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missionary is being eaten, you yourself are not affected, but the missionary experiences a painful sensation.”—N. Y. Com. Adv.
Is growing, was growing, indicate an activity from within ; as, the tree is growing '(from its own internal forces); is being grown, was being grown, the activity of some agent from without; as, the plant is being grown (by the gardener). So also, and strikingly, is bleeding (as from a wound) and is being bled (as by a surgeon).-Standard Dictionary.
The student of English that has honestly weighed the arguments on both sides of the question must, I believe, be of opinion that our language is the richer for having two forms for expressing the progressive passive. Further, he must, I believe, be of opinion that in very many cases he conforms to the most approved usage of our time by employing the old form ; that, however, if he were to employ the old form in all cases, his meaning would sometimes be uncertain.
It. Cobbett discourses of this little neuter pronoun in this wise: “The word it is the greatest troubler that I know of in language. It is so small and so convenient that few are careful enough in using it. Writers seldom spare this word. Whenever they are at a loss for either a nominative or an objective to their sentence, they, without any kind of ceremony, clap in an it. A very remarkable instance of this pressing of poor it into actual service, contrary to the laws of grammar and of sense, occurs in a piece of composition, where we might, with justice, insist on correctness. This piece is on the subject of grammar ; it is a piece written by a Doctor of Divinity and read by him to students in grammar and language in an academy ; and the very sentence that I am now about to quote is selected by the author of a grammar as testimony of high authority in favor of the excellence of his work. Surely, if correctness be ever to be expected, it must be in a case like this. I allude to two sentences in the Charge of the Reverend Doctor Abercrombie to the Senior Class of the Philadelphia Academy, published in 1806; which sentences have been selected and published by Mr. Lindley Murray as a testimonial of the merits of his grammar; and which sentences are by Mr. Murray given to us in the following words: “The unwearied exertions of this gentleman have done more toward elucidating the obscurities and embellishing the structure of our language than any other writer on the subject. Such a work has long been wanted, and from the success with which it is executed, can not be too highly appreciated.'
“As in the learned doctor's opinion obscurities can be elucidated, and as in the same opinion Mr. Murray is an able hand at this kind of work, it would not be amiss were the grammarian to try his skill upon this article from the hand of his dignified eulogist ; for here is, if one may use the expression, a constellation of obscurities. Our poor oppressed it, which we find forced into the doctor's service in the second sentence, relates to 'such a work, though this work is nothing that has an existence, notwithstanding it is said to be executed. In the first sentence, the 'exertions' become, all of a sudden, a 'writer'; the exertions have done more than any other writer'; for, mind you, it is not the gentleman that has done anything ; it is 'the exertions' that have done what is said to be done. The word gentleman is in the possessive case, and has nothing to do with the action of the sentence. Let us give the sentence a turn, and the doctor and the grammarian will hear how it will sound. “This gentleman's exertions have done
more than any other writer.' This is on a level with ‘This gentleman's dog has killed more hares than any other sportsman. No doubt Doctor Abercrombie meant to say, “The exertions of this gentleman have done more than those of any other writer.
Such a work as this gentleman's has long been wanted ; his work, seeing the successful manner of its execution, can not be too highly commended. Meant ! No doubt at all of that! And when we hear a Hampshire plowboy say, ‘Poll Cherrycheek have giv'd a thick handkecher,' we know very well that he means to say, ‘Poll Cherrycheek has given me this handkerchief'; and yet we are too apt to laugh at him and to call him ignorant ; which is wrong, because he has no pretensions to a knowledge of grammar, and he may be very skillful as a plowboy. However, we will not laugh at Doctor Abercrombie, whom I knew, many years ago, for a very kind and worthy
But if we may, in any case, be allowed to laugh at the ignorance of our fellow-creatures, that case certainly does arise when we see a professed grammarian, the author of voluminous precepts and examples on the subject of grammar, producing, in imitation of the possessors of valuable medical secrets, testimonials vouching for the efficacy of his literary panacea, and when, in those testimonials, we find most flagrant instances of bad grammar.
“ However, my dear James, let this strong and striking instance of the misuse of the word it serve you in the way of caution. Never put an it upon paper without thinking well of what you are about. When I see many its in a page I always tremble for the writer.”
It goes without saying. Not English ; simply a literal translation of the French idiom Il va sans dire, meaning It is self-evident, which is the locution we should use when we speak or write English.
Jeopardize. This is a modern word that we could easily do without, as it means neither more nor less than its venerable progenitor to jeopard, which is preferred by careful writers.
Jug. What the American calls a pitcher the Englishman calls a jug.
“Our American friend,” says an English writer, plains of our continual misuse of ‘jug' for 'pitcher,' saying that the practice is of very recent origin, and that the word jug' is comparatively new. The word is an old one, and, if not found in the English Bible, has a pedigree of respectable antiquity; nor are we disposed to object to it. Only think of an English lady speaking of her 'cream pitcher'!”.
And an American woman-what an Anglomaniac she'd have to be to call a pitcher of any sort a jug!
Just going to. Instead of “I am just going to go," it is better to say,
I am just about to go.' Just next. “ Is not 'next' sufficiently definite? This is a single example out of scores noticed every day showing the endeavors of newspaper writers to strengthen what they say.”—N. C. Advocate.
Kids. It is better usage to speak of one's gloves than of one's kids. When silk gloves are meant, we never speak of them as silks.
Kind. See POLITE.
Kind of. We say properly, “What kind of man is he ?" and not “What kind of a man is he?" The a in such sentences is a superfluity.
Kinsman. Kinship is defined as the state of being related by blood, hence relatives by marriage are not properly kinsmen. And yet it would seem that kinsfolk may be used in speaking of all who are related by family tiesall relatives, whether related by blood or by marriage. The
term kinsman is to be preferred to either relative, relation, or connection.
Knights Templars. The name of this ancient body has been adopted by a branch of the Masonic fraternity, but in a perverted form-Knights Templar ; and this form is commonly seen in print, whether referring to the old knights or to their modern imitators. This doubtless is due to the erroneous impression that Templar is an ad. jective, and so can not take the plural form ; while in fact it is a case of two nouns in apposition-a double designation—meaning Knights of the order of Templars. Hence the plural should be Knights Templars, and not Knights Templar. Members of the contemporaneous order of St. John of Jerusalem were commonly called Knights Hospitallers.
Lady. To use the term lady, whether in the singular or in the plural, simply to designate the sex, is in the worst possible taste. There is a kind of pin-feather gentility that seems to have a settled aversion to using the terms man and woman. Gentlemen and ladies establish their claims to being called such by their bearing, and not by arrogating to themselves, even indirectly, the titles. In England, the title lady is properly correlative to lord; but there, as in this country, it is used as a term of complaisance, and is appropri. ately applied to women whose lives are exemplary, and have received that school and home education that them to appear to advantage in the better circles Such expressions as She is a fine lady, a cl well-dressed lady, a good lady, a modest lad" lady, an amiable lady, a handsome lady, a and the like, are studiously avoided by ment. Ladies say “We women, the wo women's apparel," aná so on; vulgar