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TRArt EnnCD 10
MAY 26 1921
It has been assumed in the preparation of this textbook on English Grammar that it is for the use of those who can speak and read the English language; hence much usually found in books on English Grammar has been omitted. It has been the purpose of the author,
I. To present a work purely grammatical, both in method and in facts emphasized.
II. To give emphasis to language study through the wealth and variety of illustrations used in the development and elucidation of grammatical facts.
III. To present English Grammar in such a way that only a minimum of it will have to be unlearned in studying the grammar of any other language.
IV. So to present the method that the maximum of strength will be reached through the minimum of facts learned.
V. To use illustrative sentences of such value in giving pleasure and in stimulating thought that the pupils will be led into a love for grammar and
thence into a love of literature. In short, the author has regarded grammar as looking toward both logic and literature, — as a process of intellectual discipline and a means of intellectual culture.
The method of the book, by bringing the pupils face to face with numerous examples from literature, leads them through a study of forms and relations to an understanding of how grammatical statements are formulated and applied.
The aim of the book is to emphasize the practical rather than the theoretical side of grammar; to place the emphasis on the process of reaching conclusions rather than in memorizing them; to magnify the spirit of power rather than the spirit of acquisition.
Great care has been exercised in selecting sentences that should be at once apposite for illustration, rich in thought, and healthful in sentiment. It is, perhaps, not a vain hope that some of these literary gems may prove potent factors in quickening and refining the literary taste of pupils and in giving to their thoughts rich coloring, thus awakening a greater interest in the treasures of literature and an eager craving for them.
The author has attempted to rob grammar of something of its mystery, and to give to the study of it something of freshness, interest, and pleasure. The plan of the book follows the highways rather than the byways of grammar, but the view of the subject has been constantly in the direction of understanding and mastering the fundamental principles and essential practical facts.
No attempt has been made to present the work in a granulated or diluted form, but an earnest effort has been made to have it clear and understandable, giving at all times needed help to those who try to help themselves.
Some parts of the book may seem at first glance
too difficult for the pupils, but such portions must be viewed in the light of the strength acquired by them in the complete mastery of the work contained in the preceding pages. In the discussion of potential verb phrases, for example, the work may seem over-difficult, yet it has stood the test of the class-room, and has there won success and commendation. Many former pupils of the author certify to the easy grasp of the subject, and the practical strength acquired in the application of the uses of these potential verb phrases to literature.
The arrangement of the subject-matter of the book is based on the natural order of presentation, - that the pupil should not be encumbered with technicalities before he has use for them; that the same subject must be noted in different relations and observed by repeated views before it can be thoroughly grasped; and that not only must a subject be mastered in parts, but each part must be understood in its relation to the whole.
The author's experience and observation in the classroom have led him to omit the subject of false syntax from this work, on the ground that if that subject should receive consideration anywhere, it should be in the rhetoric and not in the grammar class.
Parsing and diagramming, which have come somewhat into disrepute through abuse or misapprehension of their province and use, have been given due consideration as formulas of investigation and analysis expression.
Part I. is introductory in its nature, and must be thoroughly mastered before any work in Part II. is undertaken. In fact, a complete and accurate understanding.of the parts of the book preceding any subject
is the condition on which rests the easy mastery of that subject.
Carrying out the suggestions of the “ Committee of Fifteen” and other scholarly educators freely consulted, the author has added as appendices chapters on Word Building, History of English Language, and Prosody.
The leading works on English and general grammar, published in Germany, England, and America, have been freely consulted, and to them the author freely acknowledges his indebtedness.
He also wishes to express his appreciation of the generous services rendered by the friends who looked over his preliminary manuscript and gave him the benefit of their valuable suggestions. He is indebted in a marked degree to Dr. E. J. Peck for many valuable suggestions, especially on the subjects of Prepositions and Relatives.