James Main Dixon, "English Idioms"
Adamant Media Corporation | 2001 | ISBN: 0543768945 | 292 pages | File type: PDF | 17,2 mb
First published in 1927
English Idioms, written by James Main Dixon, M.A, F.R.S.E. are part of The Teaching of English Series that started in 1940's and are always reprinted in regular intervals. "In the present volume, instead of attempting to divide the work into chapters treating of "colloquial phrases", "cant phrases", "slang phrases" and so forth, I have thrown the whole into alphabetical form, and have marked by letters the category to which, in my opinion, the phrases ought to belong. This classification may be studied or may be neglected as suits the convenience or the taste of the consulter.
The division I have chosen is fourfold, and in a descending scale of dignity - Prose, Conversational, Familiar, Slang.
By Prose (P) phrases, I understand such phrases as Macaulay or Matthew Arnold might use in their serious writings.
Conversational (C) phrases, again, are suitable for use in social
intercourse, at gatherings where strangers are present, and
where we weigh our words before uttering them.
Familiar (F) phrases are less dignified, and are only in place where we
are speaking unreservedly among intimates.
The lowest category of all is that of Slang (S) phrases, which are generally of
a local or technical nature - that is, they are fully understood only by those of
a certain locality, coterie, or profession.
Such is the language of the forecastle, of the school-ground, or of the
This Volume does not pretend to exhaust the list of slang phrases,
but only to give those which have crept into ordinary use,
and are understood, although they may not be used, by all educated people.
At least eighty per cent, of the phrases are freshly gathered. "
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