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Witch Whoremonger Whore 18. Nouns hate two cases; the nominative, and the genitive. The genitive case is formed by adding s, with an apostrophe, to the nominative: as, men, men's; 0x, ox's.
* From nominativus (à nomino), naming.
+ From genitirus (à gigno), natural, or belonging to, and therefore some authors bave called it the possessive case,
NOTE 18. In the formation of this case I have complied with a late refinement, and what I really think a corrupt custom. The genitive case, in my opinion,might be much more properly formed by adding , or, when the pronunciation requires it, es, without an apostro, phe : as, men, mens; ox, ores; horse, horses; ass,
This case undoubtedly came from the Saxon; and the best English writers after the Norman conquest, even down to the time of Chaucer and the reformation, formed it just in the same manner they did the plural nuinber, viz. by the addition of s, es, or is, and were rather sparing in the use of it. After that the is and es were discontinued by degrees, though the latter in a few instances, is retained to this day in the version of the Bible.
As to the apostrophe, it was seldom used to distinguish the genitive case till about the beginning of the present century, and then seems to have been intro, duced by mistake, At that time the genitive case was supposed to have had its original from a contraction as John's book, for Jobn his book : but that notion has been sufficiently exploded : and therefore the use of the apostrophe, especially in those instances where the pronunciation requires an additional syllable, is, I presume, quite indefensible, To write ox's, ass's, for's, and at the same time pronounce it oxes, asses, fores, is such a departure from the original formation, at least in writing, and such an inconsistent use of the apostrophe, as cannot be equalled perhaps in any other language; and though it may be said that the apostrophe has some propriety as a note of distinction, yet no one, I think, who has any knowledge of Grammar, can well mistake the plural number for the genitive case. However, it appears to me, at present, to be a distinction of very little importance. Formerly there were notes used to distinguish the ablative case singular of Latin nouns of the first declension, and the genitive of the fourth, which are now laid aside by correct writers; and I cannot but think that, some time or other, this will be the fate of the apos. tropke in the genitive case,
19. An adjective is a word that signifies the quality of any person, place, or thing: as, a good man; a great city; a fine house.
20. Most adjectives have, at least, two de grees of comparison; which are commonly called the comparative and the superlative.
21. The comparative is formed, for the most part, by adding er to the positive: as, long, longer; short, shorter: the superlative, by adding est; as, long, longest, &c.
22. These degrees of comparison are frequently formed by the adverbs, very, infinitely, more, most, less, least: as, more short; very, most, or infinitely short; less common, least common, &c.
23. There are a few adjectives peculiar in their comparison: good, better, best ; bad, worse, worst, &c.
* From ad, to, and jacio, to put.
Note 21. Long is the positive state of the adjective; and therefore, as many authors observe, cannot bye properly called a step or degree.
PRONOUN.* 24. A Pronoun is a word used instead of a goun, to avoid the too frequent repetition of the same word : as, 66 the man is merry,
he laughs, he sings.”
25. The following pronouns (it only excepted) have three cases, nominative, genitive, and accusative,+ in each number. Sing.
its * From pro, for, and nomen, a noun.
† From accuso, to accuse, because this case receives the force or accusation of the verb.
NOTE 25. Some grammarians would have mine, thine, ours, yoars, &c. to be the only genitise cases of the primitive pronouns; and my, 'thy, &c. to be pronominal adjectives derived from them : but as his its, which are confessedly genitive cases, are joined to pouns, as well as my, thy, &c. I thotight best to range them as I have done above, and shall provide for the proper use of each variatiou in the rules of Syntax.
theirs, their them. 26. Who, whosoever, and the pronominal adjectives, one, other, and another, are thus varied :
Singular and Plural.
whom whosoever whosesoever whomsoever Sing.
Gen. One ones
ones other others another anothers other, others
27. The following bave,
those myself, oneself, ourself qurselves thyself, yourself
yourselves himself, herself, itself themselves
28. Those that follow are further distin. guished by their genders. Masc.
Tem. No Gender. Ile she
it his hers
her himself berself ilself