Dictionaries, 1 (1979) Donna I. Arnold pears the symbol d (diction) or ex (exactness), depending on which handbook is being used. Most often the symbol translates "You did not use a word proper to this context." Perhaps the student wrote "The cruel child damaged the cat by pulling its tail." or "During the 1920s Bugsy Moran was a renowned gangster." A conscientious student will demand to know what exactly is wrong with those sentences, and, patiently, his or her instructor will explain that the verb damage takes an inanimate object; one can damage a car but one injures a living thing. In the second sentence the field of meaning oí gangster does not overlap with that of renowned in a manner suited to this context; notorious adds a connotation to Among the myriad of pencilled corrections on freshmen themes often ap- renowned that is more appropriate to any gangster. If students have been taught to follow blindly the dicta of their teachers, they accept such explanations and may even ask what they can do about their diction problem. The instructor gives the standard answer: "Unfortunately there are no simple hard-and-fast rules to follow in using words precisely. Conquering
Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America – Dictionary Society of North America
Published: Apr 4, 1979
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