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CLASS II. LATIN PREFIXES. The primitives to which these are prefixed, are not many of them employed separately in English. The final letter of the prefix ad, con, ex, in, öb, or sub, is often changed before certain consonants.
1. A, AB, or abs, means from, or away:.as, a-vert, to turn from; ab-duce, to lead from ; abs-tract, to draw away.
2. AD, ac, af, al, an, ap, as, at,—to or at: as, ad-vert, to turn to; ac-cede, to yield to; af-fut, a flowing-to; al-ly, to bind to; an-nex, to link to; apply, to put to; as-sume, to take to; at-test, witness to.
3. ANTE,-- before : as ante-cedent, going before ; ante-mundane, hefore the world; ante-date, to date before.
4. CIRCUM,-around or about: as, circum-volve, to roll around.
3. Con, com, co, col, cor,-together: as, contract, to draw together; com pel, to drive together; co-érce, to force together; col-lect, to gather together; cor-rade, to scrape together; con-junction, a joining-together.
6. CONTRA, -against: as contra-dict, to speak against.
7. DE,-of, from, or down: as, de-note, to be a sign of; de-tract, to draw from; de-pend, to hang down; de-press, to press down.
8. Dis, DI,-away or apart: as, dis-pel, to drive away; dis-sect, to cut apart; di-vert, to turn away. Dis, before English words, generally reverses their meaning; as, please, dis-please.
9. E or Ex, ec, ef;-out: as, e-ject, to cast out; ex-tract, to draw out; ecstacy, a raising-out; ef-face, to blot out.
10. Extra, - beyond: as, extra-vagant, wandering beyond.
11. In, il, im, ir,-in, into, against, or upon: as, in-spire, to breathe in; il-lude, to draw in by deceit; im-mure, to wall in; ir-ruption, a breaking-in; in-cur, to run into; in-dict, to declare against; im-pute, to charge upon.
These syllables, prefixed tó nouns or adjectives, generally reverse their meaning; as, ir-religion, ir-rational, in-secure, in-sane.
12. INTER, — between: as, inter-sperse, to scatter between; inter-jection, something thrown in between.
13. INTRO,--within: as, intro-vert, to tạrn within.
14. OB, oc, of, op, -against: as, ob-trude, to thrust'against; oc-cur, to run against ; of-fer, to bring against; op-pose, to place against; ob-ject, cast against.
15. PER,—through or by: as, per-vade, to go through; per-chance, by chance; per-cent, by the hundred.
16. Post,--after: as, post-pone, to place after. 17. Præ, or pre,—betore: as, pre-sume, to take before; pre-position, a placing-before, or something placed before.
18. PRO,-for, forth, or forwards: as, pro-vide, to take care for; pro-duce, to bring forth; pro-trude, to thrust forwards.
19. PRETER,-past or beyond: as, preter-it, gone by; preter-natural, be yond what is natural.
20. RE,—again or back: as, re-vieu, to view again; re-pel, to drive back. 21. RETRO,-backwards: aś, retro-cession, a going-backwards. 22. SE,-aside or apart: as, se-duce, to lead aside; se-cede, to go apart.
23. SEMI,--half: as, semi-colon, half a colon; semi-circle, half a circle; semi-vowel, half a vowel.
24. SUB, 8up, sur,-under: as, sub-scribe, to write under; sup-ply, to put under; sur-reption, a creeping-under; sub-ject, cast under.
25. SUBTER, -beneath: as, subter-fluous, flowing beneath.
26. SUPER, -over or above: as, super-fluous, flowing over; super-natant, swimming above; super-lative, carried over.
27. Trans,-beyond, over, to an other state or place: as, trans-gress, to pass beyond' or over; trans-mit, to send to an other place; trans-form, to change to an other shape.
CLASS III.-GREEK PREFIXES. 1. A and an, in Greek derivatives, denote privation: as, a-nomalous, wanting rule; an-onymous, wanting name; an-archy, want of government.
2. AMPH1,—both or two: as, amphi-bious, living in two elements.
3. ANTI,—against: as, anti-acid, against acidity; anti-febrile, against fever; anti-thesis, a placing-against.
4. Apo, aph,--from: as, apo-strophe, a turning-from; aph-æresis, a takingfrom.
5. Dia,—through: as, dia-gonal, through the corners; dia-meter, the measure through.
6. Epi, eph, -upon : as, epi-demic, upon the people; eph-emera, upon a day.
7. HEMI,--half: as, hemi-sphere, half a sphere.
9. Hypo,—under: as, hypo-stasis, substance, or that which stands ander; hypo-thesis, supposition, or a placing-under.
10. Meta, - beyond, over, to an other state or place : as, meta-morphose, to change to an other shape.
11. Para,—against: as, para-dox, something contrary to common opinion. 12. PERI, -around: as, peri-phery, the circumference, or measure round.
13. Syn, sym, syl,-together; as, syn-tax, a placing-together; sym-pathy, a suffering-together; syl-lable, what is taken together.
CLASS IV.-FRENCH PREFIXES. 1. A is a preposition of very frequent use in French, and generally means to. We have suggested that it is probably the same as the Anglo-Saxon prefix a. It is found in a few English compounds that are of French, and not of Saxon origin: a-dieu, to God; a-bout, to the end or turn.
2. DE, -of or from: as in de-muré, of manners; de-liver, to ease from or of. 3. DEMI,—half: as, demi-man, half a man; demi-god, half a god. 4. En, em,-in, into, or upon: as, en-chain, to hold in chains; em-brace, to clasp in the arms; en-tomb, to put into a tomb; em-boss, to stud upon. Many words are yet wavering between the French and the Latin orthography of this prefix: as, embody, or imbody; ensurance, or insurance; ensnare, or insnare; enquire, or inquire.
5. SUR, -upon, over, or after: as, sur-name, a name upon a name; suma vey, to look over; sur-vive, to live after, to overlive, to outlive.
OF THE QUALITIES OF STYLE.
Style is the particular manner in which a person expresses his conceptions by means of language. It is different from mere words, and is not to be regulated altogether
by rules of construction. It always has some relation to the author's peculiar manner of thinking; and, being that sort of expression which his thoughts most readily assume, sometimes partakes, not only of what is characteristic of the man, but even of national peculiarity: The words which an author employs, may be proper, and so constructed as to violate no rule of syntax; and yet his style may have great faults.
To designate the general characters of style, such epithets as concise, diffuse,-neat, negligent,-ner vous, feeble, --simple, affected,-easy, stiff, – perspicuous, obscure, -elegant, florid,-are employed. A considerable diversity of style, may be found 'in compositions all equally excellent in their kind. And, indeed, different subjects, as well as the different endowments by which genius is distinguished, require this diversity. But in forming his style, the learner should remember, that a negligent, feeble, affected, stiff
, or obscure style, is always faulty; and that perspicuity, ease, simplicity, strength, and'neatness, are qualities always to be aimed at.
In order to acquire a good style, the frequent practice of composing and writing something, is indispensably necessary. Without exercise and diligent attention, rules or precepts for the attainment of this object, will be of no avail. When the learner has acquired such a knowledge of grammar, as to be in some degree qualified for the undertaking, he should devote a stated portion of his time to composition. This exercise will bring the his mind into requisition, in a way that is well calculated to strengthen them. And if he has opportunity for reading, he may, by a diligent perusal of the best authors, acquire both language and taste, as well as sentiment; and these three are the essential qualifications of a good writer.
In regard to the qualities which constitute a good style, we can here offer no more than a few brief hints. With respect to words and phrases, particular attention should be paid to purity, propriety, and precision; and, with respect to sentences, to perspicuity, unity, and strength. "Under each of these heads, we shall arrange in the form of short precepts a few of the most important directions for the forming of a good style.
SECTION I.OF PURITY. Purity of style consists in the use of such words and phrases only, as belong to the language which we write or speak.
PRECEPT 1. Avoid the unnecessary use of foreign words or idioms : as, fraicheur, hauteur, delicatesse, politesse, noblesse; he repented himself; it serves to an excellent purpose.
PRECEPT 2. Avoid, on ordinary occasions, obsolete or antiquated words; as, whilom, erewhile, whoso, albeit, moreover, aforetime, methinks.
PRECEPT 3. Avoid strange or unauthorized words: as, flutteration, inspectator, judgematical, incumberment, connexity, electerized, martyrized.
PRECEPT 4. Avoid bombast, or affectation of fine writing. It is ridiculous, however serious the subject: as, "Personifications, however rich the depictions, and unconstrained their latitude; analogies, however imposing the
objects of parallel, and the media of comparison; can never expose the consequences of sin to the extent of fact, or the range of demonstration.". Awnymous.
SECTION II -OF PROPRIETY. Propriety of language consists in the selection and right construction, of such words as the best usage has appropriated to those ideas which we'intend to express by them.
PRECEPT 1. Avoid low and provincial expressions: such as, "Says 1;" — “Thinks I to myself;"_"To get into a scrape ;"—“Stay here while I return."
PRECEPT 2. In writing prose, avoid words and phrases that are merely poetical : such as, morn, eve, plaint, lone, amid, oft, steepy;" what time the winds arise."
PRECEPT 3. Avoid technical terms : except where they are necessary, in treating of a particular art or science. In technology, they are proper.
PRECEPT 4. Avoid the recurrence of words in different senses, or such a repetitiou of words as denotes paucity of language: as," His own reason might have suggested better reasons.”—“Gregory favoured the undertaking, for no other reason than this; that the manager, in countenance, favoured his friend."-" I want to go and see what he wants.?'
PRECEPT 5. Supply words that are wanting: thus, in stead of saying, “This action increased his former services,” say, “This action increased the merit of his former services."
PRECEPT 6, Avoid equivocal or ambiguous expressions: as, shall be lost on the earth.”—“I long since learned to like nothing but what
PRECEPT 7. Avoid unintelligible and inconsistent expressions: as, “I have observed that the superiority among these coffee-house politicians, proceeds from an opinion of gallantry and fashion.”-“These words do not convey even an opaque idea of the author's meaning."
PRECEPT 8. Observe the natural order of things or events, and do not put the cart before the horse : as, “ The scribes taught and studied the law of Moses.”_" They can neither return to nor leave their houses." "He tumbled, head over heels, into the water."
SECTION III.-OF PRECISION. Precision consists in avoiding all superfluous words, and adapting the expression exactly to the thought, so as to exhibit neither more nor less than is intended by the author.
PRECEPT 1. Avoid a useless tautology, either of expression or sentiment: as in, “Return again ;-return back again ;-converse together ;-rise up fall down ;-enter in ;-a mutual likeness to each other the latter end;liquid streams ;-grateful thanks ;—the last of al ;-throughout the whole book." “Whenever I go, he always meets me there.”—“Where is he at? In there.”—“Nothing else but that.”—“It is odious and hateful.”—“His faithfulness and fidelity should be rewarded."
PRECEPT 2. Observe the exact meaning of words accounted synonymous, and employ those which are the most suitable: as, “ A diligent scholar may acquire knowledge, gain celebrity, obtain rewards, win prizes, and get high honour, though he earn no money.” These six verbs have nearly the same meaning, and yet they cannot well be changed.
SECTION IV.-OF PERSPICUITY. Perspicuity consists in freedom from obscurity or ambiguity. It is a qual. ity so essential, in every kind of writing, that for the want of it, no merit oan atone. “Without this, the richest ornaments of style, only glimmer through the dark, and puzzle instead of pleasing the reader.”—Blair. Perspicuity, being the most important property of language, and an exemption from the most embarrassing defects, seems even to rise to a degree of positive beauty. We are naturally pleased with a style that frees us from all
suspense in regard to the meaning; that carries us through the subject without embarrassment or confusion; and that always flows like a limpid stream, through which we can see to the very bottom."
PRECEPT 1. Place adjectives, relative pronouns, participles, adverbs, and explanatory phrases, as near as possible to the words to which they relate, and in such a situation as the sense requires. The following sentences are deficient in perspicuity :-“Reverence is the veneration paid to superior sanctity, intermixed with a certain degree of awe.” “ The Romans understood liberty, at least, as well as we.' " Taste was never made to cater for vanity.”
PRECEPT 2. In prose, avoid a poetic collocation of words.
PRECEPT 3. Avoid faulty ellipsis, and repeat all words necessary to preserve the sense. The following sentences require the words inserted in crotchets : “Restlessness of mind disqualifies us, both for the enjoyment of peace, and (or] the performance of our duty.”—Murray's key. “The Christian religion gives a more lovely character of God, than any (other] religion ever did.”—Ibid.
SECTION V.-OF UNITY. Unity consists in avoiding useless breaks or pauses, and keeping one object predominant throughout a sentence or paragraph. Every sentence, whether its parts be few or many, requires strict unity.
PRECEPT 1. Avoid brokenness and hitching. The following example lacks the very quality of which it speaks: “But most of all, in a single sentence, is required the strictest unity. “It may consist of parts, indeed, but these parts must be so closely bound together, as to make the impression upon the mind, of one object, not of many.”—Murray's Grammar.
PRECEPT 2. Treat' different topics in separate paragraphs, and distinct sentiments in separate sentences. Error: The two volumes are, indeed, intimately connected, and constitute one uniform system of English grammar.” -Murray's Preface.
PRECEPT 3. In the progress of a sentence, do not desert the principal subject in favour of adjuncts. Error: “To substantives belong gender, number, and case; and they are all of the third person when spoken of, and of the second when spoken to."-Murray's Grammar.
PRECEPT 4. Do not introduce parentheses, except when a lively remark may be thrown in without diverting the mind too long from the principal subject.
SECTION VI.-OF STRENGTH. Strength consists in giving to the several words and members of a sentence, such an arrangement as shall bring out the sense to the best advantage, and present every idea in its due importance. A concise style is the most favourable to strength.
PRECEPT 1. Place the most important words in the situation in which they will make the strongest impression.
PRECEPT 2. A weaker assertion should not follow a stronger; and when the sentence consists of two members, the longer should be the concluding
PRECEPT 3. When things are to be compared or contrasted, their resemblance or opposition will be rendered more striking, if some resemblance in the language and construction, be preserved.
PRECEPT 4. It is, in general, ungraceful to end a sentence with an adverb, a preposition, or any inconsiderable word or phrase, which may either bo omitted or be introduced earlier.