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TYPOGRAPHIC TECHNICAL SERIES FOR APPRENTICES--PART VI, NO. 32

WORD STUDY
AND
ENGLISH GRAMMAR


A PRIMER _of_ INFORMATION ABOUT
WORDS THEIR RELATIONS
AND THEIR USES


BY
FREDERICK W. HAMILTON, LL.D.

EDUCATIONAL DIRECTOR
UNITED TYPOTHET∆ OF AMERICA


PUBLISHED BY THE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
UNITED TYPOTHETAE OF AMERICA
1918



COPYRIGHT, 1918
UNITED TYPOTHETAE OF AMERICA
CHICAGO, ILL.




PREFACE


This volume, and those which follow it in Part VI of this series, is a
compilation from various sources. The occasion does not call for an
original treatise, but it does call for something somewhat different
from existing text-books. The books prepared for school use are too
academic and too little related to the specific needs of the apprentice
to serve the turn of those for whom this book is intended. On the other
hand the books for writers and printers are as a rule too advanced for
the best service to the beginner. The authors of this Part, therefore,
have tried to compile from a wide range of authorities such material as
would be suited to the needs and the experience of the young apprentice.

The "Rules for the Use and Arrangement of Words" are taken with some
modifications from "How to Write Clearly," Edwin A. Abbott, Boston;
Roberts Bros. This is a very excellent little book but is now, I
believe, out of print. The tables of irregular verbs are the same as
those used in "English Grammar for Common Schools," Robert C. and Thomas
Metcalf, New York; American Book Co.

The student is recommended to study some good grammar with great care.
There are many good grammars. The one used in the schools in the
apprentice's locality will probably do as well as any.

The student should learn to use the dictionary intelligently and should
accustom himself to using it freely and frequently.

The student should also learn to use words correctly and freely. There
are many good books devoted to the study of words, some of which ought
to be easily available. One of the latest and one of the best is
"Putnam's Word Book" published by Putnams, New York. It costs about a
dollar and a half.




CONTENTS

PAGE

INTRODUCTION: IMPORTANCE OF THE SUBJECT 1

THE WORD FAMILIES 1

NOUNS 2

ADJECTIVES 5

ARTICLES 8

VERBS 8

PRONOUNS 15

ADVERBS 16

PREPOSITIONS 17

CONJUNCTIONS 17

INTERJECTIONS 18

GENERAL NOTES 18

RULES FOR CORRECT WRITING 20

THE SENTENCE 21

THE PARAGRAPH 21

RULES FOR THE USE AND ARRANGEMENT OF WORDS 22

COMMON ERRORS IN THE USE OF WORDS 24

TABLES OF IRREGULAR VERBS 40

SUPPLEMENTARY READING 47

REVIEW QUESTIONS 48

GLOSSARY OF TERMS 52




WORD STUDY AND ENGLISH GRAMMAR

_Importance of the Subject_


Word study and English grammar are important to the young printer for
several reasons. In the first place, disregard of the correct use and
combination of words is a distinct mark of inferiority and a serious bar
to business and social advancement. A man's use of words is commonly
taken as a measure of his knowledge and even of his intelligence.
Carelessness in this regard often causes a man to be held in much less
esteem than he really deserves.

In the second place, it is quite as important that the printer should
know something about the words and sentences which he puts on paper as
it is that he should know something about the paper on which he puts
them, or the type, ink, and press by means of which he puts them there.

In the third place, knowledge of words and their uses is indispensable
to correct proofreading which is itself a branch of the printer's craft.
A working knowledge of words and their relations, that is, of rhetoric
and grammar is therefore a tool and a very important tool of the
printer.

This little book is not intended to be either a rhetoric or a grammar.
It is only intended to review some of the simplest principles of both
subjects, to point out a few of the commonest mistakes, and to show the
importance to the apprentice of the careful study and constant use of
some of the many books on words, their combinations, and their uses.




_The Word Families_


All the words in the English language belong to one or another of nine
families, each of which family has a special duty. If you will always
remember to which family a word belongs and just what that family does,
you will be saved from many very common errors. These nine families
are: 1, nouns; 2, adjectives; 3, articles; 4, verbs; 5, pronouns; 6,
adverbs; 7, prepositions; 8, conjunctions; 9, interjections. This order
of enumeration is not exactly the same as will be found in the grammars.
It is used here because it indicates roughly the order of the appearance
of the nine families in the logical development of language. Some forms
of interjections, however, may very probably have preceded any language
properly so called.




_Nouns_


A noun is a word used as the name of anything that can be thought of,
_John_, _boy_, _paper_, _cold_, _fear_, _crowd_. There are three things
about a noun which indicate its relation to other words, its number, its
gender, and its case. There are two numbers, singular meaning one, and
plural meaning more than one.

The plural is generally formed by adding _s_ to the singular. There are
a small number of nouns which form their plurals differently, _mouse_,
_mice_; _child_, _children_; _foot_, _feet_. These must be learned
individually from a dictionary or spelling book. There are some nouns
which undergo changes in the final syllable when the _s_ is added,
_torch_, _torches_; _staff_, _staves_; _fly_, _flies_. These also must
be learned individually. There are some nouns which have no singular,
such as _cattle_, _clothes_, some which have no plural, such as
_physics_, _honesty_, _news_, and some which are the same in both
singular and plural, such as _deer_, _trout_, _series_. Care must be
taken in the use of these nouns, as in some cases their appearance is
misleading, e. g., _mathematics_, _physics_, and the like are singular
nouns having no plural, but owing to their form they are often mistaken
for plurals.

Compound nouns, that is to say, nouns formed by the combination of two
or three words which jointly express a single idea, generally change the
principal word in the forming of the plural, _hangers-on_, _ink
rollers_, but in a few cases both words change, for example,
_men-servants_. These forms must be learned by observation and practice.
It is very important, however, that they be thoroughly learned and
correctly used. Do not make such mistakes as _brother-in-laws_,
_man-servants_.

Perhaps the most important use of number is in the relation between the
noun and the verb. The verb as well as the noun has number forms and the
number of the noun used as subject should always agree with that of the
verb with which it is connected. Such expressions as "pigs is pigs,"
"how be you?" and the like, are among the most marked evidences of
ignorance to be found in common speech. When this paragraph was
originally written a group of high school boys were playing football
under the writer's window. Scraps of their talk forced themselves upon
his attention. Almost invariably such expressions as "you was," "they
was," "he don't," "it aint," and the like took the place of the
corresponding correct forms of speech.

Collective nouns, that is the nouns which indicate a considerable number
of units considered as a whole, such as _herd_, _crowd_, _congress_,
present some difficulties because the idea of the individuals in the
collection interferes with the idea of the collection itself. The
collective nouns call for the singular form of the verb except where the
thought applies to the individual parts of the collection rather than to
the collection as a whole, for instance, we say,

The crowd looks large.

but we say,

The crowd look happy.

because in one case we are thinking of the crowd and in the other of the
persons who compose the crowd. So in speaking of a committee, we may say

The Committee thinks that a certain thing should be done.

or that

The Committee think that a certain thing should be done.

The first phrase would indicate that the committee had considered and
acted on the subject and the statement represented a formal decision.
The second phrase would indicate the individual opinions of the members
of the committee which might be in agreement but had not been expressed
in formal action. In doubtful cases it is safer to use the plural.

Entire accuracy in these cases is not altogether easy. As in the case
with all the nice points of usage it requires practice and continual
self-observation. By these means a sort of language sense is developed
which makes the use of the right word instinctive. It is somewhat
analogous to that sense which will enable an experienced bank teller to
throw out a counterfeit bill instinctively when running over a large
pile of currency even though he may be at some pains to prove its
badness when challenged to show the reason for its rejection.

The young student should not permit himself to be discouraged by the
apparent difficulty of the task of forming the habit of correct speech.
It is habit and rapidly becomes easier after the first efforts.

The relation of a noun to a verb, to another noun, or to a preposition
is called its case.



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