两个可爱的老头，书不仅好，各种点评太经典了 比如第四部分点评 word and expressions commonly misused，随便摘抄两段： The foreseeable future: a cliche, and a fuzzy one. how much of the future is foreseeable? Ten minutes? Ten years? Any of it? By whom is it foreseeable? Seers? Experts? Everybody?
Thrust: This showy noun, suggestive of power, hinting of sex, is the darling of executives, politicos, and speech-writers. Use it sparingly.
Chapter 1 Elementary rules of usage
1. From the possessive singular of nouns by adding ‘s 2. In a series of three or more terms with a single conjunction, use a comma after each term except the last 3. Enclose parenthetic expression between commas 4. Place a comma before a conjunction introducing an independent clause 5. Do not join independent clauses with a comma Mary Shelley’s works are entertaining; they are full of engaging ideas. Mary Shelley’s works are entertaining. They are full of engaging ideas. Mary Shelley’s works are entertaining, for they are full of engaging ideas. 6. Do not break sentences in two 7. Use a colon after an independent clause to introduce a list of particulars, an appositive, an amplification, or an illustrative quotation. 8. Use a dash to set off an abrupt break or interruption and to announce a long appositive or summary A dash is a mark of separation stronger than a comma, less formal than a colon, and more relaxed than parentheses. Use a dash only when a more common mark of punctuation seems inadequate. 9. The number of the subject determines the number of the verb 10. Use the proper case of pronoun 11. A participial phrase at the beginning of a sentence must refer to the grammatical subject
Chapter II Elementary principles of composition 1. Choose a suitable design and hold to it 2. Make the paragraph the unit of composition 3. Use the active voice There were a great number of dead leaves lying on the ground./ Dead leaves covered the ground. 4. Put statements in positive form. He was not very often on time./ he usually came late 5. Use definite, specific, concrete language 6. Omit needless words “the fact” “who is ,which was” 7. Avoid a succession of loose sentences 8. Express coordinate ideas in similar form 9. Keep related words together 10. In summaries, keep to one tense 11. Place the emphatic words of a sentence at the end
Aggravate vs. Irritate All right Allude vs. Elude Allude to Allusion vs. illusion Alternate vs. alternative Anticipate vs. expect My brother anticipated the upturn in the market. My brother expected the upturn in the market. Anybody vs. Any body Anyone vs. any one As good or better than Wrong: My opinion is as good or better than his. Correct: my opinion is as good as his, or better (if not better) As to whether: wheter is sufficient As yet: YET nearly always is as good, if not better Being: not appropriate after regard…as But: unnecessary after doubt and help Care less: I couldn’t care less instead of I could care less Case: often unnecessary Certainly: indiscriminately used Claim: means “lay claim to”. May be used with a dependent clause if this sense is clearly intended. Not to be used as a substitute for declare, maintain, or charge Wrong: he claimed he knew how Correct: he declared he knew how Clever: a clever men, a clever house Compared to vs. Compared with Comprise Consider: not followed by as when it means believe to be, when considered means examined or discussed, it is followed by as
Contact: as a transitive verb, the word is vague and self-important. Do not contact people, get in touch with them, look them up, phone them, find them, meet them… Cope: use cope with Currently: redundant when meaning now with a verb in the present sense. Emphasis is better achieved through a more precise preference to time Data: plural Disinterested vs. uninterested Due to: loosely used for through, because of, or owing to, in adverbial phrases Each and every one: avoid, expect in dialogue Effect: none, do not use loosely in perfunctory writing about fashions, music, painting, and other arts. Enormity: use only in the sense of “monstrous wickedness” Enthuse: not recommend Etc. at the end of a list introduced by such as, for example, or any similar expression, etc. is incorrect. In formal writing: etc. is a misfit. Fact: use this word only of matters capable of direct verification, not of matters of judgment. Facilities: do not use facilities for jails, hospitals, and schools… Factor: a hackneyed word; the expressions of which it is a part can usually be replaced by something more direct and idiomatic. Farther vs. further Feature: like factor. Hackneyed word Finalize: a pompous, ambiguous verb Flammable vs. inflammable Folk: singular, equivalent to people. Gratuitous: unearned, unwarranted He is a man who: redundant expression Hopefully: do not use However: avoid starting a sentence with however when the meaning is nevertheless. The word usually serves better when not in first position. When however comes first, it means in whatever way or to whatever extent Imply vs. infer Importantly: avoid, rephrase In regard to and as regards Inside of: in less than Insightful: a suspicious overstatement for perceptive In terms of: a piece of padding usually best omitted Interesting (funny): an unconvincing word, avoid it as a means of introduction Lie, lay, lain, lying…lay, laid, laid, laying Like vs. as: like governs nouns and pronouns; before phrases and clauses the equivalent word is as Meaningful: a bankrupt word Nice: a shaggy, all-purpose word, to be sued sparingly in formal composition One: in the sense of a person, not to be followed by his or her One of the most: feeble formula, threadbare -oriented: a clumsy, pretentious device, much in vogue Partially vs. partly Personally: often unnecessary Possess: do not substitute it for have or own Presently: means in a short while and currently, ambiguity Regretful vs. regrettable Respective, respectively: usually be omitted with advantage Shall vs. Will Split infinitive: Wrong: diligently inquiry, Correct: inquire diligently. Unless you want to place unusual stress on the adverb. State: not to be used as a mere substitute for say, remark. Restrict it to the sense of express fully or clearly The foreseeable future: cliché The truth is/the fact is: bad beginning Unique: no expression like the most unique Utilize: prefer use Verbal vs. Oral Very: use this word sparingly. Where emphasis is necessary, use words strong in themselves While; avoid the indiscriminate use of this word for and, but and although Its use as a virtual equivalent of although is allowable in sentences where this leads to no ambiguity or absurdity. Worthwhile: overworked as a term of vague approval and of disapproval. Strictly applicable only to actions: is it worthwhile to telegraph?