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ENGLISH A COMPOSITE LANGUAGE “A very slight acquaintance with the history of our own language will teach us that the speech of Chaucer’s age is not the speech of Skelton’s, that there is a great difference between the language under Elizabeth and that under Charles the First, between that under Charles the First and Charles the Second, between that under Charles the Second and Queen Anne; that considerable changes had taken... more...

CHAPTER I ACQUIRING CONFIDENCE BEFORE AN AUDIENCE There is a strange sensation often experienced in the presence of an audience. It may proceed from the gaze of the many eyes that turn upon the speaker, especially if he permits himself to steadily return that gaze. Most speakers have been conscious of this in a nameless thrill, a real something, pervading the atmosphere, tangible, evanescent, indescribable. All writers have borne testimony to... more...

LATIN FOR BEGINNERS TO THE STUDENT—BY WAY OF INTRODUCTION What is Latin? If you will look at the map of Italy on the opposite page, you will find near the middle of the peninsula and facing the west coast a district called Latium,1 and Rome its capital. The Latin language, meaning the language of Latium, was spoken by the ancient Romans and other inhabitants of Latium, and Latin was the name applied to it after the armies of Rome had... more...

INTRODUCTION The most powerful and the most perfect expression of thought and feeling through the medium of oral language must be traced to the mastery of words. Nothing is better suited to lead speakers and readers of English into an easy control of this language than the command of the phrase that perfectly expresses the thought. Every speaker's aim is to be heard and understood. A clear, crisp articulation holds an audience as by the spell of... more...

SPELLING The idea that there is one right way to combine the letters representing a certain sound or group of sounds, that is a word, and that all other ways are wrong and little short of shameful is a comparatively new idea among us. The English speaking folk held down to a comparatively recent time that any group of letters which approximately represented the sound was amply sufficient as a symbol of the word. This sort of phonetic spelling... 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...

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...

A. A-, prefix (1), adding intensity to the notion of the verb.—AS. á for ar-, OHG. ar-, Goth. us-. For the quantity of the á see Sievers, 121. Cf. . A-, prefix (2), standing for A, prep., and for Icel. á; see . A-, prefix (3), standing for Of, prep.; see . A-, prefix (4), standing for AS. and-, against, in return, toward.—AS. and-, ond-, on- (proclitic). Cf. A-, prefix (5), standing for At, prep., and Icel.... 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...

PREFATORY NOTE. The title-page sufficiently sets forth the end this little book is intended to serve. For convenience' sake I have arranged in alphabetical order the subjects treated of, and for economy's sake I have kept in mind that "he that uses many words for the explaining of any subject doth, like the cuttle-fish, hide himself in his own ink." The curious inquirer who sets himself to look for the learning in the book is advised that he... more...