Vocabulary: False, Ugly or Needless Formations

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From The King's English, by Henry Watson Fowler and Francis George Fowler:


1. Formations involving grammatical blunders.
Of these the possibilities are of course infinite; we must assume that our readers know the ordinary rules of grammar, and merely, not to pass over the point altogether, give one or two typical and not too trite instances:
My landlady entered bearing what she called 'her best lamp' alit.—Corelli.
This seems to be formed as a past participle from to alight, in the sense of to kindle. It will surprise most people to learn that there is, or was, such a verb; not only was there, but the form that should have been used in our sentence, alight, is probably by origin the participle of it. The Oxford Dictionary, however, after saying this, observes that it has now been assimilated to words like afire, formed from the preposition a- and a noun. Whether those two facts are true or not, it is quite certain that there is no such word as alit in the sense of lighted or lit, and that the use of it in our days is a grammatical blunder.
But every year pleaded stronger and stronger for the Earl's conception.—J. R. Green.
Comparative adverbs of this type must be formed only from those positive adverbs which do not use -ly, as hard, fast. We talk of going strong, and we may therefore talk of going stronger; but outside slang we have to choose more strongly.
The silence that underlaid the even voice of the breakers along the sea front.—Kipling.
Lie and lay have cost us all some perplexity in childhood. The distinction is more difficult in the compounds with over and under, because in them -lie is transitive as well as -lay, but in a different sense. Any one who is not sure that he is sound on the point by instinct must take the trouble to resolve them into lie over or lay over, etc., which at once clears up the doubt
I am not sure that yours and my efforts would suffice separately; but yours and mine together cannot possibly fail.
The first yours is quite wrong; it should be your. This mistake is common. The absolute possessives, ours and yours, hers, mine and thine, (with which the poetic or euphonic use of the last two before vowels has nothing to do) are to be used only as pronouns or as predicative adjectives, not as attributes to an expressed and following noun. 
We add three sentences from Burke. The relation between no and none is the same as that between your and yours. In the first sentence, modern usage would write (as the correct no or but a few is uncomfortable) either few or no, or few if any, or no rays or but a few. For the second we might possibly tolerate to their as well as to your own; or we might write to their crown as well as to your own. The third is quite tolerable as it is; but any one who does not like the sound can write and their ancestors and ours. It must always be remembered in this as in other constructions, that the choice is not between a well-sounding blunder and an ill-sounding correctness, but between an ill and a well sounding correctness. The blunder should be ruled out, and if the first form of the correct construction that presents itself does not sound well, another way of putting it must be looked for; patience will always find it. The flexibility gained by habitual selection of this kind, which a little cultivation will make easy and instinctive, is one of the most essential elements in a good style. 
Black bodies, reflecting none or but a few rays.—Burke.
You altered the succession to theirs, as well as to your own crown.—Burke.
They and we, and their and our ancestors, have been happy under that system.—Burke.
2. Needless formations.
The sordor and filths of nature, the sun shall dry up.—Emerson.
As candeo candor, ardeo ardor, so—we are to understand—sordeo sordor. The Romans, however, never felt that they needed the word; and it is a roundabout method first to present them with a new word and then to borrow it from them; for it will be observed that we have no living suffix -or in English, nor, if we had, anything nearer than sordid to attach it to. Perhaps Emerson thought sordor was a Latin word.
Oppositely, the badness of a walk that is shuffling, and an utterance that is indistinct is alleged.—Spencer.
This, on the other hand, is an archaism, now obsolete. To write it is to give one's sentence the air of an old curiosity shop.

The following example illustrates a foolish tendency. From the adjective perfect we form the verb to perfect, and from that again the noun perfection; to take a further step forward to a verb to perfection instead of returning to the verb to perfect is a superfluity of naughtiness. From the noun sense we make the adjective sensible; it is quite needless to go forward to sensibleness instead of back to our original noun sense
The inner, religiously moral perfectioning of individuals.—Times.
She liked the quality of mind which may be broadly called sensibleness.—Times.
3. Merely ugly formations.
An ordinary reader, if asked what was the main impression given by the Short History of the English People, would answer that it was the impression of picturesqueness and vividity.—Bryce.
In sound, there can be no question between vividity with its fourfold repetition of the same vowel sound, its two dentals to add to the ugliness of its two v's, and the comparatively inoffensive vividness.
We conclude with deprecating the addition of -ly to participles in -ed
Dr. John and his mother were in their finest mood, contending animatedly with each other the whole way.—C. Brontë.
Where the gate opens, or the gateless path turns aside trustedly.—Ruskin.
'That's not a very kind speech,' I said somewhat vexedly.—Corelli.
However, I determinedly smothered all premonitions.—Corelli.
I saw one or two passers-by looking at me so surprisedly that I came to the conclusion...—Corelli.
I stared bewilderedly up at the stars.—Corelli.
It should be added that to really established adverbs of this form, as advisedly, assuredly, hurriedly, there is no objection whatever; but new ones are ugly.
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