Elements of Composition and Rhetoric by Virginia Waddy, published in 1889.
From Chapter 8, Style:
"1. Always note a new word, with a view to ascertaining its precise meaning and use.
2. Make constant use of a dictionary. It is the practice of many great scholars never to allow a word to pass without an examination, if there is the least doubt about its origin, pronunciation, meaning, or spelling.
3. Study etymology. It is useful to trace out the origin, composition, and primary meaning of words. It should not be forgotten, however, that many words do not now mean what they once did, or what their derivation would seem to imply."
"Propriety consists in using words in their proper sense. Here, as in the case of purity, good usage is the principal test. It matters little what the primary elements of a word signify, or what the meaning of a word has been; we must either use the words as others understand them, or violate propriety. Improprieties arise chiefly from a seeming analogy between words, or from ignorance of their authorized meaning."
Possible source of Word Clearing
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