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though these words may have been in common use early in the 17th century, they have now become quite obsolete, and are totally unintelligible to the great majority of readers. The same may be said of cleped,'' erst,' 'whilom,''peradventure,' &c.
There are other English words which seem to be in a state of transition; fading away, or gradually vanishing from the language ; among them may be mentioned betwixt,' froward,' likewise,' hither,' genteel, “hearken,' &c. Of such it may be difficult to determine whether they should or should not be retained. Though it cannot be said that they are wholly out of fashion, they are seldom used by the best writers, and we should, at any rate, avoid a too frequent repetition of them.
3. With regard to the adoption of new-coined words, those only must be received for which we have good authority, and even these not too rashly. A word that is found necessary, is fairly tried, and has stood the test of some years, may be cautiously received and adopted as forming part of the durable materials of the language. The application of steam-power to locomotion has given us some new words, such as terminus,' shunt,' 'point,'break,' stoker,' &c. From Germany we have lately adopted “handbook,' 'Fatherland,' &c.; and the word "antecedents,' in a plural form, has lately been applied to the previous life and actions of one whose character we desire to inquire into. But, with respect both to
obsolete and to new-coined words, Pope's advice seems the best that we can follow :
“In words, as fashions, the same rule will hold ;
Alike fantastic, if too new or old.
4. Grammatical errors are common to almost all our early great authors; indeed, it is not till the commencement of the 17th century, that we meet with any English writers of eminence that are invariably correct in their grammar. Hobbes, who began his career of authorship about 1628, is quoted by Hallam as our first uniformly careful and correct writer ; but even he is far from faultless in this particular. In fact, the principles of English grammar were scarcely settled before this time, and then, in many points of grammatical form, a great variety of practice prevailed. Now, however, the case is different; the authority of our best writers is the grammatical law of the language; though it is a law far from being invariably maintained, even by many authors of acknowledged merit. We propose to show in what particulars this law has been, and still is, frequently violated.
ERRORS IN PRONOUNS.
The construction of a sentence will frequently require the subjective, where writers use the objective form of the personal pronoun. In the following sentences, the pronoun is incorrectly used :
Personal Pronouns. “ They contributed more than us.” “ He was much older than her.” “A prophet mightier than him." “I may preach as lawfully as them that do.” In all these cases there is an ellipsis of the verb; and, by supplying the verb after the pronoun, the fault will be obvious. “More than us (contributed ?).” “Older than her (was ?),” &c.
In the subjoined cases, the fault is the converse of the above, i.e., the subjective is used for the objective form of the personal pronoun :Let you and I endeavour,” &c.
and 1." “ All slept save she.” “ There's none but thou." “ She is sold like thou,” &c. We sometimes meet with ye (the subjective plural form) instead of you, as in the following: The more shame for ye.” gales that from ye blow." Tyrants dread ye,” &c. This is a frequent practice, but it is unquestionably against the rule of grammar.
“ He whom ye
I am ? »
The Relative Pronoun. The same sort of error may be frequently found in the wrong use of the relative; as : pretend reigns in heaven.” “Whom do men say that
:Who should I meet the other day but,” &c. “ To lay the suspicion on somebody, I know not who.”
In the first of these examples, it should be who (not whom), as the relative is here the subject to the verb • reigns. In the second, the relative depends on the verb “am,' which governs the subjective and not the objective form. In the third, the construction requires whom, as the relative is here the object of the verb 5 meet.'
In the fourth, the preposition 'on' is understood before the relative, and therefore the pronoun should be in the objective, not in the subjective, form.
Inconsistencies in the Use of Pronouns. We should be uniform in the use of pronouns : the same individual must not be referred to in one sentence by both the singular and plural forms, nor must the person of the pronoun be changed. The possessive, also, must always correspond with the personal pronoun to which it refers. The following are violations of these rules :
Ungrateful boy! I cannot cease to love thee; for I am still
your father.” “ The wicked are suffered to flourish till the sum of his iniquities is full.” “You detest me, thy creature, to whom thou art bound by ties,” &c. “ In such a dilemma, one can hardly tell what plan we should adopt,” &c. “ Following our guides, we descend about fifty steps, and then you arrive at the entrance of the grand cavern.”
66 Who ever thinks of learning the grammar of their own tongue ?” “ Every man according to their works." “ Each of them paid their portion.”
Another and the other. Another signifies any other ; the other signifies one of two. These two pronouns differ from each other ; but they are frequently confounded. Of a number of things, when I have examined one, I may ask to see another (i. e, any other), but of a work in two volumes, when I have read one, I may desire to read the other volume (i. e., the one I have not yet read). Each other is said of two things; one another of
more than two. In the following examples, these pronouns are used incorrectly :
“The house was full from one end to another." “Let them strike till you cannot tell one foot from another." “ Prose and poetry are different one from another." “ One end of the reed being as thick as another.”
ERRORS IN THE TSE OF VERBS.
Numerous errors in the use of the verb are committed by our best authors, especially where the subject is a noun of multitude. When a noun of multitude is used in a general or a distributive sense, the verb must agree with it in the plural number; as, “The clergy are opposed to this measure." But if the sense be collective, then the verb should be of the singular number; as, “The number of the children was fifteen."
The following quotations exhibit violations of this rule: “The number of the names were about one hundred and twenty.” “ The population is tall.” “ There are a rariety of things.” “I have considered what have been said.” “ That people rejects the use of temples."
Two nouns closely connected, or coexistent, must hare a singular verb; as, “ Bread and butter is good.” “The horse and chaise is at the door.” “ The brandy and water was ready.” “ Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise," &c.
In the following examples, the verb does not agree with its subject :“ There was more sophists than one."
“ You was