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R

Raise for Bring up, Grow, Breed, etc. In this country a word-of-all-work: "raise children," "raise wheat," "raise cattle." Children are brought up, grain, hay and vegetables are grown, animals and poultry are bred.

Real for Really, or Very. "It is real good of him." "The weather was real cold."

Realize for Conceive, or Comprehend. "I could not realize the situation." Writers caring for precision use this word in the sense of to make real, not to make seem real. A dream seems real, but is actually realized when made to come true.

Recollect for Remember. To remember is to have in memory; to recollect is to recall what has escaped from memory. We remember automatically; in recollecting we make a conscious effort.

Redeem for Retrieve. "He redeemed his good name." Redemption (Latin redemptio, from re and dimere) is allied to ransom, and carries the sense of buying back; whereas to retrieve is merely to recover what was lost.

Redound for Conduce. "A man's honesty redounds to his advantage." We make a better use of the word if we say of one (for example) who has squandered a fortune, that its loss redounds to his advantage, for the word denotes a fluctuation, as from seeming evil to actual good; as villification may direct attention to one's excellent character.

Refused. "He was refused a crown." It is the crown that was refused to him. See Given.

Regular for Natural, or Customary. "Flattery of the people is the demagogue's regular means to political preferment." Regular properly relates to a rule (regula) more definite than the law of antecedent and consequent.

Reliable for Trusty, or Trustworthy. A word not yet admitted to the vocabulary of the fastidious, but with a strong backing for the place.

Remit for Send. "On receiving your bill I will remit the money." Remit does not mean that; it means give back, yield up, relinquish, etc. It means, also, to cancel, as in the phrase, the remission of sins.

Rendition for Interpretation, or Performance. "The actor's rendition of the part was good." Rendition means a surrender, or a giving back.

Reportorial. A vile word, improperly made. It assumes the Latinized spelling, "reporter." The Romans had not the word, for they were, fortunately for them, without the thing.

Repudiate for Deny. "He repudiated the accusation."

Reside for Live. "They reside in Hohokus." Stilted.

Residence for Dwelling, or House. See Mansion.

Respect for Way, or Matter. "They were alike in that respect." The misuse comes of abbreviating: the sentence properly written might be, They were alike in respect of that--i.e., with regard to that. The word in the bad sense has even been pluralized: "In many respects it is admirable."

Respective. "They went to their respective homes." The adjective here (if an adjective is thought necessary) should be several. In the adverbial form the word is properly used in the sentence following: John and James are bright and dull, respectively. That is, John is bright and James dull.

Responsible. "The bad weather is responsible for much sickness." "His intemperance was responsible for his crime." Responsibility is not an attribute of anything but human beings, and few of these can respond, in damages or otherwise. Responsible is nearly synonymous with accountable and answerable, which, also, are frequently misused.

Restive for Restless. These words have directly contrary meanings; the dictionaries' disallowance of their identity would be something to be thankful for, but that is a dream.

Retire for Go to Bed. English of the "genteel" sort. See Genteel.

Rev. for The Rev. "Rev. Dr. Smith."

Reverence for Revere.

Ride for Drive. On horseback one does drive, and in a vehicle one does ride, but a distinction is needed here, as in England; so, here as there, we may profitably make it, riding in the saddle and driving in the carriage.

Roomer for Lodger. See Bedder and Mealer--if you can find them.

Round for About. "They stood round." See Around.

Ruination for Ruin. Questionably derived and problematically needful.

Run for Manage, or Conduct. Vulgar--hardly better than slang.


Ambrose Bierce

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