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ginning with a vowel, as, wit, witty ; thin, thinnish ; to abet an abettor; to begin, a beginner.
But if a diphthong precedes, or the accent is on the preced ing syllable, the consonant remains single: as, to toil, toiling to offer, an offering ; maid, maiden, &-c.
Words ending with any double letter but l, and taking ness, less, ly, or ful, after them, preserve the letter double; as, harmlessness, carelessness, carelessly, stiffy, successful, distressful, &c. But those words which end with double l, and take ness, less, ly, or ful, after them, generally omit one l; as fulness, skilless, fully, skilful. &c.
Ness, less, ly, and ful, added to words ending with silent e, do not cut it off; as, paleness, guileless, closely, peaceful; except in a few words; as, duly, truly, awful.
Ment, added to words ending with silent e, generally pre. serves the e from elision; as, abatement, chastisement, incitement, &c. The words judgment, abridgment, acknowledge ment, are deviations fro*, the rule.
Like other terminations, ment changes y into, i, when preceded by a consonant; as, accompany, accompaniment; merry, merriment.
Able and ible, when incorporated into words ending with silent e, almost always cut it off: as, blame, blamable; cure, curable; sense, sensible, &c. : but if cor g soft comes before e in the original word, the e is then preserved in words compounded with able; as, change, changeable; peace, peaceable, &c.
When ing or ish is added to words ending with silent e, the e is almost universally omitted : as, place, placing ; lodge, lodging; slave, slavish; prude, prudish.
Words taken into composition, often drop those letters which were superfluous in the simple words : as, handful, dunghil, withal, also, chilblain, foretel.
The orthography of a great number of English words is far from being uniform, even amongst writers of distinction. Thus, honour and honor, inquire and enquire, negotiate and negociate, control and controul, expense and expence, allege and alledge, surprise and surprize, complete and compleat, conconnexion and connection, abridgment and abridgement, and many other orthographical variations, are to be met with in
the best modern publications. Some authority for deciding differences of this nature, appears to be necessary: and where can we find one of equal pretensions with Dr. Johnson's Dictionary ? though a few of his decisions do not appear to be warranted by the principles of etymology and analogy, the stable foundations of his improvements.—“As the weight of truth and reason (says Nares in his " Elements of Orthoepy") is irresistible, Dr. Johnson's Dictionary has nearly fixed the external form of our language. Indeed, so convenient is it to have one acknowledged standard to recur to; so much preferable, in matters of this nature, is a trifling degree of irregularity, to a continual change, and fruitless pursuit of unattamable perfection; that it is earnestly to be hoped, that no author will henceforth, on light grounds, be tempted to innovate.”
This Dictionary, however, contains some orthographical inconsistencies, which ought to be rectified : such as, immovable moveable, chastely chastness, fertileness fertily, sliness styly, fearlessly fearlesness, needlessness needlesly. "If these, and similar irregularities, were corrected by spelling the words analogically, according to the first word in each part of the series, and agreeably to the general rules of spelling, the Dictionary would doubtless, in these respects, be improved.
CHAPTER 1. A General View of the Parts of Speech. The second part of grammar is ETYMOLOGY, which treats of the different sorts of words, their various modifications, and their derivation.
There are, in English, nine sorts of words, or, as they are commonly called, PARTS OF SPEECH ; namely, the ARTICLE, the SUBSTANTIVE or NOUN, the ADJECTIVE, the PRONOUN, the VERB, the ADVERB, the PREPOSITION, the CONJUNCTION, and the INTERJECTION.
1. An Article is a word prefixed to substantivas, to
>> OUS woman.
2. A Substantive or noun is the name of any thing that exists, or of which we have any notion : as, London, man, virtue.
A substantive may, in general, be distinguished by its taking an article before it, or by its making sense of itself: as, a book, the sun, an apple ; temperance, industry, chastity.
3. An Adjective is a word added to a substantive, to express its quality : as, “An industrious man; a virtu
An Adjective may be known by its making sense with the addition of the word thing: as, a good thing ; a bad thing ; or of any particular substantive; as, a sweet apple, a pleasant prospect, a lively boy.
4. A Pronoun is a word used instead of a noun, to avoid the too frequent repetition of the same word : as, man is happy; he is benevolent: he is useful.”
5. A Verb is a word which signifies to RE, to do, or to SOFFER ; as, “I am ; I rule; I am ruled.”
A Verb may generally be distinguished, by its making sense with any of the personal pronouns, or the word to before it : as, I walk, he plays, they write ; or, to walk, to play, to write.
6. An Adverb is a part of speech joined to a verb, an adjective, and sometimes to another adverb, to express some quality or circumstance respecting it: as, “ He reads well; a truly good man; he writes very correctly."
An Adverb may be generally known, by its answering to the question, How? how much? when? or where? as, in the phrase “ He reads correctly,” the answer to the question, How does he read? is, correcily.
7. Prepositions serve to connect words with one another, and to show the relation between them : as, “He went from London to York ;" “ she is above disguise;"? “ they are supported by industry.”
A preposition may be known by its admitting after it a personal pronoun, in the objective case; a“, with, for, to, &c. will allow the objective case after them; with him, for her, to them, &c.
8. A Conjunction is a part of speech that is chiefly used to connect sentences: so as, out of two or more sentences, to make but one : it sometimes connects only words": as, “ Thou and he are happy, because you are good." "Two and three are five.”
9. Interjections are words thrown in between the parts of a sentence, to express the passions or emotions of the speaker: as, “ ( virtue ! how amiable thou art !"
The observations which have been made, to aid learners in distinguishing the parts of speech from one another, may afford them some small assistance; but it will certainly be inuch more instructive, to distinguish them by the definitions, and an accurate knowledge of their nature.
In the following passage, all the parts of speech are exemplified: The power of speech is a faculty peculiar to man, and
, peculiar to man, and was bestowed on him by his beneficent Creator, for the greatest and most excellent vses; but alas ! how often do we pervert it to the worst of purposes !
In the foregoing sentence, the words the, a, are articles ; power, speech, faculty, man, Creator, uses, purposes are substantives ; peculiar, beneficent, greatest, excellent, worst, are adjectives; him, his, we, it, are pronouns; is, was, bestowed, do, pervert, are verbs ; most, how, often, are adverbs; of; to, on, by, for, are prepositions; and, but, are conjunctions; and alas is an interjection.
The nuinber of the different sorts of words, or of the parts of speech, has been variously reckoned by difierent grammarians. Some have enumerated ten, making the participle a distinct part: some eight, excluding the participle
, and ranking the adjective under the noun; some four, and othexs only two, (the noun and the verh,) supposing the rest to be contained in the parts of their division. We have followed those authors, who appear to have given them the most natural and intelligible distribution. Some remarks on the division made by the learned Horne Tooke, are contained in the first section of the eleventh chapter of etymology.
The interjection, indeed, seems scarcely worthy of being considered as a part of artificial language or speech, being rather a branch of that natural language, which we possess in common with the brute creation, and hý which we express the sudden emotions and passions that actuate our fiame. But, as it is used in written as well as oral language, it may, in some measure, be deemed a part of speech. It is with us, a virtual sentence, in which the noun and verb are concealed
under an imperforatorindicested word
Of the Articles. IN Article is a word prefixed to substantives, to point them out, and to show how far their signification extends; as, a garden, an eagle, the woman.
In English, there are but two articles, a, and the: a becomes an before a vowel,* and before a silent h; as, an acorn, an hour. But if the h be sounded, the a only is to be used; as, a hand, a heart, a highway.
The inattention of writers and printers to this necessary distinction, has occasioned the frequent use of an before h, when it is to be pronounced; and this circumstance, more than any other, has probably contributed to that indisunct utterance, or total omission, of the sound signified by this letter, which very often occurs amongst readers and speak
An horse, an husband, an herald, an leathen, and many similar associations, are frequently to be found in works of taste and merit. To remedy this evil, readers should be taught to omit, in all similar cases, the sound of the n, and to give the h its full proranciation.
A or an is styled the indefinite article: it is used in a vague sense, to point out one single sling of the kind, in other respects indeterminate : as," Give me a book; "Bring me an apple.
The is called the definite article ; because it ascertains what particular thing or things are meant: as, Give me the book;" “ Bring me the apples;” meaning some book, or apples, referred to..
A substantive without any article to limit it, is generally taken in its widest sense: as,
A candid temper is proper for man;" that is, for all mankind.
The peculiar use and importance of the articles will be seen in the following examples ;“ The son of a king--the son of the king—a son of the king.” Each of these three phrases has an entirely different meaning, through the different appiication of the articles a and the.
"Thon art a man,” is a very general and harmless position; but, “Thou art the man," (as Nathan said to David,) is an assertion capable of striking terror and remorse into the heart. The article is omitted before nouns that imply the differ
A instea i of an is now used before words beginning with u long. See uge 19. letter T ; It is also oseni ljefore one ; as, many ode.