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D

Decease for Die.

Decidedly for Very, or Certainly. "It is decidedly cold."

Declared for Said. To a newspaper reporter no one seems ever to say anything; all "declare." Like "alleged" (which see) the word is tiresome exceedingly.

Defalcation for Default. A defalcation is a cutting off, a subtraction; a default is a failure in duty.

Definitely for Definitively. "It was definitely decided." Definitely means precisely, with exactness; definitively means finally, conclusively.

Deliver. "He delivered an oration," or "delivered a lecture." Say, He made an oration, or gave a lecture.

Demean for Debase or Degrade. "He demeaned himself by accepting charity." The word relates, not to meanness, but to demeanor, conduct, behavior. One may demean oneself with dignity and credit.

Demise for Death. Usually said of a person of note. Demise means the lapse, as by death, of some authority, distinction or privilege, which passes to another than the one that held it; as the demise of the Crown.

Democracy for Democratic Party. One could as properly call the Christian Church "the Christianity."

Dépôt for Station. "Railroad dépôt." A dépôt is a place of deposit; as, a dépôt of supply for an army.

Deprivation for Privation. "The mendicant showed the effects of deprivation." Deprivation refers to the act of depriving, taking away from; privation is the state of destitution, of not having.

Dilapidated for Ruined. Said of a building, or other structure. But the word is from the Latin lapis, a stone, and cannot properly be used of any but a stone structure.

Directly for Immediately. "I will come directly" means that I will come by the most direct route.

Dirt for Earth, Soil, or Gravel. A most disagreeable Americanism, discredited by general (and Presidential) use. "Make the dirt fly." Dirt means filth.

Distinctly for Distinctively. "The custom is distinctly Oriental." Distinctly is plainly; distinctively, in a way to distinguish one thing from others.

Donate for Give. Good American, but not good English.

Doubtlessly. A doubly adverbial form, like "illy."

Dress for Gown. Not so common as it was a few years ago. Dress means the entire costume.


Ambrose Bierce

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