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Solecism   Listen
Solecism

noun
1.
A socially awkward or tactless act.  Synonyms: faux pas, gaffe, gaucherie, slip.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Solecism" Quotes from Famous Books



... affects fashionable curricles, and enjoys all the consideration a pair of good horses can give. He rides a blood bay in Rotten Row, but rides badly, and is detected by galloping, or some other solecism; his dress and liveries are always overdone, the money shows on every thing about him. He has familiar abbreviations for the names of all the fast men about town; calls this Lord "Jimmy," 'tother Chess, ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXVIII. February, 1843. Vol. LIII. • Various

... propriety of the measures recommended in the one case than in the other, in the obligations of ultimate decision there can be no difference. In the language of the Constitution, "all the legislative powers" which it grants "are vested in the Congress of the United States." It would be a solecism in language to say that any portion of these is not included ...
— U.S. Presidential Inaugural Addresses • Various

... that, in these two texts, the word might have been used with a different meaning from that which it bore in all the others, coupled with the assumption that the meaning was this or that, is self-evident: it is not so much a religious error as a philological solecism; unparalleled, so far as I know, in any other science but that ...
— On the Old Road, Vol. 2 (of 2) - A Collection of Miscellaneous Essays and Articles on Art and Literature • John Ruskin

... great gap between. Montesquieu said, he often lost an idea before he could find words for it: yet he dictated, by way of saving time, to an amanuensis. This last is, in my opinion, a vile method, and a solecism in authorship. Horne Tooke, among other paradoxes, used to maintain, that no one could write a good style who was not in the habit of talking and hearing the sound of his own voice. He might as well have said that ...
— Hazlitt on English Literature - An Introduction to the Appreciation of Literature • Jacob Zeitlin

... retort upon our polished dialect, that it has gone over to the other extreme in avoidance of the I, using me in many sentences where I ought most decidedly to be employed. It was me [Footnote: I am aware that some of our lexicographers have attempted a defence of this solecism by deriving it from the French c'est moi; but, I think it is from their affected dislike of direct egotism; and that, whenever they can, they avoid the I in order that they might not be thought at once vulgar and egotistic!] is constantly dinned in our ears for it was ...
— The Dialect of the West of England Particularly Somersetshire • James Jennings

... The one invaded Irving's premieres at the Lyceum. The other sang paeans in praise of the Bancrofts. The French plays, too, were the feigned delight of all the modish world. Not to have seen Chaumont in Totot chez Tata was held a solecism. The homely mesdames and messieurs from the Parisian boards were 'lionised' (how strangely that phrase rings to modern ears!) in ducal drawing-rooms. In fact, all the old prejudice of rank was being swept away. Even ...
— The Works of Max Beerbohm • Max Beerbohm

... greatest difficulty, is often in their own mind. For it is common with princes (saith Tacitus) to will contradictories, Sunt plerumque regum voluntates vehementes, et inter se contrariae. For it is the solecism of power, to think to command the end, and yet not to endure ...
— Essays - The Essays Or Counsels, Civil And Moral, Of Francis Ld. - Verulam Viscount St. Albans • Francis Bacon

... The founder of Rome was killed. In particular propositions, if the part of the class meant by the some were specified, the proposition would become either singular, or universal with a different subject including all the part. Indefinite in Logic is a solecism like doubtful gender in grammar, for the speaker must mean to make either a ...
— Analysis of Mr. Mill's System of Logic • William Stebbing

... which it unequivocally pronounces in the present case, is that a sovereignty over sovereigns, a government over governments, a legislation for communities, as contradistinguished from individuals, as it is a solecism in theory, so in practice it is subversive of the order and ends of civil polity, by substituting VIOLENCE in place of LAW, or the destructive COERCION of the SWORD in place of the mild and salutary COERCION ...
— The Federalist Papers

... that whatever power in any government is independent, is absolute also.... A judiciary independent of a king or executive alone is a good thing; but independence of the will of the nation is a solecism, at least in a republican government." But Marshall was mighty and his view prevailed, though from time to time other men, clinging to Jefferson's opinion, likewise opposed the exercise by the Courts of ...
— History of the United States • Charles A. Beard and Mary R. Beard

... what he had done, he was overwhelmed with remorse. He apologized profusely to Stirling for having committed such a solecism. ...
— Gordon Keith • Thomas Nelson Page

... was dying, he reprimanded his nurse for making use of a solecism in her language; and when his confessor represented to him the felicities of a future state in low and trite expressions, the dying critic interrupted him:—"Hold your tongue," he said; "your wretched style only makes me out of conceit ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 1 (of 3) • Isaac D'Israeli

... amused by it until that desolating issue of the Signal announced the Earl's retirement; that Jos Curtenty could not possibly have foreseen what was about to happen; and that, anyhow, goosedriving was less a crime than a social solecism, and less a social solecism than a brilliant eccentricity. Bursley was hurt, and logic is no balm ...
— Tales of the Five Towns • Arnold Bennett

... [Footnote 9: With this solecism in the printed Flores Historiarum I find that a MS. in the Chetham Library agrees, the abbreviative mark used in the Hundred Rolls of Edward I. for the terminations us and er having been ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 65, January 25, 1851 • Various

... circumstance which saved them from the embarrassment of much self-defence, or a painful admission of their error—and not only satisfied them that Tom was honest and unselfish, but modest and forbearing. It is true, that an occasional act or solecism of manner, somewhat at variance with the conventional usages of polite society, and an odd vulgarism of expression, were slight blemishes which might be brought to his charge, and would probably have told against any one else. But it was well known ...
— The Black Baronet; or, The Chronicles Of Ballytrain - The Works of William Carleton, Volume One • William Carleton

... clavecin. We had fancied, however, that what are technically termed "the Humanities," or, in University diction, "Science"—meaning thereby ethics and logic—were still our own. Now, we are undeceived. We are reminded that woman can say, without a solecism, "Homo sum," and may therefore claim to embrace even the humanities among her subjects of study. Henceforth the realm of woman is not merely what may be called "pianofortecultural," as was once the ...
— Mystic London: - or, Phases of occult life in the metropolis • Charles Maurice Davies

... the word desire, therefore, includes both the action and the object or motive; for the object and motive of desire are the same thing. Hence to desire without an object, that is, without a motive, is a solecism in language. As if one should ask, if you could eat without food, or ...
— Zoonomia, Vol. I - Or, the Laws of Organic Life • Erasmus Darwin

... Alexander the Grammarian, to be un-reprovable myself, and not reproachfully to reprehend any man for a barbarism, or a solecism, or any false pronunciation, but dextrously by way of answer, or testimony, or confirmation of the same matter (taking no notice of the word) to utter it as it should have been spoken; or by some other such close and indirect ...
— Meditations • Marcus Aurelius

... a sudden play of light that warms, and, through this warmth, illuminates the object before him? Few of those just quoted, put to such test, could be called more than conventionally poetical—if this be not a solecism. To illustrate one sensuous object by another does not animate the mind enough to fulfill any one of the above conditions. Such similitudes issuing from intellectual liveliness, there is through them no steeping of intellectual ...
— Essays AEsthetical • George Calvert

... The third offense against good use, an impropriety, is the use of a proper word in an improper sense. In many cases an offense against good use may be called a barbarism, an impropriety, or a solecism, since the fields covered by the three terms somewhat overlap one another. Many improprieties have their origin in the similarities in sound, spelling or meaning of words. The following exercises deal with a number of common improprieties ...
— Practical Grammar and Composition • Thomas Wood

... across her chest, when, with a desperate effort, he unsheathed the busk. Had you seen the faces of some of the English ladies of the party, you would have been like me, almost convulsed; while Madame remained perfectly unconscious that she had committed any solecism on la decence Anglaise. Poor Madame de Stael verified ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Vol. 20, Issue 561, August 11, 1832 • Various

... man. We feel that the spiritual concerns of an individual may be safely left to himself as most interested in them, except so far as they can be affected by argument or friendly monition; that the idea of compelling belief in particular doctrines is a solecism, as absurd as wicked; and, so far from condemning to the stake, or the gibbet, men who pertinaciously adhere to their conscientious opinions in contempt of personal interests and in the face of danger, ...
— History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella V1 • William H. Prescott

... not English, commonly called cases of "bad grammar" or "false syntax": as, "She invited Mrs. Roe and I to go driving with her." "Solecism" is derived from Soli, the name of a Greek tribe who lived in Cilicia and ...
— Practical Exercises in English • Huber Gray Buehler

... and wrote the petition which furnished the grounds for advising Her Most Gracious Majesty to extend her royal clemency to the deserving young man. The result of my petition by no means surprised me, for I was always confident that an English gentleman could never be guilty of the solecism against English customs implied by keeping in prison a young gentleman who could perform so meritorious an act as to fall heir to many bags of gold and sixteen thousand acres of cotton land ...
— Bidwell's Travels, from Wall Street to London Prison - Fifteen Years in Solitude • Austin Biron Bidwell

... traditional prejudice which had in no wise diminished since Martial included, in his picture of a domestic menage, "a wife not too learned..." She is not willing to lose a woman's birthright of love and devotion, but is not quite sure how far it might be affected by her ability to detect a solecism. Hence, she offers a great deal of subtle flattery to masculine self-love. With ...
— The Women of the French Salons • Amelia Gere Mason

... the drawbridge, and entered to see this shell of a court in miniature, mounting ponderous stairs—it would be a solecism to say a flight—up which a regiment of men might have marched, shouldering their firelocks to exercise in vast galleries, where all the generations of the Princes of Hesse-Cassel might have been ...
— Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark • Mary Wollstonecraft



Words linked to "Solecism" :   botch, pratfall, bloomer, bungle, blooper, fuckup, gaffe, slip, foul-up, blunder, boo-boo, flub, boner, gaucherie



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