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Thursday, December 22, 2005

Elements of Style; Words and Expressions Commonly Misused

(Many of the words and expressions here listed are not so much bad English as bad style, the commonplaces of careless writing. As illustrated under Feature, the proper correction is likely to be not the replacement of one word or set of words by another, but the replacement of vague generality by definite statement.)

All right. Idiomatic in familiar speech as a detached phrase in the sense, "Agreed," or "Go ahead." In other uses better avoided. Always written as two words.

As good or better than. Expressions of this type should be corrected by rearranging the sentence.

My opinion is as good or better than his.
My opinion is as good as his, or better (if not better).

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