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Slips of Speech : a Helpful Book for Everyone Who Aspires to Correct the Everyday Errors of Speaking   By: (1841-)

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Slips of Speech

A helpful book for everyone who aspires to correct the everyday errors of speaking and writing.

By

JOHN H. BECHTEL

Author of "Practical Synonyms," "Pronunciation," etc.

Philadelphia

The Penn Publishing Company

1901

COPYRIGHT 1895 BY THE PENN PUBLISHING COMPANY

CONTENTS

CHAP. PAGE INTRODUCTION, . . . . . . . . . . . 3 I. TASTE, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 II. CHOICE OF WORDS, . . . . . . . . . . 15 III. CONTRACTIONS, . . . . . . . . . . . 118 IV. POSSESSIVE CASE, . . . . . . . . . . 124 V. PRONOUNS, . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129 VI. NUMBER, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142 VII. ADVERBS, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150 VIII. CONJUNCTIONS, . . . . . . . . . . . 156 IX. CORRELATIVES, . . . . . . . . . . . 162 X. THE INFINITIVE, . . . . . . . . . . 166 XI. PARTICIPLES, . . . . . . . . . . . . 169 XII. PREPOSITIONS, . . . . . . . . . . . 174 XIII. THE ARTICLE, . . . . . . . . . . . . 181 XIV. REDUNDANCY, . . . . . . . . . . . . 185 XV. TWO NEGATIVES, . . . . . . . . . . . 194 XVI. ACCORDANCE OF VERB WITH SUBJECT, . . 198

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INTRODUCTION

Homer, in all probability, knew no rules of rhetoric, and was not tortured with the consideration of grammatical construction, and yet his verse will endure through time. If everybody possessed the genius of Homer, rules and cautions in writing would be unnecessary.

To day all men speak, and most men write, but it is observed that those who most closely follow Homer's method of writing without rules are most unlike Homer in the results. The ancient bard was a law unto himself; we need rules for our guidance.

Rules of writing are the outgrowth of the study of the characteristics and qualities of style which distinguish the best writers from those of inferior skill and ability. Grammarians and rhetoricians, according to their several lines of investigation, set forth the laws and principles governing speech, and formulate rules whereby we may follow the true, and avoid the false.

Grammar and rhetoric, as too often presented in the schools, are such uninviting studies that when

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school days are ended, the books are laid aside, and are rarely consulted afterward. The custom of formally burning the text books after the final examinations a custom that prevails in some institutions is but an emphatic method of showing how the students regard the subjects treated in the books.

If all the rules and principles had been thoroughly mastered, the huge bonfire of text books in grammar and rhetoric might be regarded a fitting celebration of the students' victory over the difficulties of "English undefiled." But too often these rules are merely memorized by the student for the purpose of recitation, and are not engrafted upon his everyday habit of speech. They are, therefore, soon forgotten, and the principles involved are subject to daily violation.

Hence arises the need of books like SLIPS OF SPEECH, in which the common faults of speakers and writers are pointed out, and the correct use of words shown. Brief and informal in treatment, they will be read and consulted when the more voluminous text books will be left untouched.

The copious index appended to this volume will afford a ready reference to the many subjects discussed, and will contribute greatly to the convenience and permanent value of the book.

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SLIPS OF SPEECH

"We should be as careful of our words as of our actions... Continue reading book >>




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