Dissertations on the English Language: An Essay on a Reformed Mode of Spelling (Paperback)

Dissertations on the English Language: An Essay on a Reformed Mode of Spelling By Noah Webster Cover Image

Dissertations on the English Language: An Essay on a Reformed Mode of Spelling (Paperback)

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Young gentlemen who have gone through a course of academical studies, and received the usual honors of a University, are apt to contract a singular stiffness in their conversation.

They read Lowth's Introduction, or some other grammatical treatise, believe what they read, without examining the grounds of the writer's opinion, and attempt to shape their language by his rules.

Thus they enter the world with such phrases as, a mean, averse from, if he have, he has gotten, and others which they deem correct; they pride themselves, for some time, in their superior learning and peculiarities; till further information, or the ridicule of the public, brings them to use the language of other people.

Writers and Grammarians have attempted for centuries to introduce a subjunctive mode into English, yet without effect; the language requires none, distinct from the indicative; and therefore a subjunctive form stands in books only as a singularity, and people in practice pay no regard to it.

The people are right, and a critical investigation of the subject, warrants me in saying, that common practice, even among the unlearned, is generally defensible on the principles of analogy, and the structure of the language, and that very few of the alterations recommended by Lowth and his followers, can be vindicated on any better principle than some Latin rule, or his own private opinion.


Product Details ISBN: 9781805472629
ISBN-10: 1805472623
Publisher: Academic Book United
Publication Date: February 15th, 2023
Pages: 142
Language: English