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INTRODUCTION. So many slighting remarks have been made of late on the use of teaching grammar as compared with teaching science, that it is plain the fact has been lost sight of that grammar is itself a science. The object we have, or should have, in teaching science, is not to fill a child's mind with a vast number of facts that may or may not prove useful to him hereafter, but to draw out and exercise his powers of observation, and to show him... more...

CHAPTER I. SOME STORIES OF BRITISH HISTORY TOLD FROM ENGLISH WORDS. Nearly all children must remember times when a word they know quite well and use often has suddenly seemed very strange to them. Perhaps they began repeating the word half to themselves again and again, and wondered why they had never noticed before what a queer word it is. Then generally they have forgotten all about it, and the next time they have used the word it has not... more...

PREFACE. Almost every English boy can be taught to write clearly, so far at least as clearness depends upon the arrangement of words. Force, elegance, and variety of style are more difficult to teach, and far more difficult to learn; but clear writing can be reduced to rules. To teach the art of writing clearly is the main object of these Rules and Exercises. Ambiguity may arise, not only from bad arrangement, but also from other... more...

Fragments Wrongly Used as Sentences 1. Do not write a subordinate part of a sentence as if it were a complete sentence. Wrong: He stopped short. Hearing some one approach. Right: He stopped short, hearing some one approach. [Or] Hearing some one approach, he stopped short. Wrong: The winters are cold. Although the summers are pleasant. Right: Although the summers are pleasant, the winters are cold. Wrong: The hunter tried to move the... more...

I. ORIGIN OF THE WORK. About a generation ago Mr. Matthew Arnold twitted our nation with the fact that "the journeyman work of literature" was much better done in France—the books of reference, the biographical dictionaries, and the translations from the classics. He did not especially mention dictionaries of the language, because he was speaking in praise of academies, and, as far as France is concerned, the great achievement in that line... more...


PREFACE A long and somewhat varied experience in language teaching has convinced me that there are still, in spite of the march of science, many people who are capable of getting intellectual pleasure from word-history. I hope that to such people this little book, the amusement of occasional leisure, will not be unwelcome. It differs, I believe, from any other popular book on language in that it deals essentially with the origins of words, and... more...

Word study and English grammar are important to the young printer for several reasons. In the first place, disregard of the correct use and combination of words is a distinct mark of inferiority and a serious bar to business and social advancement. A man's use of words is commonly taken as a measure of his knowledge and even of his intelligence. Carelessness in this regard often causes a man to be held in much less esteem than he really deserves.... more...

Lau is the name given to the language spoken by the inhabitants of the artificial islets which lie off the northeast coast of Big Malaita, Solomon Islands. The language spoken on the coast from Uru on the northeast to Langalanga, Alite Harbor, on the northwest of Big Malaita, is practically Lau. On the west coast there is considerable admixture of Fiu, which is the language of the bush behind the Langalanga lagoon. In Dr. Codrington's "Melanesian... more...

LECTURE I. INAUGURAL Wednesday, January 29, 1913 In all the long quarrel set between philosophy and poetry I know of nothing finer, as of nothing more pathetically hopeless, than Plato's return upon himself in his last dialogue 'The Laws.' There are who find that dialogue (left unrevised) insufferably dull, as no doubt it is without form and garrulous. But I think they will read it with a new tolerance, may-be even with a touch of feeling, if... more...

LECTURE I DIVISIONS OF GRAMMAR.—ORTHOGRAPHY. TO THE YOUNG LEARNER. You are about to enter upon one of the most useful, and, when rightly pursued, one of the most interesting studies in the whole circle of science. If, however, you, like many a misguided youth, are under the impression that the study of grammar is dry and irksome, and a matter of little consequence, I trust I shall succeed in removing from your mind, all such false... more...