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Notes of [Elements of Style] by Strunk and White – IV(a)

Aggregate – Irritate

Former means ‘making worse’; latter means ‘annoy’.

Allude – Ellude

Former means ‘implicitly refer to’; latter means ‘confuse’.

Allusion – Illusion

Former means ‘implicit reference’; latter means ‘unreal image’.

Among – Between

The former is used when there are more than two of them; however, in that case the latter might be preferred if each of them is regarded as an individual.

As good or better than

Should be re-arranged when used. E.g., my speech is as good as his, or better (if not better).

As to whether

Should instead use whether.

As yet

Means “so far” but usually should omit ‘as’ except when occurs at the beginning of a sentence.

  • No agreement has yet been reached
  • As yet we have not reached any agreement.


Cannot be used after ‘regard … as [being] …’.


No need to be used after ‘doubt’ or ‘help’.

  • I have no doubt but that…
  • I couldn’t help but thinking…


Means ‘be able to’; cannot (is not able to) be used to replace ‘may’.


Usually can be omitted, e.g., “In many cases the rooms were poorly ventilated” -> “Many of the rooms were poorly ventilated”.


Should be avoided using in writing.

Compare to – Compare with

The former address the similarity given the obvious difference; the latter address the differences given some similarities.


Means ’embrace,’ ‘include,’ etc. For example, a zoo comprises animals.

Consider – Consider as

Consider X Y == think X is Y (expressing a belief)

Consider X as Y == based on X being Y (prepare for further thinking)


About Xiang 'Anthony' Chen

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