr‚). Torturous means 'involving
             torture, excruciating', e.g. Torturously original inlay-work

             surpassing (e.g. Of transcendent importance), (of God) above and
             distinct from the universe, e.g. Such transcendent power does
             not come from us, but is God's alone (NEB); transcendental,
             visionary, idealistic, beyond experience, etc., e.g. Most of
             those who have been near death have also described some kind of
             mystical or transcendental experience (British Medical Journal).
             (Other more technical senses of each word are ignored here.)

   transpire (figuratively): (1) To leak out, come to be known, e.g.  What
             had transpired concerning that father was not so reassuring
             (John Galsworthy). (2) To come about, take place, e.g. What
             transpired between them is unknown (David Cecil).
             ° Sense (2), probably arising from the misunderstanding of
             sentences like 'What had transpired during his absence he did
             not know', is chiefly informal. It is regarded by many people as
             unacceptable, especially if the idea of something emerging from
             ignorance is absent: it should therefore not be used in
             sentences like A storm transpired.

   trillion  see billion.

             of or celebrating a triumph, e.g. A triumphal arch; triumphant,
             conquering, exultant.

   try       (verb) in writing normally followed by the to- infinitive: try
             and + bare infinitive is informal.

   turbid    (1) thick, dense; (2) confused, disordered, e.g. In an access of
             despair had sought death in the turbid Seine (W. Somerset
             Turgid (1) swollen; (2) (of language) inflated, grandiloquent,
             e.g. Some of them are turgid, swollen with that kind of
             intellectual bombast which never rises to gusto (G. H. Vallins).

   underlay  (verb) (past underlaid) to lay something under (a thing), e.g.
             Underlaid the tiles with felt: a somewhat rare verb; underlie
             (past tense underlay, past participle underlain) to lie under;
             to be the basis of; to exist beneath the surface of, e.g. The
             arrogance that underlay their cool good manners (Doris Lessing).

             not ambiguous, unmistakable; similarly unequivocally adverb,
             e.g. Made her intentions unequivocally clear.
             ° The forms unequivocable, -ably, sometimes seen, are erroneous.

   unexceptionable, -al
             see exceptionable.

   unique    (1) Being the only one of its kind, e.g. The fighting quality
             that gives war its unique power over the imagination (G. B.
             Shaw): in this sense unique cannot be qualified by adverbs like
             absolutely, most, quite, so, thoroughly, etc. (2) Unusual,
             remarkable, singular, e.g. A passionate human insight so unique
             in her experience that she felt it to be unique in human
             experience (Muriel Spark).
             ° Sense (2) is regarded by many people as incorrect. Substitute
             one of the synonyms given above, or whatever other adjective is

   unlike    (adverb) may govern a noun, noun phrase, or pronoun, just as
             like may, e.g. A sarcasm unlike ordinary sarcasm (V. S.
             Pritchett).  It may not govern a clause with or without ellipsis
             of the verb, e.g.  He was unlike he had ever been; Unlike in
             countries of lesser economic importance.

   ° various cannot be used as a pronoun followed by of (as, for example,
             several can), as (wrongly) in The two ministers...concerned have
             been paying private visits to various of the Commonwealth

   venal,    able to be bribed, influenced by bribery; venial, pardonable.

   vengeance see avenge.

   verbal    (1) of or in words; (2) of a verb; (3) spoken rather than
             ° Some people reject sense (3) as illogical and prefer oral.
             However, verbal is the usual term in a number of idioms, such as
             verbal communication, contract, evidence.

   verge     (verb) in verge on, upon, to border on, e.g. He told two or
             three stories verging on the improper (John Galsworthy), is in
             origin a different word from verge in verge to, towards to
             incline towards, approach, e.g. The London docks, where
             industrial disputes always verged towards violence (A. J. P.
             Taylor). Both are acceptable.

   vermin    is usually treated as plural, e.g. A lot of parasites, vermin
             who feed on God's love and charity (Joyce Cary).

   via       (1) By way of (a place), e.g. To London via Reading. (2) By
             means of, through the agency of, e.g. Other things can...be
             taught...via the air, via television, via teaching machines, and
             so on (E. F.  Schumacher); I sent it via my secretary.
             ° Sense (2) is sometimes criticized, but is certainly acceptable
             in informal use.

   waive     to refrain from using or insisting on, to forgo or dispense
             with, e.g. The satisfaction...of waiving the rights which my
             preaching gives me (NEB).
             ° Do not confuse this with wave, chiefly in conjunction with
             aside, away, as (wrongly) in But the Earl simply waived the
             subject away with his hand (Trollope).

   want, need
             (verbs) in the sense 'require' can be followed (1) by a gerund
             as object, e.g. Your hair needs or wants cutting or (2) by an
             object and a past participle as complement to the object (with
             the verb 'to be' omitted), e.g. We want or need this changed.
             ° The idiom We want or need this changing (perhaps a mixture of
             the two constructions, but having the sense of (2)) is informal

   well      is joined by a hyphen to following participle when the
             combination is used attributively, e.g. A well-worn argument.
             Predicatively a hyphen is not necessary unless the combination
             is to be distinguished in meaning from the two words written
             separately, e.g. He is well-spoken but The words were well

   what ever, when ever, where ever:
             see ever.

   whence    meaning 'from where'. does not need to be preceded by from.

   who ever  see ever.

   whoever,  any one who, no matter who:  use whoever for the objective case
             as well as the subjective, rather than whomever, which is rather

   -wise     (suffix) added to nouns (1) forming adverbs of manner, is very
             well established, but is now, except in fixed expressions like
             clockwise, rather literary or poetic, e.g. The Saint wears tight
             yellow trousers...and is silkily shaven Romanwise (TLS); (2)
             forming viewpoint adverbs (meaning 'as regards--'), e.g. I can
             eat only Cox's Orange Pippins, and am in mourning applewise from
             April to October (Iris Murdoch).
             ° (2) is widely regarded as unacceptable in formal usage.
             ° Adverbs of type (2) are formed on nouns only, not on
             adjectives: hence sentences like The ratepayers would have to
             shoulder an extra burden financial-wise are incorrect
             (substitute...burden finance-wise or financial burden).

   ° without = 'unless' is illiterate, e.g. Without you have a bit of class
             already, your town gets no new theatre (Listener).
             See also hardly.

   womankind is better than womenkind (cf.mankind).

   worth while
             is usually written as two words predicatively, but as one
             attributively, e.g. He thought it worth while, or a worthwhile
             undertaking, to publish the method.

   write     (to compose a letter) with indirect personal object, e.g. I will
             write you about it, is not acceptable British English (but is
             good Amer. English).

4.0 Grammar

           Language is an instrument for communication. The language which
           can with the greatest ease make the finest and most numerous
           distinctions of meaning is the best.
                    (C. S. Lewis, Studies in Words)

   THIS section deals with specific problems of grammar; it makes no attempt
   at a systematic exposition of English syntax.

   It is notoriously difficult to find convenient labels for many of the
   topics on which guidance is needed. Wherever possible. the headings chosen
   for the entries are, or include, the words which actually cause
   grammatical problems (e.g. as, may or might).  Some headings include the
   grammatical endings involved (e.g.  -ing). But inevitably many entries
   have had to be given abstract labels (e.g. double passive, subjunctive).
   To compensate for this, a number of cross-references are included, by
   which the user can find a way to the required entry.  The aim throughout
   is to tackle a particular problem immediately and to give a recommendation
   as soon as the problem has been identified.  Explanations entailing wider
   grammatical principles are postponed or even omitted.

4.1 adverbial relative clauses

   A relative clause, expressing time, manner, or place, can follow a noun
   governed by a preposition (on the day in the example below):

   On the day that you eat from it, you will certainly die (NEB)

   It is possible for the relative clause to begin with the same preposition
   and which, e.g.

         On the day on which this occurred, I was away

   But it is a perfectly acceptable idiom to use a relative clause introduced
   by that without repetition of the preposition, especially after the nouns
   day, morning, night, time, year, etc., manner, sense, way (see way,
   relative clause following), place, e.g.

   Envy in the consuming sense that certain persons display
   the trait (Anthony Powell)

   It is, if anything, even more usual for that to be omitted:

   He cannot have been more than thirty at the time we met him
   (Evelyn Waugh)
   If he would take it in the sense she meant it (L. P. Hartley)
   On the day you pass over the Jordan (NEB)

4.2 adverbs without -ly

   Most adverbs consist of an adjective + the ending -ly, e.g. badly,
   differently. For the changes in spelling that the addition of -ly may
   require, see -ly.

   Normally the use of the ordinary adjective as an adverb, without -ly, is
   non-standard, e.g.

      I was sent for special
      The Americans speak different from us
      They just put down their tools sudden and cut and run

   There are, however, a number of words which are both adjective and adverb
   and cannot add the adverbial ending -ly:

      early         fast      much
      enough        little    straight
      far           low

   Some other adjectives can be used as adverbs both with and without -ly.
   The two forms have different meanings:

      deep          high      near
      hard          late

   The forms without -ly are the adverbs more closely similar in meaning to
   the adjectives, as the following examples illustrate:

    deep: Still waters run deep
          He read deep into the night

    hard: They hit me hard in the chest
          He lost his hard-earned money
          We will be hard put to it to be ready by Christmas

    high: It soared high above us
          Don't fix your hopes too high

    late: I will stay up late to finish it
          A drawing dated as late as 1960

    near: He won't come near me
          As near as makes no difference
          Near-famine conditions

   The forms with -ly have meanings more remote from those of the adjectives:

    deeply is chiefly figurative, e.g. Deeply in love
    hardly = 'scarcely', e.g. He hardly earned his money
    highly is chiefly figurative, e.g. Don't value possessions too highly
    lately = 'recently', e.g. I have been very tired lately
    nearly = 'almost', e.g. The conditions were nearly those of a famine

   ° The forms with and without -ly are not interchangeable and should not be

   See also -lily adverbs

4.3 article, omission of

   To omit, or not to omit, a (an) and the?

   Omission of the definite or indefinite article before a noun or noun
   phrase in apposition to a name is a journalistic device, e.g.

   Clarissa, American business woman, comes to England
   (Radio Times)
   Nansen, hero and humanitarian, moves among them
   (The Times)

   It is more natural to write an American business woman, the hero and

   Similarly, when the name is in apposition to the noun or noun phrase, and
   the article is omitted, the effect is of journalistic style, e.g.

   NUM President Arthur Scargill
   Best-selling novelist Barbara Cartland
   Unemployed labourer William Smith

   Preferably write: The NUM President, The best-selling novelist, An
   unemployed labourer (with a comma before and after the name which

   After as it is possible to omit a or the, e.g.

   As manipulator of words, the author reminded me of X.Y.
   The Soviet system could no longer be regarded as sole model for
   Communism everywhere

   It is preferable not to omit these words, however, except where the noun
   or noun phrase following is treated as a kind of generic mass noun, e.g.

   The vivid relation between himself, as man, and the sunflower, as
   sunflower (D. H. Lawrence)

4.4 as, case following

   In the following sentences, formal usage requires the subjective case (I,
   he, she, we, they) because the pronoun would be the subject if a verb were

   You are just as intelligent as he (in full, as he is)
   Widmerpool...might not have heard the motif so often as I (Anthony
   Powell) (in full, as I had

   Informal usage permits You are just as intelligent as him.

   Formal English uses the objective case (me, him, her, us, them) only when
   the pronoun would be the object if a verb were supplied:

   I thought you preferred John to Mary, but I see that you like
   her just as much as him (which means...just as much as you like him)

   In real usage, sentences like this are rare and not very natural. It is
   more usual for the verb to be included in the sentence or for the thought
   to be expressed in a different construction.

4.5 as if, as though

   For the tense following these see as if, as though.

4.6 auxiliary verbs

   There are sixteen auxiliary verbs in English, three primary auxiliaries
   (used in the compounding of ordinary verbs) and thirteen modal auxiliaries
   (used to express mood, and, to some extent, tense).

   Primary: be, do, have

   Modal:   can         ought (to)
            could       shall
            dare        should
            may         used (to)
            might       will
            must        would

   Auxiliaries differ from regular verbs in the following ways:

   1.  They can precede the negative not, instead of taking the do not
       construction, e.g. I cannot but I do not know;

   2.  They can precede the subject in questions, instead of taking the do
       construction, e.g. Can you hear but Do you know.

       The modal auxiliaries additionally differ from regular verbs in the
       following ways:

   3.  They are invariable: they do not add -s for the third person present,
       and do not form a separate past tense in -ed; e.g. He must go; he must
       have seen it.

   4.  They are usually followed by the bare infinitive; e.g. He will go, he
       can go (not 'to go' as with other verbs, e.g.  He intends to go, he is
       able to go).

   Use of auxiliaries

   In reported speech and some other that-clauses can, may, shall, and will
   become could, might, should, and would for the past tense:

   He said that he could do it straight away
   I told you that I might arrive unexpectedly
   I knew that when I grew up I should be a writer (George Orwell)
   Did you think that the money you brought would be enough?

   In clauses of this kind, the auxiliaries must, need, and ought, which
   normally refer to the present tense, can also be used for the past tense:

   I had meant to return direct to Paris, but this business...meant that
   I must go to London (Evelyn Waugh)
   To go to church had made her feel she need not reproach herself for
   impropriety ( V. S. Pritchett)
   She was quite aware that she ought not to quarter Freddy there
   (G. B. Shaw)

   Note that this use is restricted to that-clauses. It would not be
   permissible to use must, need, or ought for the past tense in a main
   sentence; for example, one could not say:  Yesterday I must go.

   Further discussion of the use of auxiliary verbs will be found under

       "can and may" in topic 4.8,
       "dare" in topic 4.15,
       "have" in topic 4.21,
       "need" in topic 4.33,
       "ought" in topic 4.37,
       "shall and will" in topic 4.43,
       "should and would" in topic 4.44,
       "used to" in topic 4.56,
       "were or was" in topic 4.58.

4.7 but, case following

   The personal pronoun following but (= 'except') should be in the case it
   would have if a verb were supplied.

   I walked through the mud of the main street. Who but I? (Kipling)
   Our uneducated brethren who have, under God, no defence but us
   (C. S. Lewis)

   In the Kipling example I is used because it would be the subject of I
   walked. In the Lewis example us is used because it would be the object of
   who have (i.e. 'who have us as their only defence').

4.8 can and may

   The auxiliary verbs can and may are both used to express permission, but
   may is more formal and polite:

   I'm going to come and see you some time--may I?
   (Evelyn Waugh)

4.9 collective nouns

   Collective nouns are singular words that denote many individuals, e.g.

   board (of directors)
   party (body of persons)
   union (i.e. trade union)

   the aristocracy       the laity
   the bourgeoisie       the nobility
   the Cabinet           the proletariat
   the clergy            the public
   the elit‚             the upper class
   the gentry            the working class
   the intelligentsia

   It is normal for collective nouns, being singular, to be followed by
   singular verbs and pronouns (is, has, consists, and it in the examples

   The Government is determined to beat inflation, as it has promised
   Their family is huge: it consists of five boys and three girls
   The bourgeoisie is despised for not being proletarian (C. S. Lewis)

   The singular verb and pronouns are preferable unless the collective is
   clearly and unmistakably used to refer to separate individuals rather than
   to a united body, e.g.

   The Cabinet has made its decision, but
   The Cabinet are resuming their places around the table at Number
   10 Downing Street
   The Brigade of Guards is on parade, but
   The Brigade of Guards are above average height

   The singular should always be used if the collective noun is qualified by
   a singular word like this, that, every, etc.:

   This family is divided
   Every team has its chance to win

   If a relative clause follows, it must be which + singular verb or who +
   plural verb, e.g.

   It was not the intelligentsia, but just intellectual society, which was
   gathered there (John Galsworthy)
   The working party who had been preparing the decorations
    (Evelyn Waugh)

   ° Do not mix singular and plural, as (wrongly) in

   The congregation were now dispersing.
   It tended to form knots and groups

4.10 comparison of adjectives and adverbs

   Whether to use -er, -est or more, most.

   The two ways of forming the comparative and superlative of adjectives and
   adverbs are:

       a.  The addition of the comparative and superlative suffixes -er and
           -est (for spelling changes that may be required see  p. 18).
           Monosyllabic adjectives and adverbs almost always require these
           suffixes, e.g.

           big (bigger, biggest),
           soon (sooner, soonest),

           and so normally do many adjectives of two syllables, e.g.

           narrow (narrower, narrowest),
           silly (sillier, silliest).

       b.  The placing of the comparative and superlative adverbs more and
           most before the adjective or adverb.  These are used with
           adjectives of three syllables or more (e.g. difficult, memorable),
           participles (e.g. bored, boring), many adjectives of two syllables
           (e.g. afraid, awful, childish, harmless, static), and adverbs
           ending in -ly (e.g. highly, slowly).

   Adjectives with two syllables vary between the use of the suffixes and of
   the adverbs.

   There are many which never take the suffixes, e.g.

   antique    breathless    futile
   bizarre    constant      steadfast

   There is also a large class which are acceptable with either, e.g.

   clever    handsome    polite
   common    honest      solemn
   cruel     pleasant    tranquil

   The choice is largely a matter of style. Some examples will show how much
   variation there is in literary English.

   With the suffixes:

   An attitude of completest indifference (George Orwell)
   The extremest forms of anti-Semitism (Lewis Namier)
   You are so much honester than I am (Iris Murdoch)
   Now the stupidest of us knows (C. S. Lewis)

   With the adverbs:

   I was a bit more clever than the other lads (Angus Wilson)
   The most solemn of Jane Austen's beaux (Iris Murdoch)
   Those periods which we think most tranquil (C. S. Lewis)

   With a mixture in one sentence:

   Only the dirtiest and most tipsy of cooks (Evelyn Waugh)

   Even monosyllabic adjectives can sometimes take more and most:

   (i) When two adjectives are compared with each other, e.g.

   More dead than alive
   More good than bad
   More well-known than popular

   This is standard (we would not say 'better than bad' or 'better-known than

   (ii) Occasionally, for stylistic reasons, e.g.

   I am the more bad because I realize where my badness lies
   (L. P. Hartley)
   This was never more true than at present

   (iii) Thoughtlessly, e.g.

   Facts that should be more well known
   The most well-dressed man in town
   Wimbledon will be yet more hot tomorrow

   ° These are not acceptable: substitute better known, best dressed, and

4.11 comparisons

   Comparisons between two persons or things require the comparative (-er or
   more) in constructions like the following:

   I cannot tell which of the two is the elder (not eldest)
   Of the two teams, they are the slower-moving (not slowest-moving)

   The superlative is of course used when more than two are compared.

4.12 compound subject

   A subject consisting of two singular nouns or noun phrases joined by and
   normally takes a plural verb:

   My son and daughter are twins
   Where to go and what to see were my main concern

   If one half of the subject is the pronoun I or the pronoun you, and the
   other is a noun or third person singular pronoun (he, she, or it), or if
   the subject is you and I the verb must be plural.

   He and I are good friends
   Do my sister and I look alike?
   You and your mother have similar talents
   You and l are hardly acquainted

   But if the phrase containing and represents a single item, it is followed
   by a singular verb:

   The bread and butter was scattered on the floor
   (W. Somerset Maugham)

   And similarly if the two parts of the subject refer to a single

   His friend and legal adviser, John Smith, was present
   My son and heir is safe!

   See also "neither...nor" in topic 4.34 and "subjects joined by (either...)
   or" in topic 4.48

4.13 co-ordination

   The linking of two main clauses by a comma alone, without any connecting
   conjunction, is sometimes said to be incorrect. It is on occasion used by
   good writers, however, as the examples show. It should be regarded as
   acceptable if used sparingly.

   The peasants possess no harrows, they merely plough the soil
   several times over (George Orwell)
   Charles carried a mackintosh over his arm, he was stooping a
   little (C. P. Snow)
   I began to wonder when the Presidential Candidate would appear,
   he must have had a heavy handicap (Graham Greene)

4.14 correlative conjunctions

   The correct placing of the pairs

   both...and                  neither...nor
   either...or                 not only...but (also)

   A sentence containing any of these pairs must be so constructed that the
   part of the sentence introduced by the first member of the pair (both,
   either, neither, or not only) is parallel in structure to the part
   introduced by the second member (and, or, neither, or but (also)).

   The rule is that if one covers up the two correlative words and all the
   words between them, the remaining sentence should still be grammatical.

   The following sentence from a typical newspaper advertisement illustrates
   this rule:

   Candidates will have a background in either commercial electronics
   or university research

   Because in precedes either, it need not be repeated after or. If it had
   followed either, it would have had to be inserted after or as well. But
   the sentence as given is the most economical structure possible.

   In the following example the preposition of comes after either and must
   therefore be repeated after or:

   He did not wish to pay the price either of peace
   or of war (George Orwell)

   This conforms with the rule stated above, while perhaps sounding better
   than of either peace or war (which would be as good grammatically).

   It is, however, not uncommon for the conjunctions to be placed so that the
   two halves are not quite parallel, even in the writings of careful
   authors, e.g.

   I end neither with a death nor a marriage
   (W. Somerset Maugham)
   People who either hadn't been asked to pay or
   who were simply not troubling themselves (V. S. Pritchett)

   In the first example, with belongs to both halves and needs to be repeated
   after nor. In the second, who precedes either and strictly need not be
   repeated after or.

   These sentences exhibit fairly trivial slips that rarely cause difficulty
   (except in the case of not only:  see only in topic 3.0.

   ° A more serious error is the placing of the first correlative conjunction
   too late, so that words belonging only to the first half are carried over
   to the second, resulting in a grammatical muddle, e.g.

   The other Exocet was either destroyed or blew up (BBC News)

   This should be carefully avoided.

4.15 dare

   The verb to dare can be used either like a regular verb or like an
   auxiliary verb. Either use is entirely acceptable (though in a particular
   context, one may sound better than the other).

   As an ordinary verb it forms such parts as:

   I dare           I do not dare          do I dare?
   he dares         he does not dare       does he dare?
   he dared         he did not dare        did he dare?
   I would dare     I have dared

   As an auxiliary verb it forms:

   I dare not          he dared not
   he dare not         dared he?
   dare he?

   The first use, as an ordinary verb, is always acceptably followed by the
   to-infinitive, e.g.

   I knew what I would find if I dared to look (Jean Rhys)
   James did not dare to carry out the sentence (Frederic Raphael)

   But many of the forms can also be followed by the bare infinitive.  This
   sometimes sounds more natural:

   None of which they'd dare go near (John Osborne)
   Don't you dare put that light on (Shelagh Delaney)

   The second use, as an auxiliary verb, normally requires the bare
   infinitive, e.g.

   How dare he keep secrets from me? (G. B. Shaw)
   He dared not risk being carried past his destination
   (C. S. Forester)

4.16 double passive

   The construction whereby a passive infinitive directly follows a passive
   verb is correctly used in the following:

   The prisoners were ordered to be shot
   This music is intended to be played on a piano

   The rule is that if the subject and the first passive verb can be changed
   into the active, leaving the passive infinitive intact, the sentence is
   correctly formed. The examples above (if a subject, say he, is supplied)
   can be changed back to:

   He ordered the prisoners to be shot
   He intends this music to be played on a piano

   In other words, the passive infinitive is not part of the passive
   construction. An active infinitive could equally well be part of the
   sentence, e.g.

   The prisoners were ordered to march

   The examples below violate the rule because both the passive verb and the
   passive infinitive have to be made active in order to form a grammatical

   The order was attempted to be carried out
   (active: He attempted to carry out the order)

   A new definition was sought to be inserted in the Bill
   (active: He sought to insert a new definition in the Bill)

   This 'double passive' construction is unacceptable.

   The passive of the verbs to fear and to say can be followed by either an
   active or a passive infinitive, e.g.

   (i) The passengers are feared to have drowned
   The escaped prisoner is said to be very dangerous


   (ii) The passengers are feared to have been killed
   The escaped prisoner is said to have been sighted

   The construction at (ii) is not the double passive and is entirely
   acceptable. Both constructions are sometimes found with other verbs of
   saying (e.g. to allege, to assert, to imply):

   Morris demonstrated that Mr Elton was obviously implied to be
   impotent (David Lodge)

4.17 either...or:

   see "subjects joined by (either...) or" in topic 4.48.

4.18 either (pronoun)

   Either is a singular pronoun and should be followed by a singular verb:

   Enormous evils, either of which depends on somebody
   else's voice (Louis MacNeice)

   In the following example the plural verb accords with the notional meaning
   'both parents were not'.

   It was improbable that either of our parents were giving
   thought to the matter (J. I. M. Stewart)

   This is quite common in informal usage, but should not be carried over
   into formal prose.

4.19 gender of indefinite expressions

   It is often uncertain what personal pronoun should be used to refer back
   to the indefinite pronouns and adjectives in the following list:

   any               everybody
   anybody           everyone
   anyone            no (+ noun)
   each              nobody
   every (+ noun)    none
   no one            somebody
   some (+ noun)     someone

   and also to refer back to (a) person, used indefinitely, or a male and
   female noun linked by (either...) or or neither... nor, e.g.

   Has anybody eaten his/their lunch yet?
   A person who is upset may vent his/their feelings on his/their family
   Neither John nor Mary has a home of their/his or her own

   If it is known that the individuals referred to are all of the same sex,
   there is no difficulty; use he or she as appropriate:

   Everyone in the women's movement has had her own experience
   of sexual discrimination

   If, however, the sex of those referred to is unknown or deliberately left
   indefinite, or if the reference is to a mixed group, the difficulty arises
   that English has no singular pronoun to denote common gender.

   The grammarians' recommendation, during the past two centuries, has been
   that he (him, himself, his) should be used. Many good writers follow this:

   Everyone talked at the top of his voice (W. Somerset Maugham)
   Everyone took his place in a half-circle about the fire
   (Malcolm Bradbury)
   (The context of each shows that the company was mixed.)

   The long street in which nobody knows his neighbour
   (G. B. Shaw)
   Each person should give as he has decided for himself (NEB)

   Popular usage, however, has for at least five centuries favoured the
   plural pronoun they (them, themselves, their).

   This is entirely acceptable in informal speech:

   Nobody would ever marry if they thought it over
   (G. B. Shaw)
   It's the sort of thing any of us would dislike,  wouldn't they?
   (C. P. Snow)

   It is by no means uncommon in more formal contexts:

   Nobody stopped to stare, everyone had themselves to think about
   (Susan Hill)
   His own family were occupied, each with their particular guests
   (Evelyn Waugh)
   Delavacquerie allowed everyone to examine the  proofs as long as they
   wished (Anthony  Powell)

   (The context of the second and third example shows that the company was

   Many people regard it as inequitable that the masculine pronoun he should
   be used to include both sexes, and therefore prefer to use they.

   One can avoid the difficulty from time to time by writing he or she, as
   many writers do on awkward occasions:

   Nobody has room in his or her life for more than one such
   relationship at a time (G. B. Shaw)

   But this grows unwieldy with repetition:

   If l ever wished to disconcert anyone, all I had to do was to ask
   him (or her) how many friends he/she had (Frederic Raphael)

   There are some contexts in which neither he nor they will seem
   objectionable. In others, where he and they both seem inappropriate for
   the reasons given, it may be necessary simply to recast the sentence.

4.20 group possessive

   The group possessive is the construction by which the ending -'s of the
   possessive case can be added to the last word of a noun phrase, which is
   regarded as a single unit, e.g.

   The king of Spain's daughter
   John and Mary's baby
   Somebody else's umbrella
   A quarter of an hour's drive

   Expressions like these are natural and acceptable.

   Informal language, however, permits the extension of the construction to
   long and complicated phrases:

   The people in the house opposite's geraniums
   The woman I told you about on the phone yesterday's name is Thompson
   The man who called last week's umbrella is still in the hall

   In these, the connection between the words forming the group possessive is
   much looser and more complicated than in the earlier examples. The effect
   is often somewhat ludicrous.

   ° Expressions of this sort should not be used in serious prose.

   The geraniums of the people in the house opposite
   The name of the woman I told you about on the phone yesterday is Thompson
   The umbrella of the man who called last week is still in the hall

4.21 have

   1.  The verb to have, in some of its uses, can form its interrogative and
       negative either with or without the verb to do, e.g. Do you have/have
       you?, You don't have/you haven't.

       In sentences like those below, have is a verb of event, meaning
       'experience'. The interrogative (in the first example) and the
       negative (in the second example) are always formed in the regular way,
       using the verb do:

       Do you ever have nightmares?
       We did not have an easy time getting here

       In the next pair of sentences, have is a verb of state, meaning
       'possess'. When used in this sense, the interrogative (in the first
       example) and negative (in the second example) can be formed in the
       manner of an auxiliary verb, without the verb do:

       What have you in common with the child of five whose
       photograph your mother keeps? (George Orwell)
       The truth was that he hadn't the answer
       (Joyce Cary)

       In more informal language, the verb got is added, e.g.  What have you
       got, He hadn't got the answer. This is not usually suitable for formal

       It was formerly usual to distinguish the sense 'experience' from the
       sense 'possess' by using the do-formation for the first and the
       auxiliary formation for the second (but only in the present tense).
       Hence I don't have indigestion (as a rule) was kept distinct from I
       haven't (got) indigestion (at the moment). The use of the
       do-construction when the meaning was 'possess' was an Americanism, but
       it is now generally acceptable.

       ° However, the use of do as a substitute verb for have, common
       informally, is not acceptable in formal prose:

       I had stronger feelings than she did (substitute than she had)
       Some have money, some don't (substitute some haven't)

   2.  Have is often wrongly inserted after I'd in sentences like:

       If I'd have known she'd be here I don't suppose I'd have come
       (Character in play by John Osborne)

       This is common, and hardly noticed, in speech, but should not occur in
       formal writing. The correct construction is:

       If I'd known she'd be here...

       Without the contraction, the clause would read: If I had known, with
       the past perfect, which is the correct form in this kind of if-clause.
       The only expression that the mistaken If I'd have known could stand
       for is If I would have known, which is impossible in this context.

4.22 he who, she who

   He who and she who are correctly used when he and she are the subject of
   the main clause, and who is the subject of the relative clause:

   He who hesitates is lost
   She who was a star in the old play may find herself a super in the
   new (C. S. Lewis)

   In these examples he and she are the subjects of is lost and may find
   respectively; who is the subject of hesitates and was.

   He who and she who should not be treated as invariable. They should change
   to him who and her who if the personal pronouns are not the subject of the
   main clause:

   The distinction between the man who gives with conviction and him (not he)
   who is simply buying a title

   Similarly who must become whom if it is not the subject of the relative

   I sought him whom my soul loveth (Authorized Version)

   See also who and whom (interrogative and relative pronouns).

4.23 -ics, nouns in

   Nouns ending in -ics denoting subjects or disciplines are sometimes
   treated as singular and sometimes as plural. Examples are:

   apologetics                 genetics                   optics
   classics (as                linguistics                phonetics
   a study)                    mathematics                physics
   dynamics                    mechanics                  politics
   economics                   metaphysics                statistics
   electronics                 obstetrics                 tactics

   When used strictly as the name of a discipline they are treated as

   Psychometrics is unable to investigate the nature of
   intelligence (Guardian)
   The quest for a hermeneutics (TLS)

   So also when the complement is singular:

   Mathematics is his strong point

   When used more loosely, to denote a manifestation of qualities, often
   accompanied by a possessive, they are treated as plural:

   His politics were a mixture of fear, greed and envy
   (Joyce Cary)
   I don't understand the mathematics of it, which are complicated
   The acoustics in this hall are dreadful
   Their tactics were cowardly

   So also when they denote a set of activities or pattern of behaviour, as
   commonly with words like

   acrobatics      dramatics      heroics
   athletics       gymnastics     hysterics

   E.g. The mental gymnastics required to believe this are beyond me

   These words usually retain a plural verb even with a singular complement:

   The acrobatics are just the social side (Tom Stoppard)

4.24 infinitive, present or perfect

   The perfect infinitive is correctly used when it refers to a state or
   action earlier in time than that referred to by the verb on which it
   depends, e.g.

   If it were real life and not a play, that is the part it would be
   best to have acted (C. S. Lewis)
   Someone seems to have been making a beast of himself here
   (Evelyn Waugh)

   In the above examples, the infinitives to have acted and to have been
   making relate to actions earlier in time than the verbs would be best and

   Only if the first verb relates to the past and the infinitive relates to a
   state or action prior to that should a perfect infinitive follow a past or
   perfect verb, forming a sort of 'double past', e.g.

   When discussing sales with him yesterday, I should have liked
   to have seen the figures beforehand

   In this example I should have liked denotes the speaker's feelings during
   the discussion and to have seen denotes an action imagined as occurring
   before the discussion.

   If the state or action denoted by the infinitive is thought of as
   occurring at the same time as the verb on which it depends, then the
   present infinitive should be used:

   She would have liked to see what was on the television
   (Kingsley Amis)

   The 'double past' is often accidentally used in this kind of sentence
   informally, e.g.

   I should have liked to have gone to the party

   A literary example is:

   Mr. McGregor threw down the sack on the stone floor in a way that
   would have been extremely painful to the Flopsy Bunnies, if they had
   happened to have been inside it (Beatrix Potter)

   This should be avoided.

4.25 -ing (gerund and participle)

   1.  The -ing form of a verb can in some contexts be used in either of two

       a.  as a gerund (verbal noun) with a noun or pronoun in the possessive
           standing before it, e.g.

           In the event of Randall's not going (Iris Murdoch)
           She did not like his being High Church (L. P. Hartley)

       b.  as a participle with a noun in its ordinary form or a pronoun in
           the objective case standing before it, e.g.

           What further need would there have been to speak of another
           priest arising? (NEB)
           Dixon did not like him doing that (Kingsley Amis)

       The option of using either arises only when the word before the -ing
       form is a proper or personal noun (e.g.  John, father, teacher) or a
       personal pronoun.

       It is sometimes said that the construction with the possessive (as in
       (a) above) is obligatory. This rule, in its strict form, should be
       disregarded. Instead one should, in formal usage, try to employ the
       possessive construction wherever it is possible and natural:

       To whom, without its being ordered, the waiter immediately
       brought a plate of eggs and bacon (Evelyn Waugh)
       The danger of Joyce's turning them into epigrams
       (Anthony Burgess)

       But it is certainly not wrong to use the non-possessive construction
       if it sounds more natural, as in the New English Bible quotation

       Moreover, there is sometimes a nuance of meaning. She did not like his
       being High Church suggests that she did not like the fact that he was
       High Church, and need not imply personal antipathy, whereas Dixon did
       not like him doing that suggests an element of repugnance to the
       person as well as to his action.

       When using most non-personal nouns (e.g. luggage, meaning,
       permission), groups of nouns (e.g.  father and mother, surface area),
       non-personal pronouns (e.g. anything, something), and groups of
       pronouns (e.g. some of them), there is no choice of construction: the
       possessive would not sound idiomatic at all.

       Examples are:

       Travellers in Italy could depend on their luggage not
       being stolen (G. B. Shaw)
       Altogether removing possibility of its meaning being
       driven home (Anthony Powell)
       His lines were cited...without his permission having
       been asked (The Times)
       Due to her father and mother being married
       (Compton Mackenzie)
       Owing to its surface area being so large relative to
       its weight (George Orwell)
       The air of something unusual having happened
       (Arthur Conan Doyle)
       He had no objection to some of them listening
       (Arnold Bennett)

       When the word preceding the -ing form is a regular plural noun ending
       in -s, there is no spoken distinction between the possessive and the
       non-possessive form. It is unnecessary to write an apostrophe:

       If she knew about her daughters attending the party
       (Anthony Powell)

   2.  There is also variation between the gerundial and the participial uses
       of the -ing form after nouns like difficulty, point, trouble, and use.

       Formal English requires the gerundial use, the gerund being introduced
       by in (or of after use):

       There was...no difficulty in finding parking space
       (David Lodge)
       There doesn't seem much point in trying to explain everything
       (John Osborne)

       Informal usage permits the placing of the -ing form immediately after
       the noun, forming a participial construction, e.g.

       He had some trouble convincing Theo Craven
       (Lynne Reid Banks)
       The chairman had difficulty concealing his irritation

       ° This is not acceptable in formal usage.

4.26 I or me, we or us, etc.

   There is often confusion about which case of a personal pronoun to use
   when the pronoun stands alone or follows the verb to be.

   1.  When the personal pronoun stands alone, as when it forms the answer to
       a question, formal usage requires it to have the case it would have if
       the verb were supplied:

       Who killed Cock Robin?--I (in full, I killed him)
       Which of you did he approach?--Me (in full,
       he approached me)

       Informal usage permits the objective case in both kinds of sentence,
       but this is not acceptable in formal style. It so happens that the
       subjective case often sounds stilted. It is then best to avoid the
       problem by providing the substitute verb do, or, if the preceding
       sentence contains an auxiliary, by repeating the auxiliary, e.g.

       Who likes cooking?--I do
       Who can cook?--I can

   2.  When a personal pronoun follows it is, it was, it may be, it could
       have been, etc., it should always have the subjective case:

       Nobody could suspect that it was she
       (Agatha Christie)
       We are given no clue as to what it must have felt like to be
       he (C. S. Lewis)

       Informal usage favours the objective case:

       I thought it might have been him at the door
       Don't tell me it's them again!

   ° This is not acceptable in formal usage.

   When who or whom follows, the subjective case is obligatory in formal
   usage and quite usual informally:

   It was I who painted the back door purple
   It's they whom I shall be staying with in London

   The informal use of the objective case often sounds substandard:

   It was her who would get the blood off (Character in work by Patrick White)

   (For agreement between the personal pronoun antecedent and the verb in It
   is I who etc., see I who, you who, etc. )

   In constructions which have the form I am + noun or noun phrase + who, the
   verb following who agrees with the noun (the antecedent of who) and is
   therefore always in the third person (singular or plural):

   I am the sort of person who likes peace and quiet
   You are the fourth of my colleagues who's told me that
   (Character in work by Angus Wilson)
   ('s = has, agreeing with the fourth)

   The following is not standard, but must be explained by the uniqueness of
   the person denoted by the subject:

   How then canst thou be a god that hidest thyself? (NEB)

4.27 I should or I would

   There is often uncertainty whether to use should or would in the first
   person singular and plural before verbs such as like or think and before
   the adverbs rather and sooner.

   1.  Should is correct before verbs of liking, e.g. be glad, be inclined,
       care, like, and prefer:

       Would you like a beer?--I should prefer a cup of coffee,
       if you don't mind
       The very occasions on which we should most like to write
       a slashing review (C. S. Lewis)

   2.  Should is correct in tentative statements of opinion, with verbs such
       as guess, imagine, say, and think:

       I should imagine that you are right
       I should say so
       I shouldn't have thought it was difficult

   3.  Would is correct before the adverbs rather and sooner, e.g.

       I would truly rather be in the middle of this than sitting
       in that church in a tight collar (Susan Hill)

       Would is always correct with persons other than the first person
       singular and plural.

   See also should and would

4.28 I who, you who, etc.

   The verb following a personal pronoun (I, you, he, etc.) + who should
   agree with the pronoun and should not be in the third person singular
   unless the third person singular pronoun precedes who:

   I, who have no savings to speak of, had to pay for the work

   This remains so even if the personal pronoun is in the objective case:

   They made me, who have no savings at all, pay for the work
   (not who has)

   When it is (it was, etc.)  precedes I who, etc., the same rule applies:
   the verb agrees with the personal pronoun:

   It's I who have done it
   It could have been we who were mistaken

   Informal usage sometimes permits the third person to be used (especially
   when the verb to be follows who):

   You who's supposed to be so practical!
   Is it me who's supposed to be keeping an eye on you?
   (Character in work by David Lodge)

   ° This is not acceptable in formal usage.

4.29 like

   The objective case of personal pronouns is always used after the
   adjectives like and unlike:

   Unlike my mother and me, my sister is fair-haired
   (not Unlike my mother and I)

4.30 -lily adverbs

   When the adverbial suffix -ly is added to an adjective which already ends
   in -ly, the resulting adverb tends to have an unpleasant jingling sound,
   e.g. friendlily.

   Adverbs of this kind are divided into three groups, here arranged in order
   of decreasing acceptability:

   1.  Those formed from adjectives in which the final -ly is an integral
       part of the word, not a suffix, e.g. holily, jollily, sillily. These
       are the least objectionable and are quite often used.

   2.  Those of three syllables formed from adjectives in which the final -ly
       is itself a suffix, e.g. friendlily, ghastlily, statelily, uglily.
       These are occasionally found.

   3.  Those of four (or more) syllables formed from adjectives in which the
       final -ly is itself a suffix, e.g.  heavenlily, scholarlily. Such
       words have been recorded but are deservedly rare.

   The adverbs of groups 2 and 3 should be avoided if possible, by using the
   adjective with a noun like manner or way, e.g.  In a scholarly manner.

   A few adjectives in -ly can be used adverbially to qualify other
   adjectives, e.g. beastly cold, ghastly pale.  Occasionally, to avoid the
   use of an adverb in -lily, the plain adjective has been used to qualify a
   verb, e.g.

   Then I strolled leisurely along those dear, dingy streets
   (W. Somerset Maugham)

   This does not usually sound natural. It is recommended that in a leisurely
   (etc.) way should be used instead.

4.31 may or might

   There is sometimes confusion about whether to use may or might with the
   perfect infinitive referring to a past event, e.g. He may have done or He
   might have done.

   1.  If uncertainty about the action or state denoted by the perfect
       infinitive remains, i.e. at the time of speaking or writing the truth
       of the event is still unknown, then either may or might is acceptable:

       As they all wore so many different clothes of identically the same
       kind...there may have been several more or several less
       (Evelyn Waugh)
       For all we knew we were both bastards, although of course there
       might have been a ceremony (Graham Greene)

   2.  If there is no longer uncertainty about the event, or the matter was
       never put to the test, and therefore the event did not in fact occur,
       use might:

       If that had come ten days ago my whole life might have
       been different (Evelyn Waugh)
       You should not have let him come home alone, he might
       have got lost

       ° It is a common error to use may instead of might in these

       If he (President Galtieri) had not invaded,
       then eventually the islands may have fallen into their lap

       I am grateful for his intervention without which they
       may have remained in the refugee camp indefinitely

       Schoenberg may never have gone atonal but for the
       break-up of his marriage

       (These are all from recent newspaper articles.  Might should be
       substituted for may in each.)

4.32 measurement, nouns of

   There is some uncertainty about when to use the singular form, and when
   the plural, of nouns of measurement.

   1.  All nouns of measurement remain in the singular form when compounded
       with a numeral and used attributively before another noun:

       A six-foot wall            A five-pound note
       A three-mile walk          A 1,000-megaton bomb

       This rule includes metric measurements:

       A ten-hectare field         A three-litre bottle

   2.  Foot remains in the singular form in expressions such as:

       I am six foot    She is five foot two

       But feet is used where an adjective, or the word inches, follows, e.g.

       I am six feet tall                           She is five feet three inches
       It is ten feet long

   Stone and hundredweight remain in the singular form in plural expressions,

   I weigh eleven stone                  Three hundredweight of coal

   Metric measurements always take the plural form when not used

   This measures three metres by two metres
   Two kilos of sugar

   Informally, some other nouns of measurement are used in the singular form
   in plural expressions, e.g.

   That will be two pound fifty, please

   ° This is non-standard.

   See also quantity, nouns of

4.33 need

   The verb to need, when followed by an infinitive, can be used either like
   an ordinary verb or like an auxiliary.

   1.  Need is used like an ordinary verb, and followed by the to-
       infinitive, in the present tense when the sentence is neither negative
       nor interrogative, in the past tense always, and in all compound
       tenses (e.g. the future and perfect):

       One needs friends, one needs to be a friend
       (Susan Hill)
       One did not need to be a clairvoyant to see that war...was coming
       (George Orwell)

   2.  Need can be used like an auxiliary verb in the present tense in
       negative and interrogative sentences. This means that:

       a.  The third person singular need not add -s:

           I do not think one need look farther than this
           (George Orwell)

       b.  For the negative, need not can replace does not need:

           One need not be an advocate of censorship to recommend the
           cautious use of poison (Frederic Raphael)

       c.  For the interrogative, need I (you, etc.) can replace do l need:

           Need I add that she is my bitterest enemy? (G. B. Shaw)

       d.  The bare infinitive can follow instead of the to-infinitive:

           Company that keeps them smaller than they need be
           (This is negative in sense, for it implies They need not be
           as small as this)

       This auxiliary verb use is optional, not obligatory. The regular
       constructions are equally correct:

       I do not think one needs to look...
       One does not need to be...
       Do l need to add...
       Smaller than they need to be...

       One should choose whichever sounds more natural. It is important,
       however, to avoid mixing the two kinds of construction, as in the two
       following examples:

       One needs not be told that (etc.)
       What proved vexing, it needs be said was (etc.)

4.34 neither...nor

   Two singular subjects linked by neither...nor can be constructed with
   either a singular or a plural verb. Strictly and logically a singular verb
   is required (since both subjects are not thought of as governing the verb
   at the same time). When the two subjects are straightforward third person
   pronouns or nouns, it is best to follow this rule:

   Neither he nor his wife has arrived
   There is neither a book nor a picture in the house

   Informal usage permits the plural and it has been common in the writings
   of good authors for a long time:

   Neither painting nor fighting feed men (Ruskin)

   When one of the two subjects is plural and the other singular, the verb
   should be made plural and the plural subject placed nearer to it:

   Neither the teacher nor the pupils understand the problem

   When one of the subjects is I or you and the other is a third person
   pronoun or a noun, or when one is I and the other you, the verb can be
   made to agree with the subject that is nearer to it. However, this does
   not always sound natural, e.g.

   Neither my son nor I am good at figures

   One can recast the sentence, but this can spoil the effect intended by
   using neither...nor. It is often better to use the plural, as good writers

   Neither Isabel nor I are timid people (H. G. Wells)
   Neither Emily nor I were quite prepared for the title
   (Anthony Powell)

   This is not illogical if neither...nor is regarded as the negative of

4.35 neither (pronoun)

   Neither is a singular pronoun and strictly requires a singular verb:

   Neither of us likes to be told what to do

   Informal usage permits not only a plural verb, but also a plural

   Neither of us like tennis
   Neither of us are good players

   Although this is widely regarded as incorrect, it has been an established
   construction for three or four centuries:

   Thersites' body is as good as Ajax', When neither are
   alive (Shakespeare)
   Neither were great inventors (Dryden)

   It is recommended that one should follow the rule requiring the singular
   unless it leads to awkwardness, as when neither he nor she is appropriate:

   John and Mary will have to walk. Neither of them have brought their cars

4.36 none (pronoun)

   The pronoun none can be followed either by singular verb and singular
   pronouns, or by plural ones. Either is acceptable, although the plural
   tends to be more common.

   Singular:   None of them was allowed to forget for a moment
               (Anthony Powell)
   Plural:     None of the fountains ever play (Evelyn Waugh)
               None of the authors expected their books to become
               best-sellers (Cyril Connolly)

4.37 ought

   Oughtn't or didn't ought?

   The standard form of the negative of ought is ought not or oughtn't:

   A look from Claudia showed me I ought not to have begun it
   (V. S. Pritchett)

   Being an auxiliary verb, ought can precede not and does not require the
   verb do. It is non-standard to form the negative with do (didn't ought):

   I hope that none here will say I did anything I didn't ought.
   For I only done my duty (Character in work by Michael Innes)

   When the negative is used to reinforce a question in a short extra clause
   or 'question tag', the negative should be formed according to the rule

   You ought to be pleased, oughtn't you? (not didn't you?)

   In the same way do should not be used as a substitute verb for ought, e.g.

   Ought he to go?--Yes, he ought (not he did)
   You ought not to be pleased, ought you? (not did you?)

4.38 participles

   A participle used in place of a verb in a subordinate clause must have an
   explicit subject to qualify. If no subject precedes the participle within
   the clause, the participle is understood to qualify the subject of the
   main sentence. In the following sentences the participles running and
   propped qualify the subjects she and we:

   Running to catch a bus, she just missed it (Anthony Powell)
   We both lay there, propped on our elbows (Lynne Reid Banks)

   It is a frequent error to begin a sentence with a participial clause, with
   no subject expressed, and to continue it with a main clause in which the
   subject is not the word which the participle qualifies:

   Driving along the road, the church appeared on our left
   (We, not the church, is the subject of driving)

   Having been relieved of his portfolio in 1976, the scheme
   was left to his successor at the Ministry to  complete
   (He, or a proper name, is the subject of having been relieved)

   In sentences like these one must either recast the main clause so that its
   subject is the same as that of the subordinate clause, or recast the
   subordinate clause using a finite verb:

   Driving along the road, we saw the church appear on our left
   As we were driving along the road the church appeared on our left

   Sometimes a subject can be supplied in the participial clause, the clause
   remaining otherwise unchanged. This is usually only possible when the
   participle is being or having:

   Jones having been relieved of his portfolio in 1976, the scheme was
   left to his successor at the Ministry to complete

   If the subject supplied in accordance with this rule is a personal pronoun
   it should be in the subjective case:

   He being such a liar, no one will believe him when he tells the truth
   He rose bearing her, she still weeping, and the others formed
   a procession behind (Iris Murdoch)

   When the participial clause includes a subject it should not be separated
   by a comma from the participle:

   Bernadette being her niece, she feels responsible for the girl's
   moral welfare (David Lodge)
   (Not: Bernadette, being her niece, she...)

   This in contrast with the punctuation of the other kind of participial
   clause, in which the participle qualifies the subject of the main
   sentence. If this type of participial clause follows the subject, it is
   either marked off by a pair of commas or not marked off at all:

   The man, hoping to escape, jumped on to a bus
   A man carrying a parcel jumped on to the bus

   The rule that a participle must have an explicit subject does not apply to
   participial clauses whose subject is indefinite (= 'one' or 'people').  In
   these the clause is used adverbially, standing apart from and commenting
   on the content of the sentence:

   Judging from his appearance, he has had a night out
   Taking everything into consideration, you were lucky to escape
   Roughly speaking, this is how it went

   The participial clauses here are equivalent to 'If one judges...' 'If one
   takes...' 'If one speaks..' Expressions of this kind are entirely

4.39 preposition at end

   It is a natural feature of the English language that many sentences and
   clauses end with a preposition, and has been since the earliest times. The
   alleged rule that forbids the placing of the preposition at the end of a
   clause or sentence should be disregarded.

   The preposition cannot be moved to an earlier place in many sentences,

   What did you do that for?
   What a mess this room is in!
   The bed had not been slept in
   She was good to look at and easy to talk to (W. Somerset Maugham)

   There are other kinds of construction which, generally speaking, allow a
   choice between placing the preposition at the end or placing it
   earlier--principally relative clauses, in which the preposition can stand
   before the relative pronoun if it is not placed finally. The choice is
   very often a matter of style. The preposition has been placed before the
   relative pronoun in:

   The present is the only time in which any duty can be done
   (C. S. Lewis)
   The...veteran for whom nothing has been real since the
   Big Push (David Lodge)

   But it stands at or near the end in:

   Harold's Philistine outlook, which she had acquiesced in
   for ten years (L. P. Hartley)
   The sort of attentive memory...that I should have become accustomed
   to (C. P. Snow)

   But notice that some prepositions cannot come at the end:

   An annual sum, in return for which she agreed to give me house
   room (William Trevor)
   During which week will the festival be held?

   It would be unnatural to write Which she agreed to give me house room in
   return for, and Which week will the festival be held during?

   Conversely, some relative clauses will not allow the preposition to stand
   before the relative pronoun:

   The opposition (that) I ran up against was fierce
   A sort of world apart which one can quite easily go through life
   without ever hearing about (George Orwell)

   These cannot be changed to:

   The opposition against which I ran up...
   A sort of world apart without ever hearing about which...

   One should be guided by what sounds natural. There is no need to alter the
   position of the preposition merely in deference to the alleged rule.

4.40 quantity, nouns of

   The numerals hundred, thousand, million, billion, trillion, and the words
   dozen and score are sometimes used in the singular and sometimes in the

   1.  They always have the singular form if they are qualified by a
       preceding word, whether it is singular (e.g. a, one) or plural (e.g.
       many, several, two, three, etc.), and whether or not they are used
       attributively before a noun or with nothing following:

       A hundred days
       Three hundred will be enough
       I will take two dozen
       Two dozen eggs

       ° The use of the plural form after a plural qualifier and when nothing
       follows is incorrect:

       The population is now three millions (correctly three million)

       Although they have the singular form, they always take plural verbs,
       even after the indefinite article:

       There were about a dozen of them approaching (Anthony Powell)
       There were a score of them at a table apart (J. I. M. Stewart)

   2.  They take the plural form when they denote indefinite quantities.
       Usually they are followed by of or stand alone:

       Are there any errors?--Yes, hundreds
       He has dozens of friends
       Many thousands of people are homeless

4.41 reflexive pronouns

   The reflexive pronouns are normally used to refer back to the subject of
   the clause or sentence in which they occur, e.g.

   I congratulated myself on outwitting everyone else
   Can't you do anything for yourself?

   Sometimes it is permissible to use a reflexive pronoun to refer to someone
   who is not the subject. Very often the person referred to may be the
   subject of a preceding or following clause, e.g.

   It was their success, both with myself and others, that confirmed
   me in what has since been my career (Evelyn Waugh)
   You have the feeling that all their adventures have happened to
   yourself (George Orwell)
   He was furious with the woman, with a rancorous anger that surprised
   himself (Joyce Cary)

   In each of the above, there is a nearby me, you, or he to which the
   reflexive refers, but to have written me, you, and him respectively in
   these sentences would not have been grammatically incorrect.

   A reflexive pronoun is often used after such words as

   as        but for        like
   as for    except         than
   but       except for

   E.g. For those who, like himself, felt it indelicate to raise an umbrella
   in the presence of death (Iris Murdoch)

   It can be a very useful way to avoid the difficult choice between I, he,
   she, etc. (which often sounds stilted) and me, him, her, etc. (which are
   grammatically incorrect) after the words as, but, and than, e.g.

   None of them was more surprised than myself that I'd spoken
   (Lynne Reid Banks)

   Here than I would be strictly correct, while than me would be informal.

   Naturally a reflexive pronoun cannot be used in the ways outlined above if
   confusion would result. One would not write:

   John was as surprised as himself that he had been appointed

   but would substitute the person's name, or he himself was, for himself, or
   recast the sentence.

4.42 relative clauses

   A relative clause is a clause introduced by a relative pronoun and used to
   qualify a preceding noun or pronoun (called its antecedent), e.g.  The
   visitor (antecedent) whom (relative pronoun) you were expecting (remainder
   of relative clause) has arrived; He who hesitates is lost.

   Exceptionally, there are nominal relative clauses in which the antecedent
   and relative pronoun are combined in one wh-pronoun, e.g. What you need is
   a drink:  see what (relative pronoun).

    Relative clauses can be either restrictive or non-restrictive. A
   restrictive relative clause serves to restrict the reference of the
   antecedent, e.g. A suitcase which has lost its handle is useless. Here the
   antecedent suitcase is defined or restricted by the clause.

    A non-restrictive relative clause is used not to narrow the reference of
   the antecedent, but to add further information, e.g. He carried the
   suitcase, which had lost its handle, on one shoulder. Here the suitcase is
   already identified, and the relative clause adds explanatory information.

   Notice that no commas are used to mark off a restrictive relative clause
   from the rest of the sentence, but when, as above, a non-restrictive
   relative clause comes in the middle of the sentence, it is marked off by a
   comma at each end.

   There are two kinds of relative pronouns:
   (i) The wh-type: who, whom, whose, which, and, in nominal relative clauses
   only, what.
   (ii) The pronoun that (which can be omitted in some circumstances: see
   that (relative pronoun), omission of.

   When one relative clause is followed by another, the second relative

   (a) may or may not be preceded by a conjunction; and
   (b) may or may not be omitted.

   (a) A conjunction is not required if the second relative clause qualifies
   an antecedent which is a word inside the first relative clause:

   I found a firm which had a large quantity of components
   for which they had no use

   Here for which...use qualifies components which is part of the relative
   clause qualifying firm.  And or but should not be inserted before for

   But if the two clauses are parallel, both qualifying the same antecedent,
   a conjunction is required:

   Help me with these shelves which I have to take home but
   which will not fit in my car

   (b) The second relative pronoun can be omitted if (i) it qualifies the
   same antecedent as the first, and (ii) it plays the same part in its
   clause as the first (i.e. subject or object):

   George, who takes infinite pains and (who)
   never cuts corners, is our most dependable worker

   Here the second who qualifies the same antecedent (George) as the first
   who, and, like it, is the subject of its clause. It can therefore be

   But if the second relative pronoun plays a different part in its clause,
   it cannot be omitted:

   George, whom everybody likes but who rarely goes
   to a party, is shy

   Here the first relative pronoun, whom, is the object, the second, who, is
   the subject, in their clauses. The second relative pronoun must be kept.
   This rule applies even if the two pronouns have the same form; it is the
   function that counts:

   Like a child spelling out the letters of a word which he
   cannot read and which if he could would have meaning
   (Jean Rhys)

   The second which cannot be omitted.

   See also
   preposition at end,
   that (relative pronoun), omission of,
   what (relative pronoun),
   which or that (relative pronouns),
   who and whom (interrogative and relative pronouns),
   who or which (relative pronouns),
   whose or of which in relative clauses,
   who/whom or that (relative pronouns).

4.43 shall and will

   'The horror of that moment', the King went on, 'I shall never, never
   forget!' 'You will, though,' the Queen said, 'if you don't make a
   memorandum of it.' (Lewis Carroll)

   There is considerable confusion about when to use shall and will. Put
   simply, the traditional rule in standard British English is:

   1.  In the first person, singular and plural.

       a.  I shall, we shall express the simple future, e.g.

           I am not a manual worker and please God I never shall be one
           (George Orwell)
           In the following pages we shall see good words...losing
           their edge (C. S. Lewis)

       b.  I will, we will express intention or determination on the part of
           the speaker (especially a promise made by him or her), e.g.

           I will take you to see her tomorrow morning
           (P. G. Wodehouse)
           I will no longer accept responsibility for the fruitless
           loss of life (Susan Hill)
           'I don't think we will ask Mr. Fraser's opinion',
           she said coldly (V. S. Pritchett)

   2.  For the second and third persons, singular and plural, the rule is
       exactly the converse.

       a.  You, he, she, it, or they will express the simple future, e.g.

           Will it disturb you if I keep the lamp on for a bit?
           (Susan Hill)
           Seraphina will last much longer than a car. She'll probably
           last longer than you will (Graham Greene)

       b.  You, he, she, it, or they shall express intention or determination
           on the part of the speaker or someone other than the actual
           subject of the verb, especially a promise made by the speaker to
           or about the subject, e.g.

           Today you shall be with me in Paradise (NEB)
           One day you shall know my full story (Evelyn Waugh)
           Shall the common man be pushed back into the mud, or shall he not?
           (George Orwell)

   The two uses of will, and one of those of shall, are well illustrated by:

   'I will follow you to the ends of the earth,' replied
   Susan, passionately. 'It will not be necessary, said George.
   'I am only going down to the coal-cellar. I shall spend the
   next half-hour or so there.' (P. G. Wodehouse)

   In informal usage I will and we will are quite often used for the simple
   future, e.g.

   I will be a different person when I live in England
   (Character in work by Jean Rhys)

   More often the distinction is covered up by the contracted form 'll, e.g.

   I don't quite know when I'll get the time to write again
   (Susan Hill)

   ° The use of will for shall in the first person is not regarded as fully
   acceptable in formal usage.

4.44 should and would

   When used for (a) the future in the past or (b) the conditional,

   should goes with I and we
   would goes with you, he, she, it, and they

       a.  The future in the past. First person:

           I had supposed these to be the last...I should ever
           set eyes on (Anthony Powell)
           Julia and I, who had left..., thinking we should not
           return (Evelyn Waugh)

           The person's imagined statement or thought at the time was:

           These are the last I shall ever set eyes on
           We shall not return

           with shall, not will (see shall and will)

           Second and third persons:

           I told you that you would find Russian difficult to learn
           He was there. Later, he would not be there
           (Susan Hill)

           The person's statement or thought at the time was

           You will find Russian difficult to learn
           He will not be there

       b.  The conditional.

   First person:

   I should view with the strongest disapproval any proposal to
   abolish manhood suffrage (C. S. Lewis)
   If we had not hurried we should never have got a seat

   Second and third persons:

   If you cared about your work, you would make more effort
   Isobel would almost certainly have gone in any case
   (Anthony Powell)

   In informal usage, I would and we would are very common in both kinds of

   I wondered whether I would have to wear a black suit
   I would have been content, I would never have repeated it
   (Both examples from Graham Greene)

   The use of would with the first person is understandable, because should
   (in all persons) has a number of uses which can clash with the conditional
   and the future in the past; sometimes the context does not make it clear,
   for example, whether I should do means 'it would be the case that I did'
   or 'I ought to do', e.g.

   I wondered whether, when I was cross-examined
   I should admit that I knew the defendant

   ° This use of I would and we would is not, however, regarded as fully
   acceptable in formal language.

   See also I should or I would

4.45 singular or plural

   1.  When subject and complement are different in number (i.e. one is
       singular, the other plural), the verb normally agrees with the
       subject, e.g.

       (Plural subject)
          Ships are his chief interest
          Their wages were a mere pittance
          Liqueur chocolates are our speciality

       The Biblical The wages of sin is death reflects an obsolete idiom by
       which wages took a singular verb.

       (Singular subject)
          The ruling passion of his life was social relationships
          What we need is customers
          Our speciality is liqueur chocolates

   2.  A plural word or phrase used as a name, title, or quotation counts as
       singular, e.g.

       Sons and Lovers has always been one of Lawrence's most popular novels
       Coloured persons is the term applied to those of mixed white and
       native blood

   3.  A singular phrase that happens to end with a plural word should
       nevertheless be followed by a singular verb, e.g.

       Everyone except the French wants (not want) Britain to join
       One in six has (not have) this problem

   See also -ics, nouns in, quantity, nouns of, -s plural or singular, what
   (relative pronoun).

4.46 split infinitive

   The split infinitive is the name given to the separation of to from the
   infinitive by means of an adverb (or sometimes an adverbial phrase), e.g.
   He used to continually refer to the subject. In this the adverb
   continually splits the infinitive to refer into two parts.

   It is often said that an infinitive should never be split. This is an
   artificial rule that can produce unnecessarily contorted sentences.
   Rather, it is recommended that a split infinitive should be avoided by
   placing the adverb before or after the infinitive, unless this leads to
   clumsiness or ambiguity. If it does, one should either allow the split
   infinitive to stand, or recast the sentence.

   1.  Good writers usually avoid splitting the infinitive by placing the
       adverb before the infinitive:

       I am not able, and I do not want, completely to abandon
       the world-view that I acquired in childhood (George Orwell)

       One meets people who have learned actually to prefer the
       tinned fruit to the fresh (C. S. Lewis)

       He did not want positively to suggest that she was dominant
       (Iris Murdoch)

       On the other hand, it is quite natural in speech, and permissible in
       writing, to say:

       What could it be like to actually live in France?
       To really let the fact that these mothers were mothers sink in
       (Both examples from Kingsley Amis)
       Only one thing stops me from jumping up and screaming..., it is
       to deliberately think myself back into that hot light
       (Doris Lessing)

   2.  Avoidance of ambiguity.

       When an adverb closely qualifies the infinitive verb it may often be
       better to split the infinitive than to move the adverb to another
       position. The following example is ambiguous in writing, though in
       speech stress on certain words would make the meaning clear:

       It fails completely to carry conviction

       Either it means 'It totally fails...', in which case completely should
       precede fails, or it means ' It fails to carry complete conviction',
       in which case that should be written, or the infinitive should be

   3.  Avoidance of clumsiness.

       It took more than an excited elderly man...socially to
       discompose him...(Anthony Powell)

       In this example socially belongs closely with discompose: it is not
       'to discompose in a social way' but 'to cause social discomposure' or
       'to destroy social composure'. There are quite a number of adverb +
       verb collocations of this kind. When they occur in the infinitive, it
       may be better either to split the infinitive or to recast the sentence
       than to separate the adverb from the verb.

   4.  Unavoidable split infinitive.

       There are certain adverbial constructions which must immediately
       precede the verb and therefore split the infinitive, e.g. more than:

       Enough new ships are delivered to more than make up for
       the old ones being retired

       And a writer may have sound stylistic reasons for allowing a
       parenthetic expression to split an infinitive:

       It would be an act of gratuitous folly to, as he had put it to
       Mildred, make trouble for himself at this stage (Iris Murdoch)

4.47 -s plural or singular

   Some nouns, though they have the plural ending -s, are nevertheless
   treated as singulars, taking singular verbs and pronouns referring back to

   1.  News

   2.  Diseases:

       measles        rickets
       mumps          shingles

       Measles and rickets can also be treated as ordinary plural nouns.

   3.  Games:

       billiards   dominoes    ninepins
       bowls       draughts    skittles
       darts       fives

   4.  Countries:

       the Bahamas        the Philippines
       the Netherlands    the United States

       These are treated as singular when considered as a unit, which they
       commonly are in a political context, or when the complement is
       singular, e.g.

       The Philippines is a predominantly agricultural country
       The United States has withdrawn its ambassador

       The Bahamas and the Philippines are also the geographical names of the
       groups of islands which the two nations comprise, and in this use can
       be treated as plurals, e.g.

       The Bahamas were settled by British subjects

       Flanders and Wales are always singular. So are the city names Athens,
       Brussels, Naples, etc.

   See also -ics, nouns in

4.48 subjects joined by (either...) or

   When two singular subjects (either may be a noun, a pronoun, or a noun
   phrase) are joined by or or either... or, the strict rule is that they
   require a singular verb and singular pronouns, since or (or either... or)
   indicates that only one of them is the logical subject:

   Either Peter or John has had his breakfast already
   A traffic warden or a policeman is always on the watch in this street

   However, 'at all times there has been a tendency to use the plural with
   two or more singular subjects when their mutual exclusion is not
   emphasized' (OED), e.g.

   On which rage or wantonness vented themselves (George Eliot)

   When one of the subjects joined by or is plural, it is best to put the
   verb in the plural, and place the plural subject nearer to the verb:

   Either the child or the parents are to blame

   When one subject is I, we, or you, and the other is a noun or a third
   person pronoun, or when the subjects are you and I, the verb is usually
   made to agree with the nearer of the two subjects:

   Either he or I am going to win
   Either he or you have got to give in
   Either you or your teacher has made a mistake

   This form of expression very often sounds awkward, especially when the
   sentence is a question:

   Am I or he going to win?
   Is he or we wrong?

   It is usually best to recast the sentence by adding another verb:

   Am I going to win, or is he?
   Is he wrong, or are we?
   Either he has got to give in, or you have

4.49 subjunctive

   The subjunctive mood is indicated by the basic form of the verb, a form
   that is identical with the bare infinitive and imperative. In most verbs,
   e.g. do, give, and make, this will be the same as all the persons of the
   present tense except the third, which ends in -s. In the verb to be,
   however, the subjunctive is be, whereas the present tense is am, are, or
   is. For the past subjunctive of to be (were) see were or was

   The subjunctive is normal, and quite familiar, in a number of fixed
   expressions which cause no problems:

   Be that as it may
   Come what may
   God bless you
   God save the Queen
   Heaven help us
   Long live the Queen
   So be it
   Suffice it to say that
   Heaven forbid

   There are two other uses of the subjunctive that may cause difficulty, but
   they are entirely optional. This means that the ordinary user of English
   need not be troubled by the use of the subjunctive, apart from the past
   subjunctive were.

   1.  In that-clauses after words expressing command, hope, intention, wish,
       etc. Typical introducing words are

       be adamant that       propose that
       demand that           proposal that
       insist that           resolve that
       be insistent that     suggest that
       insistence that       suggestion that

       Typical examples are:

       He had been insisting that they keep the night of the
       twenty-second free (C. P. Snow)
       Joseph was insistent that his wishes be carried out
       (W. Somerset Maugham)
       Chance...dictated that l be reading Sterne when...Bellow's new
       novel arrived (Frederic Raphael)
       Your suggestion that I fly out (David Lodge)

       Until recently this use of the subjunctive was restricted to very
       formal language, where it is still usual, e.g.

       The Lord Chancellor put the motion that the House go into Committee

       It is, however, a usual American idiom, and is now quite acceptable in
       British English, but there is no necessity to use the subjunctive in
       such contexts. Should or may with the infinitive, or (especially in
       informal use) the ordinary indicative, depending on the context, will
       do equally well:

       Your demand that he should pay the money back surprised him
       I insist that the boy goes to school this minute

       ° Beware of constructions in which the sense hangs on a fine
       distinction between subjunctive and indicative, e.g.

       The most important thing for Argentina is that Britain recognize
       her sovereignty over the Falklands

       The implication is that Britain does not recognize it. A small slip
       that changed recognize to recognizes would disastrously reverse this
       implication. The use of should recognize would render the sense quite

   2.  In certain concessive and conditional clauses, i.e. clauses introduced
       by though and if, the subjunctive can be used to express reserve on
       the part of the speaker about an action or state which is contemplated
       or in prospect, e.g.

       Though he be the devil himself he shall do as I say
       Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow
       (Authorized Version)
       It is a fine thing if a man endure the pain of undeserved suffering (NEB)
       The University is a place where a poor man, if he be virtuous,
       may live a life of dignity and simplicity (A. C. Benson)
       If this be true, then we are all to blame

       As the examples show, this is restricted to very formal and exalted
       language. It should not be used in ordinary prose, where sometimes the
       indicative and sometimes an auxiliary such as may are entirely
       acceptable, e.g.

       Though he may be an expert, he should listen to advice
       If this is the case, then I am in error

4.50 than, case following

   A personal pronoun following than should have the case that it would have
   if a verb were supplied. In the following sentences, the subjective case
   is required because the personal pronoun would be the subject:

   Other people have failed to grasp this, people much cleverer than I
   (in full, than I am)
   We pay more rent than they (in full, than they do)

   In the sentence below, the objective case is used, because the pronoun
   would be the object if there were a verb:

   Jones treated his wife badly. I think that he liked his dog better
   than her (in full, than he liked her)

   Informal English permits the objective case to be used, no matter what
   case the pronoun would have if a verb were supplied:

   You do it very well. Much better than me

   This is unacceptable in formal usage. The preferred alternative, with the
   subjective, often sounds stilted. When this is so, it can be avoided by
   supplying the verb:

   We pay more rent than they do

   The interrogative and relative pronoun whom is always used after than,
   rather than the subjective form who:

   Professor Smith, than whom there is scarcely anyone better
   qualified to judge, believes it to be pre-Roman

4.51 that (conjunction), omission of

   1.  The conjunction that introducing a noun clause and used after verbs of
       saying, thinking, knowing, etc., can often be omitted in informal

       I told him (that) he was wrong
       He knew (that) I was right
       Are you sure (that) this is the place?

       Generally speaking, the omission of that confers a familiar tone on
       the sentence, and is not usually appropriate in formal prose.

       That should never be omitted if other parts of the sentence (apart
       from the indirect object) intervene:

       I told him, as I have told everyone, that he was wrong
       Are you sure in your own mind that this is the place?

       The omission of that makes it difficult, in written prose, to follow
       the sense.

   2.  When the conjunction that is part of the correlative pairs of
       conjunctions so...that and such... that, or of the compound
       conjunctions so that, now that, it can be omitted in informal usage.

       ° It should not be omitted in formal style:

       He walked so fast (or at such a speed) that
       I could not keep up
       I'll move my car so that you can park in the drive
       Are you lonely now that your children have left home?

4.52 that (relative pronoun), omission of

   The relative pronoun that can often be omitted. Its omission is much more
   usual informally than formally.

   In formal contexts the omission of that is best limited to relative
   clauses which are fairly short and which stand next to their antecedents:

   The best thing (that) you can do is make up for lost time
   None of the cars (that) I saw had been damaged
   Nothing (that) I could say made any difference

   That cannot be omitted when it is the subject of the relative clause, e.g.

   Nothing that occurred to me made any difference
   None of the cars that were under cover had been damaged

   See also adverbial relative clauses and way, relative clause following.

4.53 there is or there are

   In a sentence introduced by there + part of the verb to be, the latter
   agrees in number with the noun, noun phrase, or pronoun which follows:

   There was a great deal to be said for this scheme
   There are many advantages in doing it this way

   In very informal language there is or there was is often heard before a

   There's two coloured-glass windows in the chapel
   (Character in work by Evelyn Waugh)

   ° This is non-standard.

4.54 to

   The preposition to can stand at the end of a clause or sentence as a
   substitute for an omitted to-infinitive, e.g.

   He had tried not to think about Emma..., but of course it was
   impossible not to (Iris Murdoch)
   I gave him her message, as I should have been obliged to
   if she had died (C. P. Snow)

   This is standard usage.

4.55 unattached phrases

   An adjectival or adverbial phrase, introducing a sentence, must qualify
   the subject of the sentence, e.g.

   While not entirely in agreement with the plan, he had no serious
   objections to it
   After two days on a life-raft, the survivors were rescued by helicopter

   The introductory phrases While...plan and After...life-raft qualify the
   subjects he and the survivors respectively.

   It is a common error to begin a sentence with a phrase of this kind,
   anticipating a suitable subject, and then to continue the sentence with a
   quite different subject, e.g.

   After six hours without food in a plane on the perimeter at Heathrow,
   the flight was cancelled

   The phrase After...Heathrow anticipates a subject like the passengers: a
   flight cannot spend six hours without food in a plane on an airport
   perimeter. Such a sentence should either have a new beginning, e.g.

   After the passengers had spent six hours...

   or a new main clause, e.g.

   After six hours  ...Heathrow, the passengers
   learnt that the flight had been cancelled

4.56 used to

   The negative and interrogative of used to can be formed in two ways:

   (i) Negative: used not to
       Interrogative: used X to?

   This formation follows the pattern of the other auxiliary verbs.

   Used you to beat your mother? (G. B. Shaw)
   You used not to have a moustache, used you? (Evelyn Waugh)

   (ii) Negative: did not use to, didn't use to

        Interrogative: did X use to?

   This formation is the same as that used with regular verbs. Examples:

   She didn't use to find sex revolting (John Braine)
   Did you use to be a flirt? (Eleanor Farjeon)

   ЬEither form is acceptable. On the whole used you to, used he to, etc.
   tend to sound rather stilted.

   ° The correct spellings of the negative forms are:

      usedn't to and didn't use to


      usen't to and didn't used to

4.57 way, relative clause following

   (The) way can be followed by a relative clause with or without that. There
   is no need for the relative clause to contain the preposition in:

   It may have been the way he smiled (Jean Rhys)
   Whatever way they happened would be an ugly way
   (Iris Murdoch)
   She couldn't give a dinner party the way the young lad's
   mother could (William Trevor)

4.58 were or was

   There is often confusion about whether to use the past subjunctive were or
   the past indicative was.

   Formal usage requires were

   1.  In conditional sentences where the condition is 'unreal', e.g.

       It would probably be more marked if the subject were
       more dangerous (George Orwell)
       (The condition is unreal because 'the subject' is not
       very 'dangerous' in fact)
       If anyone were to try to save me, I would refuse
       (Jean Rhys)
       (The condition is regarded as unlikely)

   2.  Following as if and as though, e.g.

       He wore it with an air of melancholy, as though it were
       court mourning (Evelyn Waugh)
       (For a permissible exception see as if, as though. in topic 3.0)

   3.  In that-clauses after to wish, e.g.

       I wish I were going instead of you

   4.  In the fixed expressions As it were, If I were you

   Notice that in all these constructions the clause with were refers to
   something unreal, something that in fact is not or will not be the case.

   Were may also be used in dependent questions, where there is doubt of the
   answer, e.g.

   Hilliard wondered whether Barton were not right after all
   (Susan Hill)
   Her mother suddenly demanded to know if she were pregnant
   (Joyce Cary)

   This is not obligatory even in very formal prose. Was is acceptable

4.59 we (with phrase following)

   Expressions consisting of we or us followed by a qualifying word or
   phrase, e.g. we English, us English, are often misused with the wrong case
   of the first person plural pronoun. In fact the rules are exactly the same
   as for we or us standing alone.

   If the expression is the subject, we should be used:

    (Correct)   Not always laughing as heartily as
                we English are supposed to do (J. B. Priestley)
    (Incorrect) We all make mistakes, even us
                anarchists (Character in work by Alison Lurie)
                (Substitute we anarchists)

   If the expression is the object or the complement of a preposition, us
   should be used:

    (Correct)   To us English, Europe is not a
                very vivid conception
    (Incorrect) The Manchester Guardian has said some
                nice things about we in the North-East

4.60 what (relative pronoun)

   What can be used as a relative pronoun only when introducing nominal
   relative clauses, e.g.

   So much of what you tell me is strange, different from
   what I was led to expect (Jean Rhys)

   In this kind of relative clause, the antecedent and relative pronoun are
   combined in the one word what, which can be regarded as equivalent to that
   which or the thing(s) which.

   ° What cannot act as a relative pronoun qualifying an antecedent in
   standard English. This use is found only in non-standard speech, e.g.

   The young gentleman what's arranged everything
   (Character in work by Evelyn Waugh)

   A what-clause used as the subject of a sentence almost always takes a
   singular verb, even if there is plural complement, e.g.

   What one first became aware of was the pictures
   (J. I. M. Stewart)
   What interests him is less events...than the reverberations they set up
   (Frederic Raphael)

   Very occasionally the form of the sentence may under the plural more
   natural, e.g.

   What once were great houses are now petty offices
   I have few books, and what there are do not help me

4.61 which or that (relative pronouns)

   There is a degree of uncertainty about whether to use which or that as the
   relative pronoun qualifying a non-personal antecedent (for personal
   antecedents see who/whom or that (relative pronouns).

   The general rule is that which is used in relative clauses to which the
   reader's attention is to be drawn, while that is used in clauses which
   mention what is already known or does not need special emphasis.

   Which is almost always used in non-restrictive clauses, i.e. those that
   add further information about an antecedent already defined by other words
   or the context. Examples:

   The men are getting rum issue, which they deserve (Susan Hill)
   Narrow iron beds with blue rugs on them, which Miss Fanshawe
   has to see are all kept tidy (William Trevor)

   ° The use of that in non-restrictive clauses should be avoided. It is not
   uncommon in informal speech, and is sometimes employed by good writers to
   suggest a tone of familiarity, e.g.

   Getting out of Alec's battered old car that looked
   as if it had been in collision with many rocks, Harold
   had a feeling of relief (L. P. Hartley)

   It should not, however, be used in ordinary prose.

   Both which and that can be used in restrictive relative clauses, i.e.
   clauses that limit or define the antecedent.

   There is no infallible rule to determine which should be used. Some
   guidelines follow:

   1.  Which preferred.

       a.  Clauses which add significant information often sound better with
           which, e.g.

           Was I counting on Israel to work some miracle which would
           give me the strength? (Lynne Reid Banks)
           Not nearly enough for the social position which they had
           to keep up (D. H. Lawrence)

       b.  Clauses which are separated from their antecedent, especially when
           separated by another noun, sound better with which, e.g.

           Larry told her the story of the young airman which I narrated
           at the beginning of this book (W.Somerset Maugham)

       c.  When a preposition governs the relative pronoun, which preceded by
           the preposition is often a better choice than that with the
           preposition at the end of the sentence (see also preposition at

           I'm telling you about a dream in which ordinary things
           are marvellous (William Trevor)
           (A dream that ordinary things are marvellous in would not
           sound natural)
           The inheritance to which we are born is one that nothing can
           destroy (NEB)
           (The inheritance that we are born to would sound very informal
           and unsuited to the context)

   2.  That preferred.

       In clauses that do not fall into the above categories that can usually
       be used. There is no reason to reject that if

       a.  the antecedent is impersonal,
       b.  the clause is restrictive,
       c.  no preposition precedes the relative pronoun, and
       d.  the sentence does not sound strained or excessively colloquial.


       I read the letters, none of them very revealing, that littered
       his writing table (Evelyn Waugh)
       He fell back on the old English courtesy that he had
       consciously perfected to combat the increasing irritability
       that came with old age and arthritis (Angus Wilson)

       In these examples, which would be acceptable, but is not necessary.

   When the antecedent is an indefinite pronoun (e.g.  anything, everything,
   nothing, something) or contains a superlative adjective qualifying the
   impersonal antecedent (e.g. the biggest car, the most expensive hat)
   English idiom tends to prefer that to which:

   Is there nothing small that the children could buy you for
   This is the most expensive hat that you could have

   Note that that can sometimes be used when one is not sure whether to use
   who or which:

   This was the creature, neither child nor woman, that drove
   me through the dusk that summer evening (Evelyn Waugh)

4.62 who and whom (interrogative and relative pronouns)

   1.  Formal usage restricts the use of the interrogative and relative
       pronoun who to the subject of the clause only, e.g.

       I who'd never read anything before but the newspaper
       (W. Somerset Maugham)

       When the pronoun is the object or the complement of a preposition,
       whom must be used:

       Why are we being served by a man whom neither of us likes?
       (William Trevor)
       The real question is food (or freedom) for whom
       (C. S. Lewis)
       A midget nobleman to whom all doors were open
       (Evelyn Waugh)

       ° The use of who as object or prepositional complement is acceptable
       informally, but should not be carried over into serious prose, e.g.

       Who are you looking for?
       The person who I'm looking for is rather elusive

       See also than, case following

   2.  Whom for who.

       Whom is sometimes mistakenly used for who because the writer believes
       it to be the object, or the complement of a preposition.

       a.  For the interrogative pronoun the rule is: the case of the pronoun
           who/whom is determined by its role in the interrogative clause,
           not by any word in the main clause:

           He never had any doubt about who was the real credit to the
           family (J. I. M. Stewart)

           Who here is the subject of was. One should not be confused by
           about, which governs the whole clause, not who alone.

           The error is seen in:

           Whom among our poets...could be called one of the
           interior decorators of the 1950s?
           (Read Who..because it is the subject of the passive verb be

           Whom is correct in:

           He knew whom it was from (L. P. Hartley)
           (Here whom is governed by from)
           Whom he was supposed to be fooling, he couldn't imagine (David Lodge)
           (Here whom is the object of fooling)

       b.  For the relative pronoun, when followed by a parenthetic clause
           such as they say, he thinks, I believe, etc., the rule is: the
           case of the pronoun who/whom is determined by the part it plays in
           the relative clause if the parenthetic statement is omitted:

           Sheikh Yamani who they say is the richest man in the Middle East

           (Not whom they say since who is the subject of is, not the object
           of say)

           But whom is correct in:

           Sheikh Yamani whom they believe to be the richest man in
           the Middle East

           Here they believe is not parenthetic, since it could not be
           removed leaving the sentence intact. Whom is its object:  the
           simple clause would be They believe him to be the richest man.

   See also I who, you who, etc.

4.63 who or which (relative pronouns)

   If a wh-pronoun is used to introduce a relative clause it must be who
   (whom) if the antecedent is personal, e.g.

   Suzanne was a woman who had no notion of reticence
   (W. Somerset Maugham)

   But it must be which if the antecedent is non-personal.  e.g.

   There was a suppressed tension about her which made me
   nervous (Lynne Reid Banks)

   If the relative clause is non-restrictive, i.e. it adds significant new
   information about an antecedent already defined, the wh-type of pronoun
   must be used (as above).

   If the relative clause is restrictive, i.e. it defines or limits the
   reference of the antecedent, one can use either the appropriate wh-pronoun
   (as indicated above), or the non-variable pronoun that. For guidance about
   this choice see which or that (relative pronouns), who/whom or that
   (relative pronouns).

4.64 whose or of which in relative clauses

   The relative pronoun whose can be used as the possessive of which, i.e.
   with reference to a non-personal antecedent, just as much as it can as the
   possessive of who. The rule sometimes enunciated that of which must always
   be used after a non-personal antecedent should be ignored, as it is by
   good writers, e.g.

   The little book whose yellowish pages she knew
   (Virginia Woolf)
   A robe whose weight and stiff folds expressed her repose
   (Evelyn Waugh)
   A narrow side street, whose windows had flower boxes and
   painted shutters (Doris Lessing)

   In some sentences, of which would he almost impossible, e.g.

   The lawns about whose closeness of cut his father worried
   the gardener daily (Susan Hill)

   There is, of course, no rule prohibiting of which if it sounds natural,

   A little town the name of which I have forgotten
   (W. Somerset Maugham)

   Whose can only be used as the non-personal possessive in relative clauses.
   Interrogative whose refers only to persons, as in Whose book is this?

4.65 who/whom or that (relative pronouns)

   In formal usage, who/whom is always acceptable as the relative pronoun
   following an antecedent that denotes a person.  (For the choice between
   who and whom see who and whom (interrogative and relative pronouns).

   In non-restrictive relative clauses, i.e. those which add significant new
   information about an antecedent already defined, who/whom is obligatory,

   It was not like Coulter, who was a cheerful man
   (Susan Hill)

   In restrictive relative clauses, i.e those which define or limit the
   reference of the antecedent, who/whom is usually quite acceptable:

   The masters who taught me Divinity told me that biblical
   texts were highly untrustworthy (Evelyn Waugh)

   It is generally felt that the relative pronoun that is more impersonal
   than who/whom, and is therefore slightly depreciatory if applied to a
   person. Hence it tends to be avoided in formal usage.

   However, if

   (i) the relative pronoun is the object, and
   (ii) the personality of the antecedent is suppressed

   that may well be appropriate, e.g.

   Then the woman that they actually caught and  pinned down
   would not have been Margot (Evelyn Waugh)
   They looked now just like the GIs that one saw in Viet Nam
   (David Lodge)

   Informally that is acceptable with any personal antecedent, e.g.

   You got it from the man that stole the horse
   Honey, it's me that should apologize
   (David  Lodge)

   ° This should be avoided in formal style.

4.66 you and I or you and me

   When a personal pronoun is linked by and or or to a noun or another
   pronoun there is often confusion about which case to put the pronoun in.
   In fact the rule is exactly as it would be for the pronoun standing alone.

   1.  If the two words linked by and or or constitute the subject, the
       pronoun should be in the subjective case, e.g.

       Only she and her mother cared for the old house
       That's what we would do, that is, John and I
       Who could go?--Either you or he

       The use of the objective case is quite common informal speech, but it
       is non-standard, e.g. examples from the speech of characters in

       Perhaps only her and Mrs Natwick had stuck to the
       christened name (Patrick White)
       That's how we look at it, me and Martha
       (Kingsley Amis)
       Either Mary had to leave or me (David Lodge)

       If the two words linked by and or or constitute the object of the
       verb, or the complement of a reposition, the objective case must be

       The afternoon would suit her and John better
       It was time for Sebastian and me to go down to  the
       drawing-room (Evelyn Waugh)

   The use of the subjective case is very common formally. It probably arises
   from an exaggerated fear of the error indicated under 1 above.

   ° It remains, however, non-standard, e.g.

   It was this that set Charles and I talking of old times
   Why is it that people like you and I are so unpopular?
   (Character in work by William Trevor)
   Between you and I

   This last expression is very commonly heard. Between you and me should
   always be substituted.

A.0 Appendix A.  Principles of Punctuation

A.1 apostrophe

   1.  Used to indicate the possessive case: see possessive case

   2.  Used to mark an omission, e.g.  e'er, we'll, he's, '69.

   ° Sometimes written, but unnecessary, in a number of curtailed words, e.g.
   bus, cello, flu, phone, plane (not 'bus, etc.).  See also plural

A.2 brackets


   1.  parentheses

   2.  square brackets

A.3 colon

   1.  Links two grammatically complete clauses, but marks a step forward,
       from introduction to main theme, from cause to effect, or from premiss
       to conclusion, e.g. To commit sin is to break God's law: sin, in fact,
       is lawlessness.

   2.  Introduces a list of items (a dash should not be added), e.g. The
       following were present: J. Smith, J.  Brown, P. Thompson, M. Jones. It
       is used after such expressions as for example, namely, the following,
       to resume, to sum up.

A.4 comma

   The least emphatic separating mark of punctuation, used:

   1.  Between adjectives which each qualify a noun in the same way, e.g.  A
       cautious, eloquent man.

       But when adjectives qualify the noun in different ways, or when one
       adjective qualifies another, no comma is used, e.g. A distinguished
       foreign author, a bright red tie.

   2.  To separate items (including the last) in a list of more than two
       items, e.g. Potatoes, peas, and carrots; Potatoes, peas, or carrots;
       Potatoes, peas, etc.; Red, white, and blue.

       ° But A black and white TV set.

   3.  To separate co-ordinated main clauses, e.g. Cars will turn here, and
       coaches will go straight on. But not when they are closely linked,
       e.g. Do as I tell you and you'll never regret it.

   4.  To mark the beginning and end of a parenthetical word or phrase, e.g.
       I am sure, however, that it will not happen; Fred, who is bald,
       complained of the cold.

       ° Not with restrictive relative clauses, e.g. Men who are bald should
       wear hats.

   5.  After a participial or verbless clause, a salutation, or a vocative,
       e.g. Having had breakfast, I went for a walk; The sermon over, the
       congregation filed out or The sermon being over, (etc.); My son, give
       me thy heart.

       ° Not The sermon, being over, (etc.)

       ° No comma with expressions like My friend Lord X or My son John.

   6.  To separate a phrase or subordinate clause from the main clause so as
       to avoid misunderstanding, e.g. In the valley below, the villages
       looked very small; He did not go to church, because he was playing
       golf; In 1982, 1918 seemed a long time ago.

       ° A comma should not be used to separate a phrasal subject from its
       predicate, or a verb from an object that is a clause: A car with such
       a highpowered engine, should not let you down and They believed, that
       nothing could go wrong are both incorrect.

   7.  Following words introducing direct speech, e.g. They answered, 'Here
       we are.'

   8.  Following Dear Sir, Dear John, etc., in letters, and after Yours
       sincerely, etc.

   ° No comma is needed between month and year in dates, e.g. In December
   1982 or between number and road in addresses, e.g. 12 Acacia Avenue.

A.5 dash

   1.  The en rule is distinct (in print) from the hyphen (see hyphens and is
       used to join pairs or groups of words wherever movement or tension,
       rather than cooperation or unity, is felt: it is often equivalent to
       to or versus, e.g.  The 1914-18 war; current-voltage characteristic;
       The London-Horsham-Brighton route; The Fischer-Spassky match; The
       Marxist-Trotskyite split.

       ° Note The Marxist-Leninist position; The Franco-Prussian war with

       It is also used for joint authors, e.g. The Lloyd-Jones hypothesis
       (two men), distinct from The Lloyd-Jones hypothesis (one man with
       double-barrelled name).

   2.  The em rule (the familiar dash) is used to mark an interruption in the
       structure of a sentence. A pair of them can be used to enclose a
       parenthetic remark or to make the ending and resumption of a statement
       interrupted by an interlocutor; e.g.  He was not--you may disagree
       with me, Henry--much of an artist; 'I didn't--' 'Speak up, boy!'--hear
       anything; I was just standing near by.' It can be used informally to
       replace the colon (use 1).

A.6 exclamation mark

   Used after an exclamatory word, phrase, or sentence. It usually counts as
   the concluding full stop, but need not, e.g. Hail source of Being!
   universal Soul! It may also be used within square brackets, after a
   quotation, to express the editor's amusement, dissent, or surprise.

A.7 full stop

   1.  Used at the end of all sentences which are not questions or
       exclamations. The next word should normally begin with a capital

   2.  Used after abbreviations: see abbreviationsIf a point making an
       abbreviation comes at the end of a sentence, it also serves as the
       closing full stop, e.g. She also kept dogs, cats, birds, etc. but She
       also kept pets (dogs, cats, birds, etc.).

   3.  When a sentence concludes with a quotation which itself ends with a
       full stop, question mark, or exclamation mark, no further full stop is
       needed, e.g. He cried 'Be off!' But the child would not move.  But if
       the quotation is a short statement, and the introducing sentence has
       much greater weight, the full stop is put outside the quotation marks,
       e.g. Over the entrance to the temple at Delphi were written the words
       'know thyself'.

A.8 hyphen:

   see hyphens

A.9 parentheses


   1.  Interpolations and remarks made by the writer of the text himself,
       e.g. Mr. X (as I shall call him) now spoke.

   2.  An authority, definition, explanation, reference, or translation.

   3.  In the report of a speech, interruptions by the audience.

   4.  Reference letters or figures (which do not then need a full stop),
       e.g. (1), (a).

A.10 period:

   see full stop

A.11 question mark

   1.  Follows every question which expects a separate answer. The next word
       should begin with a capital letter.

       ° Not used after indirect questions, e.g. He asked me why I was there.

   2.  May be placed before a word, etc., whose accuracy is doubted, e.g. T.
       Tallis ?1505-85.

A.12 quotation marks

   1.  Single quotation marks are used for a first quotation; double for a
       quotation within this; single again for a further quotation inside

   2.  The closing quotation mark should come before all punctuation marks
       unless these form part of the quotation itself, e.g. Did Nelson really
       say 'Kiss me, Hardy'? but Then she asked 'What is your name?' (see
       also full stop 3 in topic A.7).

       The comma at the end of a quotation, when words such as he said
       follow, is regarded as equivalent to the final full stop of the
       speaker's utterance, and is kept inside the quotation, e.g. 'That is
       nonsense,' he said. The commas on either side of he said, etc., when
       these words interrupt the quotation, should be outside the quotation
       marks, e.g.  'That', he said, 'is nonsense.' But the first comma goes
       inside the quotation marks if it would be part of the utterance even
       if there were no interruption, e.g. 'That, my dear fellow,' he said,
       'is nonsense.'

   3.  Quotation marks (and roman type) are used when citing titles of
       articles in magazines, chapters of books, poems not published
       separately, and songs.

       ° Not for titles of books of the Bible; nor for any passage that
       represents only the substance of an extract, or has any grammatical
       alterations, and is not a verbatim quotation.

       Titles of books and magazines are usually printed in italic.

A.13 semicolon

   Separates those parts of a sentence between which there is a more distinct
   break than would call for a comma, but which are too closely connected to
   be made into separate sentences. Typically these will be clauses of
   similar importance and grammatical construction, e.g. To err is human; to
   forgive, divine.

A.14 square brackets

   Enclose comments, corrections, explanations, interpolations, notes, or
   translations, which were not in the original text, but have been added by
   subsequent authors, editors, or others, e.g. My right honourable friend
   [John Smith] is mistaken.

B.0 Appendix B.  Clich‚s and Modish and Inflated Diction

   A clich‚ is a phrase that has become worn out and emptied of meaning by
   over-frequent and careless use.  Never to use clich‚s at all would be
   impossible: they are too common, and too well embedded in the fabric of
   the language. On many occasions they can be useful in communicating simple
   ideas economically, and are often a means of conveying general
   sociability.  When writing serious prose, however, in which clear and
   precise communication is intended, one should guard against allowing
   clich‚s to do the work which the words of one's own choosing could do
   better.  'Modish and inflated diction' is a rough and ready way of
   referring to a body of words and phrases that is familiar, but hard to
   delineate and delimit.  In origin some of these expressions are often
   scientific or technical and are, in their original context, assigned a
   real and useful meaning; others are the creation of popular writers and
   broadcasters.  What they all have in common is their grip on the popular
   mind, so that they have come to be used in all kinds of general contexts
   where they are unnecessary, ousting ordinary words that are better but
   sound less impressive. As their popularity and frequency increases, so
   their real denotative value drains away, a process that closely resembles
   monetary inflation. As with clich‚s, it would be difficult, and not
   necessarily desirable, to ban these expressions from our usage completely,
   but, again, one should carefully guard against using them either because
   they sound more learned and up to date than the more commonplace words in
   one's vocabulary, or as a short cut in communicating ideas that would be
   better set out in simple, clear, basic vocabulary.

   The list that follows does not claim to be an exhaustive collection of
   clich‚s or of modish diction, but presents some contemporary expressions
   which are most frequently censured and are avoided by good writers.

   actual (tautologous or meaningless,
                       e.g. Is this an actual Roman coin?)
   actually (as a filler, e.g. Actually it's time I was going)
   articulate (verb = express)
   at the end of the day
   at this moment (or point) in time
   -awareness (e.g. brand-awareness)
   ball game (a different, etc., -)
   basically (as a filler)
   by and large (sometimes used with no meaning)
   -centred (e.g. discovery-centred)
   conspicuous by one's absence
   constructive (used tautologously, e.g. A constructive suggestion)
   -deprivation (e.g. status-deprivation)
   dimension (= feature, factor)
   -directed (e.g. task-directed)
   dispense (= give)
   escalate (= increase, intensify)
   eventuate (= result)
   framework (in the framework of)
   fresh (= new, renewed, etc.)
   grind to a halt (= end, stop)
   identify (= find, discover)
   if you like (explanatory tag)
   integrate, integrated
   in terms of
   in the order of (= about)
   in this day and age
   -ize (suffix, forming vogue words, e.g. normalize,
                       permanentize, prioritize, respectabilize)
   leave severely alone
   look closely at
   loved ones (= relatives)
   low profile (keep, or maintain, a-)
   massive(= huge)
   meaningful (can often be omitted without any change in meaning)
   methodology (= method)
   -minded (e.g. company-minded)
   name of the game, the
   -oriented (e.g. marketing-oriented)
   participate in
   persona (= character)
   proliferation (= a number)
   quantum jump
   real (especially in very real)
   -related (e.g. church-related)
   simplistic (= oversimplified)
   sort of (as a filler)
   spell (= mean, involve)
   target (figuratively used)
   terminate (= end)
   totality of, the
   track-record (= record)
   until such time as
   utilize (= use)
   you know (as a filler)
   you name it

   See also the entries in Vocabulary for:

   antithetical              hopefully                ongoing
   author                    impact                   overly
   aware                     industrial action        overview
   character                 interface                parameter
   crucial                   ironic                   pivotal
   decimate                  limited                  predicate
   dichotomy                 literally                pre-empt
   differential              locate                   pristine
   dilemma                   maximize                 proportion
   event (in the             nature                   region (in the
     event that)                                        region of)
   excess (in excess of)     neighbourhood (in the    scenario
                               neighborhood of)
   exposure                  no way                   situation
   feasible                  obligate                 substantial

C.0 Appendix C.  English Overseas

   Outside the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, English is an
   important language in many countries, and the major language of four-the
   United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand-and of a large minority
   in another, South Africa.  Despite the great distances separating these
   five English-speaking communities from each other and from the British
   Isles, and the great social and cultural differences between them, the
   forms of English which they use remain mutually intelligible to a
   remarkable degree.  Partly this is because all English-speaking
   communities have held to a standard spelling system. There are a number of
   points of difference in spelling between the English of the United States
   and that of Britain (the other communities follow the British mode, except
   that many US spellings are usual, or acceptable, in Canada); but these are
   all relatively minor.  The major differences are in pronunciation,
   vocabulary, and, to a lesser degree, grammar.

C.1 1. The United States

   The main differences between General American pronunciation and British
   Received Pronunciation are set out on pp. 78-9. The General American
   accent is a supra-regional way of speaking acceptable throughout the
   country, but there are very marked differences of accent between different
   regions of the United States.  Two varieties familiar in Great Britain are
   'Brooklynese' (the New York City accent), in which earl and oil sound
   alike (the sound is somewhere between the two), and the southern 'drawl'
   (the accent of the states from Virginia southward) in which I and time
   sound like ah and tahm.

   The difference in vocabulary between American and British English is too
   well known to need extensive illustration. Most British people are
   familiar with many American equivalents for British terms, e.g.  bathrobe
   (dressing gown), checkers (draughts), cookie (biscuit), elevator (lift),
   flyer (handbill), gas (petrol), vest (waistcoat). It is not so often
   realized that many words and phrases now normal in Britain originated in
   North America, e.g. to fall for, to fly off the handle, off-beat, punch
   line, quiz (as a noun), round trip, round-up, to snoop. Nor is it fully
   realized how many words and phrases used every day in the United States
   are unknown, or nearly so, in Britain, and show no sign of being adopted
   here.  Many, but not all, are colloquial, e.g. realtor (estate agent),
   rotunda (concourse), running gear (vehicle's wheels and axles), sassy
   (cheeky), scam (fraud), scofflaw (habitual law-breaker), to second-guess
   (be wise after the event), tacky (seedy, tatty). Many words have slightly
   different meanings in the United States, e.g.  jelly (jam), mean (nasty,
   not stingy), nervy (impudent, not nervous). Some familiar words have a
   slightly different form, e.g. behoove, crawfish, dollhouse, math,
   normalcy, rowboat, sanitarium (British sanatorium), tidbit.  There are
   some notable differences between American and British grammar and
   construction, e.g. aside from (apart from), back of (behind), different
   than, in school, most (almost), protest (protest against), some (to some
   extent), through (up to and including); he ordered them arrested, I just
   ate (I have just eaten), to teach school, on the street, a quarter of ten.

   While, therefore, the formal and literary varieties of British and
   American English are mutually intelligible, the most colloquial spoken
   varieties of each are in some ways very different, and each can, in some
   contexts, be almost incomprehensible to a speaker of the other.

C.2 2. Canada

   Canadian English is subject to the conflicting influences of British and
   American English. On the whole British English has a literary influence,
   while American has a spoken one.  The Canadian accent is in most respects
   identical with General American. But where British English has four vowels
   in (i) bat, (ii) dance, father, (iii) hot, long, (iv) law, and General
   American three, Canadian has only two: bat and dance with a front a, and
   father, hot, long, and law with a back ah-sound.  Peculiar to the Canadian
   accent is a distinction between two varieties of the I-sound and two of
   the ow-sound:  light does not have the same vowel as lied, nor lout as
   loud.  Canadians pronounce some words in the American way, e.g. dance,
   half, clerk, tomato, but others in the British way, e.g.  lever, ration,
   process, lieutenant, and the name of the letter Z.  Some American
   spellings have caught on, e.g. honor, jail, plow, program, tire, but many,
   such as -er in words like center, single I in traveled, jeweler, and the
   short ax, catalog, check, have not.  In vocabulary there is much US
   influence: Canadians use billboard, gas, truck, wrench rather than
   hoarding, petrol, lorry, spanner; but on the other hand, they agree with
   the British in using blinds, braces, porridge, tap, rather than shades,
   suspenders, oatmeal, faucet.  The Canadian vocabulary, like the American,
   reflects the contact between English and various American Indian peoples,
   e.g.  pekan (a kind of weasel), sagamite (broth or porridge), saskatoon (a
   kind of bush, or its berry). It also reflects close contact with the large
   French-speaking community of Canada and with Eskimo peoples, e.g.
   aboiteau (dike), inconnu (a kind of fish), to mush (travel by dog-sled);
   chimo (an Eskimo greeting), kuletuk (a garment resembling a parka). And as
   there have been different degrees of settlement by the various non-
   English-speaking European nationalities in Canada than in the United
   States, so the range of European loan-words in Canadian English is
   markedly different, many American colloquialisms being unknown.  On the
   other hand, there are several regional dialects that differ markedly from
   the standard language, notably that of Newfoundland.

C.3 3. Australia and New Zealand

   There are no important differences in written form between the English of
   Great Britain and that of Australia, New Zealand, or indeed South Africa.
   The literary language of the four communities is virtually identical.
   Grammatically, too, the English of all four is uniform, except that each
   has developed its own colloquial idioms. Thus it is in the everyday spoken
   language that the main differences lie. The Australian accent is marked by
   a number of divergences from the British. (i) The vowels of fleece, face,
   price, goose, goat, and mouth all begin with rather open, slack sounds not
   unlike those used in Cockney speech. (ii) The vowels of dress, strut,
   start, dance, nurse have a much closer, tighter, more fronted sound than
   in RP. (iii) In unstressed syllables, typically -es or -ed (boxes,
   studded), where RP would have a sound like i in pin, Australian English
   has a sound like e in open or a in comma. (iv) In unstressed syllables,
   typically -y, or -ie + consonant (study, studied), where RP has the sound
   of i in pin, Australian English has a close -ee sound, as in tree. The
   result of (iii) and (iv) is that in Australia boxes and boxers sound the
   same, but studded and studied, which are the same in RP, sound different.
   (v) -t- between vowels, and l, are often sounded rather as they are in
   American English.  A number of individual words are differently
   pronounced, e.g. aquatic and auction with an o sound as in hot in the
   stressed syllable; Melbourne with a totally obscured second syllable, but
   Queensland with a fully pronounced one (the reverse of the RP).
   Australian vocabulary reflects, of course, the very different nature of
   the landscape, climate, natural history, and way of life. Familiar English
   words like brook, dale, field, and forest are unusual, whereas bush,
   creek, paddock, and scrub are normal.  There are of course a large number
   of terms (often compounded from English elements) for the plants and
   animals peculiar to the country, e.g. blue gum, stringybark (plants),
   flathead, popeye mullet (fish). The borrowings from Aboriginal languages
   hardly need extensive illustration; many are familiar in Britain, e.g.
   billabong, boomerang, budgerigar, didgeridoo, wallaby. Many of them have
   taken on transferred meanings and have lost their Aboriginal associations,
   e.g. gibber (boulder, stone), mulga (an inhospitable region), warrigal
   (wild, untamed person or animal).  But above all it is in the colloquial
   language that Australian English differs from British. Not only are there
   terms relating to Australian life and society, e.g. jackaroo, rouse-about,
   walkabout, but ordinary terms, e.g. to chiack (tease), crook (bad,
   irritable, ill), dinkum, furphy (rumour), to smoodge (fawn, caress);
   formations and compounds like those ending in -o (e.g. arvo (afternoon),
   Commo (communist), smoko (teabreak)); to overland, ratbag (eccentric,
   troublemaker), ropeable (angry); and expressions like come the raw prawn,
   she'll be right, have a shingle short. While it is true that many
   Australianisms are known in Britain, and form the basis of various kinds
   of humorous entertainment, and while British English has borrowed some
   Australian vocabulary (e.g. the verb to barrack or the noun walkabout),
   there is yet a wide gap between the popular spoken forms of the two kinds
   of English.

   The gap is less wide in the case of New Zealand English, where British
   influence has on the whole remained stronger. To a British ear, the New
   Zealand accent is hardly distinguishable from the Australian.  Its main
   peculiarities are: (i) i as in kit is a very slack sound almost like a in
   cadet; (ii) a as in trap and e as in dress are almost like British e in
   pep and i in this; (iii) the vowels of square and near are very tense and
   close, and may even be sounded alike; (iv) the vowels of smooth and nurse
   are sounded forward in the mouth, and rather close.  The chief differences
   between New Zealand and Australian English are lexical. The words of
   aboriginal origin are mostly unknown in New Zealand, while the New Zealand
   words drawn from Maori are unknown in Australia. Many of the latter,
   naturally, refer to natural history and landscape specific to the country,
   e.g. bid-a-bid (kind of plant), cockabully, tarakihi (kinds of fish),
   pohutukawa (kind of tree).  There is a large everyday vocabulary, much of
   it, but by no means all, colloquial or slang, used neither in Britain nor
   in Australia, e.g.  booay (remote rural district), greenstone (stone used
   for ornaments), return to the mat (resume Maori way of life), shake
   (earthquake), tar-sealed (surfaced with tar macadam), Taranaki gate (gate
   made of wire strands attached to upright battens).  While a fair amount of
   colloquial vocabulary is shared by Australia and New Zealand (e.g. sheila,
   Pommy, paddock (field), shout (to treat to drinks)), there are important
   nuances.  In both to bach is to live as a bachelor, but in New Zealand
   only is there a noun bach, a small beach or holiday house. Similar
   organizations are the RSA (Returned Servicemen's Association) in New
   Zealand, but the RSL (Returned Servicemen's League) in Australia: the
   initials of the one would be meaningless to a member of the other.  Mopoke
   or morepork is the name for a kind of owl in New Zealand, but for either a
   nightjar, or a different kind of owl, in Australia.

C.4 4. South Africa

   English is one of the two official languages of the Republic of South
   Africa, the other being Afrikaans (derived from Dutch, but now an entirely
   independent language).  Afrikaans has had a fairly strong influence on the
   English of the Republic: the South African accent is distinctly 'clipped';
   r is often rolled, and the consonants p, t, and k have a sharper
   articulation, usually lacking the aspiration (a faint h sound) found in
   other varieties of English.  I is sometimes very lax (like a in along),
   e.g. in bit, lip, at other times very tense (like ee), e.g. in kiss, big;
   the vowels of dress, trap, square, nurse are very tense and close, while
   that of part is very far back almost like port.  As in the other forms of
   English of the Southern Hemisphere, the different landscape, flora and
   fauna, and way of life are reflected in the South African vocabulary, e.g.
   dorp (village), go-away bird, kopje, nartjie (tangerine), rand,
   rhenosterbos (a kind of plant), roman, snoek (both fish), springbok, stoep
   (veranda), veld.  There are many loan-words from Afrikaans and African
   languages, e.g.  (besides most of those above) braai (barbecue), donga
   (eroded watercourse), erf (building plot), gogga (insect), impala (kind of
   antelope), indaba (meeting for discussion), lekker (nice), rondavel (hut).
   There are also many general colloquial words and phrases, e.g.  the farm
   (the country), homeboy (African from one's own area), location (Black
   township), robot (traffic light), tackies (plimsolls).  Some of these
   reflect the influence of Afrikaans idiom, e.g. to come there (arrive),
   just now (in a little while), land (a field), to wait on (wait for). Only
   a few words have entered the main stream of English, but they are
   important ones, including apartheid, commandeer, commando, laager, trek,
   and the slang scoff (to eat; food).

   The spoken language of each of the main English-speaking communities, as
   well as of the smaller communities scattered around the world, manifests
   enormous differences in pronunciation, vocabulary, and idiom. The relative
   uniformity of the written, and especially the literary, language, stands
   in tension with this.  The outcome is a world language of unparalleled
   richness and variety.

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