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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...

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...

INTRODUCTION. The work now for the first time reprinted from Caxton’s original edition has been preserved in three copies. One of these is in the Library of Ripon Cathedral, another in the Spencer Library, now at Manchester, and the third at Bamborough Castle. A small fragment, consisting of pp. 17-18 and 27-28, is in the Bodleian Library. The text of the present edition is taken from the Ripon copy. I have not had an opportunity of... 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...


INTRODUCTION. CONTENTS. 1. The Name “Maya.” 2. The Maya Linguistic Family. 3. Origin of the Maya Tribes. 4. Political Condition at the time of the Conquest. 5. Grammatical Observations. 6. The Numeral System. 7. The Calendar. 8. Ancient Hieroglyphic Books. 9. Modern Maya Manuscripts. 10. Grammars And Dictionaries of the Language. § 1. The Name “Maya.” In his second voyage, Columbus heard vague rumors of a... more...

INTRODUCTION Punctuation is a device by which we aid words to tell their story. Words have done this at times without such aid, and may now do so, but at constant risk of serious misunderstanding. This can be easily seen by reading the following lines printed as they would have been written in an ancient manuscript.... more...

It is the fate of those who toil at the lower employments of life, to be rather driven by the fear of evil, than attracted by the prospect of good; to be exposed to censure, without hope of praise; to be disgraced by miscarriage, or punished for neglect, where success would have been without applause, and diligence without reward. Among these unhappy mortals is the writer of dictionaries; whom mankind have considered, not as the pupil, but the... 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...

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...