Write It Right: Individual

“Individual. As a noun, this word means something that cannot be considered as divided, a unit. But it is incorrect to call a man, woman, or child an individual, except with reference to mankind, to society, or to a class of persons. It will not do to say ‘An individual stood in the street,’ when no mention of allusion has been made, nor is going to be made, to some aggregate of individuals considered as a whole.”

Excerpted from: Bierce, Ambrose. Write it Right: A Little Blacklist of Literary Faults. Mineola, NY: Dover, 2010.

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