Monday, April 10, 2017

Manners in Speech

The excerpt I'm sharing today comes from the 1854 publication "Manners" by Miss Leslie. In the chapter Incorrect words. You can read the entire chapter at Google Books with this Link

When you mean that an article of dress (a bonnet or a cap) is neat and pretty, do not say that it is cunning. An inanimate object cannot be cunning. To be cunning requires some mind. We are sorry to say that we have heard females who, when they intend to be witty, talk of taking a snooze, (which means a nap,) and speak of a comic anecdote as being "rich," and of a man in faded clothes as looking "seedy." We have heard Philadelphia ladies speak of a "great big" house, or a "great big" ship; and there are still some who expect what has already come to pass—as, "I expect it rained somewhere last night" —"I expect she arrived yesterday"—"I expect he went to Baltimore." In all these cases the proper term is "I suppose," and not "I expect."
The word "mayhap" (instead of perhaps) is a positive vulgarism. It is of English origin, but is only used in England by very low people—and by English writers, never.

No comments:

Post a Comment