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The Wordwatcher's Guide to Good Writing & Grammar

'The Wordwatcher's Guide to Good Writing & Grammar'
Wordwatcher's guide to GOOD WRITING 8c GRAMMAR Morton S. Freeman Foreword by Edwin Newman Writer's BooksCincinnati, Ohio The Wordwatcher's Guide to Good Writing therefore using both, as was done, is a redundancy. About should have been omitted. Note: Around, except informally, should not replace about in “I will meet you around three o'clock,“ the intended sense being at that approximate time. The combination at about is unacceptable, since at pinpoints and about approximates. Also avoid the use of about to mean almost, as in “The conductor is about ready to begin.“ above I have often seen something like “He wrote the above.“ Is that sen- tence written in good style? The consensus among grammarians is that above should not serve as a noun, as in the example. It is more desirable to say the above phrase, the above material, the above quotation, or whatever, using above as an adjective, or to say the material quoted above, using above as an adverb. Some critics frown so much on the use of above in such a construction that they would avoid the word under any circumstance and instead would say previously mentioned, in the figures cited, and so forth. But they are a dying breed. ACCOUNT? 3 Note: Be careful not to overuse above, for it may make one's writing sound like a lawyer's brief—a good reason to avoid it. Another reason, but one less persuasive, is that if above appears on the top line of a page, it may be thought ludicrous by those who refuse to accept its sensible reference, that it refers to what preceded, not what is physically above. absolute terms May we say, correctly, that this is more perpendicular, or horizontal, or parallel than that? The adjectives you mention have absolute meanings and therefore are incapable of comparison —they are complete unto themselves. We may not say, at least not properly so, that this is more perpendicular than that or that this is the most horizontal or parallel of all, because if something is perpendicular, it simply is that, just as something square or round cannot be squarer or rounder than something else. However, you may qualify these “absolutes“ by the expression “more nearly.“ Something can be more nearly horizontal than another thing, just as one person's analysis can be more nearly accurate than someone else's. As with adjectives, when the meaning of an adverb is absolute, it too is logically incapable of comparison. Note: Some grammarians are drifting away from the notion that abso- lute terms are really absolute and are therefore incapable of being com- pared. They would approve of such qualifiers as totally (totally unique), absolutely (absolutely parallel), more (more perfect), and so forth. For those writers who prefer not to be taken to task, the safest course to follow is the one established by tradition —absolutely (but not most absolutely). acclimate/advertisement Has each of these words, acclimate and advertisement, one simple pronunciation? No. Acclimate, meaning to become accustomed to
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