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ing his youth in travel and observation, had retired from all human cares, to a small habitation on the banks of Oxus, where he conversed only with such as solicited his counsel. “Brother,” said the philosopher, “thou has suffered thy reason to be deluded by idle hopes and fallacious appearances. Having long looked with desire upon riches, thou hadst taught thyself to think them more valuable than nature designed them, and to expect from them what experience has now taught thee that they cannot give. That they do not confer wisdom, thou mayest be convinced, by considering at how dear a price they tempted thee, upon thy first entrance into the world, to purchase the empty sound of vulgar acclamation. That they cannot bestow fortitude or magnanimity, that man may be certain who stood trembling at Astracan before a being not naturally superior to himself. That they will not supply unexhausted pleasure, the recollection of forsaken palaces, and neglected gardens, will easily inform thee. That they rarely purchase friends, thou didst soon discover, when thou wert left to stand thy trial uncountenanced and alone. Yet think not riches useless; there are purposes to which a wise man may be delighted to apply them ; they may, by a rational distribution to those who want them, ease the pains of helpless disease, still the throbs of restless anxiety, relieve innocence from oppression, and raise imbecility to cheerfulness and vigor. This they will enable thee to perform, and this will afford the only happiness ordained for our present state — the confidence of divine favor, and the hope of future rewards.” — DR. JoHNSON's Rambler.
XXI. Group the words in the following lists into plans : —
A. 1. Furniture. B. 1. Colonel Evans. 2. Chair. 2. Prof. Tyler. 3. Stove. 3. Mme. Le Plogeon. 4. Books. At the 4. Mrs. Stryker.
The Room. 5. People. Dinner. 5. The host. 6. Old. 6. The hostess. 7. Children. 7. Mr. & Mrs. Jones. 8. Cat. 8. Mr. & Mrs. Brown
C. 1. Servants.
XXII. Write a review composition on what you have learned about composition up to this point. Give it an attractive title and use Unity, Coherence, Transition, Emphasis, Proportion, and Variety for major topics. XXIII. Write plans and composition for some or all of the subjects chosen under VI b.
WHEN in babyhood you learned your first words, your education in English began. At any period since, the breadth of your knowledge and experience could have been tested by the number and kind of words you possessed. School, play, travel, reading, — every part of life has been filling your mind with words; and the fact that you are in high school guarantees that by now you have what might be called a good working vocabulary. It is for this reason that the word, the smallest unity of writing, has been left until now. It seemed better to take up the process of putting together ideas by means of words already possessed, rather than to begin by considering the faults, or merits, of words and the extension of a vocabulary. But now it is high time to think more closely about this smallest unit of expression, for your writing must already have led you to appreciate the importance of getting the right word.
What is a Word? — The question in this title may seem absurd, and yet in understanding and in applying the answer is the key to the mastery of words. A word is a name for an idea. Now an idea may be a mental conception of a thing, as a horse; or of a quality, as redness; or of an emotion, as melancholy; or of an action, as moving; or of a relationship between things or thoughts, such as is expressed by the word “but.” In every case this mental conception must be named
before we can speak of it, and the name is the word. Our ideas are as manifold as the activity of our brains and the range of our experience will permit. Our words should be aS numerous.
New Words. – Power over words, then, means two things. First, we must be able to name, and thus express, all our ideas. When for the first time I breathe the rarefied air upon a mountain top, have I a word to name that sensation? Or if I see a new motor car, an unfamiliar bird, a novel stroke in a boat race, have I a word to fit, to describe it? Getting new words for new thoughts and new experiences is the first problem.
Right Words. – But we shall have no real power over words unless we can be sure that we have truly named our idea, that is, unless the word fits. The pansy, is it blue or purple? The temper of my worst enemy, is it bad, or only uncertain? That train, is it skimming, or rolling, or sliding over the meadows? Am I inapt or inept when it comes to irregular verbs in French” Are you next of kin, or just cousin to the person who called you “next of kin '' in her will. If you are only cousin, the law will condemn the use of the word and take her fortune away from you. Getting true words, getting right words, is the second problem. Both will remain problems as long as your mind continues to grow. When you cease to acquire new words, and cease to fit and refit your old ones to shifting ideas, then you will have reached the end of your intellectual development.
There are a hundred ways of making the brain grow. But so far as getting the right word is concerned, it all comes down to getting a name, and the right name for what you feel, see, hear, touch, think, or remember. The word is only a name. If it does not fit the idea behind, it is worthless, and it may be dangerous if intentionally or unintentionally it misrepresents your thought.
I. Express in one word for each, the ideas enumerated below:— 1. The idea of contrast between thoughts. 2. The idea of a person whom you know, yet who is neither relative nor friend. 3. The idea of perfect happiness. 4. The idea of a color that combines black and white. * 5. The idea of the appearance of a house that is neither grand nor mean, that is comfortable and pleasant to live in. • 6. The idea of a motion that is neither fast nor slow. 7. The idea of the appearance of a face in which the dirt has been worked into the pores. 8. The idea of the quality belonging to a person who is liked by everybody. ~ 9. The idea of the smell of the earth after a summer rain. 10. The idea of the feel of a rubber ball.
THE CLASSIFICATION OF WoRDS
Generic and Specific Words. – If words, regarded as names, are instruments of expression, and, like a carpenter's tools, each good for its special uses, then we can group and classify them as we might group and classify the tools. Let us group them according to the ideas they represent. The first classification will be into generic and specific words. The world around us is made up of single things, of units, but these single things can usually be brought together in groups, or genera. We can speak of a pebble, of a boulder, of a paving block, but all these single things belong to the class rock. Likewise we can speak of moving, but this class of action includes single kinds of acting — such as hopping, running, skating, sliding, etc., etc. Two sets of words are needed to name these two classifications of ideas. We call them generic (general) words, and specific words; and nouns,