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A MANUAL

DEVOTED TO BRIEF DISCUSSIONS OF THE RIGHT

AND THE WRONG USE OF WORDS

AND TO SOME OTHER MATTERS OF INTEREST TO THOSE WHO

WOULD SPEAK AND WRITE WITH PROPRIETY

BY

ALFRED AYRES

We remain shackled by timidity till we have learned to
speak with propriety.-JOHNSON.

As a man is known by his company, so a man's company
may be known by his manner of expressing himself.-Swift.

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PREFACE TO REVISED EDITION.

I KNOW I have succeeded in making this book much larger than it was in the previous editions, and I think I have succeeded in making it as much better as I have made it larger. It certainly is now by far the most comprehensive book of its kind in the language.

I have gathered the new matter, little by little, during the last five or six years, and I trust that little has escaped me that I ought to have gathered.

Of the new matter, there is nothing that is newer, or possibly of more importance, than what will be found under the heading NounConstruction.

If the book is now not so good as it should be, then-it should have had another author.

Α. Α. New York, January, 1896.

iii

PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION.

The title-page sufficiently sets forth the end this little book is intended to serve.

For convenience' sake I have arranged in alphabetical order the subjects treated of, and for economy's sake I have kept in mind that " he that uses many words for the explaining of any subject doth, like the cuttle-fish, hide himself in his own ink.”

The curious inquirer who sets himself to look for the learning in the book is advised that he will best find it in such works as George P. Marsh's Lectures on the English Language, Fitz-Edward Hall's Recent Exemplifications of False Philology, and Modern English, Richard Grant White's Words and Their Uses, Edward S. Gould's Good English, William Mathews' Words:

their Use and

Abuse, Dean Alford's The Queen's English, George Washington Moon's Bad English, and The Dean's English, Blank's Vulgarisms and Other Errors of Speech, Alexander Bain's English Composition and Rhetoric, Bain's Higher English Grammar, Bain's Composition Grammar, Quackenbos' Composition and Rhetoric, John Nichol's English Composition, William Cobbett's English Grammar, Peter Bullion's English Grammar, Goold Brown's Grammar of English Grammars, Graham's English Synonymes, Bigelow's Hand-book of Punctuation, and other kindred works.

Suggestions and criticisms are solicited, with the view of profiting by them in future editions.

If The Verbalist receive as kindly a welcome as its companion volume, The Orthoëpist, has received, I shall be content.

Α. Α. NEW YORK, October, 1881.

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