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V

Various for Several. "Various kinds of men." Kinds are various of course, for they vary--that is what makes them kinds. Use various only when, in speaking of a number of things, you wish to direct attention to their variety--their difference, one from another. "The dividend was distributed among the various stockholders." The stockholders vary, as do all persons, but that is irrelevant and was not in mind. "Various persons have spoken to me of you." Their variation is unimportant; what is meant is that there was a small indefinite number of them; that is, several.

Ventilate for Express, Disclose, etc. "The statesman ventilated his views." A disagreeable and dog-eared figure of speech.

Verbal for Oral. All language is verbal, whether spoken or written, but audible speech is oral. "He did not write, but communicated his wishes verbally." It would have been a verbal communication, also, if written.

Vest for Waistcoat. This is American, but as all Americans are not in agreement about it it is better to use the English word.

Vicinity for Vicinage, or Neighborhood. "He lives in this vicinity." If neither of the other words is desired say, He lives in the vicinity of this place, or, better, He lives near by.

View of. "He invested with the view of immediate profit." "He enlisted with the view of promotion." Say, with a view to.

Vulgar for Immodest, Indecent. It is from vulgus, the common people, the mob, and means both common and unrefined, but has no relation to indecency.


Ambrose Bierce

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