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On the Study of Words   By: (1807-1886)

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THE STUDY OF WORDS

ON THE STUDY OF WORDS BY RICHARD CHENEVIX TRENCH, D.D. ARCHBISHOP

'Language is the armoury of the human mind, and at once contains the trophies of its past, and the weapons of its future, conquests' COLERIDGE

'Out, idle words, servants to shallow fools!' SHAKESPEARE

TWENTIETH EDITION revised by

THE REV. A. L. MAYHEW

Joint Author of 'The Concise Middle English Dictionary'

PREFACE TO THE TWENTIETH EDITION.

In all essential points this edition of The Study of Words is the same book as the last edition. The aim of the editor has been to alter as little of Archbishop Trench's work as possible. In the arrangement of the book, in the order of the chapters and paragraphs, in the style, in the general presentation of the matter, no change has been made. On the other hand, the work has been thoroughly revised and corrected. A great deal of thought and labour has of late been bestowed on English philology, and there has been a great advance in the knowledge of the laws regulating the development of the sounds of English words, and the result has been that many a derivation once generally accepted has had to be given up as phonetically impossible. An attempt has been made to purge the book of all erroneous etymologies, and to correct in the text small matters of detail. There have also been added some footnotes, in which difficult points are discussed and where reference is given to recent authorities. All editorial additions, whether in the text or in the notes, are enclosed in square brackets. It is hoped that the book as it now stands does not contain in its etymological details anything inconsistent with the latest discoveries of English scholars.

A. L. MAYHEW.

WADHAM COLLEGE, OXFORD: August , 1888.

PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.

These lectures will not, I trust, be found anywhere to have left out of sight seriously, or for long, the peculiar needs of those for whom they were originally intended, and to whom they were primarily addressed. I am conscious, indeed, here and there, of a certain departure from my first intention, having been in part seduced to this by a circumstance which I had not in the least contemplated when I obtained permission to deliver them, by finding, namely, that I should have other hearers besides the pupils of the Training School. Some matter adapted for those rather than for these I was thus led to introduce which afterwards I was unwilling, in preparing for the press, to remove; on the contrary adding to it rather, in the hope of obtaining thus a somewhat wider circle of readers than I could have hoped, had I more rigidly restricted myself in the choice of my materials. Yet I should greatly regret to have admitted so much of this as should deprive these lectures of their fitness for those whose profit in writing and in publishing I had mainly in view, namely schoolmasters, and those preparing to be such.

Had I known any book entering with any fulness, and in a popular manner, into the subject matter of these pages, and making it its exclusive theme, I might still have delivered these lectures, but should scarcely have sought for them a wider audience than their first, gladly leaving the matter in their hands, whose studies in language had been fuller and riper than my own. But abundant and ready to hand as are the materials for such a book, I did not; while yet it seems to me that the subject is one to which it is beyond measure desirable that their attention, who are teaching, or shall have hereafter to teach, others should be directed; so that they shall learn to regard language as one of the chiefest organs of their own education and that of others. For I am persuaded that I have used no exaggeration in saying, that for many a young man 'his first discovery that words are living powers, has been like the dropping of scales from his eyes, like the acquiring of another sense, or the introduction into a new world,' while yet all this may be indefinitely deferred, may, indeed, never find place at all, unless there is some one at hand to help for him, and to hasten the process; and he who so does, will ever after be esteemed by him as one of his very foremost benefactors... Continue reading book >>




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