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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...

CHAPTER I. OF THE SCIENCE OF GRAMMAR. "Hæc de Grammatica quam brevissime potui: non ut omnia dicerem sectatus, (quod infinitum erat,) sed ut maxima necessaria."—QUINTILIAN. De Inst. Orat., Lib. i, Cap. x. 1. Language, in the proper sense of the term, is peculiar to man; so that, without a miraculous assumption of human powers, none but human beings can make words the vehicle of thought. An imitation of some of the articulate sounds... more...

I About two hundred years ago a number of things began to appear in Europe which were the fruit of the Renaissance and of the Reformation combined: Two warring twins. These things appeared first of all in England, because England was the only province of Europe wherein the old Latin tradition ran side by side with the novel effects of protestantism. But for England the great schism and heresy of the sixteenth century, already dissolving to-day,... 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...

CHAPTER I ABOUT NOSES AND JAWS A foxhound scents the trail of his game and tracks it straight to a killing. A lapdog lacks this capability. In the same way, there are breeds of would-be writers who never can acquire a "nose for news," and others who, from the first day that they set foot in editorial rooms, are hot on the trail that leads to billboard headlines on the front page of a newspaper or acceptances from the big magazines. Many... more...


CHAPTER I THE FIELD FOR SPECIAL ARTICLES Origin of Special Articles. The rise of popular magazines and of magazine sections of daily newspapers during the last thirty years has resulted in a type of writing known as the "special feature article." Such articles, presenting interesting and timely subjects in popular form, are designed to attract a class of readers that were not reached by the older literary periodicals. Editors of newspapers and... 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...

PREFACE In July, 1898, I presented at the National Educational Association, convened in Washington, a Course of Study in English. At Los Angeles, in 1899, the Association indorsed the principles of this course, and made it the basis of the Course in English for High Schools. At the request of friends, I have prepared this short text-book, outlining the method of carrying forward the course, and emphasizing the principles necessary for the... more...

PREFACE. The English language is peculiarly rich in synonyms, as, with such a history, it could not fail to be. From the time of Julius Cæsar, Britons, Romans, Northmen, Saxons, Danes, and Normans fighting, fortifying, and settling upon the soil of England, with Scotch and Irish contending for mastery or existence across the mountain border and the Channel, and all fenced in together by the sea, could not but influence each other's speech.... more...

COMMERCIALISM AND JOURNALISM   In the United States of America, public opinion prevails. It is an axiom of the old political economy, as well as of the new sociology, that no man, or set of men, may with impunity defy public opinion; no law can be enforced contrary to its behests; and even life itself is scarcely worth living without its approbation. Public opinion is the ultimate force that controls the destiny of our democracy. By... more...