Sayfadaki görseller
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

6

into indicative and subjunctive forms : 'I may go,' 'If I may go.' And, further, we might proceed to constitute other moods on the same analogy, as, for example, an obligatory mood—'I must go,' or 'I ought to go'; a mood of resolution—'I will go,' You shall go'; mood of gratification—I am delighted to go'; of deprecation—'I am grieved to go.' The only difference in the last two in. stances is the use of the sign of the infinitive to,' which does not occur after 'may,' 'can,' 'must,' 'ought,' etc.; but that is not an essential difference. Some grammarians consider the form 'I do go'a separate mood, and term it the emphatic mood. But all the above objections apply to it likewise, as well as many others.”-Bain. See SUBJUNCTIVE Mood. Individual. Often most improperly used for person

The word is correctly used thus : “It is to the Germans as a nation that I object, and not as individuals, for among them I have met many excellent persons."

Some examples of the improper use of the word are the following:

“That individual (person] left here several hours

or man.

ago.”

Everything around betokened the habitation of an individual [a person) of taste.”

“Who can believe that Petrarch's passion for such an individual [a person] as Laura was anything but a convenient hook whereon to hang a splendid work of art!”

Many of the individuals [men] selected by Col. Strong for important offices might,” etc.-N. Y. Sun.

The editor is expected to furnish a phrenograph of some distinguished individual (person] every month," etc.

The word is correctly used thus :

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“Changes both in individuals and communities are often produced by trifles.”

Events affect nations and communities as well as individuals."

To know this is to rob the pestilence of some of the terrors for the individual, and of nearly all of them for a community with Christian ideas of cleanliness.”—N. Y. Times.

Individual means, etymologically, that that can not be divided, and is used, in speaking of things as well as of persons, to express unity. It is opposed to what is divisible

into parts.

“ The

Indorse. Careful writers commonly discountenance the use of indorse in the sense of sanction, approve, applaud. In this signification it is on the list of prohibited words in some of our newspaper offices.

“The following rules are indorsed by nearly all writers upon [on] this subject.”—Dr. Townsend. It is plain that the right word to use here is approved.

• The public will heartily indorse the sentiments uttered by the court.” – New York Evening Telegram. public will heartily approve the sentiments expressed by the court,” is what the sentence should be.

Inferior-Superior. An inferior person,” a rior woman,” and like phrases, are grammatical, are perhaps idiomatic, and are certainly defended ; yet the fact remains that they are not good rhetoric. It is doubtful whether in strictness they should ever be used, when denoting quality, in other than a comparative sense.

Infinitive Mood. When we can choose, it is usually better to use the verb in the infinitive than in the participial form. “Ability being in general the power of doing," etc. Say, to do, “I desire to reply ... to the proposal of sub

[ocr errors]

supestituting a tax upon land values, ... and making this tax, as near (nearly] as may be, equal to rent," etc. Say, to substitute and to make. “This quality is of prime importance when the chief object is the imparting of knowledge.” Say, to impart.

Initiate. This is a pretentious word that, with its derivatives, many persons—especially those that like to be grandiloquent-use when homely English would serve their turn much better.

Innumerable Number. A repetitional expression to be avoided. We may say innumerable times, or number. less times, but we should not say an innumerable number of times.

In so far as. A phrase often met with, and in which the in is superfluous. “A want of proper opportunity would suffice, in so far as the want could be shown.” “We are to act up to the extent of our knowledge; but, in so far as our knowledge falls short,” etc. So far as expresses all that is meant.

Intend. This word is often employed when purpose would better express the thought. We purpose seriously ; we intend vaguely. We set about what we purpose ; we may delay what we only intend. An intention, therefore, is weaker than a purpose. Purpose is the proper word to use when the object is proximate and definite; intend, when the object is remote and indefinite.

“My intention at present is to spend next summer at Newport, but between now and then I may, of course, change my mind.”

“This is my last day in town ; I purpose leaving for home in the morning." See PROPOSE.

Interrogation. The rhetorical figure that asks a question in order to emphasize the reverse of what is asked is

called interrogation; as, “ Do we mean to submit to this measure? Do we mean to submit, and consent that we ourselves, our country and its rights, shall be trampled on?”

“ Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice ?”

Introduce. See PRESENT.

Involve. Persons that are not careful in selecting the words they use sometimes misuse involve for implicate. Here is an instance :

“Further developments in the fraudulent transactions of a number of the employees disclose instances of dishonesty that involve (implicate] several prominent individuals (persons] connected with the road.”

Involve is used in the affairs of life that are only troublesome; implicate in those that are criminal. Involve is correctly used thus :

Heavy failure in Minnesota. The Mazeppa Mill Company suspends; many Eastern men involved.”—N. Y. Times.

Irony. That mode of speech in which what is meant is contrary to the literal meaning of the words—in which praise is bestowed when censure is intended-is called irony. Irony is a kind of delicate sarcasm or satireraillery, mockery.

“In writings of humor, figures are sometimes used of so delicate a nature that it shall often happen that some people will see things in a direct [directly] contrary sense to what the author and the majority of the readers understand them : to such the most innocent irony may appear irreligion.”— Cambridge.

Irritate. See AGGRAVATE.

Is being. A tolerable idea of the state of the discussion regarding the propriety of using the locution is being

a

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

built, and all like expressions, will, it is hoped, be obtained from the following extracts. The Rev. Peter Bullions, in his Grammar of the English Language, says:

“ There is properly no passive form, in English, corresponding to the progressive form in the active voice, except where it is made by the participle ing, in a passive sense ; thus, 'The house is building'; 'The garments are making'; • Wheat is selling,' etc. An attempt has been made by some grammarians, of late, to banish such expressions from the language, though they have been used in all time past by the best writers, and to justify and defend a clumsy solecism, which has been recently introduced chiefly through the newspaper press, but which has gained such currency, and is becoming so familiar to the ear, that it seems likely to prevail, with all its uncouthness and deformity. I refer to such expressions as “The house is being built'; 'The letter is being written'; 'The mine is being worked'; The news is being telegraphed,' etc,

This mode of expression had no existence in the language till within the last fifty years.

* This, indeed, would not make the expression wrong, were it otherwise unexceptionable; but its recent origin shows that it is not, as is pretended, a necessary form.

“This form of expression, when analyzed, is found not to express what it is intended to express, and would be used only by such as are either ignorant of its import or are careless and loose in their use of language. To make this manifest, let it be considered, first, that there is no progressive form of the verb to be, and no need of it; hence, there is no such expression in English as is being. Of course the expression 'is being built,' for example, is not a compound of is being and built, but of is and being built; that is, of

[ocr errors]

• Bullions' Grammar was published in 1867.

« ÖncekiDevam »