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suppose they are right." The proper wording is : “ We suppose that they are right." Admirable practice with respect to the use of “that,” as well as with respect to English generally, is to be found in Macaulay's writings, which are models of conciseness and perspicuity in style.
The past participle of "prove" is "proved," not proven." "He was proven innocent” should be “He was proved innocent."
“ Lay" for "lie” is bad English, although in Childe Harold ” Byron says : “.... in some near port or bay, And dashest him again to earth : - there let him
lay." That, however, was done, by poetic license, to get a rhyme for bay.
The phrase "very correct writers " should not have the "very.” A writer cannot be more than correct.
We sometimes see the statement, “ The ship got under wrigh.” Sailors weigh ( heave up) the anchor of a vessel, but when the vessel starts, she gets under way.
"Notoriety" when used in relation to persons is restricted to a bad sense. Votoriety is something to be avoided, unlike distinction, or fame. Some men are only notorious, when they think that they are famous.
All expressions in which “balance” is used instead of "remainder" are incorrect; as, “The balance of the morning,” “The balance of the army retreated,” etc. The word "balance" marks the relation between the two sides of the same thing. Etymologically, it relates to scales — balances. In correct usage, it is applied to the adjustment of accounts, or to things which from their nature may be likened to accounts; as, “Our accounts balanced," "There is balance outstanding against him for his rascally behaviour." “Remainder," on the contrary, relates to what is left of a single thing, or set of things, persons, ideas, or whatever, in fact, is suscepuble of being reckoned as a part or as particulars of one whnie; as, “The remainder of the cake," “The remainder of the guests,” etc.
“ Vy residence” is a grand name for " my house." When thus used, as synonymous
with house, the phrase is incorrectly used. A man may have many residences, but can dwell only in one house. He may have many residences and devell nowhere. “Residing " does not mean “living permanently," so neither does “residence” mean “home." It is cor
to say : " Lord Bareacres has four large estates, and an establishment in London, and he goes so constantly from one residence to another, that he may be said to have no home." In a word, when a person resides long enough in a house to constitute it a home, it ceases to be a residence, and becomes his divelling, domicile, house, home.
The sentence, “ The cars will not stop at this station, only when the bell rings,” should read "except when the bell rings,” or, better yet, “ The cars will stop at this station only when the bell rings." Only” should immediately precede, and alone" should immediately follow, the word or phrase directly modified. "I have re-written themes in the class-room only" should read "only in the class-room." " When he was married he only had fifty dollars” should read "he had only fisty dollars." The use of “alone" for “only” in such sentences as “ Charity is exercised not alone by the rich, but by the poor," should be avoided.
Such expressions as “ He inherited quite a fortune," " He has quite an amount of building materials on hand,” in which the word “quite" is used as is relating to a noun, are incorrect. It must relate to an adjective. We may say : “He inherited quite a large fortune"; or, “He has quite a large amount of building materials on hand." In these sentences, “quite" is an adverb, qualifying the adjective “large.” In those it was incurrectly used, as if qualifying the nouns " fortune" and "amount." We can say quite tall, quite short, quite brilliant, quite insignificant, etc. ; but not quite an amo nt, quite a member, quite a fortune, quite a house, quite a man the last a very common expression applied to big boys.
Either" is often improperly used instead of “ each." The following example of this is given by Seth T. Hard in his “Grammatical Corrector": " Suppose an engineer were ordered to erect a fort on either side of the
Hudson river, and he should build one upon its right bank alone; would not all agree that he had complied with the order ? but not so, had he been directed to build one on each side of the river ; for then he must build two forts, instead of one." Both Lowth and Harrison give the following examples of the incorrect use of “either" :
They crucified two others with Him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst," " On either side of the river was there the tree of life.” In the Douay version of the Bible these sentences read : “They crucified Him, and with Him two others, one on each side, and Jesus in the midst," On both sides of the river was the tree of life." It is hard to see how a tree could be on both sides of a river.
“ It was neither for his benefit or that of anyone else,” It was not done either for the one reason nor for the other," " She is not amiable or sincere."
All of the preceding sentences are incorrect. Or" is the correlative of either” ; and nor" of “neither” and “not.” The sentences should be : “It was neither for his benefit, nor for that of any one else," “It was not done either for the one reason or for the other," " She is not amiable nor sincere."
Such” relates to quality ; "So" relates to degree. One can properly say : "I never saw such a man, such a house, such a view"; because the expressions involve the comparison of quality, not that of degree ; but one cannot with propriety say : “I never saw such a handsome man, such a fine house, such a beautiful view," because the expressions involve the comparison of degree, not that of quality. One should say : “I never saw so handsome a man, so fine a house, so beautiful a view." The phrases, such a high, such a long, such a wide, such a narrow, and all similar ones, are incorrect, and should be so high, so long, etc.
When you say : “I do not know but that I shall go to New York to-morrow," you use, if not an elegant, a correct elliptical, idiomatic expression, which may be analyzed thus : “I do not know of any obstacle to my going to New York to-morrow," — the other course (not going ) presents no inducement to make me abstain from going.
When, however, you say, “I do not doubt but that I shall go to New York to-morrow,” you say the very reverse of what was intended, and state that the only thing doubtful to your mind is the thing which you mean to state is not doubtful. You should say : “I do not doubt that I shall go," etc.
If you say : “I do not know but what I shall go to New York to-morrow," the sentence signifies : “I do not know except that which I shall go to New York to-morrow," which is nonsense.
Gotten” is English still, but it is nearly obsolete. Yet some speakers and writers have an unaccountable partiality for it. It is better to say “got.”
In the words "hence,” " thence," whence” is included the idea conveyed by the word from." · Hence" means from this place," "thence" means “from that place," whence”
from which place." Probably no other mistake in English has been so frequently made, even by good speakers and writers of the language, as the use of the three words “hence," “thence," whence," preceded by "from"; many, knowing it to be an error, falling into it from the sheer force of habit.
Do not use the phrase “a new beginner," applied to one who is beginning for the first time. The expression is a pleonasm sliperfluity of words.
Talent is always natural, so that it is absurd to say “natural talent.”
“In the midst” means “in the middle." “In our midst," therefore, means “in our middle." Among us” is a better phrase.
“As good as means “equally good”; therefore, “equally as good as”
good as” means "equally, equally good." "As good ” also means “equally good,” and “equally as good," therefore, means "equally, equally good.” In the common phrase, "equally as good as,” one can strike out both “as's," or else strike out "equally.” In the other common phrase, “equally as good,” one can strike out the “as," or else strike out the "equally." A thing is as good as another thing, or it is as good, or it is equally good with another thing, or it is equally good. For example : “This is as good as that,” “ This is
as good,” “This is equally good with that,"
, “ This is equally good."
Avoid the split infinitive. The “to” of the infinitive mood is inseparable from the verb, but careless writers often interpose an adverb between it and the verb, as in To boldly resist, To seriously injure, To legally acknowledge, To simply state, To deeply realize, To still exhibit, To rapidly recruit, To gradually change, To not only ruin — the last one actually having two adverbs interposed between the particle "to" and the verb. Do not use
'tasty” and tastily.” Say "tasteful ” and tastefully."
The word “babe," although perfectly correct, should be reserved for language above that of familiar conversation. We use it properly in speaking of “The Babes in the Wood,” and we invariably find it in poetry. The household word being “baby," " babe" sounds pretentious.
Avoid the use of “raise," in the sense of “bring up,” or “rear.” In the phrases, "to raise corn," "to raise wheat," "to raise
pigs,” “to raise chickens,” etc., the word raise"
is correctly employed ; but in speaking of the support and education of children, "to bring up." "to rear," is the preferable expression.
Be careful not to mix up therefor" and “therefore." It is right to
say : wanted me to pay thirty dollars therefor, and therefore he gave me the money."
If you will look in the French dictionary, you will find under the word chaperon the definition, “ Personne âgée ou grave qui accompagne une jeune femme par bienséance." There is no such word in French as chaperone, and the word used in English should be spelled without the final “e."
The French word "chalet” has no accent. The spelling “châlet,” common in English and American publications, is wrong.
A depot is originally a place where things are deposited, not necessarily a stoppingplace. The word is improperly used to mean a railway station, whether a terminal or not.
Edward B. Hughes. CAMBRIDGE, Mass.
AN AUTHOR'S DIARY.
Every young author should keep a diary in which to record, every day, some hint for future literary work. A note-book of this sort is to the author what a sketch-book is to the artist. It is a repository of trial pieces, of rough word-outlines which may be filled in and elaborated later. But the best purpose which such a diary serves is that of storing up momentary impressions while their vividness is fresh, while they are fullcharged with significance. Has not every one who writes experienced that dull disappointment which comes of vainly trying to recall, for literary use, things once observed, but now half forgotten? How can we gather again the details of a scene which treacherous time has blurred, or restore the evanescent mood which, in going, has left no trace?
So, if the young author would prepare for
the future, he must write every day. And what he writes must be something seen or experienced that day. Since it is scarcely probable that there will be a striking event in every day of his life, his ingenuity will often be taxed for a theme. The oftener his ingenuity is so taxed the better it will be for him. For it is an author's business to see things which other people disregard and to cultivate a happy manner of talking about airy nothings which would not stir a more inert person to eloquence.
It must be remembered that the diary is not kept as an expression of personal senti. ment or as a vent for egoism. Everything that is written down must be written down with a view to future use. If there is no other material at hand the day for which the entry is dated should be described -- the sky,
the atmosphere, the look of fields or houses, the feeling of the air indoors and out. Word-painting from nature is an important adjunct of the author's art and should be practiced at every opportunity. Dr. Weir Mitchell, in an article of advice which is not addressed to authors but which may be followed by them with profit, recommends studying a landscape at different times, under different atmospheric conditions, and different hours of the day. An exact description written at each time of observation will indicate the variety in light and shadow, in motion and stillness, in sound and silence, of which a single spot is capable.
Any description, whether of a country garden or a city back yard, may, with a touch of art, be wrought out so as to be interesting. Even from a room in a city house may be noted down the change which comes over the encompassing sights and sounds during the progressive hours of a day. No place, except, perhaps, a subterranean vault, feels the same at early morning, at mid-morning, at noon, at afternoon, at the setting-in of the evening, at night when human life is still astir, and in the dead of night. One should be able to expresss with nice discrimination the “feel” of each passing hour.
More important than practice in the description of nature is practice in the description of people. In the author's note-book should be drawn the child, the young girl, the young man, the business man, the shopkeeper, the professional man, the society woman, the housekeeper, the old man, and the old woman. And each of these should be depicted, not once, but in many varying types. Any peculiarities of speech, any striking traits of character, or any idiosyncrasy of manner in people met, should be instantly noted down. Note should also be taken of conversation overheard in streetcars or wherever people congregate. People should be studied not only by themselves, but in groups and masses; and description should be written of processions, of crowded street-scenes, of political assemblies, and of audiences at a theatre.
Perhaps the most important entries in the author's diary will be those which record
some incident or passage of real life. How often do we hear of some actual happening which is even stranger than fiction! How often do we get a glimpse of some secret of real life which is more thrilling than anything we ever read! The stories with the most telling points are usually true stories. But, unless we put them down where we may easily refer to them, nothing seems to be more quickly forgotten. The reminiscences and anecdotes which old people tell quite gratuitously are often worth preserving. It should be remembered that to describe people is not really to tell of human life. We do that when we show people as undergoing experiences, as being caught in a whirl of happenings.
Although one's own personality should be kept in the background when writing up an author's diary, still there are phases of personal feeling which deserve to be recorded. A significant experience undergone for the first time will leave the emotions tingling so that they can be eased only by free selfexpression. A note made in the diary at such a time will afterward read like an inspired communication. We often come upon such wonderful revelations of self in letters which have been collected and published. In reading the letters of Dr. John Brown, the author of “Rab," one is almost startled by the frank avowal of his feeling on the death of his beloved wife. Instead of being stricken with an uncontrollable grief he was possessed by a feeling of exaltation, and happiness in the thought of her spirit's release was his dominant emotion. In everyone's life there are supreme moments; to write worthily of these will, more than anything else, bring an author near to his fellowbeings.
Whether the happenings of one's life be great or small, the resolution to write something every day will be enough. A theme will surely be forthcoming. The benefit derived from a diary faithfully kept will be twofold. It will furnish one with present practice in writing and will supply material for which one may thank one's self in later years.
Alwin IV'est. BROOKLYN, N. Y.
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North Pole trip, and with the Frederick A. Stokes Company for its subsequent publication in book form. A representative of the Stokes Company says that the royalty rate agreed upon is the highest ever paid by his firm, and that the advance payments to be made on account of royalty are also unusually large. The publishers of Hampton's Magazine say that they are to pay $50,000 for the serial rights of the Peary manuscript. The story will appear in the magazine in ten instalments, beginning with the issue for January. To protect themselves, the magazine publishers have taken out insurance on Mr. Peary's life. The insurance policy is for $50,000, and it will decrease - in value $5,000 each month, as the parts of Mr. Peary's story appear. Obviously the explorer is to get large return for his literary work. Nevertheless Arctic exploration can hardly be regarded as a royal road to financial success in authorship.
While women engaged in other occupations are generally paid less than men doing the same work, it is pointed out that women writers are not handicapped in this way. For magazine articles and for books women get the same pay as men, and the number of women who are doing successful literary work is constantly increasing. In newspaper work the same rule does not apply, possibly because there the woman comes in direct contact with her employer, while the publisher and the magazine editor deal only with the impersonal manuscript, as a rule.