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very defect of the matter” that we expect from these poor young things the intimacy that we have gained from repeated meetings of the “merry devil?”
Of the essays not on strictly pedagogical questions, there is an interesting group devoted to ways of speaking. The first under this head is the paper in the August Appleton's Booklover's Magazine by Henry James on slovenly speaking. This is a plea made by Mr. James before the graduates of Bryn Mawr last June for a higher tone standard. He defines speaking well as speaking with consideration for the forms and shades of our language, “the innumerable, differentiated, discriminated units of sound and sense.” Speaking badly is speaking as millions and millions of supposedly educated people of both sexes in our great country “habitually, persistently, imperturbably speak.” To show how slovenly is our national use of vocal sound he shudderingly comments on our " yeh-eh " and "yeh-ep.” You will 'perfectly hear persons supposedly cultivated, the very instructors of youth, sometimes talk of vanilla-r ice cream and of the very idea-r at any intimation that their performance and example in this respect may not be immaculate.'
Since it is often entertaining to see ourselves as others see us, we are interested to have Mr. James continue. “To the American common school, to the American newspaper, to the American Dutchman and Dago, as the voice of the people describe them, we have simply handed over our property, the English language. The truth is that excellent for diffusion, for vulgarization, for simplification, the common schools and the daily paper define themselves as quite below the mark for discrimination and selection.”
We feel quite low in our mind after reading the article, and find ourselves rubbing our mental black and blue spots. Our depression is quite analogous to that any sensible woman must feel after reading the tale of the fastidious gentleman who refrained from offering himself to a pretty girl because she asked him if he was partial to boiled chicken.
Several newspapers have somewhat resented Mr. James' attack. One in particular inquires, “Is he himself beyond suspicion? Are his own sentences sound in wind and limb? Do his own phrases always keep to the track? We opine regretfully that they do not. Take any considerable sentence from any of his novels and examine its architecture. Isn't it wobbly with qualifying clauses and sub-assistant phrases? Doesn't it begin in the middle and work away from both ends? Doesn't it often bounce along for a while and then of a sudden roll up its eyes and go out of business entirely?”
The other series of articles deal more directly with good usage. Some child has defined pedant as relating to a schoolmaster. If his definition be just, then all of us pedagogues need to read Mr. Lounsbury's articles in Harper's Magazine, since they are too broad to encourage the pedantry that insists on some few forms of speech as being absolutely the only proper forms. In the first paper he shows that the only question for a man to ask himself is, "Is this particular word or construction sanctioned by the writers of the past and of the present?” He recognizes that there is often an almost unsurmountable difficulty in discovering what these writers sanction, since grammars, dictionaries and rhetorics cannot make the recording of best usage their main object. Upon some points the results of investigation may justify making positive statements, but upon others one will wisely refrain from committing
oneself with dogmatism. In the other papers, The Linguistic Authority of Great Writers, Pedantic Usage and School-mastering the Speech, Mr. Lounsbury discusses such moot points as none is " versus none are,” Tomorrow is Sunday,” the use of an object after the passive voice. The moral lesson of all four articles is the same. Don't be sure you know anything about correct form, since correct form depends upon what is the practice of great writers, and this can be determined only by much investigation. Whatever you think is right is probably wrong.
The scope of the other magazine articles is indicated, more or less imperfectly, by a word of comment on each article in the following bibliography:
OF GENERAL INTEREST What English Poetry Owes to Young People. F. E. Clark. North Amer
ican Review, February, 1906. The article tells of the poetry that has
been written by young men and women. The American College Girl's Ignorance of Literature. By Jeannette Marks.
The Critic, October, 1905. A very interesting revelation of the depths
of a girl's ignorance of great masters and masterpieces. A College Girl's Reply to Miss Jeannette Marks's Strictures. Critic,
November, 1905. Among the points made, the writer blames the class of literature read in the high school for the student's ignorance of
good literature. The Question of Our Speech. Henry James. Appleton's Booklovers'
Magazine, August, 1905. The plea made by Mr. James at Bryn
Mawr for the cultivation of a higher tone standard. Henry James on "Newspaper English.” Current Literature, August, 1905.
Newspaper comments on Henry James's attack on "the untidiness
and slovenliness ” of American speech in his address at Bryn Mawr. Uncertainties of Usage. Harper's, August, 1905. Linguistic Authority of Great Writers. Harper's, December, 1905. Pedantic Usage. Harper's, April, 1906. Schoolmastering the Speech. Harper's, February, 1906.
This series of articles deals with different phases of usage, from Professor Lounsbury's standpoint. The Passing Show. By Ambrose Bierce. Cosmopolitan, February, 1906.
Under this heading Mr. Bierce comments in a somewhat sarcastic vein on Professor Lounsbury's article, The Linguistic Authority of Great
Writers. A Little Conference with Professor Matthews. Bookman, October, 1905.
An expression of the Bookman's grievance against Professor Matthews and Professor Lounsbury because of their papers on usages of English
speech. 1. English Estranged. By William Archer. Critic, 20-2. January, 1906.
This is a critique on a London Daily Chronicle paragraphist, who refers
to American English as “Our Own Estranged.” English As She Is Wrote. Atlantic, November, 1905. Quoted from an
amusing attempt to describe Malta in Italian-English by an Italian steamboat company.
An Examination in English. With Some Select Blunders. H. C. Beech
ing. Living Age, January 13, 1906. Some amusing blunders of
students in England in examinations for universities. The Historical Development of English Prose. Theodore W. Hunt. The
Bibliothica Sacra. January, 1906. A readable, clear presentation of
the subject. Canadian Monographs on English Literature. D. R. Keys. Canadian
Magazine, February, 1906. An account of what some Canadians are
doing to advance sholarship. English Poetry and English History. Goldwin Smith. Canadian Maga
zine, February, 1906. The paper shows how English sentiment and character at successive epochs found expression in the poetry of that
epoch. Some Notes on the Growth of Our Language. S. C. Walker. Macmillan's,
July, 1905. The name well indicates the scope of the article. Simpler Spelling: What Can Most Wisely be Done to Hasten Its Com
ing. J. Geddes, Jr. Education, May, 1906. A plea for the adoption of some standard phonetic alphabet to be used as a universal key to
pronunciation. Co-operation Between Libraries and Schools: The Need in Chicago.
Harriet Peet, Elementary School Teacher, February, 1906. A very interesting account of the co-operation between libraries and schools in some of the cities that have most nearly solved this problem. The paper is a report of the Committee on Libraries of the Chicago English
Club. First Love in Poetry. Charles J. Norris. Fortnightly, August, 1905. The
article shows how "first love" has been described in poetry.
OF PEDAGOGICAL INTEREST Fossilization Among Teachers of English. (A Plea Against Pedagogism.)
Forest C. Bailey. School Review, November, 1905.
A very forceful argument for real values as opposed to the study of technique as such. A plea for a teacher with "a real live soul of his own." Seed and Soil. Agnes W. O'Brien. Elementary School Teacher, May, 1905.
An interesting article which emphasizes the necessity of much oral recitation and reading, and elaborates a method used by the writer
in teaching prefixes and suffixes. Reading Matter for Second Grade. Elsie A. Wygant. Elementary School
Teacher, April, 1906. A selection of poems made from “Sing Song,"
a volume of children's verse by Christina Rossetti. Text Books in Rhetoric and Composition. Report of Committee of New
England Association of Teachers of English, on “Aids in Teaching English.” School Review. January, 1906. (See Chairman's com
ment on magazine articles.) From the Educator Journal came
series of articles of a rather more practical nature than that of some of the papers already given. English in the Grades. September. Kate Moran.
English Grammar in the Seventh Grade. October. Kate Moran.
This last article summarizes, without comment, courses of study prepared for nine high schools, including the new course proposed for Chicago. The Study of English Literature. W. E. Aiken. Education, September,
1905. A plea for more time to be devoted in the schools to the study
of literature itself. The Teaching of Literature Below the College. J. W. Heemans. Educa
tion, April, 1906. This paper deals with aims and methods of teaching literature in the primary school, in the grammar school, and in the
high school. Editor's Synopsis of Professor Blackburn's address to the Central Division
of the Modern Language Association, held at Madison, Wis., December, 27-29, 1905. The Nation, January 25, 1906. Professor Blackburn's theme is, A Neglected Branch of the Teaching of English (training
in talking). Slovenly Speaking of English. S. W. Wreitand. The Nation, January 25,
1906. A comment on Professor Blackburn's Suggestions in his Madi
son paper. Aspect of the Work of the Teacher of English. Elvira D. Cabell. School
Review, September, 1905. “A suggestive paper read before the English
English teacher to make attractive the genuinely good.”
uary, 1906. The title is suggestive of the writer's purpose in the article, which is emphasized by the presentation of a dozen or more
short themes of high school students. On Teaching Elementary English. Martha H. Shackleford. Educational
Review, October, 1905. By “Elementary English " the author evidently means English below the college. The article gives a rather
“ ex cathedra" opinion on the subject. Preparation in English, from the Standpoint of the College. George W.
Benedict. Education, May, 1906. A fair, common sense discussion
of what constitutes such preparation. Uniform Entrance Requirements in English. F. H. Stoddard. Educa
tional Review, November, 1905. This article is a history of the pro
yisions for uniform examinations in the last twenty-five years. Report of the Delegates to the Conference on Uniform Entrance Require
ments in English. Mary A. Jordan. School Review, December, 1905. The Fate of English Literature in Secondary Schools. R. N. Whiteford.
The Dial, January, 1905. An attack on the "ghosts of entrance re
quirements." A Talk with Teachers of English on College Entrance Requirements. W.
F. Foster. Educational Review, February, 1905. Another attack on
these requirements. Some Student Opinions on Entrance Requirements in English. J. M. Owen.
Education, June, 1905. A very interesting summary of the opinion of 178 students on the college entrance requirements that they have read
or studied intensively. Class Criticism in Teaching of English. E. C. Noyes. School Review,
November, 1905. A suggestive, definite article showing how class criticism of student themes may be made effective after the first year
in the high school. English in Secondary Schools. Frederick H. Sykes. School Review,
March, 1906. The paper emphasizes the changed attitude of instructors from the sole consideration of grammar, correct English, etc., to the consideration of the subject in reference, to the child's de
velopment. The Study of the History of the English Language. Frederick Tupper,
Jr. School Review, March, 1906. The article treats the question: " What is the practical side of the historical study, not to the specialist,
but to the man of general culture?” The Study of the English Language. A, E. Tuttle, School Review, March,
1906. The article advocates the correlation of all the other works in the school so as to emphasize the importance of English. It also expresses a desire for more formal work in grammar, and opportunity
for old fashioned drill. The Essay on Addison. Questions for Study. The English Leaflet (pub
lished by the English Leaflet Co., March, 1906. This leaflet appears each school month and, is devoted entirely to practical features of English work in secondary schoolş.
How to Improve Your Diction
For clearness read Macaulay.
For elegance read Virgil, Goldsmith, Milton