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45. His name has never been replaced by any other in the transaction.
46. Twice in history has there been witnessed the struggle of the highest individual genius against a nation.
47. If you are of that opinion, you are mistaken.
Precision consists in selecting the word or expression that conveys the exact meaning intended
no more, no less. Examples. — It would be more correct to say damp clothes than moist clothes, because anything is said to be damp when the wetness is from some outward cause, or when the article is in an abnormal state; while that is moist which is naturally damp, as the soil when fitted for vegetation.
We say a vacant chair, not an empty chair; for though both words imply that the chair has no occupant, yet vacant conveys the idea that it should be filled, but is not, while empty simply means that there is nothing in it.
How attained. As English abounds in words which express nearly the same meaning, great exactness of expression is possible, and much care and thought are necessary to be able to select always the word which conveys just what is meant. Much may be learned by observing the practice of good authors, but the most efficient method of attaining precision is the careful and continuous study of synonyms. This may be carried on by collating and examining words of nearly the same meaning ; by revising every sentence that one writes, and studiously inquiring whether each word in it is accurately used ; and by the study of some standard work on the subject, such as Crabb's or Smith's Synonyms, or Roget's Thesaurus.
Further Examples. — In order more fully to illustrate the subject a few synonyms are here explained, but they must be regarded, by those who would attain proficiency, as the merest beginning.
1. Visitor, Visitant. Visitor or visitant is one who pays a visit ; but a visitor is a human being, and a visitant, a supernatural one.
2. Neglect, Negligence. Neglect is an act, or, rather, a failure to act; negligence implies a failure to conform to an established standard or custom.
3. Continual, Continuous. Continual is said of acts that are frequently repeated; continuous of uninterrupted action.
4. Remember, Recollect. Remember implies only that the impression remains; recollect, that an effort is made to recall to the mind something that for the time seems to have escaped it.
5. Utter, Express. To utter is simply to sound anything with the voice; to express carries the additional idea of meaning and formality.
6. Crime, Sin. Crime is a violation of law divine or human, though it is now generally applied to offences against the state. Sin is a departure from divine law.
7. Courage, Fortitude. Courage is an active, energetic resistance of all the trials or difficulties of life ; fortitude is a resolute endurance of present evils and a patient resignation to the worst that may happen.
8. Conscious, Aware. We are conscious of anything when we know of it by reflection ; we are aware of anything when we know of it by observation and experience.
9. Healthy, Wholesome. Healthy is said of that which increases our strength — physical, mental, or moral; wholesome, of that which does it no injury.
10. Couple, Two. Couple implies that the two united are bound by some tie and are of such a nature as to be suitable for such a union; two indicates number only.
II. Less, Fewer. Less is applied to things measured ; fewer, to those that are numbered.
12. Distinguish, Discriminate. We distinguish by our mental or physical faculties; we discriminate by our judgment alone. A distinction is an important or marked difference; a discrimination is a nice or exact difference.
13. Answer, Reply. An answer is given to a question or demand, and should satisfy it. A reply is a formal answer. be made to arguments, may go beyond them, and may be made whether it is, or is not, expected or asked.
14. Deface, Disfigure. To deface is wilfully to injure the exterior by any means; to disfigure is to mar the effect by some injury to the appearance. Things are defaced, living beings disfigured.
15. Habit, Custom. Habit is said of the individual; custom, of the community. The latter is voluntary; the former is not purely so.
16. Dumb, Mute. He is dumb who cannot speak; he is mute who can speak, but will not.
17. Fault, Defect. A defect is something wanting ; a fault is something wrong.
18. Excite, Incite. To excite is to awaken or rouse feelings
that are dormant or calm. To incite is to urge forward into acts corresponding to the feelings that have been aroused.
19. Manners, Morals. Manners respect the minor forms of acting with others and toward others; morals include the important duties of life. Good manners make us good companions ; good morals make us good members of society.
20. Truth, Veracity. Truth belongs to the thing; veracity, to the person. The truth of the story is admitted upon the veracity of the narrator.
21. Love, Affection. Both these words express good will ; affection is a tender sentiment that dwells with pleasure on the object; love is a tender sentiment accompanied with longing for the object; we cannot have love without affection, but we may have affection without love. Love is a passion, exclusive, restless, and capricious; affection is a chastened feeling under the control of the understanding.
22. Bring, Fetch. To bring is simply to take with one's self from the place where one is; to fetch is first to go to a place and then bring the object; to fetch, therefore, is a species of bringing : whatever is near at hand is brought; whatever is at a distance must be fetched: the porter at an inn brings a parcel, a servant who is sent for it fetches it.
23. Character, Reputation. Character lies in a man ; it is the mark of what he is; it shows itself on all occasions; reputation depends upon others; it is what they think of him. It is possible for a man to have a fair reputation who has not in reality a good character; although men of really good character are not likely to have a bad reputation.
DIRECTION. — Explain these synonyms so as to show clearly the distinction in the meanings they bear; then write a sentence in which each is properly used. 1. In — into.
22. Bad, wicked, evil. 2. May — can.
23. Band, company, crew, will.
gang. 4. Fewer - less.
24. Beautiful, fine, handsome, 5. Two — couple.
pretty. 6. Much - many.
25. Beg, beseech, solicit, enupon.
treat, supplicate, implore, crave. 8. Sit - Set.
26. Bring, fetch, carry. 9. Aught — Ought.
27. Call, bid, summon, invite. 10. Beside — besides.
28. Character, reputation, 11. Sex - gender.
fame. 12. Like - love.
29. Clear, lucid, brigui, vivid. 13. Between — among.
30. Command, order, injunc14. Live - dwell.
tion, precept. 15. Learning - wisdom.
31. Compensation, satisfac16. Talk - conversation. tion, amends, remuneration, re17. Letter — epistle.
compense, requital, reward. 18. News - tidings.
32. Complete, perfect, fin19. Wood - timber.
ished. 20. Home - dwelling.
33. Decision, judgment, sen21. Annual — yearly.
DIRECTION. - In the following sentences, select the correct synonym, and give a reason for your choice.
1. What (further, or farther) need have we of caution? 2. We may try hard and still be (further, or farther) from success.