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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...

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...

CHINA AND THE CHINESE THE CHINESE LANGUAGE If the Chinese people were to file one by one past a given point, the interesting procession would never come to an end. Before the last man of those living to-day had gone by, another and a new generation would have grown up, and so on for ever and ever. The importance, as a factor in the sum of human affairs, of this vast nation,—of its language, of its literature, of its religions, of its... 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...

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...


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...

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...

CHAPTER I. GERMANIC ORIGIN OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.—DATE. § 1. The first point to be remembered in the history of the English language, is that it was not the primitive and original tongue of any of the British Islands, nor yet of any portion of them. Indeed, of the whole of Great Britain it is not the language at the present moment. Welsh is spoken in Wales, Manks in the Isle of Man, and Scotch Gaelic in the Highlands of Scotland;... more...

Page v PREFACE This book was begun as a result of the author's experience in teaching some classes in English in the night preparatory department of the Carnegie Technical Schools of Pittsburg. The pupils in those classes were all adults, and needed only such a course as would enable them to express themselves in clear and correct English. English Grammar, with them, was not to be preliminary to the grammar of another language, and... more...

LEARNING TO READ Every sound and pedagogical method of teaching reading must include two basic principles. 1. Reading must begin in the life of the child, with real thought content. Whether the thought unit be a word, a sentence, or a story, it must represent some idea or image that appeals to the child's interests and adjusts itself to his experience. 2. It must proceed with a mastery of not only words, but of the sound symbols of which words... more...