Part 7 out of 54
speak a word in my _lord's_ ears."--_Gen._, xliv, 18. The Bible, which
makes small account of worldly honours, seldom uses capitals under this
rule; but, in some editions, we find "Nehemiah the _Tirshatha_," and "Herod
the _Tetrarch_," each with a needless capital. Murray, in whose
illustrations the word _king_ occurs early one hundred times, seldom
honours his Majesty with a capital; and, what is more, in all this mawkish
mentioning of royalty, nothing is said of it _that is worth knowing_.
Examples: "The _king_ and the queen had put on their robes."--_Murray's
Gram._, p. 154. "The _king_, with his life-guard, has just passed through
the village."--_Ib._, 150. "The _king_ of Great Britain's
dominions."--_Ib._, 45. "On a sudden appeared the _king_."--_Ib._, 146.
"Long live the _King_!"--_Ib._, 146. "On which side soever the _king_ cast
his eyes."--_Ib._, 156. "It is the _king_ of Great Britain's."--_Ib._, 176.
"He desired to be their _king_."--_Ib._, 181. "They desired him to be their
_king_."--_Ib._, 181. "He caused himself to be proclaimed _king_."--_Ib._,
182. These examples, and thousands more as simple and worthless, are among
the pretended quotations by which this excellent man, thought "to promote
the cause of virtue, as well as of learning!"
OBS. 9.--On Rule 6th, concerning _One Capital for Compounds_, I would
observe, that perhaps there is nothing more puzzling in grammar, than to
find out, amidst all the diversity of random writing, and wild guess-work
in printing, the true way in which the compound names of places should be
written. For example: What in Greek was "_ho Areios Pagos_," the _Martial
Hill_, occurs twice in the New Testament: once, in the accusative case,
"_ton Areion Pagan_," which is rendered _Areopagus_; and once, in the
genitive, "_tou Areiou Pagou_," which, in different copies of the English
Bible is made _Mars' Hill, Mars' hill, Mars'-hill, Marshill, Mars Hill_,
and perhaps _Mars hill_. But if _Mars_ must needs be put in the possessive
case, (which I doubt,) they are all wrong: for then it should be _Mars's
Hill_; as the name _Campus Martins_ is rendered "_Mars's Field_," in
Collier's Life of Marcus Antoninus. We often use nouns adjectively; and
_Areios_ is an adjective: I would therefore write this name _Mars Hill_, as
we write _Bunker Hill_. Again: _Whitehaven_ and _Fairhaven_ are commonly
written with single capitals; but, of six or seven _towns_ called
_Newhaven_ or _New Haven_, some have the name in one word and some in two.
_Haven_ means a _harbour_, and the words, _New Haven_, written separately,
would naturally be understood of a harbour: the close compound is obviously
more suitable for the name of a city or town. In England, compounds of this
kind are more used than in America; and in both countries the tendency of
common usage seems to be, to contract and consolidate such terms. Hence the
British counties are almost all named by compounds ending with the word
_shire_; as, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Leicestershire,
Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, &c. But the best books we
have, are full of discrepancies and errors in respect to names, whether
foreign or domestic; as, "_Ulswater_ is somewhat smaller. The handsomest is
_Derwentwater_."--_Balbi's Geog._, p. 212. "_Ulswater_, a lake of England,"
&c. "_Derwent-Water_, a lake in Cumberland," &c.--_Univ. Gazetteer_,
"_Ulleswater_, lake, Eng. situated partly in Westmoreland,"
&c.--_Worcester's Gaz._ "_Derwent Water_, lake, Eng. in
Cumberland."--_Ibid._ These words, I suppose, should be written _Ullswater_
OBS. 10.--An affix, or termination, differs from a distinct word; and is
commonly understood otherwise, though it may consist of the same letters
and have the same sound. Thus, if I were to write _Stow Bridge_, it would
be understood of a _bridge_; if _Stowbridge_, of a _town_: or the latter
might even be the name of a _family_. So _Belleisle_ is the proper name of
a _strait_; and _Belle Isle_ of several different _islands_ in France and
America. Upon this plain distinction, and the manifest inconvenience of any
violation of so clear an analogy of the language, depends the propriety of
most of the corrections which I shall offer under Rule 6th. But if the
inhabitants of any place choose to call their town a creek, a river, a
harbour, or a bridge, and to think it officious in other men to pretend to
know better, they may do as they please. If between them and their
correctors there lie a mutual charge of misnomer, it is for the literary
world to determine who is right. Important names are sometimes acquired by
mere accident. Those which are totally inappropriate, no reasonable design
can have bestowed. Thus a fancied resemblance between the island of
Aquidneck, in Narraganset Bay, and that of Rhodes, in the AEgean Sea, has
at length given to a _state_, or _republic_, which lies _chiefly on the
main land_, the absurd name of _Rhode Island_; so that now, to distinguish
Aquidneck itself, geographers resort to the strange phrase, "_the Island of
Rhode Island_."--_Balbi_. The official title of this little republic, is,
"_the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations_." But this name is
not only too long for popular use, but it is doubtful in its construction
and meaning. It is capable of being understood in four different ways. 1. A
stranger to the fact, would not learn from this phrase, that the
"Providence Plantations" are included in the "State of Rhode Island," but
would naturally infer the contrary. 2. The phrase, "Rhode Island and
Providence Plantations," may be supposed to mean "Rhode Island
[Plantations] and Providence Plantations." 3. It may be understood to mean
"Rhode Island and Providence [i.e., two] Plantations." 4. It may be taken
for "Rhode Island" [i.e., as an island,] and the "Providence Plantations."
Which, now, of all these did Charles the Second mean, when he gave the
colony this name, with his charter, in 1663? It happened that he meant the
last; but I doubt whether any man in the state, except perhaps some learned
lawyer, can _parse_ the phrase, with any certainty of its true construction
and meaning. This old title can never be used, except in law. To write the
popular name "_Rhodeisland_," as Dr. Webster has it in his American
Spelling-Book, p. 121, would be some improvement upon it; but to make it
_Rhodeland_, or simply _Rhode_, would be much more appropriate. As for
_Rhode Island_, it ought to mean nothing but the island; and it is, in
fact, _an abuse of language_ to apply it otherwise. In one of his parsing
lessons, Sanborn gives us for good English the following tautology: "_Rhode
Island_ derived its name from the _island of Rhode Island_."--_Analytical
Gram._, p. 37. Think of that sentence!
OBS. 11.--On Rules 7th and 8th, concerning _Two Capitals for Compounds_, I
would observe, with a general reference to those _compound terms_ which
designate particular places or things, that it is often no easy matter to
determine, either from custom or from analogy, whether such common words as
may happen to be embraced in them, are to be accounted parts of compound
proper names and written with capitals, or to be regarded as appellatives,
requiring small letters according to Rule 9th. Again the question may be,
whether they ought not to be joined to the foregoing word, according to
Rule 6th. Let the numerous examples under these four rules be duly
considered: for usage, in respect to each of them, is diverse; so much so,
that we not unfrequently find it contradictory, in the very same page,
paragraph, or even sentence. Perhaps we may reach some principles of
uniformity and consistency, by observing the several different kinds of
phrases thus used. 1. We often add an adjective to an old proper name to
make a new one, or to serve the purpose of distinction: as, Now York, New
Orleans, New England, New Bedford; North America, South America; Upper
Canada, Lower Canada; Great Pedee, Little Pedee; East Cambridge, West
Cambridge; Troy, West Troy. All names of this class require two capitals:
except a few which are joined together; as _Northampton_, which is
sometimes more analogically written _North Hampton_. 2. We often use the
possessive case with some common noun after it; as, Behring's Straits,
Baffin's Bay, Cook's Inlet, Van Diemen's Land, Martha's Vineyard, Sacket's
Harbour, Glenn's Falls. Names of this class generally have more than one
capital; and perhaps all of them should be written so, except such as
coalesce; as, Gravesend, Moorestown, the Crowsnest. 3. We sometimes use two
common nouns with _of_ between them; as, the Cape of Good Hope, the Isle of
Man, the Isles of Shoals, the Lake of the Woods, the Mountains of the Moon.
Such nouns are usually written with more than one capital. I would
therefore write "the Mount of Olives" in this manner, though it is not
commonly found so in the Bible. 4. We often use an adjective and a common
noun; as, the Yellow sea, the Indian ocean, the White hills, Crooked lake,
the Red river; or, with two capitals, the Yellow Sea, the Indian Ocean, the
White Hills, Crooked Lake, the Red River. In this class of names the
adjective is the distinctive word, and always has a capital; respecting the
other term, usage is divided, but seems rather to favour two capitals. 5.
We frequently put an appellative, or common noun, before or after a proper
name; as, New York city, Washington street, Plymouth county, Greenwich
village. "The Carondelet canal extends from the city of New Orleans to the
bayou St. John, connecting lake Pontchartrain with the Mississippi
river."--_Balbi's Geog._ This is apposition. In phrases of this kind, the
common noun often has a capital, but it seldom absolutely requires it; and
in general a small letter is more correct, except in some few instances in
which the common noun is regarded as a permanent part of the name; as in
_Washington City, Jersey City_. The words _Mount, Cape, Lake_, and _Bay_,
are now generally written with capitals when connected with their proper
names; as, Mount Hope, Cape Cod, Lake Erie, Casco Bay. But they are not
always so written, even in modern books; and in the Bible we read of "mount
Horeb, mount Sinai, mount Zion, mount Olivet," and many others, always with
a single capital.
OBS. 12.--In modern compound names, the hyphen is now less frequently used
than it was a few years ago. They seldom, if ever, need it, unless they are
employed as adjectives; and then there is a manifest propriety in inserting
it. Thus the phrase, "the New London Bridge," can be understood only of a
new bridge in London; and if we intend by it a bridge in New London, we
must say, "the New-London Bridge." So "the New York Directory" is not
properly a directory for New York, but a new directory for York. I have
seen several books with titles which, for this reason, were evidently
erroneous. With respect to the ancient Scripture names, of this class, we
find, in different editions of the Bible, as well as in other books, many
discrepancies. The reader may see a very fair specimen of them, by
comparing together the last two vocabularies of Walker's Key. He will there
meet with an abundance of examples like these: "Uz'zen Sherah,
Uzzen-sherah; Talitha Cumi, Talithacumi; Nathan Melech, Nathan'-melech;
A'bel Meholath, Abel-meholah; Hazel Elponi, Hazeleponi; Az'noth Tabor,
Asnoth-tabor; Baal Ham'on, Baal-hamon; Hamon Gog, Ham'ongog; Baal Zebub,
Baeal'zebub; Shethar Boz'naei, Shether-boz'naei; Merodach Bal'adan,
Merodach-bal'adan." All these glaring inconsistencies, and many more, has
Dr. Webster restereotyped from Walker, in his octavo Dictionary! I see no
more need of the hyphen in such names, than in those of modern times. They
ought, in some instances, to be joined together without it; and, in others,
to be written separately, with double capitals. But special regard should
be had to the ancient text. The phrase, "Talitha, cumi,"--i. e., "Damsel,
arise,"--is found in some Bibles, "Talitha-cumi;" but this form of it is no
more correct than either of those quoted above. See _Mark_, v, 41st, in
_Griesbach's Greek Testament_, where a comma divides this expression.
OBS. 13.--On Rule 10th, concerning _Personifications_, it may be well to
observe, that not every noun which is the name of an object personified,
must begin with a capital, but only such as have a resemblance to _proper
nouns_; for the word _person_ itself, or _persons_, or any other common
noun denoting persons or a person, demands no such distinction. And proper
names of persons are so marked, not with any reference to personality, but
because they are _proper nouns_--or names of individuals, and not names of
sorts. Thus, AEsop's viper and file are both personified, where it is
recorded, "'What ails thee, fool?' says the _file_ to the _viper_;" but the
fable gives to these names no capitals, except in the title of the story.
It may here be added, that, according to their definitions of
personification, our grammarians and the teachers of rhetoric have hitherto
formed no very accurate idea of what constitutes the figure. Lindley Murray
says, "PERSONIFICATION [,] or PROSOPOPOEIA, is that figure by which we
attribute _life_ and _action_ to _inanimate_ objects."--_Octavo Gram._, p.
346; _Duodecimo_, p. 211. Now this is all wrong, doubly wrong,--wrong in
relation to what personification is, and wrong too in its specification of
the objects which may be personified. For "_life and action_" not being
peculiar to _persons_, there must be something else than these ascribed, to
form the figure; and, surely, the objects which _Fancy_ thinks it right to
personify, are not always "_inanimate_." I have elsewhere defined the thing
as follows: "_Personification_ is a figure by which, in imagination, we
ascribe intelligence and personality to unintelligent beings or abstract
qualities."--_Inst._, p. 234.
OBS. 14.--On Rule 11th, concerning _Derivatives_, I would observe, that not
only the proper adjectives, to which this rule more particularly refers,
but also nouns, and even verbs, derived from such adjectives, are
frequently, if not generally, written with an initial capital. Thus, from
_Greece_, we have _Greek, Greeks, Greekish, Greekling, Grecise, Grecism,
Grecian, Grecians, Grecianize_. So Murray, copying Blair, speaks of
"_Latinised English_;" and, again, of style strictly "_English_, without
_Scotticisms_ or _Gallicisms_."--_Mur. Gram._, 8vo, p. 295; _Blair's
Lect._, pp. 93 and 94. But it is questionable, how far this principle
respecting capitals ought to be carried. The examples in Dr. Johnson's
quarto Dictionary exhibit the words, _gallicisms, anglicisms, hebrician,
latinize, latinized, judaized_, and _christianized_, without capitals; and
the words _Latinisms, Grecisms, Hebraisms_, and _Frenchified_, under like
circumstances, with them. Dr. Webster also defines _Romanize_, "To
_Latinize_; to conform to _Romish_ opinions." In the examples of Johnson,
there is a manifest inconsistency. Now, with respect to adjectives from
proper names, and also to the nouns formed immediately from such
adjectives, it is clear that they ought to have capitals: no one will
contend that the words _American_ and _Americans_ should be written with a
small _a_. With respect to _Americanism, Gallicism_, and other similar
words, there may be some room to doubt. But I prefer a capital for these.
And, that we may have a uniform rule to go by, I would not stop here, but
would write _Americanize_ and _Americanized_ with a capital also; for it
appears that custom is in favour of thus distinguishing nearly all verbs
and participles of this kind, so long as they retain an obvious reference
to their particular origin. But when any such word ceases to be understood
as referring directly to the proper name, it may properly be written
without a capital. Thus we write _jalap_ from _Jalapa, hermetical_ from
_Hermes, hymeneal_ from _Hymen, simony_, from _Simon, philippic_ from
_Philip_; the verbs, to _hector_, to _romance_, to _japan_, to _christen_,
to _philippize_, to _galvanize_; and the adverbs _hermetically_ and
_jesuitically_, all without a capital: and perhaps _judaize, christianize_,
and their derivatives, may join this class. Dr. Webster's octavo Dictionary
mentions "the _prussic_ acid" and "_prussian_ blue," without a capital; and
so does Worcester's.
OBS. 15.--On Rule 12th, concerning _I_ and _O_, it may be observed, that
although many who occasionally write, are ignorant enough to violate this,
as well as every other rule of grammar, yet no printer ever commits
blunders of this sort. Consequently, the few erroneous examples which will
be exhibited for correction under it, will not be undesigned mistakes.
Among the errors of books, we do not find the printing of the words _I_ and
_O_ in small characters; but the confounding of _O_ with the other
interjection _oh_, is not uncommon even among grammarians. The latter has
no concern with this rule, nor is it equivalent to the former, as a sign:
_O_ is a note of wishing, earnestness, and vocative address; but _oh_ is,
properly, a sign of sorrow, pain, or surprise. In the following example,
therefore, a line from Milton is perverted:--
"_Oh_ thou! that with surpassing glory crowned!"
--_Bucke's Gram._, p. 88.
OBS. 16.--On Rule 13th, concerning _Poetry_, it may be observed, that the
principle applies only to regular versification, which is the common form,
if not the distinguishing mark, of poetical composition. And, in this, the
practice of beginning every line with a capital is almost universal; but I
have seen some books in which it was whimsically disregarded. Such poetry
as that of Macpherson's Ossian, or such as the common translation of the
Psalms, is subjected neither to this rule, nor to the common laws of verse.
OBS. 17.--On Rule 14th, concerning _Examples, Speeches_, and _Quotations_,
it may be observed, that the propriety of beginning these with a capital or
otherwise, depends in some measure upon their form. One may suggest certain
words by way of example, (as _see, saw, seeing, seen_,) and they will
require no capital; or he may sometimes write one half of a sentence in his
own words, and quote the other with the guillemets and no capital; but
whatsoever is cited as being said with other relations of what is called
_person_, requires something to distinguish it from the text into which it
is woven. Thus Cobbett observes, that, "The French, in their Bible, say _Le
Verbe_, where we say _The Word_."--_E. Gram._, p. 21. Cobbett says _the
whole_ of this; but he here refers one short phrase to the French nation,
and an other to the English, not improperly beginning each with a capital,
and further distinguishing them by Italics. Our common Bibles make no use
of the quotation points, but rely solely upon capitals and the common
points, to show where any particular speech begins or ends. In some
instances, the insufficiency of these means is greatly felt,
notwithstanding the extraordinary care of the original writers, in the use
of introductory phrases. Murray says, "When a quotation is brought in
obliquely after a comma, a capital is unnecessary: as, 'Solomon observes,
"that pride goes before destruction."'"--_Octavo Gram._, p. 284. But, as
the word '_that_' belongs not to Solomon, and the next word begins his
assertion, I think we ought to write it, "Solomon observes, that, '_Pride
goeth_ before destruction.'" Or, if we do not mean to quote him literally,
we may omit the guillemets, and say, "Solomon observes that pride goes
IMPROPRIETIES FOR CORRECTION.
ERRORS RESPECTING CAPITALS.
[Fist][The improprieties in the following examples are to be corrected
orally by the learner, according to the formules given, or according to
others framed from them with such slight changes as the several quotations
may require. A correct example will occasionally he admitted for the sake
of contrast, or that the learner may see the quoted author's inconsistency.
It will also serve as a block over which stupidity may stumble and wake up.
But a full explanation of what is intended, will be afforded in the Key.]
UNDER RULE I.--OF BOOKS.
"Many a reader of the bible knows not who wrote the acts of the
[FORMULE OF CORRECTION.--Not proper, because the words, _bible, acts_, and
_apostles_, here begin with small letters. But, according to Rule 1st,
"When particular books are mentioned by their names, the chief words in
their titles begin with capitals, and the other letters are small."
Therefore, "Bible" should begin with a capital B; and "Acts" and
"Apostles," each with a large A.]
"The sons of Levi, the chief of the fathers, were written in the book of
the chronicles."--SCOTT'S BIBLE: _Neh._, xii, 23. "Are they not written in
the book of the acts of Solomon?"--SCOTT, ALGER: I _Kings_, xi, 41. "Are
they not written in the book of the Chronicles of the kings of
Israel?"--ALGER: _1 Kings_, xxii, 39. "Are they not written in the book of
the chronicles of the kings of Judah?"--SCOTT: _ib._, ver. 45. "Which were
written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the
psalms."--SCOTT: _Luke_, xxiv, 44. "The narrative of which may be seen in
Josephus's History of the Jewish wars."--_Scott's Preface_, p. ix. "This
history of the Jewish war was Josephus's first work, and published about A.
D. 75."--_Note to Josephus_. "'I have read,' says Photius, 'the chronology
of Justus of Tiberias.'"--_Ib., Jos. Life_. "A philosophical grammar,
written by James Harris, Esquire."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 34. "The reader is
referred to Stroud's sketch of the slave laws."--_Anti-Slavery Mag._, i,
25. "But God has so made the bible that it interprets itself."--_Ib._, i,
78. "In 1562, with the help of Hopkins, he completed the psalter."--_Music
of Nature_, p. 283. "Gardiner says this of _Sternhold_; of whom the
universal biographical dictionary and the American encyclopedia affirm,
that he died in 1549."--_Author_. "The title of a Book, to wit: 'English
Grammar in familiar lectures,'" &c.--_Kirkham's Gram._, p. 2. "We had not,
at that time, seen Mr. Kirkham's 'Grammar in familiar Lectures.'"--_Ib._,
p. 3. "When you parse, you may spread the Compendium before you."--_Ib._,
p. 53. "Whenever you parse, you may spread the compendium before
you."--_Ib._, p. 113. "Adelung was the author of a grammatical and critical
dictionary of the German language, and other works."--_Univ. Biog. Dict._
"Alley, William, author of 'the poor man's library,' and a translation of
the Pentateuch, died in 1570."--_Ib._
UNDER RULE II.--OF FIRST WORDS.
"Depart instantly: improve your time: forgive us our sins."--_Murray's
Gram._, p. 61.
[FORMULE.--Not proper, because the words _improve_ and _forgive_ begin with
small letters. But, according to Rule 2nd, "The first word of every
distinct sentence should begin with a capital." Therefore, "Improve" should
begin with a capital I; and "Forgive," with a capital F.]
EXAMPLES: "Gold is corrupting; the sea is green; a lion is bold."--_Mur.
Gram._, p. 170; _et al_. Again: "It may rain; he may go or stay; he would
walk; they should learn."--_Ib._, p. 64; _et al_. Again: "Oh! I have
alienated my friend; alas! I fear for life."--_Ib._, p. 128; _et al_.
Again: "He went from London to York;" "she is above disguise;" "they are
supported by industry."--_Ib._, p. 28; _et al_. "On the foregoing examples,
I have a word to say. they are better than a fair specimen of their kind,
our grammars abound with worse illustrations, their models of English are
generally spurious quotations. few of their proof-texts have any just
parentage, goose-eyes are abundant, but names scarce. who fathers the
foundlings? nobody. then let their merit be nobody's, and their defects his
who could write no better."--_Author_. "_goose-eyes_!" says a bright boy;
"pray, what are they? does this Mr. Author make new words when he pleases?
_dead-eyes_ are in a ship, they are blocks, with holes in them, but what
are goose-eyes in grammar?" ANSWER: "_goose-eyes_ are quotation points,
some of the Germans gave them this name, making a jest of their form, the
French call them _guillemets_, from the name of their inventor."--_Author.
"it_ is a personal pronoun, of the third person singular."--_Comly's
Gram._, 12th Ed., p. 126. "_ourselves_ is a personal pronoun, of the first
person plural."--_Ib._, 138. "_thee_ is a personal pronoun, of the second
person singular."--_Ib._, 126. "_contentment_ is a noun common, of the
third person singular."--_Ib._, 128. "_were_ is a neuter verb, of the
indicative mood, imperfect tense."--_Ib._, 129.
UNDER RULE III.--OF DEITY.
"O thou dispenser of life! thy mercies are boundless."--_W. Allen's Gram._,
[FORMULE.--Not proper, because the word _dispenser_ begins with a small
letter. But, according to Rule 3d, "All names of the Deity, and sometimes
their emphatic substitutes, should begin with capitals." Therefore,
"Dispenser" should here begin with a capital D.]
"Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?"--SCOTT: _Gen._, xviii, 25.
"And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."--_Murray's
Gram._, p. 330. "It is the gift of him, who is the great author of good,
and the Father of mercies."--_Ib._, 287. "This is thy god that brought thee
up out of Egypt."--SCOTT, ALGER: _Neh._, ix, 18. "For the lord is our
defence; and the holy one of Israel is our king."--See _Psalm_ lxxxix, 18.
"By making him the responsible steward of heaven's bounties."--_Anti-
Slavery Mag._, i, 29. "Which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me
at that day."--SCOTT, FRIENDS: 2 _Tim._, iv, 8. "The cries of them * * *
entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth."--SCOTT: _James_, v, 4. "In
Horeb, the deity revealed himself to Moses, as the eternal I am, the
self-existent one; and, after the first discouraging interview of his
messengers with Pharaoh, he renewed his promise to them, by the awful name,
jehovah--a name till then unknown, and one which the Jews always held it a
fearful profanation to pronounce."--_Author_. "And god spake unto Moses,
and said unto him, I am the lord: and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac,
and unto Jacob, by the name of god almighty; but by my name jehovah was I
not known to them."--See _Exod._, vi, 2. "Thus saith the lord the king
of Israel, and his redeemer the lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the
last; and besides me there is no god."--See _Isa._, xliv, 6.
"His impious race their blasphemy renew'd,
And nature's king through nature's optics view'd."--_Dryden_, p. 90.
UNDER RULE IV.--OF PROPER NAMES.
"Islamism prescribes fasting during the month ramazan."--_Balbi's Geog._,
[FORMULE.--Not proper, because the word _ramazan_ here begins with a small
letter. But, according to Rule 4th, "Proper names, of every description,
should always begin with capitals." Therefore, "Ramazan" should begin with
a capital R. The word is also misspelled: it should rather be _Ramadan_.]
"Near mecca, in arabia, is jebel nor, or the mountain of light, on the top
of which the mussulmans erected a mosque, that they might perform their
devotions where, according to their belief, mohammed received from the
angel gabriel the first chapter of the Koran."--_Author_. "In the kaaba at
mecca, there is a celebrated block of volcanic basalt, which the
mohammedans venerate as the gift of gabriel to abraham, but their ancestors
once held it to be an image of remphan, or saturn; so 'the image which fell
down from jupiter,' to share with diana the homage of the ephesians, was
probably nothing more than a meteoric stone."--_Id._ "When the lycaonians,
at lystra, took paul and barnabas to be gods, they called the former
mercury, on account of his eloquence, and the latter jupiter, for the
greater dignity of his appearance."--_Id._ "Of the writings of the
apostolic fathers of the first century, but few have come down to us; yet
we have in those of barnabas, clement of rome, hermas, ignatius, and
polycarp, very certain evidence of the authenticity of the New Testament,
and the New Testament is a voucher for the old."--_Id._
"It is said by tatian, that theagenes of rhegium, in the time of cambyses,
stesimbrotus the thracian, antimachus the colophonian, herodotus of
halicarnassus, dionysius the olynthian, ephorus of cumae, philochorus the
athenian, metaclides and chamaeleon the peripatetics, and zenodotus,
aristophanes, callimachus, erates, eratosthenes, aristarchus, and
apollodorus, the grammarians, all wrote concerning the poetry, the birth,
and the age of homer." See _Coleridge's Introd._, p. 57. "Yet, for aught
that now appears, the life of homer is as fabulous as that of hercules; and
some have even suspected, that, as the son of jupiter and alcmena, has
fathered the deeds of forty other herculeses, so this unfathered son of
critheis, themisto, or whatever dame--this melesigenes, maeonides,
homer--the blind schoolmaster, and poet, of smyrna, chios, colophon,
salamis, rhodes, argos, athens, or whatever place--has, by the help of
lycurgus, solon, pisistratus, and other learned ancients, been made up of
many poets or homers, and set so far aloft and aloof on old parnassus, as
to become a god in the eyes of all greece, a wonder in those of all
"Why so sagacious in your guesses?
Your _effs_, and _tees_, and _arrs_, and _esses_?"--_Swift_.
UNDER RULE V.--OF TITLES.
"The king has conferred on him the title of duke."--_Murray's Key_, 8vo, p.
[FORMULE.--Not proper, because the word _duke_ begins with a small letter.
But, according to Rule 5th, "Titles of office or honour, and epithets of
distinction, applied to persons, begin usually with capitals." Therefore,
"Duke" should here begin with a capital D.]
"At the court of queen Elizabeth."--_Murray's Gram._; 8vo, p. 157; 12mo, p.
126; _Fisk's_, 115; _et al_. "The laws of nature are, truly, what lord
Bacon styles his aphorisms, laws of laws."--_Murray's Key_, p. 260. "Sixtus
the fourth was, if I mistake not, a great collector of books."--_Ib._, p.
257. "Who at that time made up the court of king Charles the
second."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 314. "In case of his majesty's dying without
issue."--_Kirkham's Gram._, p. 181. "King Charles the first was beheaded in
1649."--_W. Allen's Gram._, p. 45. "He can no more impart or (to use lord
Bacon's word,) _transmit_ convictions."--_Kirkham's Eloc._, p. 220. "I
reside at lord Stormont's, my old patron and benefactor."--_Murray's
Gram._, p. 176. "We staid a month at lord Lyttleton's, the ornament of his
country."--_Ib._, p. 177. "Whose prerogative is it? It is the king of Great
Britain's;" "That is the duke of Bridgewater's canal;" "The bishop of
Llandaff's excellent book;" "The Lord mayor of London's authority."--_Ib._,
p. 176. "Why call ye me lord, lord, and do not the things which I
say?"--See GRIESBACH: _Luke_, vi, 46. "And of them he chose twelve, whom
also he named apostles."--SCOTT: _Luke_, vi, 13. "And forthwith he came to
Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him."--See _the Greek: Matt._,
xxvi, 49. "And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from
the dead, they will repent."--_Luke_, xvi, 30.
UNDER RULE VI.--OF ONE CAPITAL.
"Fall River, a village in Massachusetts, population 3431."--See _Univ.
Gaz._, p. 416.
[FORMULE.--Not proper, because the name _Fall River_ is here written in two
parts, and with two capitals. But, according to Rule 6th, "Those compound
proper names which by analogy incline to a union of their parts without a
hyphen, should be so written, and have but one capital." Therefore,
_Fallriver_, as the name of a _town_, should be one word, and retain but
"Dr. Anderson died at West Ham, in Essex, in 1808."--_Biog. Dict._ "Mad
River, [the name of] two towns in Clark and Champaign counties,
Ohio."--_Williams's Universal Gazetteer_. "White Creek, town of Washington
county, N. York."--_Ib._ "Salt Creek, the name of four towns in different
parts of Ohio."--_Ib._ "Salt Lick, a town of Fayette county,
Pennsylvania."--_Ib._ "Yellow Creek, a town of Columbiana county,
Ohio."--_Ib._ "White Clay, a hundred of New Castle county,
Delaware."--_Ib._ "Newcastle, town and halfshire of Newcastle county,
Delaware."--_Ib._ "Sing-Sing, a village of West Chester county, New York,
situated in the town of Mount Pleasant."--_Ib._ "West Chester, a county of
New York; also a town in Westchester county."--_Ib._ "West Town, a village
of Orange county, New York."--_Ib._ "White Water, a town of Hamilton
county, Ohio."--_Ib._ "White Water River, a considerable stream that rises
in Indiana, and flowing southeasterly, unites with the Miami, in
Ohio."--_Ib._ "Black Water, a village of Hampshire, in England, and a town
in Ireland."--_Ib._ "Black Water, the name of seven different rivers in
England, Ireland, and the United States."--_Ib._ "Red Hook, a town of
Dutchess county, New York, on the Hudson."--_Ib._ "Kinderhook, a town of
Columbia county, New York, on the Hudson."--_Ib._ "New Fane, a town of
Niagara county, New York."--_Ib._ "Lake Port, a town of Chicot county,
Arkansas."--_Ib._ "Moose Head Lake, the chief source of the Kennebeck, in
Maine."--_Ib._ "Macdonough, a county of Illinois, population (in 1830)
2,959."--_Ib._, p. 408. "Mc Donough, a county of Illinois, with a
courthouse, at Macomb."--_Ib._, p. 185. "Half-Moon, the name of two towns,
in New York and Pennsylvania; also of two bays in the West Indies."--See
_Worcester's Gaz._ "Le Boeuf, a town of Erie county, Pennsylvania, near a
small lake of the same name."--_Ib._ "Charles City, James City, Elizabeth
City, names of counties in Virginia, not cities, nor towns."--See _Univ.
Gaz._ "The superior qualities of the waters of the Frome, here called
Stroud water."--_Balbi's Geog._, p. 223.
UNDER RULE VII.--TWO CAPITALS.
"The Forth rises on the north side of Benlomond, and runs
[FORMULE.--Not proper, because the name "_Benlomond_" is compounded under
one capital, contrary to the general analogy of other similar terms. But,
according to Rule 7th, "The compounding of a name under one capital should
be avoided when the general analogy of other similar terms suggests a
separation under two." Therefore, "Ben Lomond" should be written with two
capitals and no hyphen.]
"The red granite of Ben-nevis is said to be the finest in the
world."--_Ib._, ii, 311. "Ben-more, in Perthshire, is 3,915 feet above the
level of the sea."--_Ib._, 313. "The height of Benclough is 2,420
feet."--_Ib._. "In Sutherland and Caithness, are Ben Ormod, Ben Clibeg, Ben
Grin, Ben Hope, and Ben Lugal."--_Ib._, 311. "Benvracky is 2,756 feet high;
Ben-ledi, 3,009; and Benvoirlich, 3,300."--_Ib._, 313. "The river Dochart
gives the name of Glendochart to the vale through which it runs."--_Ib._,
314. "About ten miles from its source, the Tay diffuses itself into
Lochdochart."--_Geog. altered_. LAKES:--"Lochard, Loch-Achray, Loch-Con,
Loch-Doine, Loch-Katrine, Loch-Lomond, Loch-Voil."--_Scott's Lady of the
Lake_. GLENS:--"Glenfinlas, Glen Fruin, Glen Luss, Ross-dhu, Leven-glen,
Strath-Endrick, Strath-Gartney, Strath-Ire."--_Ib._ MOUNTAINS:--"Ben-an,
Benharrow, Benledi, Ben-Lomond, Benvoirlich, Ben-venue, and sometimes
Benvenue."--_Ib._ "Fenelon died in 1715, deeply lamented by all the
inhabitants of the Low-countries."--_Murray's Sequel_, p. 322. "And
Pharaoh-nechoh made Eliakim, the son of Josiah, king."--SCOTT, FRIENDS: 2
_Kings_, xxiii, 34. "Those who seem so merry and well pleased, call her
_Good Fortune_; but the others, who weep and wring their hands,
_Bad-fortune_."--_Collier's Tablet of Cebes_.
UNDER RULE VIII.--OF COMPOUNDS.
"When Joab returned, and smote Edom in the valley of salt."--SCOTT: _Ps._
[FORMULE.--Not proper, because the words _valley_ and _salt_ begin with
small letters. But, according to Rule 8th, "When any adjective or common
noun is made a distinct part of a compound proper name, it ought to begin
with a capital." Therefore, "Valley" should here begin with a capital V,
and "Salt" with a capital S.]
"Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill and said," &c.--SCOTT: _Acts_,
xvii, 22. "And at night he went out, and abode in the mount that is called
the mount of Olives."--_Luke_, xxi, 37. "Abgillus, son of the king of the
Frisii, surnamed Prester John, was in the Holy land with
Charlemagne."--_Univ. Biog. Dict._ "Cape Palmas, in Africa, divides the
Grain coast from the Ivory coast."--_Dict. of Geog._, p. 125. "The North
Esk, flowing from Loch-lee, falls into the sea three miles north of
Montrose."--_Ib._, p. 232. "At Queen's ferry, the channel of the Forth is
contracted by promontories on both coasts."--_Ib._, p. 233. "The Chestnut
ridge is about twenty-five miles west of the Alleghanies, and Laurel ridge,
ten miles further west."--_Balbi's Geog._, p. 65. "Washington City, the
metropolis of the United States of America."--_W.'s Univ. Gaz._, p. 380.
"Washington city, in the District of Columbia, population (in 1830)
18,826."--_Ib._, p. 408. "The loftiest peak of the white mountains, in new
Hampshire, is called mount Washington."--_Author_. "Mount's bay, in the
west of England, lies between the land's end and lizard point."--_Id._
"Salamis, an island of the Egean Sea, off the southern coast of the ancient
Attica."--_Dict. of Geog_. "Rhodes, an island of the Egean sea, the largest
and most easterly of the Cyclades."--_Ib._ "But he overthrew Pharaoh and
his host in the Red sea."--BRUCE'S BIBLE: _Ps._ cxxxvi, 15. "But they
provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea."--SCOTT: _Ps._ cvi, 7.
UNDER RULE IX.--OF APPOSITION.
"At that time, Herod the Tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus."--ALGER:
_Matt._, xiv, 1.
[FORMULE.--Not proper, because the word Tetrarch begins with a capital
letter. But, according to Rule 8th, "When a common and a proper name are
associated merely to explain each other, it is in general sufficient, if
the proper name begin with a capital, and the appellative, with a small
letter." Therefore, "tetrarch" should here begin with a small _t_.]
"Who has been more detested than Judas the Traitor?"--_Author_. "St. Luke,
the Evangelist, was a physician of Antioch, and one of the converts of St.
Paul."--_Id._ "Luther, the Reformer, began his bold career by preaching
against papal indulgences."--_Id._ "The Poet Lydgate was a disciple and
admirer of Chaucer: he died in 1440."--_Id._ "The Grammarian Varro, 'the
most learned of the Romans,' wrote three books when he was eighty years
old."--_Id._ "John Despauter, the great Grammarian of Flanders, whose works
are still valued, died in 1520."--_Id._ "Nero, the Emperor and Tyrant of
Rome, slew himself to avoid a worse death."--_Id._ "Cicero the Orator, 'the
Father of his Country,' was assassinated at the age of 64."--_Id._
"Euripides, the Greek Tragedian, was born in the Island of Salamis, B. C.
476."--_Id._ "I will say unto God my Rock, Why hast thou forgotten
me?"--SCOTT: _Ps._ xlii, 9. "Staten Island, an island of New York, nine
miles below New York City."--_Univ. Gaz._ "When the son of Atreus, King of
Men, and the noble Achilles first separated."--_Coleridge's Introd._, p.
"Hermes, his Patron-God, those gifts bestow'd,
Whose shrine with weaning lambs he wont to load."
--POPE: _Odys._, B. 19.
UNDER RULE X.--OF PERSONIFICATIONS.
"But wisdom is justified of all her children."--SCOTT, ALGER: _Luke_, vii,
[FORMULE.--Not proper, because the word _wisdom_ begins with a small
letter. But, according to Rule 10th, "The name of an object personified,
when it conveys an idea strictly individual, should begin with a capital."
Therefore, "Wisdom" should here begin with a capital W.]
"Fortune and the church are generally put in the feminine
gender."--_Murray's Gram._, i, p. 37. "Go to your natural religion; lay
before her Mahomet, and his disciples."--_Blair's Rhetoric_, p. 157: see
also _Murray's Gram._, i, 347. "O death! where is thy sting? O grave! where
is thy victory?"--_1 Cor._, xv, 55; _Murray's Gram._, p. 348; _English
Reader_, 31; _Merchant's Gram._, 212. "Ye cannot serve God and
Mammon."--SCOTT, FRIENDS, ET AL.: _Matt._, vi, 24. "Ye cannot serve God and
mammon."--IIDEM: _Luke_, xvi, 13. "This house was built as if suspicion
herself had dictated the plan."--See _Key_. "Poetry distinguishes herself
from prose, by yielding to a musical law."--See _Key_. "My beauteous
deliverer thus uttered her divine instructions: 'My name is religion. I am
the offspring of truth and love, and the parent of benevolence, hope, and
joy. That monster, from whose power I have freed you, is called
superstition: she is the child of discontent, and her followers are fear
and sorrow.'"--See _Key_. "Neither hope nor fear could enter the retreats;
and habit had so absolute a power, that even conscience, if religion had
employed her in their favour, would not have been able to force an
"In colleges and halls in ancient days,
There dwelt a sage called discipline."--_Wayland's M. Sci._, p. 368.
UNDER RULE XI.--OF DERIVATIVES.
"In English, I would have gallicisms avoided."--FELTON: _Johnson's Dict._
[FORMULE.--Not proper, because the word _gallicisms_ here begins with a
small letter. But, according to Rule 11th, "Words derived from proper
names, and having direct reference to particular persons, places, sects, or
nations, should begin with capitals." Therefore, "Gallicisms" should begin
with a capital G.]
"Sallust was born in Italy, 85 years before the christian era."--_Murray's
Seq._, p. 357. "Dr. Doddridge was not only a great man, but one of the most
excellent and useful christians, and christian ministers."--_Ib._, 319.
"They corrupt their style with untutored anglicisms."--MILTON: _in
Johnson's Dict._ "Albert of Stade, author of a chronicle from the creation
to 1286, a benedictine of the 13th century."--_Universal Biog. Dict._
"Graffio, a jesuit of Capua in the 16th century, author of two volumes on
moral subjects."--_Ib._ "They frenchify and italianize words whenever they
can."--See _Key_. "He who sells a christian, sells the grace of
God."--_Anti-Slavery Mag._, p. 77. "The first persecution against the
christians, under Nero, began A. D. 64."--_Gregory's Dict._ "P. Rapin, the
jesuit, uniformly decides in favour of the Roman writers."--_Cobbett's E.
Gram._, 171. "The Roman poet and epicurean philosopher Lucretius has
said," &c.--_Cohen's Florida_, p. 107. Spell "calvinistic, atticism,
gothicism, epicurism, jesuitism, sabianism, socinianism, anglican,
anglicism, anglicize, vandalism, gallicism, romanize."--_Webster's El.
Spelling-Book_, 130-133. "The large ternate bat."--_Webster's Dict. w_.
ROSSET; _Bolles's Dict., w_. ROSET.
"Church-ladders are not always mounted best
By learned clerks, and latinists profess'd."--_Cowper_.
UNDER RULE XII.--OF I AND O.
"Fall back, fall back; i have not room:--o!
methinks i see a couple whom i should know."--_Lucian, varied._
[FORMULE.--Not proper, because the word _I_, which occurs three times, and
the word _O_, which occurs once, are here printed in letters of the lower
case. But, according to Rule 12th, "The words _I_ and _O_ should
always be capitals." Therefore, each should be changed to a capital, as
often as it occurs.]
"Nay, i live as i did, i think as i did, i love you as i did; but all these
are to no purpose: the world will not live, think, or love, as i
do."--_Swift, varied_. "Whither, o! whither shall i fly? o wretched prince!
o cruel reverse of fortune! o father Micipsa! is this the consequence of
thy generosity?"--_Sallust, varied_. "When i was a child, i spake as a
child, i understood as a child, i thought as a child; but when i became a
man, i put away childish things."--_1 Cor._, xiii, 11, _varied_. "And i
heard, but i understood not: then said i, o my Lord, what shall be the end
of these things?"--_Dan._, xii, 8, _varied_. "Here am i; i think i am very
good, and i am quite sure i am very happy, yet i never wrote a treatise in
my life."--_Few Days in Athens, varied_. "Singular, Vocative, _o master_;
Plural, Vocative, _o masters_."--_Bicknell's Gram._, p. 30.
"I, i am he; o father! rise, behold
Thy son, with twenty winters now grown old!"--See _Pope's Odyssey_.
UNDER RULE XIII.--OF POETRY.
"Reason's whole pleasure, all the joys of sense,
lie in three words--health, peace, and competence;
but health consists with temperance alone,
and peace, O Virtue! peace is all thy own."
_Pope's Essay on Man, a fine London Edition_.
[FORMULE.--Not proper, because the last three lines of this example begin
with small letters. But, according to Rule 18th, "Every line in poetry,
except what is regarded as making but one verse with the preceding line,
should begin with a capital." Therefore, the words, "Lie," "But," and
"And," at the commencement of these lines, should severally begin with the
capitals L, B, and A.]
"Observe the language well in all you write,
and swerve not from it in your loftiest flight.
The smoothest verse and the exactest sense
displease us, if ill English give offence:
a barbarous phrase no reader can approve;
nor bombast, noise, or affectation love.
In short, without pure language, what you write
can never yield us profit or delight.
Take time for thinking, never work in haste;
and value not yourself for writing fast."
See _Dryden's Art of Poetry:--British Poets_, Vol. iii, p. 74.
UNDER RULE XIV.--OF EXAMPLES.
"The word _rather_ is very properly used to express a small degree or
excess of a quality: as, 'she is _rather_ profuse in her
expenses.'"--_Murray's Gram._, p. 47.
[FORMULE.--Not proper, because the word _she_ begins with a small letter.
But, according to Rule 14th, "The first word of a full example, of a
distinct speech, or of a direct quotation, should begin with a capital."
Therefore, the word "She" should here begin with a capital S.]
"_Neither_ imports _not either_; that is, not one nor the other: as,
'neither of my friends was there.'"--_Murray's Gram._, p. 56. "When we say,
'he is a tall man,' 'this is a fair day,' we make some reference to the
ordinary size of men, and to different weather."--_Ib._, p. 47. "We more
readily say, 'A million of men,' than 'a thousand of men.'"--_Ib._, p. 169.
"So in the instances, 'two and two are four;' 'the fifth and sixth volumes
will complete the set of books.'"--_Ib._, p. 124. "The adjective may
frequently either precede or follow it [the verb]: as, 'the man is
_happy_;' or, '_happy_ is the man:' 'The interview was _delightful_;' or,
'_delightful_ was the interview.'"--_Ib._, p. 168. "If we say, 'he writes a
pen,' 'they ran the river, 'the tower fell the Greeks,' 'Lambeth is
Westminster-abbey,' [we speak absurdly;] and, it is evident, there is a
vacancy which must be filled up by some connecting word: as thus, 'He
writes _with_ a pen;' 'they ran _towards_ the river;' 'the tower fell
_upon_ the Greeks;' 'Lambeth is _over against_ Westminster-abbey.'"--_Ib._,
p. 118. "Let me repeat it;--he only is great, who has the habits of
greatness."--_Murray's Key_, 241. "I say not unto thee, until seven times;
but, until seventy times seven."--See _Matt._, xviii, 22.
"The Panther smil'd at this; and when, said she,
Were those first councils disallow'd by me?"--_Dryden_, p. 95.
UNDER RULE XV.--OF CHIEF WORDS.
"The supreme council of the nation is called the divan."--_Balbi's Geog._,
[FORMULE.--Not proper, because the word _divan_ begins with a small letter.
But, according to Rule 15th, "Other words of particular importance, and
such as denote the principal subjects treated of, may be distinguished by
capitals." Therefore, "Divan" should here begin with a capital D.]
"The British parliament is composed of kings, lords, and
commons."--_Murray's Key_, p. 184. "A popular orator in the House of
Commons has a sort of patent for coining as many new terms as he
pleases."--See _Campbell's Rhet._, p. 169; _Murray's Gram._, 364. "They may
all be taken together, as one name; as, the _house of commons_."--
_Merchant's School Gram._, p. 25. "Intrusted to persons in whom the
parliament could confide."--_Murray's Gram._, 8vo, p. 202. "For 'The Lords'
house,' it were certainly better to say, 'The house of lords;' and, in
stead of 'The commons' vote,' to say, 'The votes of the commons.'"--See
_ib._, p. 177, 4th _Amer. Ed._; also _Priestley's Gram._, p. 69. "The house
of lords were so much influenced by these reasons."--_Murray's Gram._, 8vo,
p. 152; _Priestley's Gram._, 188. "Rhetoricians commonly divide them into
two great classes; figures of words, and figures of thought. The former,
figures of words, are commonly called tropes."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 132.
"Perhaps figures of imagination, and figures of passion, might be a more
useful distribution."--_Ib._, p. 133. "Hitherto we have considered
sentences, under the heads of perspicuity, unity, and strength."--_Ib._, p.
"The word is then depos'd, and in this view,
You rule the scripture, not the scripture you."--_Dryden_, p. 95.
UNDER RULE XVI.--OF NEEDLESS CAPITALS.
"Be of good cheer: It is I; be not afraid."--ALGER: _Matt._, xiv, 27.
[FORMULE.--Not proper, because the word _It_ begins with a capital _I_, for
which there appears to be neither rule nor reason. But, according to Rule
16th, "Capitals are improper wherever there is not some special rule or
reason for their use." Therefore, 'it' should here begin with a small
letter, as Dr. Scott has it.]
"Between passion and lying, there is not a Finger's breadth."--_Murray's
Key_, p. 240. "Can our Solicitude alter the course, or unravel the
intricacy, of human events?"--_Ib._, p. 242. "The last edition was
carefully compared with the Original M. S."--_Ib._, p. 239. "And the
governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews?"--ALGER:
_Matt._, xxvii, 11. "Let them be turned back for a reward of their shame,
that say, Aha, Aha!"--FRIENDS' BIBLE: _Ps._, lxx, 3. "Let them be desolate
for a reward of their shame, that say unto me, Aha, aha!"--IB.: _Ps._, xl,
15. "What think ye of Christ? whose Son is he? They say unto him, The Son
of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in Spirit call him
Lord?"--SCOTT: _Matt._, xxii, 42, 43. "Among all Things in the Universe,
direct your Worship to the Greatest; And which is that? 'T is that Being
which Manages and Governs all the Rest."--_Meditations of M. Aurelius
Antoninus_, p. 76. "As for Modesty and Good Faith, Truth and Justice, they
have left this wicked World and retired to Heaven: And now what is it that
can keep you here?"--_Ib._, p. 81.
"If Pulse of Terse, a Nation's Temper shows,
In keen Iambics English Metre flows."--_Brightland's Gram._, p. 151.
PROMISCUOUS ERRORS RESPECTING CAPITALS.
"Come, gentle spring, Ethereal mildness, come."--_Gardiner's Music of
Nature_, p. 411.
[FORMULES.--1. Not proper, because the word _spring_ begins with a small
letter. But, according to Rule 10th, "The name of an object personified,
when it conveys an idea strictly individual, should begin with a capital."
Therefore "Spring" should here begin with a capital S.
2. Not proper again, because the word _Ethereal_ begins with a capital E,
for which there appears to be neither rule nor reason. But, according to
Rule 16th. "Capitals are improper whenever there is not some special rule
or reason for their use." Therefore, "ethereal" should here begin with a
As, "He is the Cicero of his age; he is reading the lives of the Twelve
Caesars."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 36. "In the History of Henry the fourth, by
father Daniel, we are surprized at not finding him the great
man."--_Priestley's Gram._, p. 151. "In the history of Henry the fourth, by
Father Daniel, we are _surprised_ at not finding him the great
man."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 172; _Ingersoll's_, 187; _Fisk's_, 99. "Do not
those same poor peasants use the Lever and the Wedge, and many other
instruments?"--_Murray_, 288; from _Harris_, 293. "Arithmetic is excellent
for the gauging of Liquors; Geometry, for the measuring of Estates;
Astronomy, for the making of Almanacks; and Grammar, perhaps, for the
drawing of Bonds and Conveyances."--_Harris's Hermes_, p. 295. "The wars of
Flanders, written in Latin by Famianus Strada, is a book of some
note."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 364. "_William_ is a noun.--why? _was_ is a
verb.--why? _a_ is an article.--why? _very_ is an adverb.--why?"
&c.--_Merchant's School Gram._, p. 20. "In the beginning was the word, and
that word was with God, and God was that word."--_Gwilt's Saxon Gram._, p.
49. "The greeks are numerous in thessaly, macedonia, romelia, and
albania."--_Balbi, varied_. "He is styled by the Turks, Sultan (Mighty) or
Padishah (lord)."--_Balbi's Geog._, p. 360. "I will ransom them from the
power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy
plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction."--SCOTT, ALGER, ET AL.:
_Hosea_, xiii, 14. "Silver and Gold have I none; but such as I have, give I
unto thee."--_Murray's Gram._, 8vo, p. 321. "Return, we beseech thee, O God
of Hosts, look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine."--_Ib._,
p. 342. "In the Attic Commonwealth, it was the privilege of every citizen
to rail in public."--_Ib._, p. 316. "They assert that, in the phrases,
'give me _that_,' '_this_ is John's,' and '_such_ were _some_ of you,' the
words in italics are pronouns: but that, in the following phrases, they are
not pronouns; '_this_ book is instructive,' '_some_ boys are ingenious,'
'_my_ health is declining,' '_our_ hearts are deceitful,' &c."--_Ib._, p.
58. "And the coast bends again to the northwest, as far as Far Out
head."--_Glasgow Geog._, Vol. ii, p. 308. Dr. Webster, and other makers of
spelling-books, very improperly write "sunday, monday, tuesday, wednesday,
thursday, friday, saturday," without capitals.--See _Webster's Elementary
Spelling-Book_ p. 85. "The commander in chief of the Turkish navy is styled
the capitan-pasha."--_Balbi's Geog._, p. 360. "Shall we not much rather be
in subjection unto the father of spirits, and live?"--SCOTT'S BIBLE:
_Heb._, xii, 9. "Shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father
of Spirits, and live?"--FRIENDS' BIBLE: _Heb._, xii, 9. "He was more
anxious to attain the character of a Christian hero."--_Murray's Sequel_,
p. 308. "Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount
Zion."--_Psalms_, xlviii, 2. "The Lord is my Helper, and I will not fear
what man shall do unto me."--SCOTT: _Heb._, xiii, 6. "Make haste to help
me, O LORD my Salvation."--SCOTT: _Ps._, xxxviii, 22.
"The City, which Thou seest, no other deem
Than great and glorious Rome, Queen of the Earth."
_Harris's Hermes_, p. 49.
"That range of hills, known under the general name of mount
Jura."--_Priestley's Gram._, p. 110. "He rebuked the Red sea also, and it
was dried up."--SCOTT: _Ps._, cvi, 9. "Jesus went unto the mount of
Olives."--_John_, viii, 1. "Milton's book, in reply to the _Defence of the
king_, by Salmasius, gained him a thousand pounds from the parliament, and
killed his antagonist with vexation."--See _Murray's Sequel_, 343.
"Mandeville, sir John, an Englishman, famous for his travels, born about
1300, died in 1372."--_Biog. Dict._ "Ettrick pen, a mountain in
Selkirkshire, Scotland, height 2,200 feet."--_Glasgow Geog._, Vol. ii, p.
312. "The coast bends from Dungsbyhead in a northwest direction to the
promontory of Dunnet head."--_Ib._, p. 307. "Gen. Gaines ordered a
detachment of near 300 men, under the command of Major Twiggs, to surround
and take an Indian Village, called Fowl Town, about fourteen miles from
fort Scott."--_Cohen's Florida_, p. 41. "And he took the damsel by the
hand, and said unto her, Talitha Cumi."--ALGER: _Mark_, v, 4. "On religious
subjects, a frequent recurrence of scripture-language is attended with
peculiar force."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 318. "Contemplated with gratitude to
their Author, the Giver of all Good."--_Ib._, p. 289. "When he, the Spirit
of Truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth."--_Ib._, p. 171;
_Fisk_, 98; _Ingersoll_, 186. "See the lecture on verbs, rule XV. note
4."--_Fisk's E. Gram._, p. 117. "At the commencement of lecture II. I
informed you that Etymology treats, 3dly, of derivation."--_Kirkham's
Gram._, p. 171. "This VIII. lecture is a very important one."--_Ib._, p.
113. "Now read the XI. and XII. lectures _four_ or _five_ times
over."--_Ib._, p. 152. "In 1752, he was advanced to the bench, under the
title of lord Kames."--_Murray's Sequel_, p. 331. "One of his maxims was,
'know thyself.'"--_Lempriere's Dict., n. Chilo._ "Good master, what good
thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?"--See _Matt._, xix, 16.
"His best known works, however, are 'anecdotes of the earl of Chatham,' 2
vols. 4to., 3 vols. 8vo., and 'biographical, literary, and political
anecdotes of several of the most eminent persons of the present age; never
before printed,' 3 vols. 8vo. 1797."--_Univ. Biog. Dict., n. Almon_. "O
gentle sleep, Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee?"--_Merchant's
School Gram._, p. 172. "O sleep, O gentle sleep, Nature's soft nurse,"
&c.--SINGER'S SHAK. _Sec. Part of Hen. IV_, Act iii. "Sleep, gentle sleep,
Nature's soft nurse," &c.--_Dodd's Beauties of Shakspeare_, p. 129.
"And Peace, O, Virtue! Peace is all thy own."--_Pope's Works_, p. 379.
"And peace, O virtue! peace is all thy own."--_Murray's Gram._, ii, 16.
"Fenelon united the characters of a nobleman and a Christian pastor. His
book entitled 'An explication of the Maxims of the Saints concerning the
interior life,' gave considerable offence to the guardians of
orthodoxy."--_Murray's Sequel_, p. 321. "When natural religion, who before
was only a spectator, is introduced as speaking by the centurion's
voice."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 157. "You cannot deny, that the great mover
and author of nature constantly explaineth himself to the eyes of men, by
the sensible intervention of arbitrary signs, which have no similitude, or
connexion, with the things signified."--_Berkley's Minute Philosopher_, p.
169. "The name of this letter is double U, its form, that of a double
V."--_Wilson's Essay on Gram._, p. 19. "Murray, in his spelling book, wrote
'Charles-Town' with a Hyphen and two Capitals."--See p. 101. "He also wrote
'european' without a capital."--See p. 86. "They profess themselves to be
pharisees, who are to be heard and not imitated."--_Calvin's Institutes,
Ded._, p. 55. "Dr. Webster wrote both 'Newhaven' and 'Newyork' with single
capitals."--See his _American Spelling-Book_, p. 111. "Gayhead, the west
point of Martha's Vineyard."--_Williams's Univ. Gaz._ Write "Craborchard,
Eggharbor, Longisland, Perthamboy, Westhampton, Littlecompton, Newpaltz,
Crownpoint, Fellspoint, Sandyhook, Portpenn, Portroyal. Portobello, and
Portorico."--_Webster's American Spelling-Book_, 127-140. Write the names
of the months: "january, february, march, april, may, june, july, august,
september, october, november, december."--_Cobb's Standard Spelling-Book_,
21-40. Write the following names and words properly: "tuesday, wednesday,
thursday, friday, saturday, saturn;--christ, christian, christmas,
christendom, michaelmas, indian, bacchanals;--Easthampton, omega, johannes,
aonian, levitical, deuteronomy, european."--_Cobb's Standard Spelling-Book,
"Eight Letters in some Syllables we find,
And no more Syllables in Words are joined."
_Brightland's Gram._, p. 61.
CHAPTER II.--OF SYLLABLES.
A _Syllable_ is one or more letters pronounced in one sound; and is either
a word, as, _a, an, ant_; or a part of a word, as _di_ in _dial_.
In every word there are as many syllables as there are distinct sounds, or
separate impulses of the voice; as, _gram-ma-ri-an_.
A word of one syllable is called a _monosyllable_; a word of two syllables,
a _dissyllable_; a word of three syllables, a _trissyllable_; and a word of
four or more syllables, a _polysyllable_.
Every vowel, except _w_, may form a syllable of itself; but the consonants
belong to the vowels or diphthongs; and without a vowel no syllable can be
DIPHTHONGS AND TRIPHTHONGS.
A _diphthong_ is two vowels joined in one syllable; as, _ea_ in _beat, ou_
in _sound_. In _oe_ or _ae_, old or foreign, the characters often unite.
A _proper diphthong_ is a diphthong in which both the vowels are sounded;
as, _oi_ in _voice, ow_ in _vow_.
An _improper diphthong_ is a diphthong in which only one of the vowels is
sounded; as, _oa_ in _loaf, eo_ in _people_.
A _triphthong_ is three vowels joined in one syllable; as, _eau_ in beau,
_iew_ in _view, oeu_ in _manoeuvre_.
A _proper triphthong_ is a triphthong in which all the vowels are sounded;
as, _uoy_ in _buoy_.
An _improper triphthong_ is a triphthong in which only one or two of the
vowels are sounded; as, _eau_ in _beauty, iou_ in _anxious_. The diphthongs
in English are twenty-nine; embracing all but six of the thirty-five
possible combinations of two vowels: _aa, ae, ai, ao, au, aw, ay,--ea, ee,
ei, eo, eu, ew, ey,--ia, ie_, (_ii_,) _io_, (_iu, iw, iy_,)--_oa, oe, oi,
oo, ou, ow, oy,--ua, ue, ui, uo_, (_uu, uw_,) _uy_.
Ten of these diphthongs, being variously sounded, may be either proper or
improper; to wit, _ay,--ie,--oi, ou, ow,--ua, ue, ui, uo, uy_.
The proper diphthongs appear to be thirteen; _ay,--ia, ie, io,--oi, ou, ow,
oy,--ua, ue, ui, uo, uy_: of which combinations, only three, _ia, io_, and
_oy_, are invariably of this class.
The improper diphthongs are twenty-six; _aa, ae, ai, ao, au, aw, ay,--ea,
ee, ei, eo, eu, ew, ey,--ie,--oa, oe, oi, oo, ou, ow,--ua, ue, ui, uo, uy_.
The only proper triphthong in English is _uoy_, as in _buoy, buoyant,
buoyancy_; unless _uoi_ in _quoit_ may be considered a parallel instance.
The improper triphthongs are sixteen; _awe, aye,--eau, eou, ewe, eye,--ieu,
iew, iou,--oeu, owe,--uai, uaw, uay, uea, uee_.
In dividing words into syllables, we are to be directed chiefly by the ear;
it may however be proper to observe, as far as practicable, the following
Consonants should generally be joined to the vowels or diphthongs which
they modify in utterance; as, _An-ax-ag'-o-ras, ap-os-tol'-i-cal_.
Two vowels, coming together, if they make not a diphthong, must be parted
in dividing the syllables; as, _A-cka'-i-a, A-o'-ni-an, a-e'-ri-al_.
Derivative and grammatical terminations should generally be separated from
the radical words to which they have been added; as, _harm-less, great-ly,
connect-ed_: thus _count-er_ and _coun-ter_ are different words.
Prefixes, in general, form separate syllables; as, _mis-place, out-ride,
up-lift_: but if their own primitive meaning be disregarded, the case may
be otherwise; thus, _re-create_, and _rec'-reate, re-formation_, and
_ref-ormation_, are words of different import.
Compounds, when divided, should be divided into the simple words which
compose them; as, _boat-swain, foot-hold, never-the-less_.
RULE VI.--LINES FULL.
At the end of a line, a word may be divided, if necessary; but a syllable
must never be broken.
OBS. 1.--The doctrine of English syllabication is attended with some
difficulties; because its purposes are various, and its principles, often
contradictory. The old rules, borrowed chiefly from grammars of other
languages, and still retained in some of our own, are liable to very strong
objections. By aiming to divide on the vowels, and to force the
consonants, as much as possible, into the beginning of syllables, they
often pervert or misrepresent our pronunciation. Thus Murray, in his
Spelling-Book, has "_gra-vel, fi-nish, me-lon, bro-ther, bo-dy, wi-dow,
pri-son, a-va-rice, e-ve-ry, o-ran-ges, e-ne-my, me-di-cine, re-pre-sent,
re-so-lu-tion_," and a multitude of other words, divided upon a principle
by which the young learner can scarcely fail to be led into error
respecting their sounds. This method of division is therefore particularly
reprehensible in such books as are designed to teach the true pronunciation
of words; for which reason, it has been generally abandoned in our modern
spelling-books and dictionaries: the authors of which have severally aimed
at some sort of compromise between etymology and pronunciation; but they
disagree so much, as to the manner of effecting it, that no two of them
will be found alike, and very few, if any, entirely consistent with
OBS. 2.--The object of syllabication may be any one of the following four;
1. To enable a child to read unfamiliar words by spelling them; 2. To show
the derivation or composition of words; 3. To exhibit the exact
pronunciation of words; 4. To divide words properly, when it is necessary
to break them at the ends of lines. With respect to the first of these
objects, Walker observes, "When a child has made certain advances in
reading, but is ignorant of the sound of many of the longer words, it may
not be improper to lay down the common general rule to him, that a
consonant between two vowels must go to the latter, and that two consonants
coming together must be divided. _Farther than this it would be absurd to
go with a child_."--_Walker's Principles_, No. 539. Yet, as a caution be it
recorded, that, in 1833, an itinerant lecturer from the South, who made it
his business to teach what he calls in his title-page, "An _Abridgment_ of
Walker's Rules on the Sounds of the Letters,"--an _Abridgement_, which, he
says in his preface, "will be found to contain, it is believed, all the
important rules that are established by Walker, and to carry his principles
_farther_ than he himself has _done_"--befooled the Legislature of
Massachusetts, the School Committee and Common Council of Boston, the
professor of elocution at Harvard University, and many other equally wise
men of the east, into the notion that English pronunciation could be
conveniently taught to children, in "four or five days," by means of some
three or four hundred rules of which the following is a specimen: "RULE
282. When a single consonant is preceded by a vowel under the
preantepenultimate accent, and is followed by a vowel that is succeeded by
a consonant, it belongs to the accented vowel."--_Mulkey's Abridgement of
Walker's Rules_, p. 34.
OBS. 3.--A grosser specimen of literary quackery, than is the publication
which I have just quoted, can scarcely be found in the world of letters. It
censures "the principles laid down and illustrated by Walker," as "so
elaborate and so verbose as to be wearisome to the scholar and useless to
the child;" and yet declares them to be, "for the most part, the true rules
of pronunciation, according to the analogy of the language."--_Mulkey's
Preface_, p. 3. It professes to be an abridgement and simplification of
those principles, especially adapted to the wants and capacities of
children; and, at the same time, imposes upon the memory of the young
learner twenty-nine rules for syllabication, similar to that which I have
quoted above; whereas Walker himself, with all his verbosity, expressly
declares it "_absurd_," to offer more than one or two, and those of the
very simplest character. It is to be observed that the author teaches
nothing but the elements of reading; nothing but the sounds of letters and
syllables; nothing but a few simple fractions of the great science of
grammar: and, for this purpose, he would conduct the learner through the
following particulars, and have him remember them all: 1. _Fifteen
distinctions_ respecting the "classification and organic formation of the
letters." 2. _Sixty-three rules_ for "the sounds of the vowels, according
to their relative positions." 3. _Sixty-four explanations_ of "the
different sounds of the diphthongs." 4. _Eighty-nine rules_ for "the sounds
of the consonants, according to position." 5. _Twenty-three heads_,
embracing a hundred and fifty-six principles of accent. 6. _Twenty-nine_
"_rules_ for dividing words into syllables." 7. _Thirty-three "additional
principles;"_ which are thrown together promiscuously, because he could not
class them. 8. _Fifty-two pages_ of "irregular Words," forming particular
exceptions to the foregoing rules. 9. _Twenty-eight pages_ of notes
extracted from Walker's Dictionary, and very prettily called "The Beauties
of Walker." All this is Walker simplified for children!
OBS. 4.--Such is a brief sketch of Mulkey's system of orthoepy; a work in
which "he claims to have devised what has heretofore been a
_desideratum_--a mode by which children in our common schools may be taught
_the rules_ for the pronunciation of their mother tongue."--_Preface_, p.
4. The faults of the book are so exceedingly numerous, that to point them
out, would be more toil, than to write an accurate volume of twice the
size. And is it possible, that a system like this could find patronage in
the metropolis of New England, in that proud centre of arts and sciences,
and in the proudest halls of learning and of legislation? Examine the
gentleman's credentials, and take your choice between the adoption of his
plan, as a great improvement in the management of syllables, and the
certain conclusion that great men may be greatly duped respecting them.
Unless the public has been imposed upon by a worse fraud than mere literary
quackery, the authorities I have mentioned did extensively patronize the
scheme; and the Common Council of that learned city did order, November
14th, 1833, "That the School Committee be and they are hereby authorized to
employ Mr. William Mulkey to give a course of Lectures on Orthoepy _to the
several instructors of the public schools_, and that the sum of five
hundred dollars is hereby appropriated for that purpose, and that the same
amount be withdrawn from the reserved fund."--See _Mulkey's Circular_.
OBS. 5.--Pronunciation is best taught to children by means of a good
spelling-book; a book in which the words are arranged according to their
analogies, and divided according to their proper sounds. Vocabularies,
dictionaries, and glossaries, may also be serviceable to those who are
sufficiently advanced to learn how to use them. With regard to the first of
the abovenamed purposes of syllabication, I am almost ready to dissent even
from the modest opinion of Walker himself; for ignorance can only guess at
the pronunciation of words, till positive instruction comes in to give
assurance; and it may be doubted whether even the simple rule or rules
suggested by Walker would not about as often mislead the young reader as
correct him. With regard to the second purpose, that of showing the
derivation or composition of words, it is plain, that etymology, and not
pronunciation, must here govern the division; and that it should go no
further than to separate the constituent parts of each word; as,
_ortho-graphy, theo-logy_. But when we divide for the third purpose, and
intend to show what is the pronunciation of a word, we must, if possible,
divide into such syllabic sounds as will exactly recompose the word, when
put together again; as, _or-thog-ra-phy, the-ol-o-gy_. This being the most
common purpose of syllabication, perhaps it would be well to give it a
general preference; and adopt it whenever we can, not only in the composing
of spelling-books and dictionaries, but also in the dividing of words at
the ends of lines.
OBS. 6.--Dr. Lowth says, "The best and easiest rule, for dividing the
syllables in spelling, is, to divide them as they are naturally divided in
a right pronunciation; without regard to the derivation of words, or the
possible combination of consonants at the beginning of a
syllable."--_Lowth's Gram._, p. 5. And Walker approves of the principle,
with respect to the third purpose mentioned above: "This," says that
celebrated orthoepist, "is the method adopted by those who would convey the
whole sound, by giving distinctly every part; and, when this is the object
of syllabication, Dr. Lowth's rule is certainly to be followed."--_Walker's
Principles_,--No. 541. But this rule, which no one can apply till he has
found out the pronunciation, will not always be practicable where that is
known, and perhaps not always expedient where it is practicable. For
example: the words _colonel, venison, transition, propitious_, cannot be so
divided as to exhibit their pronunciation; and, in such as _acid, magic,
pacify, legible, liquidate_, it may not be best to follow the rule, because
there is some reasonable objection to terminating the first syllables of
these words with _c, g_, and _q_, especially at the end of a line. The rule
for terminations may also interfere with this, called "Lowth's;" as in
_sizable, rising, dronish_.
OBS. 7.--For the dividing of words into syllables, I have given six rules,
which are perhaps as many as will be useful. They are to be understood as
general principles; and, as to the exceptions to be made in their
application, or the settling of their conflicting claims to attention,
these may be left to the judgement of each writer. The old principle of
dividing by the eye, and not by the ear, I have rejected; and, with it, all
but one of the five rules which the old grammarians gave for the purpose.
"The divisions of the letters into syllables, should, unquestionably, be
the same in written, as in spoken language; otherwise the learner is
misguided, and seduced by false representations into injurious
errors."--_Wilson's Essay on Gram._, p. 37. Through the influence of books
in which the words are divided according to their sounds, the pronunciation
of the language is daily becoming more and more uniform; and it may perhaps
be reasonably hoped, that the general adoption of this method of
syllabication, and a proper exposition of the occasional errors of
ignorance, will one day obviate entirely the objection arising from the
instability of the principle. For the old grammarians urged, that the
scholar who had learned their rules should "strictly conform to them; and
that he should industriously avoid _that random Method of dividing by the
Ear_, which is subject to mere jumble, as it must be continually
fluctuating according to the various Dialects of different
Countries."--_British Grammar_, p. 47.
OBS. 8.--The important exercise of oral spelling is often very absurdly
conducted. In many of our schools, it may be observed that the teacher, in
giving out the words to be spelled, is not always careful to utter them
with what he knows to be their true sounds, but frequently accommodates his
pronunciation to the known or supposed ignorance of the scholar; and the
latter is still more frequently allowed to hurry through the process,
without putting the syllables together as he proceeds; and, sometimes,
without forming or distinguishing the syllables at all. Merely to pronounce
a word and then name its letters, is an exceedingly imperfect mode of
spelling; a mode in which far more is lost in respect to accuracy of
speech, than is gained in respect to time. The syllables should not only be
distinctly formed and pronounced, but pronounced as they are heard in the
whole word; and each should be successively added to the preceding
syllables, till the whole sound is formed by the reunion of all its parts.
For example: _divisibility_. The scholar should say, "Dee I, de; Vee I Ess,
viz, de-viz; I, de-viz-e; Bee I Ell, bil, de-viz-e-bil; I, de-viz-e-bil-e;
Tee Wy, te, de-viz-e-bil-e-te." Again: _chicanery_. "Cee Aitch I, she; Cee
A, ka, she-ka; En E Ar, nur, she-ka-nur; Wy, she-ka-nur-e." One of the
chief advantages of oral spelling, is its tendency to promote accuracy of
pronunciation; and this end it will reach, in proportion to the care and
skill with which it is conducted. But oral spelling should not be relied on
as the sole means of teaching orthography. It will not be found sufficient.
The method of giving out words for practical spelling on slates or paper,
or of reading something which is to be written again by the learner, is
much to be commended, as a means of exercising those scholars who are so
far advanced as to write legibly. This is called, in the schools,
IMPROPRIETIES FOR CORRECTION.
ERRORS IN SYLLABICATION.
1. Correct the division of the following words of two syllables: "ci-vil,
co-lour, co-py, da-mask, do-zen, e-ver, fea-ther, ga-ther, hea-ven, hea-vy,
ho-ney, le-mon, li-nen, mea-dow, mo-ney, ne-ver, o-live, o-range, o-ther,
phea-sant, plea-sant, pu-nish, ra-ther, rea-dy, ri-ver, ro-bin, scho-lar,
sho-vel, sto-mach, ti-mid, whe-ther."--_Murray's Spelling-Book_, N. Y.,
1819, p. 43-50.
[FORMULE.--Not proper, because the _v_ in _ci-vil_, the _l_ in _co-lour_,
the _p_ in _co-py_, &c., are written with the following vowel, but spoken
with that which precedes. But, according to Rule 1st, "Consonants should
generally be joined to the vowels or diphthongs which they modify in
utterance." Therefore, these words should be divided thus: _civ-il,
col-our, cop-y_, &c.]
2. Correct the division of the following words of three syllables:
"be-ne-fit, ca-bi-net, ca-nis-ter, ca-ta-logue, cha-rac-ter, cha-ri-ty,
co-vet-ous, di-li-gence, di-mi-ty, e-le-phant, e-vi-dent, e-ver-green,
fri-vo-lous, ga-ther-ing, ge-ne-rous, go-vern-ess, go-vern-or, ho-nes-ty,
ka-len-dar, la-ven-der, le-ve-ret, li-be-ral, me-mo-ry, mi-nis-ter,
mo-dest-ly, no-vel-ty, no-bo-dy, pa-ra-dise, po-ver-ty, pre-sent-ly,
pro-vi-dence, pro-per-ly, pri-son-er, ra-ven-ous, sa-tis-fy, se-ve-ral,
se-pa-rate, tra-vel-ler, va-ga-bond;--con-si-der, con-ti-nue, de-li-ver,
dis-co-ver, dis-fi-gure, dis-ho-nest, dis-tri-bute, in-ha-bit, me-cha-nic,
what-e-ver;--re-com-mend, re-fu-gee, re-pri-mand."--_Murray: ib._, p.
3. Correct the division of the following words of four syllables:
"ca-ter-pil-lar, cha-ri-ta-ble, di-li-gent-ly, mi-se-ra-ble,
pro-fit-a-ble, to-le-ra-ble;--be-ne-vo-lent, con-si-der-ate, di-mi-nu-tive,
ex-pe-ri-ment, ex-tra-va-gant, in-ha-bi-tant, no-bi-li-ty, par-ti-cu-lar,
pros-pe-ri-ty, ri-di-cu-lous, sin-ce-ri-ty;--de-mon-stra-tion,
e-du-ca-tion, e-mu-la-tion, e-pi-de-mic, ma-le-fac-tor, ma-nu-fac-ture,
me-mo-ran-dum, mo-de-ra-tor, pa-ra-ly-tic, pe-ni-ten-tial, re-sig-na-tion,
sa-tis-fac-tion, se-mi-co-lon."--_Murray: ib._, p. 84-87.
4. Correct the division of the following words of five syllables:
"a-bo-mi-na-ble, a-po-the-ca-ry, con-sid-e-ra-ble, ex-pla-na-to-ry,
pre-pa-ra-to-ry;--a-ca-de-mi-cal, cu-ri-o-si-ty, ge-o-gra-phi-cal,
ma-nu-fac-to-ry, sa-tis-fac-to-ry, me-ri-to-ri-ous;--cha-rac-te-ris-tic,
e-pi-gram-ma-tic, ex-pe-ri-ment-al, po-ly-syl-la-ble, con-sid-e-ra-tion."
--_Murray: ib._, p. 87-89.
5. Correct the division of the following proper names: "He-len, Leo-nard,
Phi-lip, Ro-bert, Ho-race, Tho-mas;--Ca-ro-line, Ca-tha-rine, Da-ni-el,
De-bo-rah, Do-ro-thy, Fre-de-rick, I-sa-bel, Jo-na-than, Ly-di-a,
Ni-cho-las, O-li-ver, Sa-mu-el, Si-me-on, So-lo-mon, Ti-mo-thy,
Va-len-tine;--A-me-ri-ca, Bar-tho-lo-mew, E-li-za-beth, Na-tha-ni-el,
Pe-ne-lo-pe, The-o-phi-lus."--_Murray: ib._, p. 98-101.
1. Correct the division of the following words, by Rule 1st: "cap-rice,
es-teem, dis-es-teem, ob-lige;--az-ure, mat-ron, pat-ron, phal-anx, sir-en,
trait-or, trench-er, barb-er, burn-ish, garn-ish, tarn-ish, varn-ish,
mark-et, musk-et, pamph-let;--brave-ry, knave-ry, siave-ry, eve-ning,
scene-ry, bribe-ry, nice-ty, chi-cane-ry, ma-chine-ry, im-age-ry;--
as-y-lum, hor-i-zon,--fi-nan-cier, he-ro-ism,--sar-don-yx, scur-ril-ous,--
com-e-di-an, post-e-ri-or."--_Webster's Spelling-Books_.
2. Correct the division of the following words by Rule 2d: "oy-er, fol-io,
gen-ial, gen-ius, jun-ior, sa-tiate, vi-tiate;--am-bro-sia, cha-mel-ion,
par-hel-ion, con-ven-ient, in-gen-ious, om-nis-cience, pe-cul-iar,
so-cia-ble, par-tial-i-ty, pe-cun-ia-ry;--an-nun-ciate, e-nun-ciate,
ap-pre-ciate, as-so-ciate, ex-pa-tiate, in-gra-tiate, in-i-tiate,
li-cen-tiate, ne-go-tiate, no-vi-ciate, of-fi-ciate, pro-pi-tiate,
sub-stan-tiate."--_Webster: Old Spelling-Book_, 86-91; _New_, 121-128.
3. Correct the division of the following words by Rule 3d: "dres-ser,
has-ty, pas-try, sei-zure, rol-ler, jes-ter, wea-ver, vam-per, han-dy,
dros-sy, glos-sy, mo-ver, mo-ving, oo-zy, ful-ler, trus-ty, weigh-ty,
noi-sy, drow-sy, swar-thy."--_Cobb's Standard Spelling-Book_. Again:
"eas-tern, full-y, pull-et, rill-et, scan-ty, nee-dy."--_Webster_.
4. Correct the division of the following words by Rule 4th:
"aw-ry,"--_Webster's Old Book_, 52; "ath-wart,"--_Ib._, 93;
"pros-pect-ive,"--_Ib._, 66; "pa-renth-e-sis,"--_Ib._, 93;
"res-ist-i-bil-ity,"--_Webster's New Book_, 93; "hem-is-pher-ic,"--_Ib._,
130; "mo-nos-tich, he-mis-tick," --_Walker's Dict._, 8vo; _Cobb_, 33;
5. Correct the division of the following words by Rule 5th:
"E'n-gland,"--_Murray's Spelling-Book_, p. 100; "a-no-ther,"--_Ib._, 71;
"a-noth-er,"--_Emerson_, 76; "Be-thes-da, Beth-a-ba-ra,"--_Webster_, 141;
1. Correct the division of the following words, according to their
derivation: "ben-der, bles-sing, bras-sy, chaf-fy, chan-ter, clas-per,
craf-ty, cur-dy, fen-der, fil-my, fus-ty, glas-sy, graf-ter, gras-sy,
gus-ty, ban-ded, mas-sy, mus-ky, rus-ty, swel-ling, tel-ler, tes-ted,
thrif-ty, ves-ture."--_Cobb's Standard Spelling-Book_.
2. Correct the division of the following words, so as to give no wrong
notion of their derivation and meaning: "barb-er, burn-ish, brisk-et,
cank-er, chart-er, cuck-oo, furn-ish, garn-ish, guil-ty, hank-er, lust-y,
port-al, tarn-ish, test-ate, test-y, trait-or, treat-y, varn-ish, vest-al,
di-urn-al, e-tern-al, in-fern-al, in-tern-al, ma-tern-al, noc-turn-al,
pa-tern-al."--_Webster's Elementary Spelling-Book_.
3. Correct the division of the following words, so as to convey no wrong
idea of their pronunciation: "ar-mo-ry, ar-te-ry, butch-er-y, cook-e-ry,
eb-o-ny, em-e-ry, ev-e-ry, fel-o-ny, fop-pe-ry, flip-pe-ry, gal-le-ry,
his-to-ry, liv-e-ry. lot-te-ry, mock-e-ry, mys-te-ry, nun-ne-ry, or-re-ry,
pil-lo-ry, quack-e-ry, sor-ce-ry, witch-e-ry."--_Ib._, 41-42.
4. Correct the division of the following words, and give to _n_ before _k_
the sound of _ng_: "ank-le, bask-et, blank-et, buck-le, cack-le, crank-le,
crink-le, east-er, fick-le, freck-le, knuck-le, mark-et, monk-ey,
port-ress, pick-le, poult-ice, punch-eon, qua-drant, qua-drate, squa-dron,
rank-le, shack-le, sprink-le, tink-le, twink-le, wrink-le."--_Cobb's
5. Correct the division of the following words, with a proper regard to
Rules 1st and 3d: "a-scribe, bland-ish, bran-chy, clou-dy, dus-ty, drea-ry,
eve-ning, faul-ty, fil-thy, fros-ty, gau-dy, gloo-my, heal-thy, hear-ken,
hear-ty, hoa-ry, lea-ky, loung-er, mar-shy, migh-ty, mil-ky, naugh-ty,
pas-sing, pit-cher, rea-dy, roc-ky, spee-dy, stea-dy, stor-my, thirs-ty,
thor-ny, trus-ty, ves-try, wes-tern, weal-thy."--_Emerson's Spelling-Book_,
CHAPTER III.--OF WORDS.
A _Word_ is one or more syllables spoken or written as the sign of some
idea, or of some manner of thought. Words are distinguished as _primitive_
or _derivative_, and as _simple_ or _compound_. The former division is
called their _species_; the latter, their _figure_.
A _primitive_ word is one that is not formed from any simpler word in the
language; as, _harm, great, connect_.
A _derivative_ word is one that is formed from some simpler word in the
language; as, _harmless, greatly, connected, disconnect, unconnected_.
A _simple_ word is one that is not compounded, not composed of other
words; as, _watch, man, house, tower, never, the, less_.
A _compound_ word is one that is composed of two or more simple words; as,
_watchman, watchhouse, watchtower, nevertheless_.
Permanent compounds are consolidated; as, _bookseller, schoolmaster_:
others, which may be called temporary compounds, are formed by the hyphen;
as, _good-natured, negro-merchant_.
_RULES FOR THE FIGURE OF WORDS_.
Words regularly or analogically united, and commonly known as forming a
compound, should never be needlessly broken apart. Thus, _steamboat,
railroad, red-hot, well-being, new-coined_, are preferable to the phrases,
_steam boat, rail road, red hot, well being, new coined_; and _toward us_
is better than the old phrase, _to us ward_.
When the simple words would only form a regular phrase, of the same
meaning, the compounding of any of them ought to be avoided. Thus, the
compound _instead_ is not to be commended, because the simple phrase, _in
stead of_, is exactly like the other phrases, _in lieu of, in place of, in
room of_, in which we write no compound.
RULE III.--THE SENSE.
Words otherwise liable to be misunderstood, must be joined together or
written separately, as the sense and construction may happen to require.
Thus, a _glass house_ is a house made of glass, but a _glasshouse_ is a
house in which glass is made; so a _negro merchant_ is a coloured trader,
but a _negro-merchant_ is a man who buys and sells negroes.
When two or more compounds are connected in one sentence, none of them
should be split to make an ellipsis of half a word. Thus, "_six or
seventeen_" should not be said for "_sixteen or seventeen_;" nor ought we
to say, "_calf, goat, and sheepskins_" for "_calfskins, goatskins, and
sheepskins_" In the latter instance, however, it might be right to separate
all the words; as in the phrase, "_soup, coffee_, and _tea_
houses."--_Liberator_, x, 40.
RULE V.--THE HYPHEN.
When the parts of a compound do not fully coalesce, as _to-day, to-night,
to-morrow_; or when each retains its original accent, so that the compound
has more than one, or one that is movable, as _first-born, hanger-on,
laughter-loving, garlic-eater, butterfly-shell_, the hyphen should be
inserted between them.
RULE VI.--NO HYPHEN.
When a compound has but one accented syllable in pronunciation, as
_watchword, statesman, gentleman_, and the parts are such as admit of a
complete coalescence, no hyphen should be inserted between them. Churchill,
after much attention to this subject, writes thus: "The practical
instruction of the _countinghouse_ imparts a more thorough knowledge of
_bookkeeping_, than all the fictitious transactions of a mere _schoolbook_,
however carefully constructed to suit particular purposes."--_New Gram._,
p. vii. But _counting-house_, having more stress on the last syllable than
on the middle one, is usually written with the hyphen; and _book-keeping_
and _school-book_, though they may not need it, are oftener so formed than
OBS. 1.--Words are the least parts of significant language; that is, of
language significant in each part; for, to syllables, taken merely as
syllables, no meaning belongs. But, to a word, signification of some sort
or other, is essential; there can be no word without it; for a sign or
symbol must needs represent or signify something. And as I cannot suppose
words to represent external things, I have said "A _Word_ is one or more
syllables spoken or written as the sign of some _idea_." But of _what_
ideas are the words of our language significant? Are we to say, "Of _all_
ideas;" and to recognize as an English word every syllable, or combination
of syllables, to which we know a meaning is attached? No. For this, in the
first place, would confound one language with an other; and destroy a
distinction which must ever be practically recognized, till all men shall
again speak one language. In the next place, it would compel us to embrace
among our words an infinitude of terms that are significant only of _local_
ideas, such as men any where or at any time may have had concerning any of
the individuals they have known, whether persons, places, or things. But,
however important they may be in the eyes of men, the names of particular
persons, places, or things, because they convey only particular ideas, do
not properly belong to what we call _our language_. Lexicographers do not
collect and define proper names, because they are beyond the limits of
their art, and can be explained only from history. I do not say that proper
names are to be excluded from grammar; but I would show wherein consists
the superiority of general terms over these. For if our common words did
not differ essentially from proper names, we could demonstrate nothing in
science: we could not frame from them any general or affirmative
proposition at all; because all our terms would be particular, and not
general; and because every individual thing in nature must necessarily be
for ever itself only, and not an other.
OBS. 2.--Our common words, then, are the symbols neither of external
particulars, nor merely of the sensible ideas which external particulars
excite in our minds, but mainly of those general or universal ideas which
belong rather to the intellect than to the senses. For intellection differs
from sensation, somewhat as the understanding of a man differs from the
perceptive faculty of a brute; and language, being framed for the
reciprocal commerce of human minds, whose perceptions include both, is made
to consist of signs of ideas both general and particular, yet without
placing them on equal ground. Our general ideas--that is, our ideas
conceived as common to many individuals, existing in any part of time,
past, present, or future--such, for example, as belong to the words _man,
horse, tree, cedar, wave, motion, strength, resist_--such ideas, I say,
constitute that most excellent significance which belongs to words
primarily, essentially, and immediately; whereas, our particular ideas,
such as are conceived only of individual objects, which arc infinite in
number and ever fleeting, constitute a significance which belongs to
language only secondarily, accidentally, and mediately. If we express the
latter at all, we do it either by proper names, of which but very few ever
become generally known, or by means of certain changeable limitations which
are added to our general terms; whereby language, as Harris observes,
"without wandering into infinitude, contrives how to denote things
infinite."--_Hermes_, p. 345. The particular manner in which this is done,
I shall show hereafter, in Etymology, when I come to treat of articles and
OBS. 3.--If we examine the structure of proper names, we shall find that
most of them are compounds, the parts of which have, in very many
instances, some general signification. Now a complete phrase commonly
conveys some particular notion or conception of the mind; but, in this
case, the signification of the general terms is restricted by the other
words which are added to them. Thus _smith_ is a more general term than
_goldsmith_; and _goldsmith_ is more general than a _goldsmith_; _a
goldsmith_, than _the goldsmith_; _the goldsmith_, than _one Goldsmith_;
_one Goldsmith_, than _Mr. Goldsmith_; _Mr. Goldsmith_, than _Oliver
Goldsmith_. Thus we see that the simplest mode of designating particular
persons or objects, is that of giving them _proper names_; but proper names
must needs be so written, that they may be known as proper names, and not
be mistaken for common terms. I have before observed, that we have some
names which are both proper and common; and that these should be written
with capitals, and should form the plural regularly. It is surprising that
_the Friends_, who are in some respects particularly scrupulous about
language, should so generally have overlooked the necessity there is, of
_compounding_ their numerical names of the months and days, and writing
them uniformly with capitals, as proper names. For proper names they
certainly are, in every thing but the form, whenever they are used without
the article, and without those other terms which render their general idea
particular. And the compound form with a capital, is as necessary for
_Firstday, Secondday, Thirdday_, &c., as for _Sunday, Monday, Tuesday_, &c.
"The first day of the week,"--"The seventh day of the month,"--"The second
month of summer,"--"The second month in the year," &c., are good English
phrases, in which any compounding of the terms, or any additional use of
capitals, would be improper; but, for common use, these phrases are found
too long and too artificial. We must have a less cumbersome mode of
specifying the months of the year and the days of the week. What then?
Shall we merely throw away the terms of particularity, and, without
substituting in their place the form of proper names, apply general terms
to particular thoughts, and insist on it that this is right? And is not
this precisely what is done by those who reject as heathenish the ordinary
names of the months and days, and write "_first day_," for _Sunday_, in
stead of "the first day of the week;" or "_second month_," for _February_,
in stead of "the second month in the year;" and so forth? This phraseology
may perhaps be well understood by those to whom it is familiar, but still
it is an abuse of language, because it is inconsistent with the common
acceptation of the terms. Example: "The departure of a ship will take place
_every sixth day_ with punctuality."--_Philadelphia Weekly Messenger_. The
writer of this did not mean, "_every Friday_;" and it is absurd for the
Friends so to understand it, or so to write, when that is what they mean.
OBS. 4.--In the ordinary business of life, it is generally desirable to
express our meaning as briefly as possible; but legal phraseology is always
full to the letter, and often redundant. Hence a merchant will write, "Nov.
24, 1837," or, "11 mo. 24th, 1837;" but a conveyancer will have it, "On the
twenty-fourth day of November, one thousand eight hundred and
thirty-seven;"--or, perhaps, "On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh
month, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and
thirty-seven." Accordingly we find that, in common daily use, all the names
of the months, except _March, May, June_, and _July_, are abbreviated;
thus, _Jan., Feb., Apr., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec_. And sometimes even
the Arabic number of the year is made yet shorter; as '37 for 1837; or
1835-6-7, for 1835, 1836, and 1837. In like manner, in constructing tables
of time, we sometimes denote the days of the week by the simple initials of
their names; as, S. for Sunday, M. for Monday, &c. But, for facility of
abbreviation, the numerical names, whether of the months or of the days,
are perhaps still more convenient. For, if we please, we may put the simple
Arabic figures for them; though it is better to add _d_. for _day_, and
_mo._ for _month_: as, 1 d., 2 d., 3 d., &c.;--1 mo., 2 mo., 3 mo.,
&c.:--or more compactly thus: 1d., 2d., 3d., &c.;--1mo., 2mo., 3mo., &c.
But, take which mode of naming we will, our ordinary expression of these
things should be in neither extreme, but should avoid alike too great
brevity and too great prolixity; and, therefore, it is best to make it a
general rule in our literary compositions, to use the full form of proper
names for the months and days, and to denote the years by Arabic figures
written in full.
OBS. 5.--In considering the nature of words, I was once a little puzzled
with a curious speculation, if I may not term it an important inquiry,
concerning the _principle of their identity_. We often speak of "_the same
words_," and of "_different words_;" but wherein does the sameness or the
difference of words consist? Not in their pronunciation; for the same word
may be differently pronounced; as, _p=at'ron_ or _p=a'tron, m=at'ron_ or
_m=a'tron_. Not in their orthography; for the same word may be differently
spelled; as, _favour_ or _favor, music_ or _musick, connexion_ or
_connection_. Not in their form of presentation; for the same word may be
either spoken or written; and speech and writing present what we call _the
same words_, in two ways totally different. Not in their meaning; for the
same word may have different meanings, and different words may signify
precisely the same thing. This sameness of words, then, must consist in
something which is to be reconciled with great diversity. Yet every word is
itself, and not an other: and every word must necessarily have some
property peculiar to itself, by which it may be easily distinguished from
every other. Were it not so, language would be unintelligible. But it _is_
so; and, therefore, to mistake one word for an other, is universally
thought to betray great ignorance or great negligence, though such mistakes
are by no means of uncommon occurrence. But that the question about the
identity of words is not a very easy one, may appear from the fact, that
the learned often disagree about it in practice; as when one grammarian
will have _an_ and _a_ to be two words, and an other will affirm them to be
only different forms of one and the same word.
OBS. 6.--Let us see, then, if amidst all this diversity we can find that
principle of sameness, by which a dispute of this kind ought to be settled.
Now, although different words do generally differ in orthography, in
pronunciation, and in meaning, so that an entire sameness implies one
orthography, one pronunciation, and one meaning; yet some diversity is
allowed in each of these respects, so that a sign differing from an other
only in one, is not therefore a different word, or a sign agreeing with an
other only in one, is not therefore the same word. It follows thence, that
the principle of verbal identity, the principle which distinguishes every
word from every other, lies in neither extreme: it lies in a narrower
compass than in all three, and yet not singly in any one, but jointly in
any two. So that signs differing in any two of these characteristics of a
word, are different words; and signs agreeing in any two, are the same
word. Consequently, if to any difference either of spelling or of sound we
add a difference of signification everybody will immediately say, that we
speak or write different words, and not the same: thus _dear_, beloved, and
_deer_, an animal, are two such words as no one would think to be the same;
and, in like manner, _use_, advantage, and _use_, to employ, will readily
be called different words. Upon this principle, _an_ and _a_ are different
words; yet, in conformity to old usage, and because the latter is in fact
but an abridgement of the former, I have always treated them as one and the
same article, though I have nowhere expressly called them the same word.
But, to establish the principle above named, which appears to me the only
one on which any such question can be resolved, or the identity of words be
fixed at all, we must assume that every word has one right pronunciation,
and only one; one just orthography, and only one; and some proper
signification, which, though perhaps not always the same, is always a part
of its essence. For when two words of different meaning are spelled or
pronounced alike, not to maintain the second point of difference, against
the double orthography or the double pronunciation of either, is to
confound their identity at once, and to prove by the rule that two
different words are one and the same, by first absurdly making them so.
OBS. 7.--In no part of grammar is usage more unsettled and variable than in
that which relates to the _figure of words_. It is a point of which modern
writers have taken but very little notice. Lily, and other ancient Latin
grammarians, reckoned both species and figure among the grammatical
accidents of nearly all the different parts of speech; and accordingly
noticed them, in their Etymology, as things worthy to be thus made distinct
topics, like numbers, genders, cases, moods, tenses, &c. But the manner of
compounding words in Latin, and also in Greek, is always by consolidation.
No use appears to have been made of the _hyphen_, in joining the words of
those languages, though the name of the mark is a Greek compound, meaning
"_under one_." The compounding of words is one principal means of
increasing their number; and the arbitrariness with which that is done or
neglected in English, is sufficient of itself to make the number of our
words a matter of great uncertainty. Such terms, however, having the
advantage of explaining themselves in a much greater degree than others,
have little need of definition; and when new things are formed, it is very
natural and proper to give them new names of this sort: as, _steamboat,
railroad_. The propriety or impropriety of these additions to the language,
is not to be determined by dictionaries; for that must be settled by usage
before any lexicographer will insert them. And so numerous, after all, are
the discrepancies found in our best dictionaries, that many a word may have
its day and grow obsolete, before a nation can learn from them the right
way of spelling it; and many a fashionable thing may go entirely out of
use, before a man can thus determine how to name it. _Railroads_ are of so
recent invention that I find the word in only one dictionary; and that one
is wrong, in giving the word a hyphen, while half our printers are wrong,
in keeping the words separate because _Johnson_ did not compound them. But
is it not more important, to know whether we ought to write _railroad_, or
_rail-road_, or _rail road_, which we cannot learn from any of our
dictionaries, than to find out whether we ought to write _rocklo_, or
_roquelo_, or _roquelaur_, or _roquelaure_, which, in some form or other,
is found in them all? The duke of Roquelaure is now forgotten, and his
cloak is out of fashion.
OBS. 8.--No regular phrase, as I have taught in the second rule above,
should be needlessly converted into a compound word, either by tacking its
parts together with the hyphen, or by uniting them without a hyphen; for,
in general, a phrase is one thing, and a word is an other: and they ought
to be kept as distinct as possible. But, when a whole phrase takes the
relation of an _adjective_, the words must be compounded, and the hyphen
becomes necessary; as, "An inexpressibly apt _bottle-of-small-beer_
comparison."--_Peter Pindar_. The occasions for the compounding of words,
are in general sufficiently plain, to any one who knows what is intended to
be said; but, as we compound words, sometimes with the hyphen, and
sometimes without, there is no small difficulty in ascertaining when to use
this mark, and when to omit it. "Some settled rule for the use of the
hyphen on these occasions, is much wanted. Modern printers have a strange
predilection for it; using it on almost every possible occasion. Mr. L.
Murray, who has only three lines on the subject, seems inclined to
countenance this practice; which is, no doubt, convenient enough for those
who do not like trouble. His words are: 'A Hyphen, marked thus - is
employed in connecting compounded words: as, Lap-dog, tea-pot,
pre-existence, self-love, to-morrow, mother-in-law.' Of his six examples,
Johnson, our only acknowledged standard, gives the first and third without
any separation between the syllables, _lapdog, preexistence_; his second
and fifth as two distinct words each, _tea pot, to morrow_; and his sixth
as three words, _mother in law_: so that only his fourth has the sanction
of the lexicographer. There certainly can be no more reason for putting a
hyphen after the common prefixes, than before the common affixes, _ness,
ly_, and the rest."--_Churchill's Gram._, p. 374.
OBS. 9.--Again: "While it would be absurd, to sacrifice the established
practice of all good authors to the ignorance of such readers [as could
possibly mistake for a diphthong the two contiguous vowels in such words as
_preexistence, cooperate_, and _reenter_]; it would unquestionably be
advantageous, to have some principle to guide us in that labyrinth of
words, in which the hyphen appears to have been admitted or rejected
arbitrarily, or at hap-hazard. Thus, though we find in Johnson,
_alms-basket, alms-giver_, with the hyphen; we have _almsdeed, almshouse,
almsman_, without: and many similar examples of an unsettled practice might
be adduced, sufficient to fill several pages. In this perplexity, is not
the pronunciation of the words the best guide? In the English language,
every word of more than one syllable is marked by an accent on some
particular syllable. Some very long words indeed admit a secondary accent
on _another_ syllable; but still this is much inferior, and leaves one
leading accent prominent: as in _expos'tulatory_. Accordingly, when a
compound has but one accented syllable in pronunciation, as _night'cap,
bed'stead, broad'sword_, the two words have coalesced completely into one,
and no hyphen should be admitted. On the other hand, when each of the
radical words has an accent, as _Chris'tian-name', broad'-shoul'dered_, I
think the hyphen should be used. _Good'-na'tured_ is a compound epithet
with two accents, and therefore requires the hyphen: in _good nature, good
will_, and similar expressions, _good_ is used simply as an adjective, and
of course should remain distinct from the noun. Thus, too, when a noun is
used adjectively, it should remain separate from the noun it modifies; as,
a _gold ring_, a _silver buckle_. When two numerals are employed to express
a number, without a conjunction between them, it is usual to connect them
by a hyphen; as, _twenty-five, eighty-four_: but when the conjunction is
inserted, the hyphen is as improper as it would be between other words
connected by the conjunction. This, however, is a common abuse; and we
often meet with _five-&-twenty, six-&-thirty_, and the like."--_Ib._, p.
376. Thus far Churchill: who appears to me, however, too hasty about the
hyphen in compound numerals. For we write _one hundred, two hundred, three
thousand_, &c., without either hyphen or conjunction; and as
_five-and-twenty_ is equivalent to _twenty-five_, and virtually but one
word, the hyphen, if not absolutely necessary to the sense, is certainly
not so very improper as he alleges. "_Christian name_" is as often written
without the hyphen as with it, and perhaps as accurately.
IMPROPRIETIES FOR CORRECTION.
ERRORS IN THE FIGURE, OR FORM, OF WORDS.
UNDER RULE I.--OF COMPOUNDS.
"Professing to imitate Timon, the man hater."--_Goldsmith's Rome_, p. 161.
[FORMULE.--Not proper, because the compound term _manhater_ is here made
two words. But, according to Rule 1st, "Words regularly or analogically
united, and commonly known as forming a compound, should never be
needlessly broken apart." Therefore, _manhater_ should be written as one
"Men load hay with a pitch fork."--_Webster's New Spelling-Book_, p. 40. "A
pear tree grows from the seed of a pear."--_Ib._, p. 33. "A tooth brush is
good to brush your teeth."--_Ib._, p. 85. "The mail is opened at the post
office."--_Ib._, p. 151. "The error seems to me two fold."--_Sanborn's
Gram._, p. 230. "To pre-engage means to engage before hand."--_Webster's
New Spelling-Book_, p. 82. "It is a mean act to deface the figures on a
mile stone."--_Ib._, p. 88. "A grange is a farm and farm house."--_Ib._, p.
118. "It is no more right to steal apples or water melons, than
money."--_Ib._, p. 118. "The awl is a tool used by shoemakers, and harness
makers."--_Ib._, p. 150. "Twenty five cents are equal to one quarter of a
dollar."--_Ib._, p. 107. "The blowing up of the Fulton at New York was a
terrible disaster."--_Ib._, p. 54. "The elders also, and the bringers up of
the children, sent to Jehu."--SCOTT: 2 _Kings_, x, 5. "Not with eye
service, as men pleasers."--_Bickersteth, on Prayer_, p. 64. "A good
natured and equitable construction of cases."--_Ash's Gram._, p. 138. "And
purify your hearts, ye double minded."--_Gurney's Portable Evidences_, p.
115. "It is a mean spirited action to steal; i. e. to steal is a mean
spirited action."--_Grammar of Alex. Murray, the schoolmaster_, p. 124.
"There is, indeed, one form of orthography which is a kin to the
subjunctive mood of the Latin tongue."--_Booth's Introd. to Dict._, p. 71.
"To bring him into nearer connexion with real and everyday
life."--_Philological Museum_, Vol. i, p. 459. "The common place, stale
declamation of its revilers would be silenced."--_Ib._, i, 494. "She formed
a very singular and unheard of project."--_Goldsmith's Rome_, p. 160. "He
had many vigilant, though feeble talented, and mean spirited
enemies."--ROBERTS VAUX: _The Friend_, Vol. vii, p. 74. "These old
fashioned people would level our psalmody," &c.--_Music of Nature_, p. 292.
"This slow shifting scenery in the theatre of harmony."--_Ib._, p. 398. "So
we are assured from Scripture it self."--_Harris's Hermes_, p. 300. "The
mind, being disheartened, then betakes its self to trifling."--_R.
Johnson's Pref. to Gram. Com._ "Whose soever sins ye remit, they are
remitted unto them."--_Beacon_, p. 115: SCOTT, ALGER, FRIENDS: _John_, xx,
23. "Tarry we our selves how we will."--_Walker's English Particles_, p.
161. "Manage your credit so, that you need neither swear your self, nor
want a voucher."--_Collier's Antoninus_, p. 33. "Whereas song never conveys
any of the above named sentiments."--_Rush, on the Voice_, p. 424. "I go on
horse back."--_Guy's Gram._, p. 54. "This requires _purity_, in opposition
to barbarous, obsolete, or new coined words."--_Adam's Gram._, p. 242;
_Gould's_, 234. "May the Plough share shine."--_White's Eng. Verb_, p. 161.
"Which way ever we consider it."--_Locke, on Ed._, p. 83.
"Where e'er the silent (e) a Place obtains,
The Voice foregoing, Length and softness gains."
--_Brightland's Gr._, p. 15.
UNDER RULE II.--OF SIMPLES.
"It qualifies any of the four parts of speech abovenamed."--_Kirkham's
Gram._, p. 83.
[FORMULE.--Not proper, because _abovenamed_ is here unnecessarily made a
compound. But, according to Rule 2d, "When the simple words would only form
a regular phrase, of the same meaning, the compounding of any of them ought
to be avoided." Therefore, _above_ and _named_ should here have been
written as two words.]
"After awhile they put us out among the rude multitude."--_Fox's Journal_.
Vol. i, p. 169. "It would be ashame, if your mind should falter and give
in."--_Collier's Meditations of Antoninus_, p. 94. "They stared awhile in
silence one upon another."--_Rasselas_, p. 73. "After passion has for
awhile exercised its tyrannical sway."--_Murray's Gram._, ii, 135 and 267.
"Though set within the same general-frame of intonation."--_Rush, on the
Voice_, p. 339. "Which do not carry any of the natural vocal-signs of
expression."--_Ib._, p. 329. "The measurable constructive-powers of a few
associable constituents."--_Ib._, p. 343. "Before each accented syllable or
emphatic monosyllabic-word."--_Ib._, p. 364. "One should not think too
favourably of oneself."--See _Murray's Gram._, Vol. i, p. 154. "Know ye not
your ownselves, how that Jesus Christ is in you."--_Barclay's Works_, Vol.
i, p. 355. "I judge not my ownself, for I know nothing of my ownself."--
_Wayland's Moral Science_, p. 84. "Though they were in such a rage, I
desired them to tarry awhile."--_Josephus_, Vol. v, p. 179. "_A_ instead of
_an_ is now used before words beginning with _a_ long."--_Murray's Gram._,
p. 31. "John will have earned his wages the next new-year's
day."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 82. "A new-year's-gift is a present made on the
first day of the year."--See _Johnson, Walker, Webster, et al._ "When he
sat on the throne, distributing new-year's-gifts."--STILLINGFLEET, _in
Johnson's Dict._ "St. Paul admonishes Timothy to refuse old-wives'-
fables."--_Author_. "The world, take it altogether, is but one."--
_Collier's Antoninus_, B. vii, Sec. 9. "In writings of this stamp we must
accept of sound instead of sense."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 298. "A
male-child, A female-child, Male-descendants, Female-descendants."--
_Goldsbury's C. S. Gram._, p. 13; _Rev. T. Smith's Gram._, p. 15.
"Male-servants, Female-servants. Male-relations, Female-relations."--
_Felton's Gram._, p. 15.
"Reserved and cautious, with no partial aim,
My muse e'er sought to blast another's fame."--_Lloyd_, p. 162.
UNDER RULE III.--THE SENSE.
"Our discriminations of this matter have been but four footed
instincts."--_Rush, on the Voice_, p. 291.
[FORMULE.--Not proper, because the term _four footed_ is made two words, as
if the instincts were four and footed. But, according to Rule 3d, "Words
otherwise liable to be misunderstood, must be joined together, or written
separately, as the sense and construction may happen to require."
Therefore, _four-footed_, as it here means _quadruped_, or _having four
feet_, should be one word.]
"He is in the right, (says Clytus,) not to bear free born men at his
table."--_Goldsmith's Greece_, Vol. ii, p. 128. "To the short seeing eye of
man, the progress may appear little."--_The Friend_, Vol. ix, p. 377.
"Knowledge and virtue are, emphatically, the stepping stone to individual
distinction."--_Town's Analysis_, p. 5. "A tin peddler will sell tin
vessels as he travels."--_Webster's New Spelling-Book_, p. 44. "The beams
of a wood-house are held up by the posts and joists."--_Ib._, p. 39. "What
you mean by _future tense adjective_, I can easily understand."--_Tooke's
Diversions_, Vol. ii, p. 450. "The town has been for several days very well
behaved."--_Spectator_, No. 532. "A _rounce_ is the handle of a printing
press."--_Webster's' Dict._; also _El. Spelling-Book_, p. 118. "The
phraseology we call _thee and thouing_ is not in so common use with us, as
the _tutoyant_ among the French."--_Walker's Dict., w. Thy._ "Hunting, and
other out door sports, are generally pursued."--_Balbi's Geog._, p. 227.
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden."--SCOTT, ALGER,
FRIENDS: _Matt._, xi, 28. "God so loved the world, that he gave his only
begotten Son to save it."--_Barclay's Works_, i, p. 71. See SCOTT'S BIBLE:
_John_, iii, 16. "Jehovah is a prayer hearing God: Nineveh repented, and
was spared."--_N. Y. Observer_, Vol. x, p. 90. "These are well pleasing to
God, in all ranks and relations."--_Barclay's Works_, Vol. i, p. 73.
"Whosoever cometh any thing near unto the tabernacle."--_Numb._, xvii, 13.
"The words coalesce, when they have a long established association."--
_Murray's Gram._, p. 169. "Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go
in to them."--OLD BIBLE: _Ps._, cxviii, 19. "He saw an angel of God coming
into him."--See _Acts_, x, 3. "The consequences of any action are to be
considered in a two fold light."--_Wayland's Moral Science_, p. 108. "We
commonly write two fold, three fold, four fold, and so on up to ten fold,
without a hyphen; and, after that, we use one."--_Author._ See _Matt._,
xiii, 8. "When the first mark is going off, he cries _turn!_ the glass
holder answers _done!_"--_Bowditch's Nav._, p. 128. "It is a kind of
familiar shaking hands with all the vices."--_Maturin's Sermons_, p. 170.
"She is a good natured woman;" "James is self opinionated;" "He is broken
hearted."--_Wright's Gram._, p. 147. "These three examples apply to the
_present tense_ construction only."--_Ib._, p. 65. "So that it was like a
game of hide and go seek."--_Edward's First Lessons in Grammar_, p. 90.
"That lowliness is young ambition's ladder,
Whereto the climber upward turns his face."--_Bucke's Gram._, p. 97.
UNDER RULE IV.--OF ELLIPSES.
"This building serves yet for a school and a meeting-house."
[FORMULE.--Not proper, because the compound word _schoolhouse_ is here
divided to avoid a repetition of the last half. But, according to Rule 4th,
"When two or more compounds are connected in one sentence, none of them
should be split to make an ellipsis of half a word." Therefore, "_school_"
should be "_schoolhouse_;" thus, "This building serves yet for a
_schoolhouse_ and a meeting-house."]
"Schoolmasters and mistresses of honest friends [are] to be
encouraged."--_N. E. Discipline_, p. xv. "We never assumed to ourselves a
faith or worship-making-power."--_Barclay's Works_, Vol. i, p. 83. "Pot and
pearl ashes are made from common ashes."--_Webster's New Spelling-Book_, p.
69. "Both the ten and eight syllable verses are iambics."--_Blair's Gram._,
p. 121. "I say to myself, thou, he says to thy, to his self; &c."--_Dr.
Murray's Hist. of Europ. Lang._, Vol. ii p. 121. "Or those who have
esteemed themselves skilful, have tried for the mastery in two or four
horse chariots."--_Zenobia_, Vol. i, p. 152. "I remember him barefooted and
headed, running through the streets."--_Castle Rackrent_, p. 68. "Friends
have the entire control of the school and dwelling-houses."--_The Friend_,
Vol. vii, p. 231. "The meeting is held at the first mentioned place in the
first month, at the last in the second, and so on."--_Ib._, p. 167.
"Meetings for worship are held at the same hour on first and fourth
days."--_Ib._, p. 230. "Every part of it, inside and out, is covered with
gold leaf."--_Ib._, p. 404. "The Eastern Quarterly Meeting is held on the
last seventh day in second, fifth, eighth, and eleventh month."--_Ib._, p.
87. "Trenton Preparative Meeting is held on the third fifth day in each
month, at ten o'clock; meetings for worship at the same hour on first and
fifth days."--_Ib._, p. 231. "Ketch, a vessel with two masts, a main and
mizzen-mast."--_Webster's Dict._, "I only mean to suggest a doubt, whether
nature has enlisted herself as a Cis or Trans-Atlantic partisan?"--
_Jefferson's Notes_, p. 97. "By large hammers, like those used for paper
and fullingmills, they beat their hemp."--MORTIMER: _in Johnson's Dict._
"Ant-hill, or Hillock, _n. s._ The small protuberances of earth, in which
ants make their nests."--_Ib._ "It became necessary to substitute simple
indicative terms called _pro-names_ or _nouns._"--_Enclytica_, p. 16.
"Obscur'd, where highest woods, impenetrable
To star or sun-light, spread their umbrage broad."--_Milton._
UNDER RULE V.--THE HYPHEN.
"_Evilthinking_; a noun, compounded of the noun _evil_ and the imperfect
participle _thinking_; singular number;" &c.--_Churchill's Gram._, p. 180.
[FORMULE--Not proper, because the word _evilthinking_, which has more than
one accented syllable, is here compounded without the hyphen. But,
according to Rule 5th, "When the parts of a compound do not fully coalesce,
or when each retains its original accent, so that the compound has more
than one, or one that is movable, the hyphen should be inserted between
them." Therefore, the hyphen should be used in this word; thus,