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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...

LESSON I FLAG DAY In this fair land of ours you can see the Stars and Stripes floating over every public school. This beautiful flag stands for our country. Every American is proud of his country's flag. It stands for all that is good and dear to an American. It stands for Liberty. It proclaims liberty to all. Every star stands for liberty. Every stripe stands for liberty. It stands for liberty of thought and liberty of speech as well. The... more...

Preface The purpose of this book, as conceived by the author, is not to attempt to create or to influence usage by pointing out which words should or should not be used, nor to explain the meaning of terms, but simply to provide in a form convenient for reference and study the words that can be used, leaving it to those who consult its pages to determine for themselves, with the aid of a dictionary if necessary, which words supply the... more...

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...

PREFACE Most of the older discussions of English versification labored under two difficulties: an undue adherence to the traditions of Greek and Latin prosody more or less perfectly understood, and an exaggerated formalism. But recently the interest and excitement (now happily abated) over free-verse have reopened the old questions and let in upon them not a little light. Even today, however, a great deal of metrical analysis has wrecked itself... more...


I Introductory: Language Defined Speech is so familiar a feature of daily life that we rarely pause to define it. It seems as natural to man as walking, and only less so than breathing. Yet it needs but a moment’s reflection to convince us that this naturalness of speech is but an illusory feeling. The process of acquiring speech is, in sober fact, an utterly different sort of thing from the process of learning to walk. In the case of the... 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...

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...

CHAPTER I DIALECTS AND THEIR VALUE According to the New English Dictionary, the oldest sense, in English, of the word dialect was simply “a manner of speaking” or “phraseology,” in accordance with its derivation from the Greek dialectos, a discourse or way of speaking; from the verb dialegesthai, to discourse or converse. The modern meaning is somewhat more precise. In relation to a language such as English, it is used... 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...