07 223


Studying currant English, p. 2 Levels of English usage 5


3 Standards for writing 17

4 The qualities of Good English 20
5 Writing a paper 34

6 Outlining 65


Manuscript form 85

8 Letters 92

9 Writing paragraphs 1O7
10 Kinds of paragraphs 121 11 Paragraphs In sequence 136 12 Revising paragraphs 148

13 Grammar of sentences 164 14 Basic sentence faults 178 15 Subordinate clauses 187 16 Infinitives, participles/ and gerunds 197 17 Sentence length 2O8
18 Sentence economy 216 19 Sentence variety and

emphasis 228 20 The meaning of words 245

words 255 22 Appropriate words 274 23 Effective words 285
21 Accurate


26 27 28 29

and verbs 301 Adjectives and adverbs 31 Verbs 328 Nouns 345 Pronouns 353 Idioms 373

30 Appropriate punctuation 38 31 Commas 388 32 Unnecessary commas 401 33 Semicolon 4O5 34 Colon 411 35 Dash 413 36 End stops 417 37 Quotation marks 42O 38 Parentheses/ brackets, and ellipsis 427 39 Hyphen 431 40 Apostrophe 435 41 Capital letters 437 42 Underlining for Italics 443 43 Numbers 446 44 Abbreviations 448 45 Spelling 458
46 Study habits 477 47 Reading 493 48 Using a dictionary 503 49 The reference paper 516

Copyright 1955, by

Scott, Fores man

and Company

Printed in the United States of


of Current English is designed to help students increase their skill in writing to meet the college expectations of educated readers. It describes our language
as it is actually used in American books and periodicals and shows why some kinds of expression are considered more effective than others. If a student's problems come from lack of knowledge, the information is here; if they are from faulty habits previously formed, there are suggestions for change with reasons for making the change; and if they come from uncertainty in choosing between words or forms contained
in the language, principles are given for choosing the appropriate ones.




The basis of Good English and the governing principles of appropriateness are discussed in the early sections. Section two, a description of the levels of English usage, and sections
four, on standards of Good English, are needed to the specific recommendations made in the later interpret Handbook sections, and students need to read them to under-



stand corrections made on their papers. "General English" is the type encouraged for most writing, but the Formal English

expected in some college writing is fully presented and an instructor can select the level that he wishes to emphasize.
Students should also become familiar at the beginning of a course with section five, "Writing a paper/* which will give them an answer to their inevitable question "How am I supposed to write a paper?"

The Handbook is arranged in sections that treat single, definite topics. Each section includes grammatical definitions
where needed rather than
in a separate list. Particular matters of usage are treated at the point where they are related to general principles that apply to them rather than in a separate

glossary of usage. Frequent tables summarize the terms


main points of a



especially full

index provides an


of finding both general

and particular matters, and

students should be encouraged to form a habit of using
revising their papers.



Themes can be marked


by the use of abbreviations

that are keyed to section numbers (a list is on the back end papers), or if an instructor prefers, by the section numbers

recommended because they carry directly the point being made, and if the student needs information on it he can easily refer to the section concerned. The exercises emphasize and develop certain points through
themselves. Abbreviations are

through practice in applying the principles given, to develop further understanding of ideas presented in the sections. (A key to the exercises is availspecific drill,

and through discussion

able to instructors.) Published sources that treat more fully many of the topics of the Handbook are listed in the General Bibliography (pages
xxii, xxiii)

and more

specific references are given at the









General bibliography



Studying current English
English as

a language 1.2 Language growth in college


2 Levels

of English General English
Informal English


5 7

2.2 2.3

Formal English

2.4 Vulgate English

13 15

3 Standards

for writing

18 19

Standard and Nonstandard English




a composition course

4 The

qualities of




Appropriateness to purpose and situation a Choice of level of usage 20, b Consistency in tone 21
Correctness 23, c Interest 23 to speaker or writer Appropriateness

4.2 Appropriateness to listener or reader

a Clearness




Exercises for



5 Writing a paper


34 Focusing on a subject a Subjects based on personal experience 36, b Subjects for investigation
37, c Limiting the subject 38,

d Subjects

for writing in class



39 Gathering material a Material from your background 39, b Material from reading 40, c Material from observation and discussion 41



and evaluating material


a Determining the central idea of a paper 42, b Selecting material specifically for your readers 43

44 Planning the paper a Grouping ideas together 45, b Beginning and ending 46, c Kinds of development 46
Writing the




a Getting

on a paper 48, b Writing without interruption 48, c Developing the material 49

Revising the



a Main points to consider in revision 50, b Checking the material 51, c Checking the organization 51, d Checking the wording 51, e Checking for accuracy 52
5.7 Making the final copy a Final proofreading 53,


b Making

corrections in the final

copy 53

Correcting the returned paper




6 Outlining


Making an


a Arranging ideas 67, b Getting a central idea 68, c Revising the outline 69 6.2 Types of outlines 70 a Scratch outline 71, b Topic outline 71, c Sentence outline 72 6.3 Outline form 74
a Numbering and indention 74, b Headings 75, c Punctuation and capitalization 76, d Dividing the material 76, e Making headings parallel in wording 78 6.4 The outline in relation to the paper 79

a Length of the outline 79, b Writing the paper from the outline 80



7 Manuscript form
General instructions a Handwritten papers 85, b Typed papers 86 7.2 Spacing


Division of



Corrections in the final
Titles of


86 87 87 88

a Framing a




Punctuation of the



d Reference

capitalization of the title 89, c to the title 90

. 7.1 92 letter General form 92 93.. b Vague description 131 129 Exercises 132 ix .6 Paragraph length a Paragraphs in published material 115..7 Endorsing the paper . b Topic sentences 124 125 10. b Length 116. and 101 8.4 Business letters ..3 Descriptive paragraphs a Focusing details 130.2 9. b Inside address and greeting d Close and signature 100 letter 101..1 Writing paragraphs Writing by paragraphs 107 107 108 109 110 113 115 of student paragraphs 9. Adequate a Narrative movement 125.8 Submitting manuscript for publication * 90 90 91 Exercises 91 8 Letters 8.1 122 . c Testing the length of your paragraphs 117 Exercises 118 121 . 98.3 Formal social correspondence 8. tenses 126.2 Narrative paragraphs .3 Working from an outline Developing ideas fully 9. c Centering a Headings spacing 100.4 Using both details and general statements 9. c Application forms 103 Exercises 105 9 9. c Addressing the a Stationery envelope 94 8.6 Numbering pages 7.5 Letters of application a Form of an application b Contents of the application letter 102.2 92. 94 b Social notes a The form of personal letters 8.5 Continuity of statements in a paragraph 9. c details d Direct action 128 10. Expository paragraphs . 95 96 98 99. 10 Kinds of paragraphs 10. b Consistent 127. b Spacing and general appearance Personal correspondence 95. a General qualities of expository paragraphs 123.7.

c 1 64 164 13. b An apology or a complaint 142.1 1 1 49 50 of the preceding one clear? 1 50 51 12. d The comple166 13.5 Endings to avoid a An apology 145.3 Is the relation between the thought of a paragraph and that 2. e The aspects of the you are going to discuss 141. d A subject reference to your experience with the subject 140.2 Word order a Typical word order 166.2 12. c Transition paragraphs 139 11. b Phrases 168.4 Exercises 147 148 .1 The object 165.1 1 Paragraphs in sequence 1 36 11.4 12. b The verb ment 166 165. b A qualifying remark 145.1 136 Continuity between paragraphs a Showing the relation with the preceding paragraph 137. b Showing the relation to the topic of the paper 138. b Tying the ending in with the beginning 144. d Unfinished ideas 146 11. c Too broad a generalization 142.3 Subordinate sentence elements a Single word modifiers 167.2 Good beginnings 139 a An important fact 139. b Inverted order 167 13. d A self-evident statement 143 Good endings 143 a Rounding out the idea 143. 12 Revising paragraphs 1 Does the paragraph develop a clear cut stage of the topic? Is the relation of the paragraph to the topic of the paper clear? 1 2. b A statement of your purpose or point of view 140.3 142 Beginnings to avoid a Beginning too far back 142.5 Is Is the paragraph fully developed? the relation between the statements of the paragraph clear? 151 1 Exercises 151 Sentences and words 1 3 Grammar of sentences Main sentence elements a The subject 164. c Giving suggestions for action 144. d Summarizing the main points in the paper 144 145 11. f Details likely to catch the reader's interest 141 11. c A definition that applies directly to your topic 140. c Minor details or afterthoughts 146. c Clauses 168 167 .

b Verbless sentences 172 173 13. b Making a fragment into a complete sentence 180.7 Sentences classified by purpose 175 Exercises 176 178 14 Basic sentence faults 14. b Compound sentences 174. b Clauses without c And which 188 15.5 Minor sentence types 171 a Subjectless sentences 171.3 for adverb clauses 189. b Infinitive phrases modithe whole statement 198. d Complement with to be 198 xi . c Modifiers of modifiers 171 a Typical modifiers 169. and that 188. c Complex sentences 175.1 a Who. 188 a Conjunctions 15. b Revising by using a semicolon 182.181 a Revising by making two sentences 182. participles/ Infinitive 197 197 phrases a fying Infinitive phrases as close modifiers 197. c Revising by using an appropriate connective 183 184 14. b As 189.13. d Compound-complex sentences 175 13. c Infinitive clauses 198.4 Subordinate clauses for exact statement 191 relative a Using exact connectives 192. c Rewriting a fragment 181 14.6 Grammatical classification of sentences a Simple sentences 173. c So 190 Noun clauses objects 191. c Inverted a Haphazard subordination 193. b Tandem subordination subordination 194 Exercises 195 and gerunds 16 16. b As 15.2 Adverb clauses relative words 188.2 Comma faults . c Reason is 190 because 191 a As subjects 190. which. b Showing ments 192 15. b Appositives 13.3 Fused sentences Exercises 184 1 1 5 Subordinate clauses Adjective clauses 87 187 15.1 178 Fragmentary sentences a Joining a fragment to another sentence 178.1 Infinitives.4 Subordinate elements as modifiers 169 170.5 Unsuccessful subordination importance of state- 193 193.

3 201 Gerund phrases a Subjects of gerund phrases 201.2 Sentence length in current writing 17.3 19.1 Varying sentence beginnings 19.5 series 232.4 Stringy sentences Exercises 214 18 Sentence economy 18. d Balanced sentences 234 a Elements in 19.16. b Useless repetition 221 Exercises 225 228 230 231 231 19 Sentence variety and emphasis 19.4 Using words and phrases instead of clauses 18.2 Participle phrases a Participle phrases modifying used "absolutely" 200 198 specific words 200. c Ambiguous reference 204 Exercises 1 1 205 208 208 7 Sentence length Sentences as units of meaning a Each sentence should contribute its share of meaning 209.4 Varying kinds of statements Parallelism 232 by connectives 233.4 Misrelated modifiers 202 a Inaccurate reference 203. statements 237.1 216 216 217 218 219 221 Using direct expressions Removing deadwood 18.3 Choppy (too short) sentences 17. relation of ideas in a sentence should be clear 209 7.3 Words to watch 18. Loose and periodic sentences 19. b Modifier without a reference word 203. c Emphasis by mechanical devices 238 b Emphasis by separating by repeating key words 238. b Parallelism clarified c Parallelism with correlative conjunctions 233.2 18. d Emphasis Exercises xii 239 .6 Sentence emphasis 234 235 a Emphasis by position in the sentence 236.2 Varying S-V-O order 19.1 b The 210 212 213 17. b Participle phrases 16.5 Avoiding careless repetition a Useful repetition 221. b The and of in gerund phrases 202 16.

20 The meaning 20.1 Effective words figures of speech 287.2 Denotation: the core of a word's meaning Connotation: the suggestion of words in context 20. b Legitimate slanting 263. b Synonyms for more accurate connotation 265. d Weak intensives 261 261 21.1 255 The right word 256 a Words of similar sound or spelling 256. b Appropriate 288 289 289 figures of speech 291 Exercises 292 xiii .3 Words and situation * 20. c Catchall expressions 260.2 Specific and general words a Use of general and specific words 25S. d Big Words in student writing 277 Informal words 22.4 Figures of speech a Consistent figures of speech 290.3 Fair words a Unfair slanting 261.1 of words 245 245 246 248 249 20.3 278 280 In- a Inappropriate use of Informal words 280.1 275 Formal words a Appropriate use of Formal words 275. b "Big Words" inappropriate Formal words 276.4 Increasing your vocabulary Exercises 251 21 Accurate words 21. c Words to watch 276.2 Technical words 22. b Appropriate use of formal words 2SO Exercises 281 23 23. d Sources of synonyms 266 Exercises 267 274 22 Appropriate words 22. b Inappropriate use of abstract words 259. b Words of opposite meanings 257 257 21.3 Old-fashioned words 23.2 Euphemisms 23. 285 286 b Frayed quotations 287 Trite expressions a Worn-out 23. c Unnecessary synonyms 266. c The responsible use of words 264 264 21.4 Synonyms a Synonyms for more accurate denotation 265.

Grammar and usage 24 Subjects and verbs 24. b Long and short forms of adverbs 313. e Words ending in -ics 306 307 24. . there are 308. well. almost 313.4 Use of comparatives and superlatives a Use of the comparative 320. d Verb after together with and similar phrases 304 304 24. c Good. as 323. that sort 314 314 25.2 Use of tenses 330 332 a Tense forms 332. d Verb and complement 308. d Position of adverbs 316. c Pronouns as compound subjects 303.3 Blind agreement a Plural nouns between subject and verb 307. f Type. b Irregular forms of comparison 319 320 25.5 Constructions in comparisons a Comparable terms 322. e Inverted order 308. b As e Completing comparisons 324 .2 Position of adjectives and adverbs a Typical position of adjectives 315. public 305. c Absolute use of the superlative 321.3 Comparison of adjectives and adverbs a Regular forms of comparison 319. e Only and similar adverbs 317. b Predicate adjectives 315. d This kind. b Collective nouns referring to the individuals 305. b Subjects joined by or. b One of those who 307. d Unique and similar words 321 25. series 309 Exercises 309 312 25 Adjectives and adverbs 25. badly as predicate adjectives 316.1 Principal parts 26. number. part.1 312 Forms of adjectives and adverbs a Adjectives and adverbs of identical form 312. b Use of the superlative for the comparative 320. bad.2 Verbs with collective nouns as subjects a Collective nouns referring to the group as a unit 305. Exercises 325 328 26 Verbs 26. d Data. nor 302.1 301 301 Verb wifh compound subject a Subjects joined by and 301. c Other 323. b Consistent use of tenses 333. c Measurements and figures 305. f Split infinitive 318 318 25. c Most. c There is. . c Sequence of tenses 333 xiv . 322 d Like 323.

-no. c Apos'* trophe with nouns in series and group words 347.10 Subjunctives a In conditions 340. whom 362. set 337 337 a Lay-Ue 337.4 Unidiomatic noun modifiers 350 350 - Exercises 351 28 Pronouns 28. anybody.5 Can and 334 shall 335. b 356.4 Subject and object pronouns a After prepositions 360. d Of phrases and forms 347. c Idioms with get 338 339 339 a Don't. shou/d wou/d a Shall and wtil in questions 335. c Should and may sit 336 26. you were 334. c Each 359 360 28. b Att. b Have 26.9 Active and passive verbs a Appropriate passives 340. somebody 358.3 Pronouns referring to Ideas and statements 360 28. it is 1 361.8 Do.1 Genitive case 345 345 of the genitive 345. got.3 A and an with nouns 27. b Words with foreign plurals 349. doesn't 339.4 Sha// w/7/. b 26. none 359. a Got. doesn't have got to 338. d He or she 357 a With 358 a Everyone. b Overuse of would 335 26. b Inappropriate passives 340 26.1 353 specific Pronouns referring to nouns 355 With two possible antecedents clearly stated antecedent 355. gotten Set-sit 337 got. b In that clauses 341 340 Exercises 341 27 Nouns 27. b Idioms with do 339 26. c Who. gotten 337.2 Plurals of nouns a Group words and compound nouns 348.3 Be 334 Ain't a You was.26.6 Laylie.2 Referring to indefinite pronouns flexive pronouns 363 XV . -ni. c Reference clear from context 357. don't. some. e Awkward use of genitive forms 347 348 27. -nae 350 27. a Uses b Apostrophe with genitives 345. b It's me. c Alumnus.7 Get. d Re28. b 334 26.

one 366. d Avoiding the use of pronouns 367 28. it's 364. b After dependent clauses and long phrases 390. d Irregardkss 378 29.1 Idiomatic prepositions 29.4 Idioms with infinitives b Can't help but 378. c In informal letters 399. f To separate figures and numbers 399. and titles from names 400. b In addresses 399. c Before a dependent clause or a phrase that follows the main clause 891 391 31. we 365.363 pronouns mine 363.5 31 . c But what and gerunds 378 Exercises 379 Conventions of writing 30 Appropriate 31 31.6 Use of personal pronouns a I. c Possessive of indefinite pronouns 364. b Its. c Consistent use of we.1 401 401 Commas between main xvi sentence elements . . c With adjectives in series 392 31 . you.3 Double negatives a Cant hardly. g To separate nouns in direct address degrees 400.4 and phrases joined by conjunctions 388 Commas Commas Commas Commas to set off nonrestrictive modifiers clauses 393.5 Possessive a My or of Exercises 367 373 373 376 377 scarcely 378. of which 364 365 28. 393 a Adjective 31. b In lists without conjunctions 392. optional .6 b Appositives 394.2 Idiomatic verbs 29. 29 Idioms 29. c Commas .1 punctuation 384 388 Commas Commas to separate clauses a Between main clauses 388.2 Commas in lists and series a In lists with conjunctions 391. 395 with interrupting and parenthetical elements for clearness in conventional places a In dates 399. e After weak exclamations 400. h With phrases introducing direct quotations 400 396 397 398 d With 32 Unnecessary commas 32.3 31 . d Whose. b One 366. couldn't 378.

1 34.2 32. 33 Semicolon 33.3 Dash before added phrase or summarizing expression Exercise for 31-35 35..4 Semicolon with conjunctive adverbs 33. 37 Quotation marks 37. 41 5 415 36 End 36. conjunction and clause 402 402 32. .3 Exclamation mark 419 .32. b Quotation within a quotation 422 xvii .1 Semicolon between main clauses without connectives 33. b After abbreviations 417.3 Commas between two elements joined by and Commas between modifier and keyword.2 Colon between clauses 34. t With an indirect question or request 418. d In figures 'with decimal fractions 418 36.2 Question mark 418 a A question within a sentence 418..3 Semicolon with coordinate conjunctions 33..4 Unnecessary colon . 412 413 35 Dash Dash to mark a sharp turn in thought 35.3 Colon in conventional places 34. b Semicolon between parts of unequal rank 409 406 407 407 408 409 Exercise 409 411 411 41 2 34 Colon Colon to introduce a series or an example 34. c In sums of money 417.4 Commas setting off restrictive modifiers 402 Exercises 403 405 ..1 420 Quotation marks to inclose conversation 420 a Direct and indirect discourse 421. .. . c Question mark to indicate doubtful statement 419 36.2 Dashes to set off parenthetical material 35.1 stops 417 417 Period a After declarative sentences 417. ...2 Semicolon to separate elements containing commas . 33.5 Unnecessary semicolon a Semicolon for colon or other marks 409. .1 413 414 414 .

d Standard compound nouns 432 432 39.3 For letters dropped in representing speech 40.3 37.1 in 431 431 compound words Hyphen a With some names for family relationships 431.3 With prefixes 433 39. b To inclose incidental remarks and asides 428.6 Hyphen for word division 434 434 Exercise 435 435 436 436 436 436 40 Apostrophe 40. c In compounds with self 431.2 In group modifiers 433 39...4 Quotation marks to set off words used in special senses .2 Brackets 38. brackets. b In parentheses 440.2 Quotation marks around quoted material 422 423 424 used a Short quotations 422.. d With other marks 429 figures or letters 429 38.4 Suspension hyphen 39. b In compound numbers 431. a A word used as a word 424. b Slang and colloquial expressions out of context 425 37.1 letters 437 of With proper names For the first 41 . . and 38.4 With genitive (possessive) case forms 41 Capital 41.3 a In quotations 439.3 Ellipsis 430 39 Hyphen 39.37. c After a colon 440 With principal words in titles of books and articles .2 word a sentence 437 439 41 . c Verse 423 Quotation marks around titles 37. c Around to enumerate points 428.5 Quotes with other marks 425 Exercise 426 ellipsis 38 Parentheses.1 427 427 Parentheses a To inclose details and examples that add to the clearness of the statement 427.1 In contractions 40.2 For plurals of letters and figures 40. b Long quotations 423.5 Unnecessary hyphen 39. 41.4 For names of specific academic courses xviii 440 440 .

41. d Learna Proofreading 461.7 With adjectives derived from proper nouns 41.4 Underlining to emphasize words or statements 444 444 444 445 43 Numbers Numbers 43. d Final -y 467. trade names 44.2 Underlining words and phrases 42. -ible.3 Units of measurement 44 448 449 450 450 451 44. -sede 468.1 Underlining for Underlining titles italics 443 as illustrations 42.6 In references to deity 41.1 written in 446 words written in figures at the beginning of sentences 446 447 448 Abbreviations 44. c Faulty pronun- 45 45. e -cede. b -ei.5 For titles of people and names of relatives 441 41.7 Periods with abbreviations 44. c Doubling the 464 final consonant 466.3 General principles of spelling a Final -e 465.and -te. g Words ending in -o 468.6 Capitals with abbreviations 44. 452 458 458 to visualize words 460.3 Numbers 43. -ceed. -ance.8 Ampersand 451 451 452 452 Exercises for 30-44 . ing new words 464 45.4 Words that sound alike 469 xix .9 / and O 442 442 443 443 42 42.1 Spelling Causes of misspelling a Carelessness 459. c Writing the word 463.8 For geographic areas and directions 41.466.2 Numbers 43. -ence 468.2 Names of places. b Failure ciation 460 461 45.3 Underlining foreign words 42.5 Scientific words. dates 44.2 Improving spelling b Spelling lists 462.1 Titles and names 44. h Words ending in -/ 469 45. f -able.4 Names of organizations 44.

e Revising the examination 491 Exercises 492 493 493 47 Reading 47. b Order of answers 490. d Ordinary reading 496. b Grades 485. c Preparing for objective questions 488.4 Outside reading 500 Exercises 501 48 Using a 48. b Special methods 481. Conditions of study . f Underlining 499 47. b Time 478. b Preparing for essay questions 488. c Attention 478 480 46. e Diagrams and charts 499.1 habits ' 477 .5 Separate words and combined forms 45. d Final preparation 489 46. e Close reading 497 497 47. b Read by sense groups 494. c Objective questions 490. d Essay questions 491.2 Adjustments required in study a General attitude 480.1 dictionary b Size 504. c Form of notes 484 a Materials 483.2 Types of reading a Browsing 495. b Reading by sections or paragraphs 498. c Retention of material 486. b Preparation for 485 46.6 Variant spellings . 470 471 Exercises 472 Study and reference 46 Study 46. b Sfcimming 496. d End of the term 486 46. c Read actively 495 495 47. d Vocabulary 498.5 487 Preparing for examinations a Practice questions 487.45. c Sentences 498. c Editing 503 503 504 Evaluating dictionaries a Date xx 503. .3 Lectures the lecture 483.6 Taking examinations 489 a Reading the questions 489.1 The activity of reading a Avoid vocalizing 494.3 Reading textbooks a Preliminary skimming 497. .477 a Physical conditions 477.4 Progress in a course a Increasing confidence 485. c Special devices 483 483 46. c Rapid reading 496. .

5 Areas of usage and special labels 48.4 Taking notes 49. b Dictionaries in special subjects Exercises 512 49 The reference paper 49.3 49. encyclopedias 525. f Other reference works 527 528 Preparing the working bibliography a Bibliography cards 528. b What to include on bibliography cards 528 49.6 Planning the paper a Examining and arranging the notes 534. 539 b Numbering and spacing of foot- a Where footnotes are needed 544.12 The completed paper 549 550 551 552 Exercises 553 558 XXI Index . b Limiting the subject 517.48.8 linguistic information Special dictionaries a Historical dictionaries 511. 534 534 49. b Making a preliminary outline 535 49.2 517.1 516 516 Choosing a topic field a Deciding on a of the topic 518 49.6 Synonyms and antonyms 48. b Periodical indexes 521.3 Definitions Spelling a Division of words 507. c General works and encyclopedias 525. b Optional spellings 507 48.7 Other 48.8 Footnotes first draft 537.7 Writing the paper 535 b Revising the paper 538 a Writing the 49. notes 545. c Footnote form 545 49.10 Alternative forms for footnotes 49.2 48.9 Abbreviations in footnotes 49.11 The final bibliography 49.4 Pronunciation 505 507 507 508 509 510 511 511 48. d Special . c Final definition 519 Sources of reference a The library card catalog 519.reference e Yearbooks and annual publications 527.5 Evaluating material 530 533 b Primary and secondary sources a Facts to consider in evaluating 533.

Holt. Boston. 1948. New York. especially of the sentence. the most important description of current English xxii . with historical background Curme. George O. C. New York. especially vocabularies of particular regions and occupations Bryant. 1935. Appleton-Century-Crofts. New York. A periodical. A very fall gram- modern English with much historical material Fowler. W. still a readable and often illuminating discus- mar of sion of particular points of usage Fries. Essentials of English Grammar. revised edition. An abridgment of Jespersen's four-volume Modern lish EngGrammar. to differences New A between levels of usage Government Printing Office Style Manned.. H. Columbia University Press.. founded in 1925. number of York. 1926. A Dictionary of Modern English Usage..General Bibliography books and magazines on current have been the most useful in gathering material for this English follo\ving authoritative The book. points of grammar and usage discussed with special attention 10). C. Boston. Modern English and Its Heritage. They are frequently referred to in specific sections. Margaret M. Macmillan. 1931.. Oxford University Press. Though based on British usage and now somewhat dated. 1953. Heath. usually by author's treated in name only. Heath. Otto. They will give further details on subjects the Handbook and reliable information on other topics of English usage. Discussion of current English. American English Grammar (NCTE Monograph No. Syntax. Government Printing Office. Referred to as GPO Style Manual Jespersen. American Speech. containing much direct observation of current American usage. 1933. Washington. and Parts of Speech and Accidence. 1940.

with evidence and rec- ommendations for teaching Roberts. Appleton-Century-Crofts. Language. York. PADS (Publications of the American Dialect Society).. Walcott. Jr. Knott. Springfield. 1938. Robert C. Gives the background rent usage A good brief systematic many points of cur- Skillin. 1936. II (1948). quently in these periodicals: College English. English grammar The Development of Modern English. Stuart. John S.. revised by Frederick of Cassidy.. Knopf. into Type. Merriam Company. New York. Ronald. New G.. with commentary and references to further sources Pooley. Language Learning. Marjorie. A Pronouncing Dictionary of American English. Understanding Grammar. xxiii . Gay. Words 1948. they apply. Prentice-Hall. New York. and Fred G. & C. and Robert M. Dictionaries matters of usage are found freArticles and notes on More specific The English Journal. Leonard study (1932) of debatable and divided usage L. 1954. 4th edition. New York. New York. Supplement I (1945) and Supplement A mass of material on American usage. and Thomas A. 1949. Quarterly Journal of Speech? Word Study. Mencken. Inside the ACD. Includes the data of the Sterling A. Paul. The authoritative treatment of punctuation. 1946. 1934 (2nd ed. publishers' style A detailed manual Summey. 16). Albert H. The most reliable guide to American pronunciation Marckwardt. New of York. New York. Teaching English Usage (NCTE Monograph No. with material bearing on sentences and traits of usage are cited in the various sections to which specialized works are listed in 48. G. George.. Robertson.Kenyon. 7). AppletonCentury-Crofts. Harper. H. American Punctuation. Using a dictionary. The American Language. Appleton-Century-Crofts. 1954). Facts About Current English Usage (NCTE Monograph No. 1944.. Discussion of a number of debatable expressions.

to possess. . Accordingly. on the other. language Is a means to an end. . it is an ethical as well as mechanical matter.. Jr. good English. and that end is specifically to communicate experience. our positions. Fries The language has a well-defined centre but no discernible circumference. just as always the desire of such a person. but is good English or may we change the term to better English? the aim and goal of every better thinking is intelligent speaker of the language. Whyte. that is good language. It takes a great deal of experience to become natural. on the one hand. . Kennedy Language is not something we can disembody. is most completely adapted grasp. and our relations with those about us. . and. inextricably bound up in ourselves. most fully realizes one's own impressions. to to the purposes of any particular communication* C. standard English is an ever-changing. Oxford English Dictionary circle of the English . never-fully-realized is ideal toward which the entire English speaking race steadily striving. Arthur G. C. Willa Gather . William S. which.

literpeople in carrying on the in general. Sounds English has between forty and fifty sounds. ature. some people indication of the sound. counting everything local words to rarely used words and scientific terms. over the radio. science. and language that we hear in conversation. Each twenty of them vowel sounds with slight variations in actual speech. that we speak and magazines. the language that we read in newspapers. The pronunciation of words varies in which English is considerably among the different regions as Englishused. about and the rest consonants. the usage years that English of millions of people has developed the vast and varied language we speak and write today.1 of English as a language language consists of a system a collection of words. the English that is used by educated tell we affairs of business. some changes in word forms. In the hundreds of some has been a separate language. This called Good English. government the language of public affairs 1 . patterns into which it may or may not also have a system of writing and printing to record the spoken language on paper. of probably well over two million words. so that we can easily identify some people men or as Southerners or Westerners. book is especially about what is usually feelings. for exsound is used have a full r and others a very slight ample. Many of these are used in several different senses one dictionary gives . and books. A the words fit to convey meaning. Words slang and from English has a vocabulary. ideas. knowledge. sounds. It is the language This is write as others of our experiences.Good English 1 Studying current English a book about the English language we use: the in public talks. desires.

compounds freely And English makes two or more words together by putting -ish. an order that We fortunately we pick up unconsciously and rarely make a mistake in. A college size has about 130. re-. -ship. when she bought the blouse). and so on ( developed mostly by printers ) chiefly serve to remind us of the language we speak and hear. English uses very few changes in word forms: only a few endings. mega-. -er and -est for comparing adverbs and adjectives. sing sang. interpret the meaning of these familiar patterns very largely from the order in which the words stand. which like other languages first developed in speech. -ly.000 basic words. There are many elements that can be used to make new words: prefixes (in-. not including derivatives made by adding syllables like -ed. the -s. forty different super-). like the -s or -es of nouns (boys. a dozen or so punctuation marks. -ing of verbs. With this linguistic material. (bookcase. streamlined). -ed. The conventions of spelling. a clear picture) and by clauses centered on verbs (he runs the -forty -yard dash-. suffixes (-er. -teria). churches) . Word forms Compared with Latin or German or Russian. and devices like capitals and italics. Constructions English has two basic ways of combining words into groups: by phrases centered on nouns (in the morning. like man men.I Studying current English meanings for the word check.000 entries. and a college student dictionary probably uses or recognizes over 50. Out of these simple word groups we build sentences of varying length and complexity. Writing practices English. capitalization. This small number of word forms makes it possible for a youngster to master English in a shorter time than he could learn a highly inflected language. and a few internal changes. punctuation. is represented in writing and printing by the twenty-six letters of the alphabet. By the various methods of printing and writing we can communicate . we communicate with each other in carrying on our personal and public affairs. Describing these typical constructions and the exceptions to them is the principal job of English grammar.

seemingly of our "selves. as well as about what it says. we are often forced to choose between them and so occasionally need to be able to think and talk about the language. but it is now tunately. A geologist sees more in driving through a cut in a hilltop. he probably would not be. What we are less aware of is that a great deal of our "thinkof sense impresing. We "see" more and we understand more when we have words for what we see.1 with people at a distance and can even leave for later generations a record of what we have thought and felt and done. in part because their language is has played basketball. Our language is such an intimate part of our lives." probably all of it that is not in images is done by the use of words. A professional student of language. where several kinds of English are in use at the same time. unforstyle. I . language be- comes to a certain extent a means of seeing. a linguist. or at least has followed it closely specially developed in these fields. In a small com- munity where everyone talked alike. But in a society like ours. becoming easier to answer questions of usage calmly on the basis of evidence gathered by students of current English. we need to much prejudice in the field of language. ( Should say or write who or whom here? Is insincere a better word than phony in this sentence? What is the possessive of Jones?) We not only need answers to such questions of usage and have reasons for our choices. and an architect or a carpenter sees more in a building than most of us." that systematically studying it seems artificial and strange. sees more in a game than someone who has seen only a few games. and sometimes we do not understand at all something that our experience in words has not prepared us for. There is. And since we store up so sions. But in a composition course we are interested in cultivating habits and in choosing what is best for our We do not need all the facts or all the particular purposes. can study all sorts of English without worrying much about which are the most useful. Ideally a person should not be conscious of his language. much of what we learn in the form of words.1. Anyone who and talked about it. certainly not as he is using it. that is.

need enough of amateur linguists. It is only as we consider the nature and purpose of the whole that we can understand and judge the fitness of the small. methods of the professional though we should not linguistics us and to summarize need to become intelligent contradict his basic principles. 1 . what people actually say and write.1 Studying current English linguist. observing And back of these language matters is the discourse or composition. cut. the whole that says something to someone. from the vocabulary of campus life (cram. since social contacts are widening. and there is a need (too often slighted) for good speech in recitation. the terms of of the language used. matters of style. pledge. . espe- There is more opportunity for good cially of difficult material. conversation. students of English. at least temporarily. as well as there papers prepared outside of class. particular facts third. . grammar. double E. ing it that has a bear- first. at least in a composition course. to observe fairly accurately the language around We We and discuss the part of on our own problems. as is skill in reading. papers of more personal or more general appeal. . Skill in listening to recitations and lectures is of increasing importance.2 Language growth in college A student comes to college with his language habits pretty well formed. rushee ) to words used in his various coursesmost courses add several hundred words to his vocabulary. second. Most courses involve impromptu writing in quizzes and examinations. . But college is a time of great language growth. interests in discussing English in this book are these: the facts of usage. for evaluating and selecting among the possible ways of saying something the way that is best for Our communicating what we wish to say in a particular situation. This is most obvious in vocabulary. for discussing (and as a help in and remembering) the facts of usage and style. but is special call for writing. whose material and purpose controls the language used. but there are letters to write and. Much of this writing is academic and consequently more or less formal.

and certainly "Better expression. his influence. . It to a time to get rid of inhibitions about language and use of one's language resources.narrow way. attention to his language will help. Meeting the expectations of the college community will prepare for meeting the expectations of people in jobs and public affairs after college. marginal utility. a return to the youthful attitude toward lan- guage would help in this growth: experimenting. In the long run. the result (or by-product) of a more general development 2 Levels of English Usage all know that there are a good many differences within the written language. . It is possible to look on language growth in college in a as a tool for getting along. and Ms knowledge. But college is also a time for laying the foundation for the lifelong development of effective language. like spelling or organization. ment. Words and constructions vary a good deal in what we read. No one ever masters his language completely and even professional writers continue to experiment and to grow. but no very wide reaching growth is possible unless a student really wishes to extend his control of English and takes the lead in his own development If he wants to extend his contacts. tragias well as seriously discussing ) comedy. even tak- We . Teachers may force attention to some of the more specific aspects of writing. developing a feeling for language and taking an interest in it is make full as an activity will do more to promote Good English than will memorizing facts and rules. better grades" is a true saying. just as there are in the spoken. playing with new words (schizophrenia. thermodynamics the new ideas they represent. In addition to the direct attention to language skills. But this growth is always an individual matter. watching the language of others and imitating in both speaking and writing what seems especially effective and in line with one's own mind and temperathe big .

Although the names used in describing these differences vary somewhat. They are summarized in the table on pp. We would not ordinarily say or write I have none or were it not for. and I have not any are chiefly written forms. if it was not for. If it were not for. and we use a little different language in writing to different people and in writing papers for different purposes. The other expressions are common in speech but are rarely written. 8-9. Vulgate and some varieties that occur within them. These examples of differences in constructions and words illustrate the range of expressions meaning nearly the same thing and show the need for approaching English on the basis of selecting among the differences that exist the expressions that will best suit a particular occasion. Consider these expressions: were if it it not for wan't for if it were not for if it was not for if it wasn't for I have none I got any I hain't got have not any I haven't anyI haven't got any any I ain't got none I ain't All these expressions are found within the English language. is not a fixed compartment of the language. We would be most likely to say or write I haven't any and if it wasrit for. one shades off into another. the last four in speech or light writing.2 Levels of English usage ing no wider range than from newspapers to textbooks. though it may be dose to Stilted or closer to General. But a particular piece of writing will ordinarily show pretty clear traits of one level: it will be clearly Formal. all realistic descriptions of current English speak of different levels of usage. or a A variety within a level. In this book we speak of four main levels Formal. Informal. but they would be used under different circumstances. level. Imitation and false could go first anywhere. a passage in General English may use some . In the series of words simulated-spurious-fraudulent- counterfeit-imitation-false-sham-bogus-pseudo-phony the four would be found in rather formal writing. General.

" The Reporter. or to the Europeans that the Kikuyu wouldn't behave like Europeans. and books. and the whole last sentence. under the strict supervision of the government. what the -first settlers didn't see. 1953. not sold. are in general use. It is all around us in newspapers. In other it never occurred to the Kikuyu that the Europeans wouldn't behave like Kikuyu. not sold. the land to the British because certain vital religious ceremonies for the transfer of knd had not been observed. the constructions. 19 The words in this. as we are using the term.2. the Kikuyu honestly thought that they had rented. Leakey. As a rule the situation and the subject will call for one level of language. the sentences are about the typical length for modern writing. at the same time. 2. and they had legal documents to prove it. which was determined to prevent the knd grabbing that had gone on in other parts of Africa. They bought it from the Kikuyu and other Africans. This paragraph from a magazine discussion of the causes of disturbances between Europeans and natives in Africa is in General English: first settlers were also under the impression (still current) that Africans including the Kikuyu. 1 General English. the settlers honestly believed that the Kikuyu were selling their land. p. the Mau Mau Fires. fair prices were paid for the land. rented. What the first settlers didn't see was the individual These all absentee landlords of all this rich land which seemed so empty. ranging from 9 to 37 words with an average of 24. are dose to the spoken language: still current. The newcomers wanted knd for themselves and their families. At the same time. "The Fuel That Feeds words. the hardest to describe. magazines. as we shall see in sections 3 and 4. But according to Dr. the land grabbing. June 23. because it is the broad perhaps range of the language that does its work without attracting General English is special attention. never own knd individually but always as a group a generalization to which the Kikuyu happen to be a notable exception. Oden and Olivia Meeker. except for the necessary Kikuyu and perhaps absentee landlords. though more compact than those of typical speech. Generally speaking.1 words usually found in Formal English and another might be conspicuously Informal but still not Vulgate. .

much poetry.Levels of English usage Principal levels Typical varieties and uses Formal English (Limited use) Speaking and writing for somerestricted groups in formal Stilted (upper extreme) Pretentious and unnecessarily heavy writing. some fiction Addresses and lectures to special audiences General English (Unlimited use) Ckxaversation of educated people Talks to general audiences Speaking and writing of educated people in their private or public Magazine articles and books on subjects of general interest Most Both spoken and written fiction and other literature for general circulation Most news stories. writ- situations reference disserta- More often written than spoken Scientiflc and technical writing: books and articles dealing with special subjects for professional groups. features. advertising . technical reports Some writing editorials and business Personal Literature of some- what limited circulation: essays and criticism. col- umns Business letters. gobbledygook what Impersonal ing: Academic works.

diaries. sometimes including shoptalk or slang light Familiar Talk and letters be- Both spoken and written tween isms intimates. thoughtless speech. appropriate for public affairs or use of educated not plays and stories. often conspicuously local Slovenly people Chiefly spoken (lower extreme) Im- poverished. . and Informal levels make up what is generally known as Standard English and the Vulgate level is equivalent to Nonstandard. General. This called divided usage. or serious. Often two or more forms exist in the language in reputable use in the is same level (catalog catalogue). The levels are not to be thought of as sharply defined and mutually exclusive but as shading into each other. often including much obscenity and profanity The Formal. likely to include local- Vulgate English (Limited use) Conversation of their many people of this in work and personal representations relations and in- in Not much touched by school struction. some radio programs and comic strips.Levels of English usage Principal levels Typical varieties and uses Informal English (Limited use) Speaking and writing of educated people in informal situations Casual conversation Writing close to popular speech. personal writing.

staring at the upper left-hand corner of his cell. nevertheless. They form an easy guide to other near-by groups. from a systematic introduction to the study of stars. 20 And the emotional effects of literature can also be achieved by General English. Since they are in view for every hour of every night they are among the easiest to find and identify. This city. 23 Most of the English that we hear and read and that we speak and write falls within the range of General English. and they might come for him any time now. and for interviews with the General. But. as in this passage from a short story in which the language is simply a compressed form of what we might tion"): all use (except perhaps "the world leaps into propor- The man who expected to be shot lay with his eyes open. clearly with his glasses on. They are the keystones of constellation study the circumpolar stars. will sink from view in the west and be out of sight for some time during the night. it and beating near-sighted people. Fortunately. You put your glasses on the first thing in the morning and the world leaps into proportion. and all others in the same latitude. something is wrong with the world-Stephen Vincent Ben&. in his present life he had very few occasions demanding clear vision. p. but some of them. 10 . and when they brought the food in. In Minneapolis all the stars at view on any night still seem to move around the pole star. but he only put on his glasses for special occasions now-the first thing in the morning. are exactly half-way between the equator and the poles. Above the northern horizon there are certain stars that continually swing around the north celestial pole and never disappear. that you were to leave the north pole and go as far south as Minneapolis.2 Levels of English usage Another paragraph. then coining back to liking it again. as it worries all before. the accident to his glasses worried him. There was a yellow stain in the cell corner near the ceiling. though. Bernhard and others. shows that specialized information can be presented in General English: Suppose. He was fairly well over his last beating. Hubert J. p. rising out of the east and climbing above the southern horizon. "The Blood of the Martyrs/' Thirteen O'clock. if it does not do so. The lenses of the glasses had been cracked in a some months disliked it. therefore. New Handbook of the Heavens. he had liked it at first. now he was it He could see more strained his eyes to wear them too long. The pole star. hangs half-way down the sky instead of at the zenith where it was seen from the north geographical pole.

These words are often called coland may be so labeled in dictionaries." The New Yorfc Times We The Informal vocabulary loquial. or phrases conspicuoverused (way to be). we are not using "colloquial" as a prinspeech include these words and exprescipal label in this book but sions in Informal English. or old words in extended meanings (real Mexican overdrive). ple. is celebrating well thank you. peeve. But since in current difference that there once was between style there is not the and writing. and journalists or 11 .2 Informal English Close to and overlapping General English is the level of Informal English. Informal English is likely to make some.2 These examples and the great bulk of respected writingshow that General English is the principal and most useful its effectiveness and unpart of the language. oomph). rather Typically in writing it shows various traits of speech: and words that short sentences. especially in discussions of what people do and in the work of writers who assume some intimacy with their readers. dead pan. and the proper goal position course. lambaste. contractions. includes words like cop. spoken phrases. real George. whodunit. Because of limited usefulness.-Harvey Breit. 2. it is the chief goal of most speakers and of study and practice in a comwriters. some fashionable Or sporty adults. p. 1954. 8 to know. Its base is the everyday language of educated people in their personal affairs. but. These are newly made words (whoopee. It's proof. give you doing very Out of Books. but young peocool. we would like you twenty-fifth anniversary.2. though not very extensive. are more characteristic of speech than of writing: The its Junior Literary Guild. "In and Book Review. use of slang words. at least that they not commonly found in Formal writing. June 20. There are almost always more ously conventional ways of saying the same thing. tidied up somewhat^ it appears in print. This means that are they suggest speech rather than writing.

slieepspecial herder. graveyard shift. So we have a continual flow of usually short-lived words for money. hassle. fried cake. Familiar English region hogback. in fact most words marked "slang" in dictionaries (goo. the Germans in Pennsylvania. belting (a song). seen especially in for common things (coal oil for kerosene-. fade-in. Though they urally appear in accounts of the occupation itself. Most people do not distinguish very carefully between slang and other sorts of Informal English. bayou). from bulldozing and baseball to medicine and atomic physics. especially words used in conversation rather than specifically technical or scientific terms. of a stream. tools. cruller9 fatcake for doughnut:. less or sloppy to the extent of being discourteous. Some of them prove useful and become part of the Genera] vocabulary. A type of Informal English of still more limited use is Familiar English. most nat- some slip outside to be used metaphorically in Informal English. Local 12 . fattening for hogs) or features of the landscape peculiar to or prominent in the branch (coulee. when we can take for granted sympathetic attention and a considerable amount of common expecan be as free and easy as we like. It is what we say or write to people with whom we are intimate. or fade-out. like We diaries. cheating. huddle. words names is likely to show a good many localisms. products. and of writing for ourselves. This is characteristic of lively letters. characteristic of a particular region. medico] are already in Informal usage before they are recorded. being drunk. for expressing approval and disapproval. being clever. as the Dutch in New York. for relations be- tween the sexes. though not carerience. words current within an occupation or sport. close-up. Another type of word sometimes found in Informal English is shoptalk. and the Spanish in the Southwest. operations.2 Levels of English usage others freshening their word stock want to be a little different. They are the common names for materials. like bug. slush fund. These words often reflect the language of the early settlers. sack or poke for bag) and in names in local occupations (mule skinner.

capitalizing on the experiences which the writer and reader have in common. (sometimes called "emotive") used in elevated literature and the expression of abstract ideas. in fiction. and other and to vigorous and perhaps breezy discussions of the various things people do. appropriate to descriptions of sports. somewhat further from Informal or Vulgate because is it is used chiefly in writing. The grammatical constructions tend to be fuller. fraternity life.2.3 Formal English The Formal level of usage is principally a development from General English. Formal English uses the specialized vocabulary of the subject matter being dis- cussed. It usually occurs in dis- more edited. Informal English is of somewhat limited usefulness and some people are definitely prejudiced against it. 13 . serious. technical. scientific. both humorous and 2. cussions of specialized topics for people who know something about those topics and in reading addressed to rather limited audiences. and ordinarily the sentences are somewhat longer and more complex than in General English." Necessarily.3 words of course occur freely in the conversation of the people of a region. but not many from Informal or Familof iar English. The contrast may be seen in a dictionary defini- The vocabulary tion of the Informal word arty in Formal terms: "ostentatious in display of artistic intent. It is more influenced by reading and follows more closely the conventions built up by editors in the past. But they come most naturally in Familiar English. of Formal English naturally includes most the General words. in newspapers. but it is often social situations. and in descriptions of life that are close to the actual experience of a region. It more complex than General English. and (2) Personal or somewhat heightened writing writing. it also tends to use a good many abstract words and words that suggest literary or eloquent expression. There are two principal kinds of Formal English: (1) Imand scholarly personal as in academic.

ravines and narrow defiles that could not be shown by equally spaced contour lines were printed in brown hachures. Lloyd A.2 little Levels of English usage An example more 10. the Dufour atlas proved to be a model of accuracy and artistic delineation. pubfrom being a pioneering effort that would require immediate revision. Small slopes and passes. was finished and the last of the 25 sheets The land fell to Soon after. Horizontal surveys were shown in bronze and water was indicated by shades of blue. the general effect being a pictorial representation by oblique lighting. not only for future map makers of Switzerland. showing the single-minded attention to the subject. Under his personal supervision the work was begun in 1830 and the first sheet was published in 1842. a majestic construction so colossal a massacre in General English would be such a colossal massacre. and on the sheets of Switzerland's new survey references were made to the corresponding sections and subsections of "the original Dufour map. The lettering and bench marks (figures denoting heights). and the whole last sentence ciety. but for cartographers at large. Brown. the map appeared in atlas form. p. the compact and orderly statement of ideas. Black hachures were used to indicate rocky prominences and came from the press. The sheets of the atlas were used as a basis for later surveys on different scales. incredibly devastating. The Story of Maps. boundaries and forests were printed in black. The 14 .000. prominent buildings. Some of the words are Formal despite. on a scale of 1:100. A more Personal type of Formal English is shown in this conclusion of a book on ethics. requiring a attentive reading than the first paragraph on page this account of the mapping of Switzerland. Reprinted by permission of Little. 273. purposivenessand the phrases full and rather absignifi- stract: extraordinary capacity for survival. cance. carry an unmistakable Personal emphasis. Brown & Company. Far precipes. lished at Berne. The art work and conventional signs on the new map were almost identical with those on the Dufour originals. But some of these phrases and others like the good solove adventure. is of Impersonal Formal English. Thirty-four years later the entire survey. roads. and the use of technical terms (but no more than are needed) that characterizes good technical writing: heroic task of making a topographic survey and map of Switzerthe lot of General Guillaume Henri Ehifour (1787-1875).

and it is quite possible that the human will to survival will forever revolt against so colossal a massacre as the next World War would bring. There may be an incredibly devastating war or series of wars.4 Vulgate English At the opposite side of General English from Formal is Vulgate English. But the hope of the will live on Educated people need And they should not write Formally of matters that do not call for such a style. Those who love adventure and desire a better world are not sick before the prospect that looms ahead. p.4 world may be prevented by the hellish fury of but mankind has exhibited an extraordinary capacity for survival.2. The coming stroying force so simple in its administration. language that does not show much influence of school instruction or much contact with the language of public affairs. good society even as then. 15 ." wrote W. the struggle is continuing between the forces of chaos and the forces which may eventually produce a far better civilization. Augustine. so horrible in its effects. Despite tragedy and confusion. Reprinted by permission of Henry Holt and Company. 2. Formal English has a real if limited use. that all art. its vocabulary (especially the rougher words from snot up and down). There may be a new Dark Age such as followed the death of St. college students should be able to write rather Formal English when the occasion requires it They should be able to do so with sufficient confidence to avoid a Stilted and style. Melvin Rader. to be able to read Formal English. all gallantry. and battles will be massacres which the feeling of mankind will be unable to endure. and its constructions (such as the double negative "He didn't know nothing about it") are actually older than what is now considered more acceptable by educated people. will be at an end. -$ in all persons of the verb). "the hope of the great community" gives a majestic significance and purposiveness to our age. Winwood Reade in 1872. It is not a falling off from General English but a level of the language in its own right Often its word forms (ain't. "It is not probable that war will ever absolutely cease. "until science discovers some deof a better scientific warfare. Inc." As a result of scientific and technological developments. 372. such a peak of destructiveness has now been reached. they may eventually storm and occupy the citadels of power. you was. If they keep bright the arrows of desire. Ethics and Society. In every country and in the interior of every mind.

where many pupils are in daily contact with Vulgate speech. it should not be used in writing except for some very good reason. it may form a serious problem. It is its grammar is "bad. not that objection to this level of speech should be clear. Becoming aware of the levels of usage is the beginning of a realistic understanding of our language." but that Vulgate words and constructions are not appropriate to the readers for whom The college students and college graduates write or to the subthey are handling. into many branches of Informal Students business. When an expression in this book is marked Vulgate. Those who go into manual labor and the less well paid and less socially elevated use of Vulgate English. which. Schools carry on their work in the language of the upper Formal or General English. who go into the professions. as well as other careless mistakes. But its use must be judged by fitness. though the speech of many college students is cruder than their social standing would warrant and is consequently a poor background for their writing. this speech restricted because of increased schooling. and into most white-collar jobs continue to use more or less consistently the standard language. and it can be used to give a note of realism to portraits of real people. Vulgate is necessary in writing the conversation of many characters in stories. instruction in Standard English already. And since a good many questions in our own usage depend on the appropriate16 . Naturally jobs generally continue the and gradually becoming necessarily.2 Levels of English usage social classes. with the level. Complex ideas and dignified subjects cannot be discussed adequately in the relatively limited jects vocabulary of Vulgate English. At the college level it is seldom a problem. In the lower schools. though. make up what is called Standard English. and the greater number of contacts among people of different social position. the increasing numis ber of white-collar jobs. Some Vulgate expressions may show up in rapid but since most college freshmen have had years of writing. revision of a paper should remove the intrusive Vulgate signs.

and constructions for Standard English has been made over the years and now is used by writers and expected by readers as the language of business. it not a gathering of specific practices that you must always 17 . General and Informal English. the term Standard English refers to Formal. forms. and literature of public affairs in general.1 Standard and Nonstandard English As it is generally used. A more reasonable standard in language is effectiveness. education. close distinctions in the use of shall and wiU9 limitations of the meaning of words like alternative and alibi. 3. like fashions in dress and manners.1 ness of the language. you need some principles of choice among them. science.3. Using English as it has become established through successful use will best help you communicate what you need or wish to say. make a sort of snobbishness to give a little distinction to those who follow them. For example. The important is is fact to remember is that Standard English a range and offers considerable opportunity for choice. they can in large part be answered by considering the level of the particular expression that raises the question. These principles or standards of choice are set by people with a special concern for the language and by others who have their use of the language a guide Some standards in usage are pretty arbitrary and they may even be. little more than sufficient prestige to for others. Nonstandard refers to the Vulgate level. The selection of words. 3 Standards for writing Since there are so many varieties of English. serve no particular purposes in actual speech and writing.

In these matters of divided usage you will choose the word or form that is consistent with the general characteristics of your writare pretty ing. Furthermore they enforce these selections by hiring copy editors and proofreaders who see that they are followed. and so do not represent the usage of the writers themselves but that of the editors. . select the practices that they will follow in what they print. and in these you will naturally aim so to follow the Standard practice. Standards for writing You will avoid Vulgate words and expressions. are now allowing writers more especially range. Newspapers ordinarily represent a simplified usage a min- imum of capitals. publishers. few and on among many equally reputable forms of usage. 3. book publishers. But publishers. Books instructing people how to write usually describe the practices of publishers. produce sentences of a wide variety of patterns. direct con- structions. who usually set great store by consistency and want all the articles in a magazine or a list of books to follow the same practices. This is a proper basis for a standard in writing. seems to be followed by the women's lishers of scholarly The most Formal usage magazines and the pub- and professional material.O follow. select many or among numerous optional spellings. but within the scope of Standard English you may draw upon a wide range of vocabulary. open punctuation. But the majority of matters definitely determined by accepted usage. but we should remember that it is not a single standard but again a range offered by 18 various publishers.2 Editorial standards Because of the range within Standard English. use capital letters. relatively short sentences. use a subjunctive or not in several constructions. no italics. They often print stylebooks as guides for the preparation of copy according to the usage they prefer and admit that sometimes the choice in matters on which usage is divided is quite arbitrary. punctuate heavily or with rather few marks. and often try only to secure consistency in a given book or article.

3 3. Unless the nature of an assignment specifically calk for Formal style. Its purpose is not to develop professional writers. and certainly not people who need as strict a command of usage as secretaries. Ordinarily the tone. The level of usage expected in themes will generally be defined by the instructor. which can often set an example for the usage expected. The standards of written usage in a composition course are essentially the standards that would similar published material outside. Your motive for meeting these expected standards is double a practical and personal. In general the aim is to help students develop thenlanguage ability so that they can use Standard English confidently and effectively. and even in a composition course you must begin to take the responsibility for the language you use. The practical motive is to make good impression on your reader and to communicate what you wish to say. but you will ordinarily make no permanent or genuine imin your use of language unless you really want to. basically for individual development of students. In the long run you set your own standard. as in a reference paper. as well as die method of work and the type of content.3 Standards in a composition course In a composition course the matter of standards is more complicated. provement 19 . at moving him toward a reasonable command of editorial stand- be expected in ards found in specific types of writing. Outside pressures of teachers or critics may have some brief effect.3. or proofreaders. the usual goal in a composition course is General English. editors. The personal motive is really a kind of pride. because it is the most widely useful sort of English. in line with the practices and purposes of the course. will be illustrated by readings. in part because students are still in the process of mastering the language. to make as good use of your language skill as you can and perhaps to improve over your previous expression. It aims at progressive extension of a student's active vocabulary and expressive sentences appropriate to himself. A composition course is a practice course.

and scholarly workers) is more likely to be Formal. Good English is fundamentally a matter of appropriateness. scientific by and lawyers.4 The qualities of English is Good English something more than writing "complete" making verbs agree with their subjects. Similarly. 4. 4. Writing for people in the professions (teachers. It is a selection from the broad range of Good sentences. The tone of the language depends chiefly on the level of usage." It is. using certain verb forms. Obviously you need to know the styles that are typical of the sort of writing that you are to do. whether it is assigned or voluntary. Standard English that will convey your facts or ideas to the readers you wish to reach. Slang may fit in a letter or in a popular a practiced newspaper ordinarily out of place in discussing a serious or elevated subject Most talks to most audiences would be column. answered by considering the approof words and expressions to the immediate priateness purpose. as would most fiction. to the expected listeners or readers. Good English is language that is effective and appropriate for its specific purpose. a matter of selection and judgment more than of rules.1 Appropriateness to purpose tion and situation In conversa- we automatically adjust our language as well as our topics to the situation in which we find ourselves. and to the speaker Specific questions are or writer himself. It is not so much a question of "right or wrong" as of "more or less effective. therefore. You shouldn't try to 20 . it is in General English. It requires first some knowledge of the language as it is actually used and then a feeling for what is called for on the particular occasion. la Choice of level of usage Good judgment in choice of the appropriate level of usage is one of the signs of writer. writing takes on a tone. and pronouns match their antecedents. doctors.

4. But once students understand the principle of appropriateness. Amateur writers are often not content to be themselves but assume a be wanted to level that is really foreign to them. and follow that as a general suggestion unless you have good reason for some other usage. Teachers and students will not always agree in their judgments of particular passages. they will learn to keep a Formal style for complex and elevated subjects and to write of ordinary mathaps than if it errors could ters in General or Informal English. but inflated and pompous language must be completely rewritten to be effective. worse perhad contained actual Vulgate expressions. If you are faced with the task of writing something unfamiliar to you. or. too Formal student who appropriate to them or to their subjects. in terms of our levels of usage. conspicuous shifts from one level to 21 . This means that part of the preparation for a new sort of writing is attentive reading of to appropriatea resolve to treat most subjects simply. or try to write a technical report or reference paper without having seen one. A to say that our courts are organized to give people speedy and uniform action wrote: The offices of justice are so arranged as to give the citizens the best of service in respect to undelayed action ing to the wants of the populace. and uniforrnity of offices pertain- He may seriously have believed that this kind of writing was better than making a simple statement He might even object to being told that his sentence was bad English.4. Such be quite easily corrected. Although the lines between the levels of usage cannot be drawn precisely. to treat them in General Eng- some good examples of that writing. though they will in a surprising number of them. you should try to find what is typically done.1 b write for a magazine that you have never read. The chief consequence of paying attention is ness to situation lish.1b Consistency in tone The tone of a piece of writing should be consistent unless the writer has some special reason for changing.

you will adjust both your more or less to subject matter and your manner of expression his expectations. writing in somewhat different ways to different persons. You already do this automatically in your letters. kept Formal. to write for the English class of which you are a member. Remember that you are not writing for everyone (or for the mythical "general reader"). 22 . at the end of this: . But typically. you have to be more than merely understandable. fundamental approConsistency is not so important as the to the situation. the rain came down in buckets.2 Appropriateness to listener or reader If you are trying to reach a particular type of reader. and good writing avoids monotony. more commonly. the the vigor and naturalness with expressions are unified by which they are brought together. General writand Formal writing should be ing should be kept General. Certainly in many situations you pay some attention to the language you believe is expected of you. like the drop. to really get your points across. Trying to write without knowing is who will read your words one reason why themes are sometimes difficult to write and why it is better for you to try to visualize some particular audience. but for a specific audience. That is material that will interest and inform them. For practice work. 4. a firm General style is best. priateness Some vigorous styles show a wide range of language. To reach him. you have to meet him pretty much on his own ground.4 The qualities of Good English another should ordinarily be avoided. as you do to the dress and conduct you believe are expected in meeting people you respect. needles* In the distant pines the rising wind whined as it played among the And when the storm broke. or. because anyone can be reached through it will appeal to a considerable part of the group. to direct your paper to some magazine. This will help you select discouraging. or at least that and it will you judge what words and what kinds of sentences are help appropriate.

misspelling common words and their. confusion of forms like its and it's. They show that the writer just isn't bothering. for example. This means clear. and for the most part words that lie within the knowledge of the persons you are addressing. affect and (similiar for similar) are ordinarily the result of carelessness or thoughtlessness.2c Considering the listener or reader leads to language that clear. that he isn't doing as well as he easily could and should. If the subject requires words that may not be familiar to them. Spelling. or in extreme instances resort to formal definition. small slips show carelessness even discourtesy. correct. Experienced readers can take more elaborate sentences than those who read little or who read hurriedly. many interlineations.2c Interest There is so much unavoidable dullness in the world that a reader will appreciate some liveliness in writ23 . direct movement.2a Clearness Since your aim to convey some fact or opinion or fancy or feeling to a person or a group. especially in the writing or speech of those supposed to be A writer common should do his best in anything that he is submit- ting to another. appropriateness to readers means clear expression. exact words. People tend to judge us by superficial traits. but this is a fact that must be recognized. Certainly many people take delight in finding what are (or what they consider educated. 4.2b Correctness large part of a beginning writer's concern for his readers should be avoiding careless errors and anything A that might raise question or offend. bulks larger in most people's judgment of writing than it reasonably should. But any- one will be pleased with direct.4. 4. are) errors in language. is and interesting. Soiled manuscript. they're effect. Clarity also calls for careful sentence construction sen- tences not too long and usually with a natural. you can throw in a tactful explanation. is 4. in language as in other matters. straightforward sentences.

Good English. The sentences should not be formless or allowed to drag but should suggest an alert interest and be varied. . and it also suggests that 24 . 131. 204 will his language bear the stamp of the community in which lives: the more unique his nature. The words do not need to be out of the ordinary but just those that might be used in a reasonably active conversation. Mankind. momentary needs. and so squeezing all the life out of their writing. plenty of lively detail to demonstrate ideas fully and to keep up interest. constantly swinging backwards and an individual expresis. the speaker or writer actually dominates. until it sounds as though it was written by someone three times their age. laying a sure foundation for continued growth in is needed: Don't aim at your reader's worst. pp. Nation and Individual -from a Linguistic Point of View. One warning 4*3 Appropriateness to speaker or writer In the writerreader relationship. Otto Jespersen. all help. you will be taking the responsibility for your work. The more commonplace a person the he be the colouring of his language. compromising yourself and insulting him. . the more peculiarly his own will more This quotation points up the fact that your language in the long run represents your personality. The speech-usage of each one of us and forwards between the demands of sion of his is society. your judgment or sense of fitness finally controls. Reference to things people do and say. Some professional writers have set themselves the rule "Don't write anything you couldn't read yourself/' If you promise yourself that you will not turn in a paper that you couldn't read yourself with interest. in the expression as students hide behind a flat sort of language. Visualize him in his better moments and write for him as he is then. you make the choices. As writer. playing safe. Frequently ing. .4 The qualities of Good English well as in the material. doing composition of actual college grade and permanently improving your control of expression.

punctuation. Then you can apply this information in your own work according to your best judgment. by consulting people who have studied English as a language. To this responsibility successfully. becoming more flexible in their ideas and manners or becoming more positive and conventional.3 you are take finally responsible for the language you use. sentence structure? Do you rely too much on slang or trite words? When you talk or write to someone older than yourself or when you write a paper for a college course. for young people. or on otter occasions affect a more pretentious speech than is natural to you? It is also well to realize the direction in which you are moving as a person. An important step in the early stages of considering how to improve your language habits is to become aware of your own speech and your own writing to see what their good and what shortcomings they may have.4. do you choose the best part of your natural language or do you assume an entirely different sort of qualities are English? And finally. is the language you use consistent with the rest of your conduct? Does your language in conversation represent your better self. In your first papers in a composition course you should write as naturally as you can. especially in college. so that both you and your instructor can see the present state of your language and so 25 . you first need to make an effort to inform yourself of the possibilities of English by observing aries what is actually spoken and written. or do you on occasion speak beneath yourself. or making some other change. Their lan- guage should be moving similarly. are changing. by using dictionand other reference works. There is nothing mysterious about the matter: it is just a natural process of learning and then applying what is learned. Does your language on the whole tend to be Formal or General or Informal? Do you pronounce with confidence the words you need in conversation? Are you confident in the mechanics of writing spelling.

In discussing "The New Way of Writing. The opposite attitude. indeed could not. or to write as the instructor would. It is not necessary for all students in a class to write the same. to his mind as it actually works. can you write your best and give that extra something that places your writing above bare competence." Mr.4 The qualities of Good English that you can decide together on the direction your growth should take. something appropriate to the occasion will come. says: "One would like to think that all of us will come to the stage of refusing to write what we would not. Bonamy Dobr6e. even to gamble. that makes it really Good English. This sincerity in usage and style is one of the conspicuous traits of the better contemporary writing. cockiness. A great handicap in writing is fear fear of pen and paper. you should have confidence in writing. You are not struggling up under a series o don'ts but 26 . but usually well within the range of the General language. but some of them believe that the fundamental condition for effectiveness is a positive feeling of readiness which amounts really to a sort of faith that when we open our mouths or prepare to write. fear If of offending the reader's (teacher's) taste. but not so many students suffer from that as from inhibitions about their language. fear of making a mistake. but seems rather to be talking with us. Only with some courage and a willingness to experiment. an English critic. The better English that we find in print is the English the writer would use in talking to his friends. is a nuisance and equally prevents good writing. Psychologists can't tell us much about the mental activity involved in thinking or writing. though that. The writer does not appear at a distance or on a platform delivering an oration at can come close us. or like any particular professional writer. Good English is not primarily a matter of rules but of judgment. say. tightened up a little and freed of the irregularities that usually creep into talk. is not to limit our writing to what We we actually do say/' you approach Good English with this attitude. of course.

1952 Whorf. 10:31-36 Kenyon. Jolm S... pp. nicate something to another is fundamental.** EngJanuary 1948. Ann Arbor. January 1947. S. 'The Principles of Poor Writing. you will want to say it in a way that is best suited to your subject.4. "Cultural Levels and Functional Varieties of English/* College English. 75-93 27 . Words and Ways of American English. 1941. and Personality. 37:25-31 Paul W. Mankind. 1927.. Sapir Memorial Publication Fund. October 1948. Random House. C. New York. Otto. 64:72-74 Potter. Benjamin "The Relation of Habitual Thought and Be- havior to Language. C. 1934 Fries. Nation and Individual from a Linguistic Point of View.** American Speech. and to simpler than A yourself as well. 1950 Pyles. L. Oxford University The Teaching of English. L. Spier.** in Language. Culture.. Cambridge University Press. Penguin Books. Bonamy. Simeon. Thomas. 1949 Jespersen. Modern Prose Press. ed.. "Levels of Speech and Colloquial English. If you have something that you want to say.3 are trying to discover among the wide resources of modern English what best suits your purpose* Good English is really desire to commuit is sometimes made to seem. 2:432-439 Dobree.** Scientific Monthly. to your readers. "Literate and Illiterate Speech. Menasha. Oxford. lish Journal. References The following books of sections 1 to 4: and articles develop further some points Bloomfield. Cambridge. 1925 Kenyon. Style. Wahr. Our Language* Harmondsworth. John Merrill. Leonard.

1951. nevertheless affirms that through all these and a million other catastrophes the human race has . and perhaps a comof engineers. the He know their nicknames.. mortars and recoilless rifles and a platoon of five tanks. "I Send Your Son into Battle. p. And these rifle companies are broken down into pany platoons. For they are the men he lives and they are the only men he will see around him as. assassinations. even without the motive of self-interest. a force of some 1000 men. They direct and control and administer.. Col." The Saturday Evening Post. ( More than one term will often be needed for a passage. in the with. divisions and regiments do not fight battles. 27 will know. Lt. noise and smoke. if precarious. tortures. which provides a fearsome chronicle of wars. 1) Armies. ) Pick out the particular words and construc- tions that lead you to label the passage as you do. and treacheries. and their home way know all their sweethearts look in their bathing suits. arriving through the evolution of knowledge and manners at its present hopeful. most people believe in fair play and justice and goodness. History. describing them in terms of the levels of usage. Study the language in the following passages. gone on resolutely. which again are broken down into squads of nine men each five riflemen. divided into three rifle companies of roughly 200 men each> plus a company of heavy weapons machine guns. he goes into battle for the first time. corps. a squad leader and his assistant. and an automatic rifleman and his helper. These last are the men your son will towns. And history teaches us that one concept of the good has prevailed in 28 2) For the instinct of humanity is to be decent and to climb upward to some kind of Celestial City.4 The qualities of Good English Exercises for 1-4 1. Melvin Russell Blair. to propagate the morality which will distribute the greatest good to the largest number. and and they will these things about him. The basic fighting unit on which all actions are planned is the battalion. Most people tell the truth most of the time. which justifies a certain amount of cynicism. June 23. civilization.

Exercises many guises. rolled around. at all times: the concept which makes human betterment. C. p. And know why I should get a sweat up now. Webster's Cottege Life. 1946. for the first most we the graduation of him of American colleges. except style. Richardson. They don't like it because I say that Marty Marion or Vern Stephens -slud into second base. Dizzy Dean. Paul. Each of these consists essentially of an account of forms or that are carried by them. 22 the sea. and have the Missouri teachers all stirred up. July 26. F.-Grant C. 1 4) Ten decades have and we meet in the first time in the years of another century to celebrate. no questions asked. Didn't nobody come around after the game and ask whether we'd throwed or threw the ball in there to make a play. 29 . istic. 5) The description of a language falls into three parts: gram- mar and styl(including phonetics and phonemics). the maximum morality. human transfiguration in some form or other. Knight." The Saturday Review. and grammar covers the rest of the material. but it is impossible to treat any part of morphology or syntax without discussing words. in actual practice lexicography treats of the words of a language as separate entities. What do they want me to say slidded? Me and Paul didn't have to worry about that sort of stuff when '* we were winning games for the old Gas House Gang. he'd win one I don't game and I'd win the next. as the Hudson and preserved in the stately haU of learning between Mr. whose "great stone face" is carved new world on the walls of the academic theatre of our oldest university. 1945. The New York Times. The groups of forms and of the meanings lines of division are not sharp. and whose name was but lately selected as entitled to rank with those of Washington and Lincoln at the very top of the roll of fame of the nation. won 'em. history whom delight to honor as that of the chief orator of the at Dartmouth. p. "What Makes a Book Great. lexicography. United Press We dispatch. July 14. p. 7 3) And I reckon that's why that now I come up with an ain't once in a while. in all lands.

As a stage play. the impact between civilization and the wild. I think. in the shape of a negative. If Allston. A Beginning on the Short Story. p. Knott's own literary agents refused to send the play around to any more producers. Opinions Oliver of scious. I have seen a whole table demoralized by one poor lamb whose secret wish was merely to be somewhere else. like the earlier trappers who married native wives. 82 8) raves.-Van Wyck Brooks. William Carlos Williams. For. as far as I can tell. All conversation among sympathetic people tends to adjust itself to the weakest link in the chain. He means (when he is any good at all and not a pure sentimentalist) the terror and lonesomeness of the wilderness in its impact on civilized man. he isn't interested in the pioneer who goes native and survives fairly well. E. Despite the Mr. note. Harrow No. We can more accurately describe a gram- as a set of general statements (paradigms and rules) and lists of exceptions. is the best of him. H. is that we are too sympathetic. p. 3 came 30 . of the reasons for this. If one is self-con- and one they all tend to become self-conscious. That. to Linguistic Science. It also shows that different situations call for different words and phrases quite aside from the ob- vious requirements of meaning. It among shows how one man the linguistic responses possible in a given will use certain words and synwill tactic constructions where another man employ a more or less different linguistic mechanism. An Introduction 52 6) stories Down mean? to your own Jack London: What do Jack London's They mean. Stylistic treats of the selection situation. they said stonily.4 mar The qualities of Good English fully described and a word cannot be without an account of its function in the sentence. Sturtevant. while a lexicon contains the material that cannot conveniently be combined into general statements. 7) Americans in general are no great shakes at conversation.-Take To Rtld a Fire. as far as I can see. they mean. 12 person he has a woolly mind. the conversation becomes woolly. p.

On This Star. A clause in the contract specified that if the play ever did get into a theatre. he kept saying: east would contain the mountain she had always seen from her old home. Obviously. Smart strategy was to quit horsing around and grab off any old film deal. Virginia Sorensen. for the screen rights. or $2. 1) after 31 . August 1. Knott brushed. it. Hobson. "If I had been given this splendid education. save for the few "hicks'* he saw staring up at the tall buildings.-Laura Z. Jens had planned the big east and west windows especially for her. a new choir and organ. and a new congregation. our backs and necks seemed inhabited by one great aching pain. p. 2) Still the youth was not rebellious and his father constantly told him. it would fold the day the film was released. but quick.Exercises "Dial M" would flop so gruesomely that any possible film rights would be deader than the murdered fellow in the script. with a lemon brush Mr. 1953. the agent advised this restrictive clause aside as like "Dial M" on 9) Voices of men outside seemed inside the new house also. and the sun. Soon enough Sir Alexander Korda made an offer of 1. Mr. Dinner didn't taste so good because he-was clead tired and a day like that sleep is the only desire. Knott to pure technicality.000 pounds. Around her the rooms were raw and smelled of shavings and fresh plaster. "Trade Winds. and the girl stood in the center of the largest room. p. 5 his hands. 5) The walk down Park Avenue was short and uneventful. burned with a seemingly diabolical fervor. Presently she walked to a square window which faced west toward the valley. worst of all. 4) The church got a new paint job.800. what would I have not donel" 3) Our hands were blistered. west would contain the town and the stretching fields around 2." The Saturdutifully day Revteto. feeling exposed and unbelonging. 3 Discuss the following sentences in terms of the levels of usage and suggest how they can be improved.

sister 4) hyphening 5) like-as compound words 6) subjects of gerund phrases 7) shorter spelling forms 8) verbless sentences 6. father. Where did you grow up? What places have you lived in long enough to have some im- 32 . Characterize the level of usage. Hal Boyle. V. 2) 3) 4) off of We all knew he got a rake-off from the company.4 The qualities of Good English 3. a. and the appropriateness of the language to the subjects discussed. it. 4. b. Thomas L. use your answers as a basis for a consecutive paper on your language. Translate the following sentences into General English: 1) The little squirt was talking to everyone and slapping them on the back. Westbrook Pegler. 5) There was a hall at the top of the stairs and three apartments 6) 7) He is You one of the few who does not like to swim. oughtn't have done that. Analyze the writing of a newspaper or magazine columnist: H. Kaltenborn. he was safe. English. If your instructor wishes. adding anything else you think important. 1) commas with introductory adverbial clauses 2) due to 3) capitalizing words like mother. or any other your instructor may suggest. Stokes. Using the index. Consider the influences that have affected your own use of Make notes of answers to the following questions. 5. said What a rhubarb there was when the ump Most always we do like we're told. Walter Lippmann. Walter Winchell. Drew Pearson. look up the following debatable or divided usages in this handbook and summarize what is said about them. the columnist's attitude toward his readers.

physics). botany. learn and use the terms of grammar more accuevery rately? Compare the presentation and use of grammatical terms Why with those of some other school subject (algebra. e. write down campus expressions. Copy from a book or magazine. When you have sufficient matephrases. teachers.Exercises pression of the language used in tiiem? Did they have any effect on your own usage? c. who have had work in English in almost school year. chemistry. 33 . Are you conscious of any specific influences on your speaking and writing particular people. Formal or General usage. and erence? What kind of books and what writers do you read from prefWhat magazines? What parts of a newspaper do you read regularly? 7. outside. giving either full reference to its source. books. terms of regional English and in terms of levels of usage. slang unusual pronunciations. are sure of? or feel to this What are some of the grammatical terms that you What grammatical terms are you vaguely aware of an occasional need for? Look up two or three in the index book and find out how they are used. English courses? d. Describe your typical speech and your typical writing in of. write a paper on student and faculty speech. a good paragraph showing Underline the distinctive words or constructions. 8. What foreign languages do you know something about how much? f. rial. Comment on Keep a notebook and differences you observe between the speech used inside the class- room and 9. don't students.

we need not hesitate to say that the ordinary writer is made and not born. In the following pages the process of writing is broken down into seven distinct steps. from the assignment of the topic to the preparation of the final copy. such as those written in class.1 Focusing what you when 34 The first step in writing is to decide are going to write about. is born and not made. But more complex projects. solving the problems of each before going on to the next. the most practical way to go about writing it is to think of the assignment in terms of steps or stages. If you consider your work from one paper to the next. confidence in writing comes with practice. But if you save a copy of the first paper you write for the course and compare it with the last. Hinsdale When a paper is assigned in your composition course. like the poet. The regularly assigned papers in your composition course are designed to give you this practice. and to tackle each one separately as you come to it. you will for probably be able to telescope the first four steps into one. you will find your task consider- ably simplified if you follow the steps in order. or in any other skill.Composition 5 Writing a paper While we may cheerfully concede that the great writer. your progress at times seem dismay appointingly slow. in swimming. B. and how you may improve. Your instructor's comments on your papers and his suggestions in conference are intended to help you see just what your individual problems in writing are. 5. Just as in public speaking. A. you will see that you have come much farther than you realized. For brief papers. This task is simplified the topic is determined by the occasion for instance on a subject .

choose one that actually interests you a subject that you would like to talk about and about which you feel you have something definite to say (or about which you can easily find something to say). Making the final copy The completed handed in paper. 5. sentences. ready to be when a businessman or a scientist reor a composition ports student faces an assignment in which the topic is assigned. in the words. Revising the first draft Necessary changes corrections in and improvements material. Focusing on a subject Definition of topic. or an interpretation of an essay. All of us have opinions on a variety of matters juvenile delinquency. Gathering material Notes (hi mind or on paper) from memory. a narrative of a personal experience. has to answer a on an experiment he has performed. how for a paper of a specified type. story. or poem. But frequently in a composition course and elsewhere the occasion will permit a choice of topics or a choice of material letter. racial prejudice. thinking 3. like an expository account of something is made or done. observation. Planning the paper A synopsis or outline of the paper Tentative version of the paper Writing the first draft 6. pro- fessionalism in college sportsbut on most of these matters our opinions are not formulated clearly enough to be put 35 . Selecting and evaluating the A tested and selected body of in- material formation to be presented in the paper 4. seeing problems involved and possible sources of material 2. interview. paragraphs 7. If you are asked to select your own subject. reading.5.1 Stages in the Writing Process Results of Each Stage 1. universal military training.

Your own expe5. The student who protests. the places you have visited. are afraid that 36 . the courses you are taking in college. the people you know. at first glance if you are willing to devote perhaps exploring its possibilities in the own background. Topics chosen at ran- dom or out of desperation at the last possible moment seldom that make satisfactory papers. themes. It is always best to think about the subjects offered before making a final decision. your hobbies. la Subjects based on personal experience riences will provide subjects for many college themes: what you have done in school and out. You can also do better on an assigned topiceven one may discourage you some thought light of your to it. the jobs you have held. Consider this brief list of topics and see how many you could write on from your own experience: Cures for Homesickness A Job A Successful High School Pky The Purpose of I Disliked Advice to a High School . when writing their Some college freshmen.5 Writing a paper down on paper. "I on that topic" before he has looked at or about the assignment suffers from laziness rather than thought from inability. If for example you feel poorly qualified to can't possibly write write a paper characterizing the Duke in Browning's poem "My Last Duchess/' remember that you are not expected to your submit a scholarly analysis but rather a clear report showing own impressions of the Duke based upon an intelligent and conscientious study of the poem.Student About to Enter the University Stretching an Allowance 4-H Clubs Prefer Living in a Large (or Small) Town Advantages of Hobby Why I My Baby Sitters How to Earn Their Pay Handle Firearms The Subject Major In I Expect to for Safely What feel that a to Look Out When Sharing the Family Car Buying a Used Car You need not particularly paper based upon your personal first experiences will be boring to others.

1b Subjects for investigation Not all papers can be written entirely from personal opinion or from your own experience. or through personal interviews. 5. But much published material is based upon incidents and attitudes that are in no way unique or sensational ("Making Your Hobby Pay/' "Should 18-Year- own Olds Voter The Most Unforgettable Character I Have Met. A fresh and lively account of the experiences of a baby sitter is more readable than a dull description of a journey up the Amazon. you an opportunity to fill gaps in and to become better informed on your general knowledge Investigative papers offer matters related to general affairs or to your course work. Many subjects call for information that must be gathered by reading. Here are some typical subjects for investigation by observation or reading that may suggest others more in line with your special interests: Civic-Supported Opera The Movement of Glaciers Study Habits of Students in the Library What Foreign Students Think of American Educational Methods How Rhodes Scholars Are Selected Unusual Part-Time Jobs Held by Students A Practical Application of Electronics How American Olympic Teams Are Financed Student Preferences in Composition Topics What Is a Land-Grant College? Fulbright Scholarships College Fashions in Clothing: A Study in Conformity Major and Minor Worries of Campus Police The Effects of Classroom Design on Students 37 .5.1 b their that their experiences have been too limited. by observation. If a writer is interested in what he has to say. select one that will be useful as well as interesting. or to be of interest opinions and attitudes are too commonplace to anyone but themselves. When the choice of subject for an investigative paper is left to you." "Diary of a City-Bred Farmer"). chances are his readers will be too.

more time than you are curious about. Because a thousand or even ten thousand words would not be enough to cover a general subject (Justice. find they have said all they can The topic you select should be limited commonplace judgwriting a paragraph think of saying. so that you can treat adequately in the required number of words. well-defined aspect of the subject rather than on the subject as a whole. might suggest to you "The effect of movies on children/' This is still too large a topic for the average college theme. Concentrate on a single. There is seldom any danger that you S." that lead to difficulty.5 Writing a paper Gathering material from observation or from reading takes calling up incidents and impressions from but information is available on almost any subject memory." This is a topic that can be discussed effectively in 500 to 1000 words." "The role of women in contemporary society. Break down large general subjects into topics that you feel you can handle. Penicillin. On such ambitious subjects most writers can only repeat ments and empty generalities. Crime prevention. "Motion pictures/' for example. Forestry). see 49. It is the large subjects like "American foreign policy/' "The aims of higher education.lc Limiting the subject will select a topic too small for a paper of the assigned length. The reference paper. and after or two. so subdivide it once more: "The effect of Western movies on one small boy I know. choose a specific part of the general subject you plan to write on. Too general Voting as Specific an Obligation of Citizenship Arousing Student College Politics Interest in Sportsmanship How Sportsmanship Differs in Teimis and Baseball 38 . For an extended discussion of investigative papers. Most college themes are' short even a thousand-word theme would fill it only one newspaper column.

have made your choice. the reason usually is that you it. the next step is to decide what you are going ing to say about it. jogging your memory to recall to dig you may everything up information through reading or talking with people. your topic is may keep The important thing to remember to the topic specific and not fall back on a general subject. material and think about it. ask yourself For papers based upon many questions as you 39 . The material for most written work has to be collected. the first three or four minutes deciding which subject spend can best develop than it is to take one at random and later you wish you had chosen something 5. While you cancially important because the not explore the possibilities of the various suggestions as outside class. the material that you need to expand and round out your ideas seldom comes without some effort on your With some topics you will have to spend a little time part.2o Material from your background as personal experience. Even though you may know a good deal about the topic. If you have difficulty writing 1000 or even 500 words on a topic. and sometimes both.2 Gathering material else. three subjects. at the most.5. have have not taken enough time to gather material. thinking about your subject. 1 d Subjects for writing in class Choosing the right topic from for writing a paper in class is espea list of those suggested time is limited. 5. In a class period. saying less and less about more and more. Some you can reject at once because you do not know enough about them or are not interested in them. you First examine all the topics offered for your choice. thoroughly as you would for a paper written can and should select your subject with reasonable care.2a As you gather change slightly. After selecting the topic you are goto write on. 5 . Your final choice will probably When between two or. you know about With others. concentrate on it and you lie it is much better to forget the other topics.

After a reasonable amount of reflection. Read year. Whenever you feel that your own you can get the additional facts need by reading up on the subject in books.2b Material from reading information that and newspapers. How did you find out what jobs were available? How did you decide which jobs to apply for? were not Did you apply in person or by letter? If you hired. A sound knowl- edge of ing? A willingness A their subject? genuine interest in young people? to help the slower students? Fairness in grad- A sense of they lacked. recall and analyze your own experiences in looking for work. and think about what you read. critically. If you are going to enumerate the qualities of a good teacher. you magis insufficient. the Republican Party won the 1952 election). think of two or three of your teachers who were to disoutstanding and try A similar analysis will help cover what qualities they had in common. jot down on paper every idea that occurs to you. you will usually have more than enough material to write a paper of the considering also one or two teachers unsatisfactory. whether you intend to use it or not One idea often suggests another and better one. about your subject. Be careful to distinguish between verifiable facts (the number of telephones in the United States and Europe. if any. to see what qualities humor? You could extend your analysis by who were definitely At this stage of thinking assigned length. the cost of living index in New York City in 1940 and in 1950) and opinions (the best motion picture produced last the reasons azines. what were tike probable reasons? What misan interview or in go about getting a takes. did you make either during your letter of application? Would you job in the same way again? you gather material for papers presenting personal opinions or attitudes.5 Writing a paper can think of about the subject If you are going to explain how a person should apply for a job. 5. On controversial such as federal subsidies for farmers or for airsubjects why 40 .

41 . Instead of copying an author's words. a person who has had a course in zoology or physics observes more about the behavior of bees or the operation of a dynamo than one who doesn't have that background. Do you agree or disagree with them? Why? Proper acknowl- edgment should always be made for borrowed material (in a footnote or in a statement at the end of the paper). gives details on using material sources. Whatever sources you use. questions before you arrive at You should understand and make material from published sources your own before using it in a paper. notice how other from what different activities they draw their examples.2c in plane companies. By extending the range of your interests you will be able to store up impressions useful for illustrative material in your papers. The reference paper. think about the ideas he is expressing.5. When everyone in class writes on the same topic (such as the difficulties of crowd at a football registration or the expressions of the it is the small details that a few have noticed that game). the behavior of other students. or the disadvantages of specialization read and weigh the opinions on both sides of the education. the more material you will have to draw on.2c Material from observation and discussion You can sharpen your powers of observation by taking a real interest in your surroundings and in the ideas and attitudes of the people you meet eveiy day. make their papers more interesting than the others. Everyone is observant about the things that interest him automobiles. architecture. When you are readwriters present their material and ing. their hobbies. A person who has sold shoes or in a grocery store than groceries sees more in a shoe store or one who hasn't had a similar experience. The more observant you are. the material itself will become an integral part of your paper bine it if you put with your own ideas. Observation is trained on jobs and in college courses. it in your own words and com- 49. an opinion of your own. women's fashions. from printed 5.

5. the central idea The central or controlling idea 42 .3a Determining the central idea of a paper A definite statement of the main point or central idea of your paper will help you to select the material you are going to use. others of minor importance. Most of us tend to see but one side of a topic. and disregard the rest. But for longer papers. You can't put idea that you can think of on a given subject into your every paper nor can you give only generalities without supporting evidence or illustrations.3 Selecting and evaluating material sorted and evaluated after it is accumulated work must be because not all of it is of equal importance. The result would leave the reader either confused or unconvinced. This statement (sometimes called the "thesis sentence'*) is not the topic of your paper or the title (which is usually no more than four or five is question 'What to the reader?" words). the process need to do is to select from your you simple: list one or two main ideas to develop. you will need to make a more thorhaps that don't belong at of selection is all.* For the explanation of a process or activity.O Writing a paper Discussing your topic with your family or with your classmates will often help you to increase and enrich the material for a paper. and a few per- For writing in class. but a sentence that answers the the main idea that I am trying to present of a paper titled The Honor might read: "The honor system works only as well as System" the students want it to work". or "The honor system at this college is popular with the faculty but not with the students. some essential to your subject. You will frequently gain fresh insight into the possibilities of a subject by discussing it with people who are perhaps better informed or who hold opinions contrary to yours. Material for written 5. all ough examination of your material if you intend to present it in an interesting and convincing manner. What you have at this point is a collection of random ideas.

Successful and profitable deals I have made 9. 6. you would then be able to discard items 3. or local traffic problems eliminate obrial are If 43 .3b Selecting material your readers in specifically for your readers Keep mindthe members of your class as well as instructor when you are selecting your material. concentrating on items 2. 6. How your much do they already know about your subject? What information and explanation will they need? What kind of matethey likely to find most interesting? your subject is familiar to most readers campus architecture. and 10 as irrelevant. 5.3b violin demands patience on well as on the part of the violinthe part of the neighbors as when ist/' or "Performance is more important than appearance car." Re-examining your notes. For a paper on stamp collecting you might have jotted down these preliminary 1. and 8 as the main ideas. Learn a interest in stamps began in grade school lot about geography from them 3." you are buying a used Such a statement shows you definitely what you are going might be "Learning to play the to write about Its main purpose is to help you to stick to the subject and to prevent you from wandering off into tempting but irrelevant bypaths. Any material you have gathered that is not related to your main idea should be discarded at this stage. 7. 5. From 5. Difficult 4. ideas: My 2. for example. 4.5. My uncle in the navy sends me stamps from all over the world 10. and perhaps using items 1 and 9 these as introductory material. Trading stamps is fun and profitable 8. sometimes to get the ones you want Stamps should be canceled Most people know little about stamps Historical figures and scenes on stamps have taught me much about history 7. President Roosevelt had one of the best collections random notes you could frame a central idea: "Stamp collecting is an educational and profitable hobby.

papers and more complex projects such as outline is usually necessary (6. But whatever form you use. then something else followed. arriving at the Big Room . on a subject that most people know a switchboard. the experience of other cities with oneway streets. the effect of traffic congestion on drivers' nerves or for traffic on local business. explanation of processes. consider your material from the viewpoint reader. third.) or from a general iming .5 Writing a paper vious statements and develop the ideas that are most likely to arouse interest. going down to the first . For longer a reference paper. level. In descriptive writ- ("The Campus by Moonlight." "A Trip Through the Carlsbad Caverns") the normal order may be from one point to another (entering the Caverns. With some subjects the material itself determines the order of presentation. plan the order in which you intend to present your material. and so on in your paper.2c. should organize purpose. taxidermy. pp. a formal notes or a scratch outline will serve the For shorter second.4 Planning the paper papers. or that the building in which the class now meets was once considered the most beautiful on the campus. Aztec archilittle about (operating of the tecture). Perhaps the majority of the class does not know that fashions in campus architecture have changed three times in the last forty years. your material Before you begin to write. and narrative usually follow the order in which the events occurred: first this happened. Personal experiences. then something else occurred. What terms should be defined? What techgeneral nical material should be explained or perhaps left out? What kind of illustrations and examples will help make the subject When you are writing as clear to the reader as it is to you? 5. you so that you know in advance what comes first. 44 . 72-74). the method of selecting and training traffic officers. concentrate control that have been conon other points: plans sidered and rejected. If it is common knowledge that the traffic situation in your city is deplorable.

Skeletal 2. and the other in which sim- were strong: A. what last. List similar ideas together. it. you will find that in most instances you wiH have to examine your material to find the best order for your special purpose: what should come first. Differences 1. 2. and muscular systems differ greatly Man's respiratory system more complex than frog's B. you would reverse the order.4a Grouping ideas together Group related ideas together so that you can visualize the successive points of your paper. you would present and then A. If B first 45 . It often helps to try more than one order of arrangement.5. putting each group on a separate sheet of paper or using any other form that will enable you to see possibilities for development.' "The Anatomy of the in Fraternities/' more complicated with other "A Criticism of Frog Compared to That of Man/' Whether you select the topic or it is assigned to you.4a pression to the specific details that give rise to more or less in the order of their strfldngness. arranged The order of presentation is subjects: "Abolishing Hazing 9 Olivier's Hamlet. what in the middle. one in were marked. 5. If you are comparing the anatomy of the frog to that of man. Frog's circulatory system resembles man's Nervous system of both almost identical you want to emphasize the differences. Similarities 1. you might first list the aspects that are comparable: Skeletal system Muscular system Respiratory system Circulatory system Nervous system You could then group which differences ilarities these systems in two categories. if you want to stress the similarities.

What you put at the end of your paper is usually the most important point you have to present. (For other openings.) 5. These are some of the most commonly used types of order: Time: from one event to the next. p. An important and striking fact or statement of your purpose or a rewording of your central idea is the simplest way to begin a paper. make. If you have any doubts about the validity of the ideas you are going to present. as in narrative writing (the story of a treasure hunt. Remember that these should be the most forceful parts you meet your reader and Plan your paper so that you can get into your subject as quickly as possible. ) the ending definite and emphatic.4.2. the more direct your beginning should be.4c Kinds of development While you are arranging your material. 143. there is no need to start with an account of Lincoln's early career or even of his presidency.5 Writing a paper 5. 139. It should round out your discussion in such a way that the reader will know you have said all you intended to say and that you have not stopped because you were tired of writing or because time ran out. p. The shorter the paper. The total effect of your paper will depend largely upon the way you end it Plan the conclusion so that it won't trail off or leave your Make reader up in the air. such as learning to fly a plane.4b Beginning and ending The beginning of your paper should catch the reader's interest and get him into the subject. (See 11. for instance) or for steps in a process. consider what forms of development will best suit your subject and be clearest to your readers. 1. 2. Space: for expository description. check or verify them before you begin to write so that you won't have to end with an apology. such as a trip through Yellow- 46 . Good beginnings. Good endings. The ending should leave him with the final impression you wish to of your paper the point at which the place where you leave him. see 11. Don't begin too far back: if your topic is the assassination of Lincoln.

The essential thing is that you should see your material in some definite order. go on to explain how these difficulties were overcome. If such a plan seems to make the paper break in the middle. 5. a description of a ship from bow to stern." "The Advantages and Disadvantages of Living in a Small 4. then take up the increasing difficulties that the builders encountered. 47 . 3.5 Writing the first draft Papers that are composed outside the classroom should always be written out in rough draft first. and ending by drawing a conclusion about the two ("The Radio and Newspapers as Sources of News. a narrative could follow both the order of time and that of climax." "Writing Papers with a specific fact or situation and unfolding the subject until it stands completed at the end. but some order like this: 1." "The Importance of Reading Newspaper Edi- Town. and end with the final accomplishment of the task* torials Critically. details. or of a mural from one side to the other. national news. Climax: beginning Often two kinds of development are used in combination. Increasing complexity: beginning with the simple or familiar and proceeding to the more complex or unfamiliar (for example. Thus a description of the building of the Panama Canal might begin with the need for a canal. a first draft is essential if the final paper is to rep- resent your best work. examples. it is better to plan it by the separate aspects being comparednot all the points about radio and then about newspapers. using a description of air escaping from a toy balloon to introduce tion of rockets ) ." 6. Support. Local vs. and then supporting it with reasons. 5. 3. 2. Comparison or situation." "Being a Twin Has Its Complications as Well as Its Compensations. the method of support might be used effectively with comparison or climax.5 stone Park. No matter how certain you are about your material and the order in which you are going to present it. then revised and copied.5. Fullness of coverage. an explana- contrast: discussing all the features of one idea or then all the features of another. Sensationalism and emphasis. This form of development is useful for topics such as "Universal Military Training Should (or Should Not) Be Adopted in America. in Class and Writing Papers at Home**). or from the general to the particular: beginning with a statement of your main idea or general impression.

and just as with other tasks. now you are ready to put them down in full sentences and paragraphs. writing is work. and make whatever changes may be necessary for continuity and effectiveness. as usually occur to you. just as studying is. are going to present Begin writing your first draft are going to say and how you Don't wait for "inspiration" or for the proper mood. You are the only one who will see your first draft and matters of spelling. punctuation. if the wording of a good paragraph doesn't come to you at once.9 Writing a paper Up to this point you have been dealing with your ideas in abbreviated or shorthand form as notes or outline headings. or washing the dishes. write your first draft as rapidly as you can.5b Writing without interruption As a rule. You have up" in writing as in any other activity. The beginning of a paper is often the most difficult part to word effectively. 5. last. If you wait until the last minute. Your paper will have more life if you put your ideas down one after the other without pausing to worry whether each sentence is correct. you will gen- Once you have written two erally find that even will at least have the to "warm though you may not be "inspired. 5. so that you can actually see the whole paper as your reader will. your first draft may have to serve as final your paper. 48 . and wording are to be taken care of in revision. begin with some other part.5a Getting started on a paper as soon as you know what you it. you must often begin writing when you would much prefer to do something else. Many you work. start with a that you feel confident about You shouldn't waste time part first trying to get an ideal opening. a good start will beginnings are actually written or three sentences. For almost everyone. If you can't think of a good opening sentence. This is the stage to concentrate on getting down the gist of what you have in mind." you feeling of being ready to write. or changing a tire.

you can alter your outline to include it. Papers that are heavy with material added at the last moment always seem disjointed. The first draft is not to be copied down as it stands. Leave ample margins on both sides of the page. It is much easier to cut out material when you are revising a paper than it is to look for more to satisfy the requirements of length or completeness of presentation. 5.6 Revising the first draft If you want your paper to represent your best work. take time to read over what you have already written before you begin writing again. your first draft will have to be examined carefully and critically when you are revising it. Don't just guess at what you have said. An outline does not need to be followed down to the last minor subdivision in this stage. The purpose of revision is to check major as well 49 .5c Developing the material Make your first draft as complete as possible. If the new idea turns out to be irrelevant. but if it is important. after a word or two has been checked for spelling. be generous with explanations. and allow space between lines for insertions and corrections. Frequently a sentence written on paper will bring to mind an aspect of your topic that you overlooked when your material was in the form of notes. Leave plenty of space in the first draft for making corrections and changes. When you are working on a paper too long to be done in one sitting (such as the reference paper). Write down more than you will probably use in your final paper. details. 5. or a comma added or deleted. illustrative examples. Put in any good ideas that occur to you when you are writing the first draft.6 Plan your time so that you will have at least an hour for uninterrupted writing. it can be omitted in revision. even though they may not have appeared in your original plan. Those that have been pruned down from say 1400 to 1000 words are more compact and to the point.5.

general effectiveness of expression 4. if possible. as well as to correct the mechanics of writing. The material (or "content"): the ideas. two or three days) before you start to revise 5. put the paper aside for a while. The following four points are the bases on which papers are evaluated. punctuawords at the ends of lines. 50 . the material. sentence structure. and so on. Most people find it difficult to look at writing objectively while the ideas they have exare still fresh in their minds. then read it again for organization. both material and organization can be checked at the same time. When you have finished the first draft. Keep them in mind when you revise. often. The hit-or-miss approach to revision is a waste of time. since at best only the more glaring faults will you are looking be caught. The wording: the way in which the ideas are expressed. and the expression. The of a purpose systematic method of revision is to help you to concentrate on your individual problems. examples used to support the central point of your discussion 2. the pressed first draft should be written as early as possible. The tion. facts. For this reason. from beginning paragraph to conclusion 3. The organization: the order in which statements are presented. including the choice of words.3 as Writing a paper minor matters: to tighten and improve the organization. and so on It is not expected that you will first examine your writing carefully for the material. so that you their own can put it aside for several hours (or better. for instance. 1. division of conventions of writing (or "mechanics"): spelling. then a third time for wording. The four categories overlap.6o Main points to consider in revision You can save time and improve the quality of your writing if you go over your first draft in a systematic manner. for it. knowing exactly what for.

the paper 2. for example. it to sound. Awkward and involved sentences repetition. ask yourself these questions: 1. details? Will the ending leave your reader with the impression that you to want make? 5. convincing. Does each paragraph advance the subject. Is facts? If you say. 51 . that Texas has the best flying weather in the United States. Here are five questions that may help you to judge the effectiveness of your material: details. illustrations needed? the information sufficiently clear so that the reader who knows little or nothing about the subject can readily understand it? 3. or is there some skipping Is it clear is back and forth? 3. Are there any statements that do not have direct bearing on the subject you are discussing? If so. 5. or you have expressed represent your have you merely repeated what you have read or have heard other people say? It is easy for a writer to use the expression "the American way of life". As you revise the paper. Are more (or better) 2. you should present facts and figures to support this 4. Do the important ideas stand out clearly from the minor points and 4. remove them before your final draft. from the beginning (or near the beginning) what about? Avoid wordy and irrelevant introductions. Are there general statements that need to be supported by the 1. it is much more difficult for him to explain what he means by the phrase.6c Checking the organization Study the first draft to see if the subject advances from one section to the next and if the emphasis falls where you want it to.6d Checking the wording Read your paper aloud (or have someone else read it to you) to see if it sounds the way you intended tions. examples. clumsy construcwill be easily detected this way. own Do the opinions or attitudes convictions on the subject.5.6d 5. idea. 5.6b Checking the material Read the first draft to make sure you have put in enough material to make the subject clear. and interesting to your readers.

fragmentary senomission of words.6e Checking for accuracy Most of the common errors marked (spelling. Is the level of intentional lapses usage consistent throughout? Watch for any unfrom one level to another. the size. If you have used too many commas in your previous papers or have failed to paragraph in this your material properly. If you aren't quite certain about the spelling of a word. ness or haste. Follow the directions he gives you for the form.7 Making the final copy Make a neat and accurate copy of your revised paper to submit to your instructor. as from Formal to In- formal usage. 5. Writing a paper In all 2. You can eliminate many such mistakes from own writing by looking carefully for the specific kinds on student papers your of mistakes that have occurred most frequently in your papers.3 1. 5. Have you used any technical term or unfamiliar expression that either needs explanation? 3.) If you are interested in your subject and if you have de- 52 . study the sections handbook that deal with these matters and then apply what you have learned to your revision. Are there any words whose meaning you are not quite sure of? cases of doubt. the indention. punctuation. numbering of pages. 5. and the kind of paper. (Typical manuscript form is described in 7. words or of ideas. Do you notice any unnecessary repetition. find the correct spelling in your dictionary. consult your dictionary. If fragmentary or run- on sentences give you trouble. endorsement. don't trust to luck or rely on your roommate's opinion. Are any of the sentences too involved? If it. that should be omitted? of individual 4. take time to analyze any statement you suspect may be incorrectly punctuated. the best time to correct your mistakes is during revision rather than after your instructor has returned your paper to you. and so on. you stumble over a passage while reading see if you can revise it for greater clarity. Whatever your individual problems in writing may be. and so forth) result from carelesstences.

5. he will probably return it to you so that you can make whatever corrections are needed. To find them. Corrections in the final copy. Manuscript with passages scratched out or with sentences scribbled in the margin is difficult to read. but the neatness of the paper itself. are needed in the final copy. Errors somehow creep into even die most careful writing. you will have to get away from your paper for a time so that you can look at it with a fresh eye. Look of words for slips of the pen or typing errors. or rewording several senit is best to rewrite the entire page. or short phrase.8 Correcting the returned paper After your instructor has read your paper. p. He will explain the meaning of the correction symbols or numbers and will tell you how to make your corrections.8 veloped it to the best of your ability. One method for making revisions of this kind is illus7. And look particularly for the kind of mistakes that have been marked on your pre- vious papers. 5.7b Making corrections in the final copy For minor changes a correction in spelling. or a new beginning of a paragraph make your corrections neatly according to the way your instructor suggests. also upon 5. put it aside for a while and then proofread it carefully before you hand it in.4. 87. such as adding or deleting a paragraph. for the omission and marks of punctuation. it will pay to give it one final check. 53 . 5.7a Final proofreading When you finish your final draft. trated in When major revisions tences. The impression your writing makes upon your readers depends not only upon your ideas and the way in which you have expressed them. No matter how perfect the finished product may appear. a word. you will take pride in the final form of your paper. the addition of a comma.

You might then be asked to correct these mistakes. The quality of these five ranging from very poor to excellent. there are five basic "" pieces of equiptment needed to re produce recorded music. and a speaker. a record. a turntable. perhaps by using red pencil or red ink. To begin with. in this manner: Quality reproduction of music is a much more complicated Sproood dujuu To -fe. a paragraph might be marked in this manner: Quality reproduction of music is a much more complicated proced- ure than most people realize. an amplifier. A tvi^Hi&r- begin with.Writing a paper For example. a pickup. These are. there are five basic 54 .than most people realize.

and make a note of any points on which you need further help so that you can discuss your writing problems intelligently with your instructor in conference. 55 . an amplifier. The more you learn from correcting your papers at an early stage in the course. Look up the sections in this Handbook that deal with your problems. clarity. as well as what it is.5. When you are making the corrections. If. JUfiSMeAs The quality of these five ranging from very poor to excellent. If the passage cannot be corrected neatly in the margin or between the lines. you misspelled a large number of words. rewrite it on the back of the page. study the comments on the more important features of your writing: content. what was the reason? Were these unusual or difficult words? Or (more likely) were they words you took for granted you knew how to spell? Be certain that you understand the reason for each correction. you can't see why a semicolon should be used where you put a comma. study 33 on the semicolon. organization. the greater confidence you will have in your future writing and the more progress you will show. a pickup. or in whatever way your instructor directs. Try to see why you made the error. completeness. These are/ a record. In addition to correcting mechanics. If. a turntable. study the mistakes you made so that you can avoid them in future writing. for example. and a speaker. for example.8 pieces of equip tment needed to re^ produce recorded music.

4. 1953 Munson. Article-Writing. Norton. 1945. "Some Facts on Revision/' College English. References now are in writing. 1949 Struck. write of Select three of the following general subjects and for each one down two specific topics that would be suitable for a paper for a 500 words.O. York... Ch.*) Writing a paper No matter where you with practice.C. 1954. Watts. New Money.T. women's fashions discipline in high school rural electrification music in the home Eleanor. Creative Age. Graham. New York. William Spare Time Article Writing -for New York. 56 . New York. 1947 Robeson. J. 15:279-283 Wallas. you can improve Bailey. The Art Control of Thought. Lederer. Gorham. and two topics 1000-1200 word paper. Techniques in Appleton-Century-Crofts. Roosevelt improvements in automobiles the effects of color intelligence in animals the Girl Scouts the comics school spirit personality and popularity drive-in theaters statehood for Alaska soap operas flying saucers fire prevention the home workshop Sunday school science fiction water sports R. Stages of Exercises 1. The Written Word. Herman R.

jobs you have had. fishing is a thrilling Salmon Fishing: Salmon sive sport. 4. 3. They may range from some aspects of aeronautics to voodoo practices in the West Indies any matter that interests you or about which you would like to know more. readlike to talk or argue about. of specific matters that you would like to write about and that might interest others. visited. Examine the What points listed controlling idea for each of these three topics. I learned a great deal about campus politics and the voting public. hobbies. and inexpen- 1) Requires skill 2) Prizes offered for biggest fish 3) Equipment need not be expensive 4) Boats can be rented cheaply 5) Salmon fight to the last breath 6) Columbia River and Puget Sound two of the best areas 7) Conservation efforts have paid off 8) Baked salmon is a delectable dish 9) How No 10) thrill the Indians prepare salmon equals that first strike 11) b.Exercises 2. When your list is completed. Prepare a list of topics for investigation. ideas for effective development. should be eliminated? Indicate the way you would group the remaining a. 57 . Make an inventory of places you have lived in or people you know. and one suitable for a 2500 word paper. ing. Make up a list of topics based upon your past experiences. select two subjects you think would make good papers of 500 words each. two that would make papers of 1200 words each. subjects do this early in the course. A sport for young and old for Office: Running Even though I lost the election for vice- president of the freshman class. movies. rial for you you will have sports. plays. If you papers in which the choice of subject a ready supply of mateis left up to you.

but they are a comfort to many a lonely housewife.Writing a paper Candidates usually known only to students from same high school study up on issues support helps 4) Girls not as interested as boys in politics 5) -Ability to speak well is an important asset 1) 6) Expense of my campaign $4.25 7) Lost six pounds during campaign 8) N& party affiliations as in national elections -lA) -Takes a 9) Voters get a chance to learn how voting machines lot of time from studies work irl^Satisfaction of meeting so many students more important than winning office ~ 12)HExeitement of hearing election returns Increased knowledge of campus issues c. SL) Those who criticize rarely listen e programs much superior to others off if always turn the radio you don't like the program 4}-JE&er5ane likes to hear about the troubles and joys of ordinary people ~S)~^Listening helps to take housewife's mind off her tedious chores - children are off to school. the house becomes a lonely place '?)""iyome programs have been running for years -6)" -When 8) My favorite is "Our Gal Sunday" 9) Housewife needn't take plays seriously 10) OuaxCTcharacters become like old friends 11) Good play recipes and household else hints often given after the ThereV-almost nothing on the air in the daytime anyway 58 . Soap Operas: Radio soap operas may not be a high form of art.

&uau V &4 ^ur^^^ 20 trw dt<*H*M9 a^faaMt &^^ a. Here is an example of the it first a student paper.-" s* Q 5 ' x^ OLhstL+fQ -4y.Exercises 5. Does this b. Study that follow. 7C&JL* o 7 ^fec^ufe /a>ietjL) g^t^U^-4^ A ^fag^^x&MXt^X^ w O -id^ . c. How effective Is there paper have a controlling idea? are the opening lines? first any repetition of ideas in either the that needs to be omitted? paragraph or second 59 . carefully page from the rough draft of and then answer the questions - <r ** 6 <jv *u*<+ 4 ". +<*U*ZTJcA*Jtr 8 10 12 touVbt^-ifa^x^^ 15 du6o*t .

> d. It may be hard worfe^to hike 4 s up the mountain. an example of careless and unsatisfactory copy. 2 It is one of the best ways to build s up your body in a way that will help you in all sorts of skiing. punc- tuation. Skiing as I know it 1 Hik/ing is something that all good skiers enjoy. wording. 6 7 This is skiing at it's best. The made a few changes in his final draft but he has overlooked more important ones. Writing a paper What changes that the writer has made are for the better? For the worse? e. Read it over and make a note of 6. This is student has every proofreading change you think necessary. 8 Down through the new unbroken powder snow that is hard to match in any area. 60 . Show how you would revise this page by copying it down and making every change you think necessaryin spelling. paragraphing. but the real thrill comes when the top is reached and it is time to start down. 9 When the 10 bottom of this long run is reached it is 11 usually time to go home.

Exercises 12 Skiyumping is one of the hardest and most beautiful feats of skiing. Which paper most accurately describes your own difficulties in writing? If the paper does not offer a solution for your problems. is Approxier*i5?one and one-half times 19 the length of a football field. The worlds ie 17 record jump is four hundred and fifty-six feet. The following themes were written in a class period of fifty minutes on the subject "What specific aspects of writing are most difficult for first you?" The assignment was made at the end of the quarter's Read work in composition. which is a 20 long way to fly with nothing to hold you up. 21 22 7. Usually the best jumpers is 14 is have started when they are very young and have done it all their lives. what solution would you suggest? b. It takes presision balance and a clear head to go through a jump from start to finish. the themes and be prepared to discuss them on the basis of these points: a. it requires much skill and practice. Which papers sound to you most convincing and sincere? Do any of the papers sound as regard for what the felt? instructor they were written with more might expect than for what the if student actually How appropriate are the titles? 61 .

express myself in as clear Paragraphing is is a phase of writing that simply "gives me 10 fits/' I feel that I have had a fairly good background in the 11 mechanical aspects of English. I seem to get a choked-up feeling. but 19 more because I have become accustomed to using only those 20 words of which I am certain of the correct spelling. I do making the select I feel that the subjects assigned by the instructor 22 23 are not those about which feel that it particularly well qualified to alleviates me of the agonizing task of I am 24 25 selection myself. I find it a good deal 1 2 less than a joy. 26 Assignments to be done outside class. I seem to have a more relaxed feel5 ing about the whole thing. do not effect 28 me nearly so much.> c. For that reason. Do any of these papers unconfaults that the writer is discussing? sciously illustrate the same 1) Writing is a Difficult Operation for Me While I don't especially hate writing. but when a topic is assigned in class 6 7 8 9 and the paper has to be handed in before class is dismissed. sentence structure) that you find. but I seem unable to distinguish 12 between a new sentence and a new paragraph. Writing a paper the Which papers seem to you to get the main idea minimum of repetition or backtracking? In which across with are the ex- pressions most natural or original? Do any of them sound unfin- ished? d. punctuation. and don't seem to be able to a manner as I feel I should be able to. my own topics. although still possess27 ing the same hurdles as a classroom assignment. Class papers in particular seem to be my mental 3 nemisis. This is always apparent to me and I am quite conscious of the 13 14 fact when I write. I prefer to not especially in a class paper. Spelling is is trouble. I like the feeling of being able to give my 62 . Point out any errors (spelling. When a topic is assigned and I am given a week or so 4 to complete the assignment. paragraphing. but even though I try my best. I don't feel that this 21 Although write. an aspect of writing that gives me only slight is because I am a good speller. I am contin15 ually putting new paragraphs where new sentences are more 16 17 correct.

concise opening paragraph. Of course my papers are not for the most part but I am definitely of the opinion that I would like them to be. 2) 1 of the Barriers Involved in Writing a Composition difficult aspects of writing that I encounter 2 involve the opening and closing paragraphs. About the fourth day I write a rough draft. the paragraphs that follow are much easier to construct 15 16 Once I have come this first until I 17 18 meet to writing and have overbarrier. 37 38 have added too late to do anything about it. Once I have pre7 pared an opening sentence and paragraph. and additions. As a general rule. bad or otherwise. writing flows along quite rapidly second obstruction. with actually settled down my my This paragraph. is probably the most 63 . the 40 paper is turned in "as is. Next I write or type the final draft and put it 36 in my notebook until It is at this classtime. But it is 42 least the suffering is of shorter duration in the latter type. 5 Perhaps my trouble lies in the approach to composition writing. I do not like to work from an outline and I therefore begin 6 my work without a great deal of preparation. I feel that I have a 9 10 11 my sound foundation on which I can construct a satisfactory 12 13 14 all composition. that with a clear. at 39 period that I begin to get the feeling that I should something or omitted a certain passage. along with the first. and then a few changes. I take two or three days just getting ideas about what to write. the closing paragraph. and feel that it is 4 8 satisfactory. At the end of that time I usually skim quickly through a few magazines or newspapers for more material. The former being 3 the most difficult of the two. After constructing opening paragraph. deletions. the rest of the composition is comparatively easy.Exercises 29 so 31 topic 32 33 34 35 more thought and study before putting something on paper. In 43 either case. Good. it is a difficult operation for me.** 41 Although I prefer home papers to those written in class. But I 44 do feel a little less tense and a little more at ease with a pen 45 in my hand than Two The two most I did eleven weeks ago. however.

until there essay. so I will therefore reconcile myself to the fact that As is fairly evident. as I said before. so I begin to write. with and yet I feel dissatisfied 64 . composition writing would be much easier medicine to take if I could eliminate two barriers. 2 punctuation. but it also has to unite the entire composition 21 so that the reader will be left with a lasting and convincing 22 More times than not I will rewrite an ending para23 24 25 impression. grammar. graph three or four times until I feel that I have attained the forcefulness it should have and the impression I want to create. with these eliminated. 37 38 this is one barrier that I will have to overcome in one way or another. Here. a composition would not be a composition. my 26 graph more or less to put into one paradifficulty is trying the meaning that I have been trying to convey through- 27 out the entire composition. However. concise. 6 When a subject is and given by the instructor. I never seem to say 5 what I really think. and wording all give me trouble when I am 3 preparing a paper. I will write a rough draft soul out on paper and then go back and delete is. It 15 have at this point that finished writing a paper my difficulties become apparent. I what seems to be. the first and last paragraphs. Not only is it difficult to condense 28 an entire composition in this manner. ideas usually come 7 quite freely 8 9 10 11 by pouring my and change. but I also find it extreme29 sentence for the closing that ly difficult to find an appropriate 30 will. an organized read the paper to my roommate. Spelling. or When this is done. 3) 1 A Frustrated Writer I find several aspects of writing difficult. The I final step is is copying the scribblings into the finished product.5 19 Writing a paper difficult to compose. 20 and to the point. that 4 stands out as a real trouble spot for me. 32 33 34 35 36 judging from the proceeding paragraphs. There is one particular aspect however. I fre- 12 13 14 Often he has some very good suggestions for revision so quentiy make a few more changes. Not only does it have to be clear. give the reader the desired lasting 31 impression.

After you gather and think about the material. paragraphs and whole Barrett compositions are subjects of prevision. Many new ideas now pop into my have been included in the paper. I have failed time after time to make my ideas on a given subject clear enough or full enough to be valuable to anyone else. Or to like myself. This that is 27 28 much the part of writing that bothers me the most.16 17 is 19 it. I believe of my trouble could be cured by using better out- lines. That is. and by thinking my subject through before I begin to 29 so 31 write. The form and completeness of the outline will depend on the writing assignment. if inspiration doesn't continue to come to me just 32 when I'm ready to turn my paper in. Wendell The mam purpose of an outline is to make and more <Sec8veTTKen^^^ outfineTis writing easier during the planning step of the writing process described in the preceding section. Possibly as I write more papers I will find weak spots and be able to express myself more my fully. and before you write the first draft. 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 The result of this inability to put my thoughts just as I would them to be on paper is a feeling of frustration. and will range from random scratch 65 . you need a plan of attack: In what order are you going to present your ideas? Which ones? How are the EiailLid&as and which are the less important are you going to show the relationship between out- them? These questions are best answered by making an line to represent the plan of your paper. 6 Outlining Words and sentences are subjects of revision. Practise will also help. Possibly a head that I think should whole new ap- proach to the subject seems advisable. but by this time its too late to think of writing another paper or even adding fresh thoughts to the original.

Irrelevant ideas can be detected and removed in the outline stage. 6. B. main your own writing by outlining the finished paper to see whether the organization and the emphasis you can test are as effective as you wanted them to be. It helps to make a paper unified. topic. You can arrange the topics in an order that represents your judgment of their importance. It enables you to put the emphasis where you want it. between your ideas can be more easily seen HE. A. A good outline leads is to an effective paper. The val- ues of outlining are summarized in the following sentence outline: Central idea: I.1 An outline begins to take shape as soon have some material to work with and a fairly definite you idea of the main point you want to make. II. An outline a systematic and workmanlike approach to the job of writing.O Outlining notes for a brief class paper to a detailed. It saves time and minimizes rewriting. B. You can find out which ideas are major and which are minor. It grows out of the material you actually have to present. the topic or the Making an outline as question usually takes care of the subject matter and the viewpoint. A. You can visualize the amount of space you are giving to each B. One of the best ways to fix in your mind the subject matter is of your texts or lecture notes or outside reading the material so that you can concentrate on the Similarly. It indicates that you know what you want to say before you begin writing. half- formed ones. C. For extemporaneous writing and for examination papers. carefully worked out sentence outline for more complex assignments. All you need to do is to jot down the ideas you want to cover so that they won't slip your mind while you are writing. A. You can distinguish fully developed ideas from vague. itself 66 . D. The relationship in outline form. to outline points.

" your preliminary thinking might produce sorted list this rough. un- of ideas: Security Promotion slow but steady Many different branches appeal to different men Pay not very high Depression won't bother you Can't be fired Cost of uniforms Discipline often annoying Frequent moves hard on soldier's family See interesting places and people Social life restricted to small circle Good retirement benefits Annual vacation with pay Many military men successful in politics and business after retirement that some of these points stress the of an army career. the disadvantages. la Arranging ideas The first thing to do is to get all your ideas down on paper. others. as follows: 6. The advantages next step then is to divide the notes into two columns: A quick glance reveals Advantages Security Disadvantages Pay not very high Cost of uniforms Discipline often annoying Promotion slow but steady Many different branches appeal to different men Depression won't bother you Can't be fired See interesting places and Frequent moves hard on family soldier's Social life restricted to small circle peopk Good retirement benefits Annual vacation with pay Many military men successful in after politics and business retirement 67 . On the subject 'The Army as a Career.1a But for work to be done outside to build class.6. you will find it helpful up your outline by definite stages.

not a central idea. Disadvantages 1. Cost of uniforms B.O You Outlining will notice that in this is form the relationship between the various ideas not shown (What is the relationship between "promotion slow but steady" and "many different branches appeal to different men'?) and that there is no clear balance between the two columns (Is "security" supposed to balance "pay not very high"?). Disadvantages 1. 6. 4. Advantages 1. 3. 3. 2. Looking at the columns above you can see that there are two main ideas in each the financial aspect of an army career and the living conditions. Financial aspect A. it is a title. Slow but steady promotion Depression won't "bother you Can't be fired Good retirement benefits Annual vacation with pay 7. From your 68 . outline at this stage you can see that you have more and stronger material on the financial advantages of a military career than on its disadvantages. Social aspect A. Advantages 1. Discipline often annoying 2. Many different branches appeal to different See interesting people and places men 6. Many military men successful in politics and business after retirement II. You might try balancing the notes in this way: I. On the other hand. decide what is the main point you want to make in your paper.1b Getting a central idea When you have arranged your notes according to some system. 5. Frequent moves hard on soldier's family Social life restricted to small circle B. 'The Army as a Career" doesn't tell what you are going to say about the subject. Pay not very high 2. Security 2.

1c Revising the outline With the central idea as your guide. you will see that some overlap or are actually minor parts of other points. you could frame a tentative statement of your purpose: "Although there are definite dis- advantages to an army career. Perhaps the point is that military men can find the job they like or are best in the "Many different fitted for. Under "Advantages" entry second main heading. In the first it is be a weak part of the outline "Cost of uniforms" seems to point. repeats or overlaps another heading. the first branches appeal to different men" seems out of place or else incorrectly phrased. The heading "Security" obviously covers "Slow but steady promotion" and "Can't be fired. outline so that every part of it contributes diarrange your rectly to the purpose of the paper." This statement will now govern the reworking of the outline." Closer examination reveals that "Annual vacation with pay" is an aspect of living conditions rather than of finances. the advantages outweigh them.6. or unrelated to the central idea." The third heading. so substitute it for "Cost of uniforms. 6. Aren't officers given allowances for their uniforms? Probably "Expense of frequent entertaining" is a stronger point. But assuming that you want to treat the subject fully and in a favorable light. but if you look at these entries closely." The financial advantages of an army career seem to stand out. Examine each heading separately to see if it if it needs to be strengthened or elaborated if upon. At this stage your outline is still tentative. As the plan now stands. "Depression won't bother you. since it really is part of "Can't be fired. it should therefore be shifted to the second main heading. and can be to suit your purpose as it becomes clearer in your changed mind.1 c the disadvantages of living conditions seem to outweigh the advantages." is probably superfluous. the first part seems to be the 69 .

c.2 Types of outlines use: the scratch outline. Chance to travel. b. and after some head- ings have been reworded to make them parallel in form. Disadvantages 1. Security a." and then end the paper on an emphatic note the training that the army affords for success in other fields.6 Outlining stronger. Pay not very high 2. Expense of frequent entertaining B. but the advantages outweigh them. Disadvantages 1. the topic outline. the final outline would be as follows: Central idea: there are From some disadvantages the standpoint of finances and living conditions. select the form that best suits your purpose and your 70 . Advantages 1. Social life restricted to Frequent moves hard on soldier's family a small circle B. Opportunity to find the job one is best fitted for Annual leaves with pay 3. Your instructor will tell you which Three kinds of outlines are in general and the sentence form he wants for outlines that are submitted with your papers. Slow but steady promotion Pennanent employment Good retirement benefits 2. to see new places and meet new people Financial aspect of an army career 1. outline. the basis for an orderly paper that 6. 3. 2. Advantages II. it would be a good idea to reverse the present order: begin with "Living conditions. I. For your own use. A. Discipline often annoying 2. After these changes have been made. Preparation for success in business or politics after retire- ment will The outline now can be make a definite point. to an army career. Living conditions A. To make the argument more convincing.

The following is a sample you write. for example. or brief papers in class.1a. scratch outline on the subject of clerking in a large depart- ment store: Learning the ropes 5-day training period Store's policies Methods of selling Customersgood and bad What I learned An outline of this sort is useful when time is limited when you are writing examinations. is in sentence form. I learned a good deal about the operation of a large department store and about human nature as well L Getting preliminary training A.2b Topic outline kind of formal The topic outline is the most frequently used outline.2b methods of work. Central idea: Through training and actual experience as a clerk. The exact form of the outline is not particularly important. To learn to meet the public 2. If longer than four or five items.6. To To learn store policies learn stock 71 . It consists of brief phrases or single words (not sentences) which are numbered or lettered to show the order and relative importance of the ideas. you will need to arrange the entries in order (or number them) before bethe list is ginning to write.2a Scratch outline A scratch outline is a series of notes as single words or phrases jotted down to jog your memory like those in 6. 6. Try experimenting with find the one you prefer. The central idea. since ordinarily you will be the only one who sees it. 3. Necessity for training 1. which stands at the head of the outline. different kinds to 6.

Disagreeable 1. Profit margin specials B. 2. Treat clerks as equals advance what they want need it HI. Looking for quality as well as price Taking advice of conscientious clerks C. 3. About shopping wisely 1. 3. Consider clerk's problems 2. all kinds of people observing different types of clerks Indifferent b. Moore's specializes in quality merchandise. c. Tours through store Waiting on customers A. experienced or not. human nature Through waiting on 2. Learning through experience A. Want to handle goods 3. was required to attend a five-day training school. A. Every new clerk. usually having just one main clause. Overhead costs 2. is 62c Sentence outline Each heading in a sentence outline a complete sentence. 72 . Avoiding "come-on" 2. school is necessary because Moore's policies are different from those of other stores. Want to be waited on first 2. Pleasant 1. Can't make up their minds B.O Outlining B. I. Lectures and demonstrations II. About operation of a large store 1. Know Ask in for help when they 4. By a. About 1. A 1. Overeager Conscientious in a topic outline should be sufficiently comso that they will mean something to plete you if you have to the outline aside for a day or two before put writing the The headings paper. Central idea: The training and experience I received as a clerk in Moore's Department Store gave me first-hand information about retailing methods and taught me something about human nature. Kind of training 1.

Others would make up their minds what they wanted before I waited on them. b. 4. Some women thought the clerk had as much time to waste as they did. 1. b. 3. 2. few always wanted to be waited on first. I gained first-hand information about good business methods. 1. B. b. and for needed 73 . I learned the importance of controlling overhead and incidental expenses. B. 1. 3. 2. 3. this experience advice. I learned how to meet the public. HI. 1. The men in particular were willing to take my They didn't blame me for the high prices. My customers generally treated me with respect. patience. The training period was thorough and interesting. and cooperation are to get along with others. I gained considerably more from I earned. I learned how to shop wisely and efficiently. The management of Moore's actually practiced many of the retailing principles I had studied in economics. It pays to study the ads before visiting a store. The most a. than the salary A. a.2c Most of the customers have charge accounts. not as inferiors. Most important was the knowledge I picked up working with other people. I learned that tact. C. Bargains are often misleading. Most customers treated the clerks as equals. Some would wait patiently until I had finished with another customer. 1. 2. Some were all kinds of people.6. a. 2. Most people realized that the clerk was often rushed for time. My A. II. These included the people who could never make up their customers included A minds. my customers came frequently to chat but never disagreeable were those who treated the clerks contemptuously. 2. The instructors were efficient and cooperative. B. Many of them expect to be greeted by name. disagreeable and annoying. department by department. Two of to buy. But the majority were thoughtful and pleasant to wait on. They acted out actual selling situations. 2. 3. They explained the operation of the entire store. 1. 2. They told us what to do in emergencies.

Make the outline neat as well as accurate. For that reason it is sometimes complete clear assigned for training in writing long formal reports such as the reference paper. Each sentence is also in the form of a statement.O Outlining Each heading is a complete sentence. head) (Lower case 1) letter for third sub- b 2) head) (Arabic numeral with parenthesis for fourth subhead) B n. (Roman numeral ( for main head) A. Capital letter for subhead ) (Arabic numeral for second sub- 2 a. 1. put it in the form that has been assigned. not a question. and only one sentencenot two or three. and other physical aspects of outlines follow certain conventions. particularly when the outlines are to be read by someone other than the writer. . 3 Outline form Numbering. indention. If your instructor asks you to turn in an outline. The chief advantage of a sentence outline will is that the ideas have to be stated in and fully thought out before they can be sentences. the sentence outline is not widely used. punctuation. When you are required to turn in an outline with your paper. This is the typical method for numbering and indenting a topic or sentence outline: Central idea: ' (Sentence statement) I. 74 .3a Numbering and indention Make the numbering of your headings consistent throughout. it is certain that he intends to read it 6. But in current practice.

The photoelectric cell. or they the first may be indented so word of the preceding heading. A. . It is used in elevator floors to enable the elevator to stop at exactly the right level. 6. known as the "electric eye. that they are directly under as shown in this book. longer papers may need three or more. Why What 1 prefer this work work HI. .).3b Headings Each heading and meaningful. B. Two levels are often enough for a short paper. There is rarely any need to go farther than the third subhead (a. avoid overelaborate and confusing systems. the opportunities for success A. The subheads are indented four or five spaces in typed copy and about three-quarters of an inch in long. .) are set flush with the lefthand margin. In rural areas B. c . Grew up with animals on a farm would be The chances Saw importance of V. Vague and useless in your outline should be specific Specific to The I. Profession I Want Follow The I. III ." has been put to a variety of practical uses. IV. work Worked with a veterinarian last two summers veterinarian's n. is in- When a heading runs over one line." "Body.6. Conclusion C. hand. the second line dented as far as the first word of the preceding line: I. Profession I Want to Follow Introduction Lifelong interest in veterinarian's EL. In cities DDE. When you make an outline." and "Conclusion" aren't useful unless you indicate what material you are going 75 . Many opportunities in veterinary work today A. b. II. Worthwhile and well-paid Headings like "Introduction.3b The main heads (I.

it should be divided into more than one part. and soon. of the Roses When Why? they began A.3d Dividing the material If a heading is to be divided at all. but do not put any punctuation at the end of the entry. B. capital- ize the first letter of the word beginning the heading (and all proper nouns). The necessary information will have write. Started 1455 Caused by rivalry between Houses of Lancaster and York 6. is not a title).6 to Outlining Instead of using general labels such put into these sections. The Wars A. it will save time when you write your paper. numerous. for every A. there should be a B. Definite of the Roses I. The student is able to set a goal college are for himself." indicate exactly what the causes or results are. because these headings are not complete state- ments. 76 . In the Army B.3c Punctuation and capitalization In a topic outline. The Wars B. as "Causes" and "Results. form of questions or in statements Putting headings in the that will have to be filled in later is not an efficient practice. so Indefinite 1. The advantages of specialization in A. other words in the heading are not capitalized (a heading I. 6. This practice is based upon the principle that nothing can be divided into fewer than two parts. Except capital letter for proper nouns. I. Present need for nurses A. In public health Punctuate every heading in a sentence outline just as you would punctuate the sentences in your paper: begin with a and end with a period or other end stop. there should be at least a II. to it be supplied when you in the you might as well supply planning stage. For every heading marked I.

Historical novels HI.3d Inaccurate division Accurate division of the The Three Branches I. Lower courts When repeats there is is what in the topic. Treasure Island IV. Historical novels II. Character studies V. What I like most IV. 77 . The Supreme Court B. Unequal headings Books I. President and Cabinet The executive branch A. II. Cabinet II. The Supreme Court in. I Have Enjoyed stories I Have Enjoyed stories Adventure Adventure II. James Smithson 1. The judicial branch A. by James Smithan Englishman. The legislative branch A. The legislative branch A. in 1846 The main heads of your outline should represent equally important divisions of the subject as a whole. President B. Functions Special functions 2. The House of Representatives B. The House of Representatives B. The Senate 1. Special privileges HI. of the Federal Government Federal Government The executive branch A. The judicial branch A. In 1846 Established son. Autobiographies III. Unnecessary division Accurate division The Smithsonian I. only one heading under a topic. Institution The Smithsonian I. Science fiction Similarly the subdivisions should designate equally important divisions of one phase of the main divisions. Equal headings Books I. The Senate 1. Autobiographies V. Institution Established by an Englishman A. it usually and should therefore be in- cluded with it.6. The Three Branches I.

The I. IV. however. Aviation Service II. B. Climatological Service VI. Bucking bronco on Wyoming's Headings of equal rank should not overlap: what is in 11 should exclude what is covered in I. A lowing examples show form: Headings not parallel how headings can be made parallel in Parallel headings of Putting The Art of Putting The Art The H. Accurate Weather Bureau Services of the I. but could be nouns or any other parallel sentence outline should use complete sentences throughout and not lapse into topic headings. Flight Advisory Service V. In a topic outline. The same principle applies to subdivisions: when A under I is an adjective. B and C are also adjectives. Under 77. if I is a prepositional phrase. B.O L Outlining Unequal subheads Purpose of slogans license plates Equal subheads on car L Purpose of slogans on car A. B should be clearly distinct from A. The grip 78 . To advertise state's leading industry To advertise state's leading industry D. and C would not have to be adjectives. To attract tourists B. stance grip is fundamental L The stance H. II and III are also nouns. Overlapping Services of the I. A. so are II and III. River Crop Weather Service and Flood Service V. California plates used to have a poppy as decoration C. General Public Service Aviation Weather Service III. The folforms. II. license plates To attract tourists A. Crop Weather Service IV. Bulletins to fanners 6.3e Making headings parallel in wording Headings in the same series are put in the same grammatical form. if I is a noun. Weather Bureau General Public Service Reports of newspapers HI. and so on.

Outlines that for no single topic needs such minute subdivision. An outline as the finished paper may be a tribute of sorts to the long writer's industry. In other words. 6. The order and relative importance of the ideas should be the same in both. The number of main headings for most papers ranges from three to five.4a HI. Stroking the ball V. The contact with the ball V.2c. A larger number of main heads for a 1000 word orpaper suggests that the division is haphazard or that the is faulty. Dependents C. that is nearly as plex than the material demands. 6. Because of age D.4 The outline in relation to the paper When you are asked to submit an outline with your paper. Because of occupation B. Dependents C.4a Length of the outline suit An outline should be long enough to and no longer. The same principle applies to subheadganization or S need revision. If you have found it necessary in writing the paper to depart from the original outline. your outline serves as the table of contents. there is seldom any need to go M beyond the third subhead. It should be no more comyour purpose. Follow through with care BDL The backswing IV. Selective Service System n. Physical disability A. Age in parallel form. Importance of the backswing IV. Occupation B. And except with very complex material. make the corresponding changes in the outline before handing it in. Four reasons Four reasons for deferment A. 79 . see the outlines 6. and not as it might have been written. but it also represents misdirected effort that might better have been spent on the paper itself. Some are physically unfit D. run from A through ings. The follow-through The Selective Service System for deferment The II.2b For extended examples of and 6.6. it should represent the plan of the paper as it actually has been written.

4b Writing the paper from the outline useful to you as the material you put correct the form in An outline will be as into it No matter how numbering. can you frame a statement of the central idea? article b. or perhaps better? 80 . comparison. Has the author stated Does the plan of the article? If not. number and the relative length of the paragraphs in your paper from the main divisions in the outline.O Ouflining 6. check the outline carefully for proper form. were you conscious of the framework as the article? you read c. summary. and then specifically the central idea of his answer these questions: a. show through in the writing? La other words. make an an article in a magazine or volume of readings. And the divisions will show where transitions within and between paragraphs as well as the kind of expression: contrast. outlines for relatively for organizing papers on more good training simple subjects complex topics that you will probably have to discuss in other Practice in constructing and using courses. or of a chapter from one of your textbooks. and parallel structure if the outline doesn't help you in writing your pahas been defeated.how professional writers plan their material. additional illustraare needed tion. Exercises 1. You can construct topic sentences for these parain the outrephrasing or expanding the statements graphs by line headings. To outline of see . and so is forth. punctuation. per. Your instructor may designate the form of the outline as well as select the article. Can you suggest any alternative plan of development that might have been equally satisfactory. its main purpose A good outline is You can estimate both the a useful guide for better paragraphing. When you have finished.

Use the proper form and accurate subdivisions. Freedom from fear. Economic D. 1. Why everyone should be able to swim.Exercises 2. Many a. 1. frame a central idea and put the notes in the form of a topic outline. Outlined in January 1941 A. 2) I. Red experiences Cross lifesaving test 81 . As early as possible. Children have been taught as young as three years The Ability to swim may save your life. A. Learning to dance Managing a rummage Speaking in public The process of rushing sale Why writing is difficult Why people watch excavations Radiant heating Secrets of good cooking Should physical education be Hot rods Unusual place names Forecasting the results of football I Income required in college? is not the primary goal of education prefer games Bach problem Our local parking 3. my b. show off in the water 3. Tell what is wrong with the form show how you would revise them. Freedom of speech B. C. When you have jotted down all your notes. Write a scratch outline on any one of the following topics that appeals to you. Everyone should learn to swim. schools require students to pass swimming tests. never swim alone don't 2. Everyone should be able to worship God as he sees fit. II. 1) of the following outlines and The Four Freedoms I.

A. and superior mental ability.O 3) Outlining A special agent for the FBI must have an excellent character. The recipients of the mail IV. Then state specifically what you consider to be the unsatisfactory aspects of each one either in form or content. Turntable 82 . his name put on a waiting list. Oral Questions 1. With the pistol 2. Physical B. Intensive practice on the target range 1. III. Purpose B. The weather Mailboxes II. If he passes both of these. L There are three main qualifications for the job A. Mental C. Character IL The candidate must pass a formal interview and a written examination. Study the following outlines from the standpoint of effective and useful planning. III. 1) Central idea: The mailman about. Submachine gun practice 4. People who have savage dogs V. hasn't an easy job and he has many things to complain I. Special training for successful candidates A. perfect health. In the gym C. Classroom B. Other things 2) Quality Reproduction of Recorded Music L Five basic pieces of equipment A. Written Exams is C.

83 . A good speaker should be able to produce notes from 30 to 20. Height from floor VI. Speaker E. 2. The cartridge 3.Exercises B. The case or cabinet 2. 1. Amplifier A. 3. Conclusions of the headings in the following outlines have been left After you have examined the outline. indicate by number blank. Consists of three parts 1. Records: good and bad VII. Amplifier D. Good changer Made by reputable manufacturer C. Records 1. Needs ten watt output V. Pickup arm C. Give reasons for your choice. Most important part of equipment B. '1. which heading from those at the right you would put in each 5. 78 rpm 45 rpm 33% rpm to look for in a turntable n. Needle Cartridge 2. Twelve to fifteen inches in diameter. Qualities to look for in pickup A. Qualities A. From ten tubes. Some blank space. Sapphire tipped needle best for 78 rpm records D.000 cycles per second. Speakers A. Others III. B. Pickup C. Low (a) output variable reluctance type best But requires pre-amplifier five to IV.

Composes the page 2. 5. Edits the news D. Printing department A. 4. Corrects proof 84 . news C. People of good character Students Naturalized citizens Soldiers use military permits 1. L Business department A. In Western B. 5. 4. 4. Pays bills Keeps accounts Run by business manager D. 2. Health certificates 2. How to apply A. 3. Determines and expresses the newspaper's policies Involves many complicated processes B. 4. In western 2. Witnesses C. Collects Is very important first 2. Miscellaneous 3. C. Native-born citizens Who may B 1. Writes the Writing editorials hard work sees fit 3. Sets type 1.O Outlining 1) United States Passport Regulations L Where passports are 1. What the cost is What a passport is What you must furnish 2) The Organization of a Newspaper 1. Gathers the news 2. What In Mexico a passport is In the Orient Hemisphere Europe Not needed in Canada Not issued for China Children C. Reports the news as it 4. get a passport A. B. needed A. III. Comes money space 3. Run by the editor is A. 5. II* Sells advertising Editorial department 1. Photographs B. BE. B. 3.

1 General instructions how to use it. If you have a typewriter and know 7. by 4. with the lines about one-half inch apart. it is good practice to type all papers written outside class. handwritten papers can be made just as acceptable as those that are well typed.1a C D. 3. or copy that is to go to a printer should be neat. Selects size of type Linotype operators are IV. Distributes papers delivery boys 2. Prints the paper 5. la Handwritten papers inches. Themes written on closely lined paper are hard to read and difficult to 85 . for typed papers do not worry all college courses. 1. 5. 3. business letters. automatically receive better grades.7. The The The The final step circulation role of the delivery manager boy department circulation 7 Manuscript form All writing that someone else is going to read personal correspondence. papers for a college course. and mistakes of all sorts stand out more prominently in typed copy. you need not that your work will suffer. The very first impression a reader will get from your writing will depend on its appearance. highly skilled Getting the paper to you A. Use lined white paper S& by 11 7. With reasonable care. Uses expensive printing presses 4. Typed manuscript is easier to read than most handwriting and it is generally preferable for written work in But if you cannot type. easy to read. Distributes paper to newsstands B. and in good form. Typographical errors are more common than slips of the pen.

Use black ribbon and change it before it gets pale.2 Spacing Leave ample margins on each side of the page. green or violet ink is in dubious taste and annoying to many readers. The book a first edition was missing. Before you hand your paper in. 7. Handwritten papers should be easy to read. because their rough edges stick together. Follow standard conventions in typing.1b Typed papers For typed papers. make strike others as it is to you. For the figure 1 use lower case 1 (not capital I ) For a dash. Use black or dark blue ink. Try to a happy medium in the size of your handwriting. Handwriting that is too small puts an unnecessary strain on the eyes of the reader. check it carefully for typographical errors. An left and an inch on the right are the customary margins in handwritten and typed papers. which should be indented and single spaced. Leave at least an inch and a half at the top and an inch at the botinch and a half on the tom 86 of every page. handwriting that is excessively large is no less difficult to read. marked as an error. All typed papers should be double spaced. If have developed what you consider to be an individual you certain that it will be as legible to style of penmanship. If a word looks it will probably be misspelled or is difficult to decipher. use unlined white paper 8Js by 11 inches of good quality bond. Unconnected typing mistakes are counted as errors in composition courses. 7. The only exception is for long quotations. . Keep the type bars clean by frequent brushing. use two hyphens without a space between the words: . It is discourteous to which a reader to use onion skin paper or other transparent sheets let the type show through./ Manuscript form correct Do not use paper torn from spiral bound notebooks. Never use colored paper.

Start a new page.7.4 Corrections in the final copy Changes and corrections should be kept to a minimum. all: Words of one syllable should not be divided at through. Don't crowd your writing at the bottom of a page. do the copy (rewording page over. revising paragraphs). punctuation. line you leave plenty of room at the right-hand side of your page. particularly on important to make major changes in the final papers. When you have sentences.3 Division of words Div Division of words. even if it will contain only a line or two.4 Indent paragraphs uniformly. wellbehaved) should be divided only at the hyphen to avoid adding another. bright. Avoid breaking a word if a single letter will be left at the beginning or end of a line. (Especially don't indent the first line on a page unless it begins a new paragraph. For minor changes (spelling. There is no point in dividing a word like a-lone because the single letter at the end of the line is less attractive than leaving space and carrying the whole word over to the next line. Don't indent any line that is not the beginning of a paragraph. make the corrections as neatly as possible and according to standard practices. 7. ) The last line on a page should not be left partly blank unless it is the end of a paragraph. Correction: Divide according to the syllabication given in If a word at the end of a a reliable dictionary. adding or striking out a word ) . 87 . and about an inch for those written in longhand. you will not have to divide many words at the ends of the lines. It is a good idea to divide words only if writing them out or putting them on the next line would make the lines conspicuously uneven. Words spelled with a hyphen (mother-in-law. Five spaces from the leftthe customary indention for typed papers. played. hand margin is 7.

So ended my first day away from home. directly above it: use a caret A ( ) and write the missing word Manuscript shouldA easy to read. *? The second day . but any one that is brief. simple. To indicate in typed copy that two letters should be re- versed in order (transposed). although it may perhaps arouse his curiosity or appeal to his sense of humor. use a curved line: en 7./ Manuscript form To add a word. write the new paragraph where you symbol f immediately before first word of the new paragraph. To show that an indented sentence should not be the be- ginning of a new paragraph.. draw write the correct form directly above: in the margin. A title need not mystify or startle the reader. Interesting titles are always appreciated. To strike out a word..5 Titles of papers re c^g/ve Word your title so that it gives a definite and accurate idea of the subject matter in your paper in as few words as possible. draw a straight line through use parentheses or brackets) : & it ( don't Final copy should be-e&as accurate as possible To have the indicate the beginning of a failed to indent.. and exact will serve the purpose. write No 1f To correct a misspelled word. Just name the subject accurately and let it 6 go at that 88 . a line through it and This makes a neater and more legible correction than an erasure.

a. good Unnecessarily long titles are not satisfactory.5a Framing a paper title A title actually covers.7.5c 7. and prepositions than five letters long. an. avoid such sweeping titles as "Modern Jazz" or "Music of Today". especially those that merely repeat the assignment: "An Experience in Childhood That Left a Lasting Impression on Me. on Position and on the first lined paper." The central idea (or thesis sentence) of your paper is not intended to serve as a title. Leave a blank line between the title and the first line of the text in handwritten papers. use the proper end punctuation. 89 ." name the subject: "Reading by Sound. Capitalize the first and last words in your title and all other words except short words less like and. use instead "Music I Like" or "Why I Prefer New Orleans Jazz/' A report on the experiences of a baby sitter scarcely deserves the title "Child Psychology" or "The Care of Infants". Instead of writing "Reading Taught by Sound Should Replace Sight Reading. If should not suggest more than the you are discussing your tastes in music. and at least three lines of space in typed papers. the. "Experiences of a Baby Sitter" will be enough if you cannot think of a better title. place it in page the center and about two inches from the top of the page. 75b The title appears capitalization of the title of your paper. On unlined paper. If the title is a question or an exclamation. write the title on the top line.5c Punctuation of the title No period is needed after a title. forget about it and go on." If a title doesn't occur to you in the early stages of writing the paper. It is usually easier to think of an appropriate title when you have finished than before you have started to write. Breaking and Training a Horse The Art of Making Friends To Europe on a Catdeboat How Not to Become Overweight Victory Through Airpower 7.

.7 Endorsing the paper tor directs. 90 . It is not correct to write "more" at the bottom of each page or "30. pages are frequently not in the proper sequence when the paper is submitted. . using. Make certain that the pages of your paper are in the right order before you turn the paper in. . and put it in the order. Begin with the second page. Satisfactory Unsatisfactory Becoming a Citizen This is Becoming a Citizen process It is not difficult for an immigrant to become a citizen of our not a difficult ./ Manuscript form A Cure for Homesickness Why Not UMTC? iar quotations are Man overboard Titles are not inclosed in quotation marks. 7. and it should not be referred to by a pronoun in the first sentence. If you want to mention the title in your opening. rephrase it slightly. 7." or "The End" at the conclusion. consecutively with the other pages. diagrams. Arabic numerals (2. . . in the United States. 3. . 4 ." "Finis. and numbered 7. Include all the information Endorse your papers as your instruche asks for. and other material supplementary to the words of the text are usually put on separate pages. charts. country.6 Numbering pages The first page is not numbered. no marks are needed: Blood. Clear and uniform endorsement is a real right convenience to the teacher who must handle the papers.5d Reference to the title The title is not part of the paper. Sweat. Even when familused as titles. . Even though numbered. and Tears Music Hath Charms . placed near the part that refers to them.) for Numbers are customarily put at the top of the page in paging. the right-hand corner or in the center. . . Long tables.

St. Exercises 1. Avery English 101 B Oct. make a checklist of points to look are making a final check on the form and appearance of your paper. Study your this section. by bobby not fasteners or staples that pierce the paper. or by pins. in a campus magazine or elsewhere. On for when you the basis of this section. or string.Exercises in college courses are folded lengthwise.8 Submitting manuscript for publication Manuscript that is to be submitted for publication. or possibilities for illustration. 14. reference paper. pins. 2. It to is not necessary to write a letter to a its publisher when submitting a manuscript unless there are facts be given about the sources of material used.1b. the endorsement should be on the back of the last sheet or on a special title page. Sheets should be held together by paper clips that can be slipped off. A stamped. with fold endorsed in this way: the outer Most papers Peter D. theme in the light of the directions given in Does it conform to all of them that apply? last 91 . 7. 1954 No* 2 Mr. Clair [Student's name] [Course and section] [Date submitted] [Number of paper] [Instructor's name] If the pages are not folded. The accuracy. The writer's name and full address should be typed in the upper left-hand corner of the first page. See 49. for special instructions on the form of reference papers. Use binders only for longer papers. should be typed and follow the directions in 7. selfaddressed envelope should be inclosed for the possible return of the manuscript.

60. with shorter envelopes (about 92 . What you You should. Exercise 6. be easy and natural. For business is 83 the standard size sheet (typing paper) this size is 332 by 11 inches. Good stationery costs more than an inferior grade. however. With long envelopes. upon the way you customarily express yourself. the person you are writing to.8 3. with envelope to match. Letters fo His will say in your letters and the way that you say it depend upon your purpose. form and appearance are important All follow a pretty well standardized form. la Stationery Select stationery of appropriate size and of quality. 8 Letters Letters should we send them.1 General letter letters form In letter writing. 8. The Earl of Chesterfield. just as in writing papers for class. and above all. so that the form and the appearance of your letters will make the impression you wish. p. and convey to the persons to whom just what we should say to the persons If we were with Son them. paper folded twice horizontally. and their appearance will make an immediate impression favorable or unfavorable upon whoever receives it 8. and the favorable will good little sion it make upon your letters readers is impreswell worth the slight difference. also involves matters of manuscript form. be familiar with the conventions that are followed in current business and social correspondence. Letters Count the number of words on a page of a book or magazine and on a typical page of one of your themes to see how much space your copy would take in print.

When the lines are single spaced. Space paragraphs distinctly. For indented paragraphs. handwriting is perhaps preferable.1 b by 6&). Block paragraphs more common in typed than in handwritten letters are set flush with the left margin of the letter. Whether you should type a letter or write it in longhand depends upon the kind of letter you are writing and the person to whom you are writing. using either block or indented form. consists of single sheets (from 6 by 10 inches to 7& by 11 inches) which are folded twice when placed in an envelope of standard size.8. It is always better for invitations and replies and for letters that convey sentiment or sympathy. Leave good margins and center the body of the letter so that the page will be well balanced. is folded once across the page before being placed in an envelope. Note paper. your friends will probably appreciate typed letters. probably the more popular. Typed letters are standard in business correspondence. a four- page sheet. the sheets are folded once across the middle and twice vertically. and they are becoming increasingly more popular for personal correspondence between friends and relatives. Club paper. two spaces are left between paragraphs. either club paper or note paper is appropriate. begin five or six spaces 93 .1b Spacing and general appearance The pages of a letter should appeal to the reader's eye. like this: Folded twice for long envelopes Folded three times for standard envelopes For personal correspondence and informal notes. In the earlier stages of a friendship. If your handwriting is not easy to read. 8.

Take care that the pages are clearly numbered. Newgate Street Chicago 3. if punctuation is used at the end of the lines in this form.8 Letters from the left-hand margin. (or the postal they are put on the same line: Chicago forms given your dictionary (Penn. for Street. use the standard Ave. the form less rigid than in other types of correspondence. use only those abbreviations in (St. For names of states. abbreviate street designations. Both sides of the page may be used in handwritten letters but only one side in typewritten. return address Barbara Nelson 2901 Fifth Ave Great Falls. A block style with the left-hand margin even is the standard form for whom are writing both addresses. avoid misleading abbreviations. Be consistent throughout the letter in the form that you use for paragraphs. 8.2 Personal correspondence Familiar correspondence is like conversation between friends: the tone is cordial and relaxed. When you 8. envelope address Miss Nina McAfee 1007 S. not Me. Mont. Illinois additional Apartment 32 information No A comma is used between the name of the city zone) and the state 3.1c Addressing the envelope to Both the address of the person and your own (or return) address you should be clear and complete on the envelope. so that your reader won't have to sort through the sheets to find the right sequence. Illinois. such as those for states with short names: write Maine. This 94 . Blvd. for Avenue. for Boulevard)..). Okla.

Familiar correspondence should be neat and easy to read as well as interesting. or sound as if the writing was a disagreeable chore to be gotten over with as quickly as possible.2a The form of personal letters The form of personal cor- respondence varies with the degree of intimacy between writer and reader. a practice that will to revise tuation is perhaps raise the level of all of your correspondence. 8. however. someone you do not call by first name. written in 95 .2b Social notes Many invitations are now given and answered called for. that letters written to friends and relatives should be sloppy or careless. either of these forms will serve (the colon is more Formal): Dear Miss Breckenridge.2b does not mean. If you are writing to an older person.8." for persons whom you know only slightly." for the appropriate persons. particularly when you are writing someone at infrequent intervals. Taking a little pains with the appearance of the letter and with such matters as spelling and punc- a courtesy that you owe your reader. The greeting between friends is usually Dear Bob or Dear Ruth. The envelope with your return address is often discarded long before your letter is answered. But it never hurts to include your address in the heading. When a note is it should be brief but longhand on note paper. through "Yours." to "Yours very truly. No heading except the date is needed be- tween regular correspondents. Here adequate are two notes between a teacher and a student: in details. It also helps an occasional personal letter. Dear Professor Brown: The complimentary close ranges in warmth from **Love. 8.* and "Sincerely. by telephone.

complete information. The program won't be long. Cordially yours. and promptness mechanical form. because home cooking is a treat and I Thank you would like very much to hear the recordings. and I hope that you will be able to come. Both form and wording should conform to established patterns. invitations to formal functions. a cordial tone. o'clock and kter listen to recordings of fine voices. Marian Hall Dear Miss Hall. and the answers to these invitations is impersonal and standardized. I am having a little supper party for my voice students next Sunday shall eat at six evening. is for your invitation for Sunday evening. But our sorority giving a pledge banquet that same evening that I have to attend. I am sorry to have to miss the party.8 Utters Dear Helen. in answering are more important than 8. Delta Kappa Epsilon requests the pleasure of your at a reception company in honor of John Hughes Hunter on Friday. Consequently I am afraid that I cannot be at your home then. Helen James In notes of this kind. so if you have an engagement later in the evening this should We not interfere. the twenty-sixth of May at eight o'clock in the evening The is favor of a reply requested 96 .3 Formal social correspondence Formal social correspondencesuch as wedding announcements. Sincerely yours.

Answers good to formal invitations are written in longhand on the invitation quality note paper. Names.V. and place are repeated. either by R. vous plait} or by The favor of a reply is requested. If the note is written same form is followed: Mrs.8. as in this reply accepting the invitation in the preceding example: Miss Jeanette Loy accepts with pleasure the kind invitation of Mrs. are given in ten out in words. full. the for different occasions. your reply might read: Miss Jeanette Loy regrets that because of a previous engagement she will be unable to accept Mrs. (rtpondez.S. Henry Jackson to a luncheon at tie Kingston Club on Monday. Henry Jackson requests the pleasure of Miss Jeanette Loy's company at a luncheon on Monday. dates. Henry Jackson's kind invitation for the sixth of June at the Kingston Club 97 . Since invitations of this kind are important to the person who sends them. at one o'clock at tie Kingston Club s'il Usually a reply is requested. either in the form of or in a block paragraph. June If sixth. Use the third person and. at one o'clock you are unable to accept the invitation.3 Names lines. follow the exact wording of the invitation. dates and other numbers are writand no punctuation is used at the end of the An notes engraver or printer will help with the style of in longhand. June sixth. it is a mark of good manners to reply as promptly as possible.P. as nearly as possible.

The tone should be courteous. The stand- 98 . Stewart Company 382 Fifth Street Milwaukee. 1953 Gentlemen: The Clear-Vu Projector. Yours very Adrian C. 4823) came yesterday. Model 3-B. a person's qualifications for a job) and in as brief a fashion as is consistent with clearness. even though the writer may be about an error in his bill. and directness should chief virtues in business letters.4a Headings The heading in the gives the writer's complete address ard form is the block pattern. I slide am returning magazine was bent so that it cannot be it by mail with this letter and will replace it.8 be the Letters 8*4 Business letters Neatness. complaining The best way to become informed on business letters is to study the practices of reputable companies. they should be typed. hope that you Can you tell me about when you will expect the strip film attachment for this model be ready? truly. that I ordered from you (Invoice No. All relevant information should be given (dates. Wisconsin Washington 11. and on one side of the page only. perhaps keeping a small file of good business letters you receive. individual to a firm follow the description of merchandise. Below is an example of a typical business letter: 6482 East 72nd Street Seattle 5. clarity. December Brown. The used. Whenever possible. prices. Hopwood 8. upper right-hand corner and the date. Letters written by an same form as those from a business house to an individual.

and the top of the page (and lower. either indented slightly or flush with the margin as in this example: 99 . Consumers Union 38 East First New York 3. Stephen Lange Graham. 1953 a half from the placed at least an inch and is short). the state.4b Inside address and greeting The inside address of a busi- ness letter gives the full name of the company to whom you are writing and its address. 1953 Berkeley 4. California October 18.4b Block Indented (less common) 2435 Bancroft Way 2435 Bancroft Way Berkeley 4. New York Gentlemen: To address a particular person in a business firm. Monroe Street is an Chicago 8. No punctuation is used at the ends of die lines. Illinois Dear Mr. this accepted form: Mr. Lange: If you wish to mention the person's title. put the designation immediately below his name. It appears flush with the left-hand the margin and about three spaces lower than the last line of below heading. California October 18. The greeting or salutation appears two spaces the address. written out in full. Sutton and Company 411 W. and the month are generally 8. or his position in the firm. The The heading is name of the city.8. if the letter lines do not extend beyond the right-hand margin of the letter.

8. Less formal Cordially yours.4d Close and signature A conventional expression called the close is used at the end of the letter. Impersonal Yours very truly. A letter will not have an attractive appearance if it begins at the very top of the page or continues to the bottom edge. Hosie:) is No punctuation used at the end of the lines in the inside address. 100 . use in- stead Gentlemen or Ladies. Cordially. and Mesdames are old-fashioned. Other forms of greeting include: form of Dear Sirs: (addressing the company as a unit) Gentlemen: Dear Madam: The forms Messrs. If the letter is quite short. Sincerely. Respectfully yours. The yours general tone of the letter will suggest whether an impersonal or a less formal close is more appropriate. Hosie Personnel Manager Allen. Yours truly and Sincerely are the most common. Using an extra page will prevent such crowding. After the greeting. Yours truly. Leonard T.8 Letters Mr. Very Very respectfully yours. Business letters are centered so 8. truly yours. it is a good idea to double space it and use narrower margins than usual. Swift and Company 4836 Commercial Allentown. a colon is the standard punctuation.4c Centering and spacing that they present a balanced appearance on the page. Faithfully yours. Ohio Street Dear Sir: (or Dear Mr. Margins of about one and one-half inches are customary on both sides. and as much whitespace is left at the bottom of the page as at the top.

When you apply letter for a job. or perhaps for admission to a school. 8. For clarity. Thomas R. In such situations you may be torn between undue modesty and an understandable desire to present yourself in the most favorable light The best thing to do is to express yourself simply and with sincerity. Nelson In business letters a woman may indicate in parentheses whether she is Mrs. you are in effect trying to "sell yourself' through your writing.5a Form of an application letter The form of most letters of appHcation the heading. 101 .5a Only the first word of the close is capitalized. To get the proper arrangement on the page. unless legible handwriting is a requisite for the job. and so on follows that of typical business letters. the writer usually types his name below his signature: Sincerely yours.8.. Stowe) 8. spacing. to give all the information asked for. Stowe Stowe Lucille S. A comma customarily follows the phrase. You will of course want the appearance of your letter to create a favorable impression. type an experimental draft of your Use good letter. Use one side of the paper only and leave generous margins.5 Letters of application Among the more important and possibly the most difficult kinds of letters that you may have by occasion to write are letters of application. and to put your letter in the most attractive form you can. quality stationery and type the letter. dose. S. Stowe (Mrs. or Miss by any of these formulas: (Mrs. Ralph G.) Lucille (Miss) Lucille S. The signature is always written out in longhand below the close.

When you include the names of Mrs. If you want the inclosures returned to you.) you have given your complete and on the envelope. you can study the letter and try to improve on it next time. use an envelope or a folder large enough so that the documents won't be crushed. certain also that Make address. education. stamped envelope. previous experience. as references. and any details that you believe might be useful to the person who reads your letter: why you want and so on. 103 how the writer says right at the beginning that he wants a job and tells what job applying for. It won't hurt to keep a carbon copy of your letter. both inside the letter 102 . The body of the letter then lists useful personal data. the writer's previous experience. and his refer- you possess. your phone If you are asked to include documents (such as a photoof academic records. If you don't get the job. and indicate their correct titles (Professor. that you do not include irrelevant material.5b Contents of the application letter Give all the informa- tion asked for (age. Notice in the sample letter on p. or graph. an interview or invites the em- friends. salary expected). Be he is ences. transcripts photostats). If you do get the job. the job. the letter may serve as a model for future applications. what special qualifications however. A letter that is brief and to the point will receive more favorable attention than one that is long-winded. careful. Give their complete addresses in your letter. be particularly careful to check Your prospective employer will not be favorably impressed if you misspell his name or any common Before you mail the words. letter. Dr. ers. employers. 8. teachask permission of these always people before you use their names. Include number if you wish to be called for an interview.8 Letters for mechanical errors. In closing he suggests ployer to inquire further. include a self-addressed.

cut out any deadwood or irrelevancies. At Emerson High School. and avoid any statements that sound overly ambitious. or by checking the proper blanks. 546 Rollins Avenue Cincinnati 22. A letter of application is sometimes included with these forms. Ohio June 5. have printed application forms for the job applicant to fill out. or ambiguous. particularly large ones. These statements should be as clear and as compressed as you can make them. but when the questionnaires are long and detailed. you may be asked to make 25 to 50 word statements about your qualifications and background. But with others.8.5c 8.or two-word answers. apologetic. shorthand. I took courses in typing. filing. and complete. I have just completed my first year at Midwestern College. Some forms can be filled in with one. 1953 Box 288 The Metropolitan Herald Cincinnati 8. legible. single. Because of a knee injury I received in a high school football game two years ago. no letter is usually necessary. and bookkeeping.5c Application forms Many business firms. Answers to the questions asked on these forms should be accurate. I am nineteen years old. Ohio Gentlemen: I would like to apply for the position of part-time stock clerk listed in your advertisement in today's Herald. where I am majoring in business administration* 103 . from which I graduated in June 1952. and in good health. I have been deferred by the draft board.

New York. Frank H. Very truly yours. and Edris B. Charles W. Stanford. Kilworth's Department Store. Ohio If my qualifications are satisfactory. Emerson High School. 2. Cincinnati 3 Mr. . Ch. 3rd ed. Principal. Post. My telephone number is Fireside 6-8401.. Remus References Manual Cooper. New Funk and Wagnalls.. 1950. Bea Blair..8 Letters During the last three summer vacations I have worked in the parts department of the Hackbarth Chevrolet Company. Gordon Arter. The Letter Writer. Prentice-Hall. Hackbarth Chevrolet Company. East Bloomington. The Report in Letter Form York. Emily. and others. The following persons have consented to furnish letters of reference: Mr. Cincinnati 8 Mrs. 1954 A Gaum. first as clerk and later as assistant to the stock control manager. 41.. Stock Control Manager. Assistant Manager. Report Writing. I also worked three weeks last Christmas vacation in the shipping department of Kilworth's Department Store. Etiquette. Carl G. in East Bloomington Ohio . with Models for Your Personal Correspondence. Stanford University Press. 1945. Milton Hoehn.. 43 104 . I would appreciate an interview at your convenience. Chs.

Point out specific instances of faulty or inconsistent spacing. Yours. just received.Exercises Smart. City. This pays your full to date. 44. and L. Study the following letter and make detailed comment on its form and content. Amy. 45 Exercises 1. like yours. Syracuse N. please do not hesitate to let us know. to handle an acct. 1950 of Etiquette. Business Letters. 2027 Wedgewood Drv. either by dropping down to our Foundry or by calling us on the phone (Mutual 3516). New York.. McKelvey. inst. Double- day. indention. believe me. and tell how you would revise it.Y. Ogden. and punctuation. Ted Davidson 105 . GOSS AND KIMBELL IRON FOUNDRY Harold T. 8/18/53. We hope to do business with you in the near future and if we can be of any further service. as you suggested in your accompanying would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the prompt manner in which you have taken care of this transaction. Chs. Harper. 1952. It's been a real pleasure. Indicate any wording that you consider unsatisfactory. Vanderbilt. Complete Book New York. Credit Mangr. Walter K. 3rd ed. to hear from We Hoping you again shortly. W.. Dear sir Your remittance of the 15th account in letter. we beg to remain.

Be prepared die basis of the following questions: a.. Write a letter of from 150 to 200 words to the lost and found department of the railroad or bus terminal in your city. perhaps striving too obviously for novelty or freshness? e. What words or phrases do you consider stereotyped or old fashioned (such as "May we have the pleasure of an early reply?" or "Thanking you in advance.")? d. from any business firm offering contributions.8 P. 2. Give all the the information you think necessary: a description of the object. and so on. select the letter you consider the most effective. Are any of the letters conspicuously wordy. Find an editorial in your college newspaper or in a local paper on a subject that interests you. 4. There's always a chance prices will go up. and give the reasons for your choice. both in appearance and content. After you have read the editorial carefully. we beg to remain . editorial.S. and it's a good idea to buy now at the T.: Utters Now that youVe established your credit. in quiring about some object you believe you left on the bus or train. on Which one appeals most to the eye. prepare a letter of not more than 200 words explaining why you agree or disagree with the viewpoint expressed in the 8. that is. 106 . Which letter or letters would you be most likely to read would you discard after a through from beginning to end? Which quick glance at the contents? c.D.. number or other designation of the train or bus you traveled on. do they say too little in too many words? Are there any that seem to be labored in style. remember that you can take advantage of our time-payment plan. From your collection. Collect three or four typical business letters from magazines from civic or charitable organiasking you to renew subscriptions. or zations soliciting to discuss these letters goods or services for sale. and why? b. present market prices. your time of arrival.

6. It is not yet a group of sentences. .1 Writing by paragraphs Try paragraph at a time without pausing. What are your reasons for wishing to follow this line of work? b. A paragraph is planned. paragraphs are not made by spacing or pausing. but he knows exactly what ground it cover. What you qualify c. to write at least a complete The paragraph will 107 . training have you had (in school or out) that for this occupation? would What possess that special qualifications or personality traits you think would be useful in this work? do you 9 Writing paragraphs No. The spacing or pausing merely indicates where they are after they are made. compose the most effective answers you can to the following questions. and the paragraph break shows that a somewhat different part of the subject comes next 9. Charles Sears Baldwin A paragraph indention may be considered a mark of punctuation indicating a unit of the subject larger than a sentence and smaller than the whole paper. writer's mind. therefore... Limit each answer to 25 to 40 words: a. before it it is written.1 5. one of your teachers or to a former employer. Write a letter to asking permission to use his seeking. It is going to a group of ideas or facts in the be one of the little compositions which is he will in build know up into his what words he will single will express whole composition.9. The paragraph itself is actually a unit of thought It includes the statements that the writer thinks together and wishes the reader to see together. He does not yet it. name as a reference for a job you are On the basis of the kind of work you intend to follow when you finish college.

c. Expenses of frequent entertaining "B. army new places career and meet new people Disadvantages 1. Advantages 1. 2.9 Writing paragraphs reflect the flow of more accurately paper for a your thought if you stop few minutes before you have finished a paragraph. to see 'Financial aspect of an 'A. Preparation for success in business or politics after re- tirement paragraphs would average 120 words. Chance to travel. Slow but steady promotion Permanent employment Good retirement benefits 5. p. Frequent moves hard on 3. like this: Living conditions 'A. perhaps numbers 2 and 4* Topic II. or even to pause between paragraphs or you do have to pause. if you a paper of about 600 words from the outline on were writing the advantages of army life given in 6. Security a. If without pausing for any appreciable you have down on 9. Pay not very high 2. II. one Opportunity to find the job Annual leaves with pay is best fitted for S. 70. When to the end of the paper. about something else. 2. Social life restricted to soldier's family a small circle B.2 Working from an outline If you have a good outline. but some would probably be longer than others. you or perhaps are apt to begin thinking ahead to the next one. Discipline often annoying 2. larger stages it the material for each stage clearly in mind and get time. For example. the para- graphs might go I.1c. Disadvantages 1. parabe easy because the actual paragraphs will graphing should have a definite relation to its headings. Advantages 1. try of the paper.B would make two because that is the main point of the paper and presumably you have a good deal The five 108 . b.

by unscrupulous propaganda. but might of a be only part same topic. but in a short paper like ductory this these are usually unnecessary. especially those who have been in service. for example. 109 . though not in a one-to-one relation. A Paragraphs. but don't take too much for granted.9. frequently if not by force. what they already know. Man The paragraph could be improved by listing some specific examples after the second sentence (Russia? China? Argentina?).3 Developing ideas fully Since you are trying to "tell someone something" quite definite. It would be better to lead into the first topic by some such remark as "Most directly men. is too short to convey adequately the ideas in the writer's mind: has been faced lately with many different ideas and systems of government. you will consider your readers: what they will be interested in. follow the order of the outline heads and correspond to the heads. Give them credit for common sense and a fair amount of general information. know the of information about volves/' undesirable living conditions that a military career often inand to end the paper with II. which is the most extensive of your ideas and which will enable you to end the paper with a firm. paragraph in a short treatment of the 9. Each man thinks of himself as being representative of the majority. what they should know (from your point of view) what you must tell them so that they will understand and believe you. positive concluding statement. Each has tried to win the majority to its side. or even more than one in a long paper. Some ideas need but a few statements to make the meaning dear.2. The following paragraph.B. others may require from 100 to 200 words or more of explanation or illustration.3 its subheads. subhead developed to its fullest extent may take a whole paragraph. There could be brief introand concluding paragraphs. and by using a separate paragraph to explain the third sentence. then.

It is usually easier to cut out sentences easily than to open up a paragraph to add the specific details it if is too much writing. Three or four explanatory sentences would have cleared up this point and would have made the paragraph more interesting reading. which jumps so abruptly from the introductory statements? The abundance of food? was? needed it How much How cheap the writer enjoyed it? Some statement is at the beginning of this paragraph to link it with the preceding one. were told that the ship would be there for about four hours unloading cargo and that we could go ashore if we so desired. on a rainy day. I decided that I would very much prefer to be on board ship. 9. . oranges.9 Writing paragraphs What underdeveloped paragraphs may lead to is shown in the following student narration of a trip: Two years ago I took my first trip to Alaska. something gets in that doesn't belong.) What is the point of the second paragraph. . or needs. we were offered more food than we could eat. The third paragraph leaves the reader wondering what Sitka looked like. Since meals were included in the price of the ticket. The fruit basket in each cabin was filled daily with apples. we could choose anything we wanted from the menu without worrying about the price. Put your material down fully in the first If there . it is crossed out. We We These paragraphs are unsatisfactory because they raise questions which the writer fails to answer: Why were there so few passengers on this trip? (This should be explained in the first paragraph or else not mentioned. and other lands of fruit.*). and to express the main idea ("Because there were so few passengers. arrived at our first port. On this particular voyage there were only forty-five passengers. what unpleasant things the writer saw that made him prefer to stay on his ship. Sitka. After taking a good look at the town. but especially in their 110 . I learned from the steward that the usual number of weekly passengers ranged from seventy-five to two hundred.4 Using both details and general statements The bits of thought that we have in mind and that we build our paragraphs out of differ in various ways.

By taking care. we can be pretty sure of the accuracy of our details. There is no such thing as a universal truth). p. but it is also assumed that a last-minute development may shift the election. and in fact most writing is made up of details with occasional general statements that hold them together and show their meaning. opinions obviously vary and are soundest when they are kept closest to the facts to which they apply. (Compare 21. they say that under specified conditions the Smith vote will be 61. in their closeness to what can be definitely sensed. 257. we seen. A general statement usually needs to be supported by details. That is. For convenience two sorts of statements: 1. General statements. A sudden snow storm may keep farmers away from the polls.2.9. heard. You are wrong) to large generalizations (Everyone needs some form of artistic expression. and summaries of facts (All day the planes had been running late). In two years the town's population increased by 1.4 specificness.2 per cent. This lily is a Henryi. ) The details and the general statements in the following paragraph are labeled in the margin: It should be dear that scientific polling studies justify prediction. not Genera! statement forecasts. This may cut down the Detail Summary of details Detail Detail Smith vote if he is more popular 111 . Specific and general words. It is assumed that future conditions will probably remain the same as conditions when the sample groups were interviewed. particular observations and facts (He is eleven years old.460). will divide them into Details.2 per cent of the vote next week will be for Smith. ranging from attitudes and opinions (This is the better plan. and generalizations are the most complex and the hardest to be sure about. they do not say Specific detail that 61. 2.

" There are two chief reasons why itself is insufficient: First. Harold D. if tie weather is very bad he will probably get 10 per cent less. "getting the required length. Lasswell. Communication.9 Writing paragraphs city General statement among farmers than among dwellers. it is necessary to control his mind for a brief time. develop it. "Effects of Communication. it is necessary not just to mention the subject but to present it. Smith and others. Second. is "just pada general statement ding. who may know almost nothing about the matter. Bruce L. and Public Opinion. To make an impression on the reader. pp." Most writing is planned for a fairly definite length so that specified length for compositions is natural. Actually an elaborate set of predictions might be made in every "If the weather is specific election: clear." "If Detail dorses Smith in the last the President enweek of the Detail campaign.2 per cent of the vote. it does not really represent the by consecutiveness or fullness of the writer's thought and often gives such a small sample that he does not seem to know his subject or at least does not seem to be thinking about it at the time of writing. enough to let him see the subject as the writer sees it. it cannot convey to a reader. building out a statement with details. Actually developing paragraphs by full use of details also removes a frequent worry of student writers. Smith will probably poll 61. 106-107 General statement Sometimes conscientious students feel that developing an idea fully." in. Propaganda. "About 600 words" means that the student is to take a sub- 112 . the vote among middle class women will probably increase 5 per cent as shown by the popularwomity of the President with these en/' Forecasts say flatly that such an event will occur in the future. lead him to think about it and to see it as the writer sees it.

It is as it is to The commonest ways of showing the continuity between 113 . Also sinus used to But "sinus" made the old disease under another name Three sentences presenting the subject Contrast Comparison Comparison continued be called catarrh. In the following paragraph the relationships bein the margin: tween successive statements are shown Have you got termites? In your house.5 ject and select from his thinking about veyed in about that number of words. popular. How so and so suddenly stepped on her floor and went right Repetition of third sentence Example of the "talk- through. Repetition of "most fashionable" Roy Chapman Andrews. they had to call an exterminator and it cost Example continued hundreds and hundreds of dollars to get rid of the things. the whole house was almost torn apart and they had to treat the floors with the most awful smelling stuff! If you hadn't termites. you just weren't in Society. It used to be called "ants" and no one was interested. p. I mean.9. It is the newest and most fashionable house disease. with occasional general statements to point up their meaning. test question for a paper is "Have I put in enough of know and as I do?" believe about this subject to lead a reader it 9. And. it what can be conThe bulk of the actual A final what to see I space in most papers should be taken up with specific details. statements that are associated in your mind and that you want the reader to see in the same relationship. my dear. because you are almay ready familiar with the chain of thought. Last summer in the fashionable country places the talk was all of termites. 101 not so important to be able to name the relationships make sure that they will be clear to your reader. He need more guidance than you do. This Amazing Planet.5 Continuity of statements in a paragraph A paragraph represents a chain of thought.

seek unsuccessfully to keep warm before an open fire. Yet [connective: contrast] the Onas [repetition] hunt the In trying to account guanaco. Consider how the following We unconnected paragraph is improved by showing the relationship between the statements: 114 . ) are inclined to overlook the absence of guides to the reader in our own writing. William F. p. but if it did. go practically naked. You couldn't start to read it after the first sentence without realizing that something had gone before. an adverb or the thought relationship. and lacking adequate shelter. The Onas [repetition] tive: shows contrast with preceding statements]. and each statement follows the other clearly. but we notice immediately when other writers forget to use them. for the backwardness of these people [synonym: the Onas]. not about Onas. Sociology.V Writing paragraphs the statements are these: repetition of an important word from a previous sentence. the latter [pronoun: a complete wardrobe] surpasses that of most civilized on the other hand [connecpeoples of the past. In take advantage of available respect [synonym for: failure to contrasted with the [pronoun: the Onas] may be they Eskimos. then [connective: result]. (The sentence TThe Eskimos have made a most satisfactory adjustment to their environment" could start a paragraph. the skin of which is suitable for clothing. the other to the south. a synonym. The Eskimos [repetition] have made a most satisfactory adjustment to their environment They [pronoun: the Eskimos] have good houses and a complete wardrobe. geographic conditions are not to be emphasized. These signs of the relationship between the statements are labeled in brackets in the follow- ing paragraph: An this instructive of available materials materials] example of the failure of a people to take advantage is afforded by the Onas of South America. the one to the north. Indeed [adverb: connects and emphasizes]. and a conring to a word or idea a conjunction that points out necting word. Ogburn and Meyer F. Nimkoff. 96 The thought of the paragraph is a unit. a different word of much the same meaning as one already used. the paragraph would be about Eskimos. a pronoun referin the preceding sentence. Here [adverb: connecting with preceding two sentences] are two peoples [synonym: the Onas and the Eskimos] living in cold environments.

when I I started clerk- waited upon by some other clerk. It works the other way. I that a clerk has to do while I didn't waiting on her customers. 9. and perhaps average 100 words (ten to twelve typed lines). I learned to be tolerant toward other people. 9. examine this table. for I know what a clerk goes through. Most people don't realize all that a clerk has to do while waiting on her customers.6a Unconnected version Relationships shown in a five While working in a five and ten cent store last summer. Of course it works the other way. too.6 Paragraph length The length of paragraphs is determined the kind of ideas you are discussing and the way primarily by you are developing them. keep in mind that a handwritten page of that theme-paper size seldom contains over 175 words. be considerate of her customers and as helpful as possible. and a typed page averages from 240 to 290 words. the paragraphs might vary from 35 to 150 words. A clerk learns to When am But now when by some other I be considerate of not so impatient. I learned several things that will help me in the future. I found out also.6a Paragraphs in published material way your paragraphs look. I am waited on clerk. The following table shows the lengths of consecutive parAs you agraphs from various kinds of published material. realize this ing. But in an informal discussion of your own reasons for attending college. factual account of the reasons If you are writing a attend col- why more women lege today than fifty years ago. At least I didn't when I started clerking. I learned several things that will help I me learned to be more in the future. and average about 75 words. Most people don't realize all While working ten cent store last and summer. First of all. The more complex the subject. the longer the paragraphs are likely to be. To get an idea of the the length of those you compare have written with paragraphs in books and magazines. your paragraphs might run from 65 to 200 words (or from seven to twenty lines in typewritten copy). for a clerk goes through. A clerk learns to am know what her customers and as helpful as possible. 115 . I am not so impatient.9. tolerant toward other people.

51. 26. 138 article 24 88 An in The Atlantic Monthly 66. 85. 128 34 71 115. 24.52. not as standards. 101. 96. 133.128. 103.96. 65. 83. 139.34. 118 217 84 134 9.39 Time 138. 14. 217. 112. 162. 100 153 65 96 A college textbook (Sociolo- gy by Ogbura and Nimkoff) 119.6b Length of student paragraphs listed the lengths of In the table below are college freshmen course.V Number Writing paragraphs of words of the Range in number paragraphs in order Longest of words: Shortest Average A book for children (Heidi by Johanna Spyri) 22. (These figures are intended as bases for comparison. 6 51 6 28 An article in Home Journal An 108 article in the Ladies' 80. 49. 153. 84. 103. 76. 40. ) by paragraphs in typical papers written at different periods in a composition Total number of Number of Number Longest of words in paper Papers written Student A Student B Student C paragraphs words in paragraphs Shortest Average 38 28 51 first in a 45-minute class period at the beginning of the course: 255 385 302 5 6 75 115 123 4 8 7 51 64 75 quarter: Papers written outside of class in the middle of the Student Student Student A B C 539 671 525 96 153 201 5 30 53 54 67 96 105 Research papers written at the end of the second quarter of freshman composition: Student Student Student A B C 1862 1529 1468 22 15 13 187 248 220 64 37 42 85 102 113 116 . 36.

5th Macmfllan. each has somewhat lengthened his paragraphs while taking the composition course and brought them closer in length to those in published books. 1946. 2 Thomas. The Structure of English. ed. H. Brace. New York. Frederick A. Ch. 1948. Pantheon Summey.6c Notice that though the three students do not write paragraphs of the same length. 117 . Harcourt. University of Chicago Press. E. Herbert. 1894 Read. Prentice- 1952.6c Testing the length of your paragraphs of length to help you visualize parison with those of other writers. Joseph M. Creative Writing. Wendell. Scott. Ch. Hall. 1952. Chicago. G G.. pp. Ch. and Franklin W. 11 and 12 Lewis. Tlie History of the English Paragraph. Williams. You will soon know if you do not already whether you tend to write paragraphs that are too short or too long.. New York. 1935. 5 Style. 3 ed.. for clarity or for emphasis?" or "Are two conspicuously short paragraphs so closely related that they should be combined?" Examine closely any of your pages that contain more than two paragraphs or that have only one. References Fries. or whether they fall in the typical range of paragraph length. 287-290 Johnson. Manchester. People in Quandaries. English Prose Books. Harper.. rev. especially Chs. to see whether you have put too little or too much into each unit.9. 9. New York. Composition for College Students. is This discussion your paragraphs in comThe questions to ask yourself are not "Do they contain enough words?" but rather "Are they adequately developed?" and "Should any one of the paragraphs be written as two paragraphs. New York. New CL9 York. George G.

9 1. Next. First. indicate by number which sentences you believe should begin new paragraphs. with a minimum of supervision from his superiors. the people with whom you work are generally agreeable and cooperative. (5) And like the tree and the holly spray. the good stories will be sentimental. the employee is left who his pretty much on has performed his work properly own. Rewrite it as a single paragraph. Be prepared to give reasons for the divisions you have made. Writing paragraphs Exercises Examine the following opening of a paper to see how effective you think it is. this interest in stories for children is a symbol of the season. After working for three years for the Union Pacific. Lastly. 2. After following passage from a magazine article was written in reading it through. Third. lapping at the solid embankments of the comics. The five paragraphs. Second. (4) Like the ubiquitous wreath. like the needle-shedding tree. little essay could as easily be entitled "Frankly Particoncerns juvenile literature and on that subject I hold strong if unsupported opinions. you have security through seniority rights and the Railroad Retirement Act. (6) 118 . you have ample opportunity to learn about freight and passenger rate structures and thus qualify for a better position. (3) This is the time of year when the (1) This it san" for flood of children's books rises highest. engulfing the book review sections of Sunday newspapers. I am convinced that there are many advantages to this work. (2) Under stress of Christmas they grow firmer still. noticing what changes you make to build the ideas together and in what respects the new version is better. I shall point out what seem to me to be the chief advantages. over the washing bookshop counters so that even the historical novels are dampened down. there is little of railroading that there is in the cut-throat competition for jobs in most other work.

" I kept saying to the lady in my imagination. many words do you they average? Compare these figures with those in 9. (17) "How now. many a librarian. "Hoity-toity and pray tell! (18) On what meat must these. The signs of continuity between sentences ( 9. December 1950. (13) It was an engaging bookwell written. Is the relation between all the statements clear? Study the following paragraphs a. (9) Somewhat to my surprise. 112.5) 119 . How do they correspond with your outline? Do you now think your outline might be revised to advantage? Are your paragraphs developed with enough details to make the points you wished to? 4.6b. p. progressive educators." (12) She gave no other reason for its damnation. Reprinted by permission of Harper's Magazine. it was sentimental. Madam. (7)1 say this with a kind of heresy frowned on by child psychologists. (11) It's sentimental. (14) Simply. (15) And I found myself marshalling arguments all the way home on the commuting train that evening arguments I had been too flabbergasted to invent at the time of trial." Harper's Magazine.Exercises The good ones have always been full knowledge that it is sentimental. (16) What on earth is wrong with sentiment? I asked myself. our children feed. found myself one member of a jury gathered to hand out awards to juveniles published daringly in the spring instead of the cus- tomary fall. (8) It was only last spring that I realized how the dogma of realism had closed I in around our young. for: Their use of details and general statements (9. "Frankly Sentimental. that they should grow so dry?" Phyllis McGinley.4) b. Consider your paragraphs in the light of points made in this section. About how get on a typical page of manuscript? How are the longest and the shortest paragraphs and what do long 3. peopled amusingly with sprightly characters. "I will not vote for it. and it concerned itself with flesh and blood people instead of the more usual elephants or rabbits or chipmunks. Study the paragraphs in one of your recent papers. (10) My fellow judges and I had agreed on two books quite readily but on the third there was discussion which terminated abruptly when a strong-minded jurist said flatly.

was sent to live with a villainous old woman who was a kind of Murder Incorporated. neither did virtue. and the As a rule they use the same bed. moving by automobile and by trailer wherever there might be a call for con- 120 . her punishment was decidedly inade- quate. Annie led a much rougher life than the villainous old woman and her vicious courts that lawyers son. Children and Books. May Hill Arbuthnot. as each cat will go to his regular down.9 1) Writing paragraphs cats are actually less care than one. Obviously. they can be two cats should not be able to steal each other's food. "Orphan Annie. Two they fear of their being lonely. Annie found out about the murders. now Americans followed the economic tides more before long readily than ever before. p. knew the woman was lying in wait for her. you have no cage. The place of eating as the dishes are put Care and Handling of Cats. as they are more can be left alone for longer periods without self-sufficient. It is no trouble to feed cats separately. Doris Bryant. The ensuing trial was such a broad lampoon on our and judges were moved to protest. Always a mobile people by comparison with the peoples of Europe. hid the bloody coat. 13 downs used 2) In one of her bad periods. same sanitary tray. the same scratching post. and that villains are adequately punished." whose ups and to be of the most innocuous character. If children are to be introduced to the crime world as soon as they can follow pictures (which the complacent makers of the comics seem to regard as desirable). the automobile weakened the roots which held the family to one spot. and finally had to run for her life. 543 3) Furthermore. the woman pursuing her with a hatchet. since Annie was brought to trial for having pushed her into the well. Although crime did not prevail in this series. p. but necessary to take the precau- tion of feeding them separately (if fed in separate rooms). Although the wretch fell down a well. The cost of feedit is ing two is very little more. then at least the comics should demonstrate that crime really does not pay. nor should they eat too fast in order to get the other's food or to prevent their own from being taken.


struction workers, or fruit pickers, or airplane mechanics. Sober were wont to deplore the growing American restless-



and to praise the man who was rooted to the land where he his forefathers had been bora and bred; but the automobile

venturesome; Americans

suited the American genius. For that genius was not static but felt that a rolling stone gathers experi-

ence, adventure, sophistication, and with luck fruitful opportunities.-Frederick Lewis Allen,

new and possibly The Big Change,


The young

dislike their elders for


them even more

for being insincere.

having fixed minds. But They themselves


are simple, single-minded, straightforward, almost painfully naive. hypocritical boy or girl is rare, and is always a monster or a

spiritual cripple. They know grownups are clever, they know grownups hold the power. What they cannot bear is that grownups should also be deceitful. Thousands of boys have admired and imitated bandits and gunmen because they felt these were at least brave and resolute characters, who had simply chosen to be spades instead of diamonds; but few boys have ever admired a forger or a

poisoner. So they will tolerate a parent or a teacher who is energetic and violent, and sometimes even learn a good deal from him;

but they loathe and despise a hypocrite. Gilbert Highet, The Art
of Teaching, p. 21. Reprinted

by permission

of Alfred A. Knopf,

and Methuen &

Co., Ltd., British publishers.

10 Kinds of paragraphs
not a

Remove a good sentence from a good paragraph and you leave behind, gap with clean-cut edges, but an ugly rent with broken threads
P. B. Bollard

at both ends.

Paragraphs may be classified according to their purpose: to inform and explain expository; to tell the story of an event narrative; to give a picture descriptive. Whole compositions

can be

Kinds of paragraphs
classified in this

way also, but in this section we are about the individual paragraphs, which may be of talking different kinds within the same paper. For instance, a paper that is dominantly narrative may have some paragraphs that are descriptive or expository in it, and one that is in general
expository may have or narrative.

some paragraphs

that are descriptive

10.1 Expository paragraphs

The purpose of exposition is to a reader, to carry his knowledge of something beenlighten

yond its present point, to make him understand a situation, to show him how something is made, to help him understand an idea or a belief. It ranges from the explanation of small
personal matters to erudite scientific treatises.

The bulk


writing magazine information and discussing opinions and general ideas. In fact, exposition can be defined negatively as writing that

expository, in


and books giving

does not give a picture or a narrative of events. In college, practically all reading except in literature courses and all
writing except in advanced composition courses in writing
fiction is expository.

expository writing


Consequently increasing your skill in the chief aim of beginning composition

begins explanation of coronary thrombosis, a term most of his readers would not be familiar with:

courses, and practice in expository writing is of great use to you for all college work. An expository paragraph, then, is a unit of facts (details) and ideas (general statements) to inform, explain, convince a reader. Here, for example, is the way a doctor an

The diagnosis of "heart disease" is feared by without reason. As long as the heart beats there
realize that


of us,

and not

the heart stops beating we will die. The ability of the heart to function depends primarily on the state of the heart muscle or myocardium, as it is technically known. Our existence, therefore, depends largely on the state of the blood vessels that bring nourishment to the myocardium the coronary arteries. The heart can, of course, be damaged by other disease processes. For instance, the heart may fail because it is irreparably damaged by an

hope, but




infection as in rheumatic heart disease, or by poisons, or toxins, as in diphtheria.-William A. R. Thomson, M. D., "Coronary Thrombosis/'

Today's Health, September 1952, p. 30

This opens by making contact with the reader's common knowledge and concern, and then begins the actual exposi-

meaning of the technical word myocarrapidly adding other facts, which with those that follow will finally enlighten the reader on coronary thrombosis.
tion, explaining the

dium and

10. la General qualities of expository paragraphs

The gen-

eral qualities that are desirable in expository paragraphs are those that have been presented in 9:
1. Full development (9.3), that is, complete enough to lead the reader to see the point you are making 2. The use of both details and general statements (9.4)


make your


point convincing and interesting clear relationship between the statements

(9.5) so

that the reader will grasp your point easily Another example will re-emphasize these points.

The follow-

ing two paragraphs are from a

discussion of the impression of immigrants that students might get from their textbooks.


first begins with a general statement and develops it by other general statements and summarized details. The second begins with a series of details that lead to general state-

ments at the end.

Many texts give the impression that the "old" immigrants were always enthusiastically welcomed and well treated. This, of course, is untrue. Struggles on the parts of immigrants for place, prestige, and acceptance are as old as the Indian's exclamation, "Ugh! Foreigner!" when he saw the Pilgrims. Opposition to immigrants ky behind the Alien and Sedition Act of 1798 and the Know-Nothing movement of the 1850*s. To look, speak, or behave like a foreigner has always been a handicap in America. It has been as if one's Americanism were proved by condemning someone with different ways of living. Irish-Americans were at one time victims of prejudice and persecution at the hands of the older English groups. Later, however, many of the Irish-Americans came to look down on the ScandinavianAmericans.



the Scandinavian-Americans,





down on

Kinds of paragraphs



and many

of them, in turn,

The groups that came earliest Spanish-speaking Americans. the social scale despite the fact that they were tended to rise highest in he understands the themselves scorned when they first arrived. Only if

snubbed have

in group prestige and position, changes that are constantly taking place of the can the student be expected to arrive at an understanding in of the "new" immigrants-M. S. Stewart, "Prejudice problems 11-12. Reprinted by Textbooks," Public Affairs Pamphlet No. 160, pp. Affairs Committee. permission of the Public

lO.lb Topic sentences

Both the clearness and completeness of an expository paragraph will often be helped by stating its main idea in what is called a topic sentence: a key sentence

which the other statements may be the first sentence, as
The first inducement

in the

paragraph are related.
students to write

in this paragraph:

on things

to good composition is to allow which they are interested. This frequently means romance there is no reason to act and, oddly enough, often means religion. But as if romance and religion are taboo. The first, at least, is the topic most often discussed in bull sessions, and the instructor might as well

the enthusiasm thus engendered. Sports and fashions get the benefit of are other favorite subjects. Although I have a positive distaste for sports in any form, I would rather read a good paper on basketball than an anemic or laborious one on "The Difficulties of Setting a Good
or "The Case for Vertical Unions." Example," "How to Press a Suit," These are three of the charming topics to be found in a text widely used this year. Now I ask you, could you lose yourself in a discussion of 'The Case for Vertical Unions"? The student who has written on

why he believes in early on that onerous task, the marriages correction and even rewriting of his faulty paper, than one who has sweated over a topic about which he knows nothing and the importance of which he cannot see.-Ruth Davies, "A Defense of Freshmen,"
football or flying or designing clothes or is more willing to spend time

College English,


1951, p. 443. Reprinted

by permission of Cottege

Another method



summary using the paragraph:

as a

work toward the topic sentence, or a conclusion for the details in

These students average eighteen years of age, come from the middlerange of families, and most of them live in towns under 10,000. Data from the American Council of Education Psychological Examina-


tion and the English and Reading tests show that these students are about average in academic aptitude, when compared to students of today from the smaller liberal-arts colleges. Like most American adolescents, these students, when free from the compulsions of classroom assignments, read little. Their selection of newspapers is confined

to the local or nearby metropolitan newspapers. The magazines which they read on national or world affairs are generally limited to Life, Readers Digest, Time, and the like. In their summer vacation reading, they average little more than one book a student. They are, then, fairly
typical of college freshmen.-Leo J. Alilunas, "Personal Setting as an Influence in the Study of the Attitudes of College Freshmen Toward

Capitalism," School and Society, April 16, 1949, 69:284

The purpose of a topic sentence is twofold: (1) to help the writer focus his ideas on one central thought so that every statement in that paragraph is directly related to that thought,
and (2)



easier for the reader to see

about, to show him, by a specific statement, the other statements in the paragraph add up to.

what the parwhat

1O.2 Narrative paragraphs


in the order in

In narrative paragraphs events are which they occurred:


their positions along the

June 30, 1863, some of Lee's units began withdrawing from Rappahannock to move west to Culpepper.

Troop movements continued for several days until die lines facing die Union Army across the river were drawn very thin. On July ninth, Confederate plans were suddenly upset when Federal cavalry swiftly crossed the river and drove toward Brandy Station, where they caught Stuart by surprise and gave his proud horsemen some bad moments. Lee was forced to change his plans for moving part of his troops east of the mountains and to concentrate on the Shenandoah Valley. Philip Van Doren Stern, "Gettysburg," Holiday, June 1952, p. 63

10*2a Narrative movement
rience, describing

When you are relating an expean incident, or summarizing the plot of a in one direction, and story or play, keep the action moving avoid unnecessary interruptions. Sentences 4 and 5 in the
following paragraph halt the narrative:
(1) It was the seventh of August, 1952. (2) My friend and I were m'tchhiking from a small town in the northern part of the state. (3) Unlike most adventurers I did not notice the sky nor did I feel the



Kinds of paragraphs


I don't make a very good hero. (5) impending danger. (4) I guess side of the I must get back to my story. (6) After waiting by the road for some time, we were picked up by two men in an old Chewie.

The events following this paragraph should show whether or not the writer is "a very good hero.'* This unnecessary remark not only slows down the story, but also suggests the
outcome of the incident before it is unfolded. The connection between statements in a narrative paragraph

controls. usually simple: time


detail appears

after another as they happened in time or as they are imagined to have happened. The verbs usually carry this moveis made stronger by the continuation of the same grammatical subject from one sentence to an-

ment, and the continuity

The time may be emphasized and made more obvious

in a jew days by adverbs-ffeen, after this, before, soon, when, or by adverbial phrases or clauses: When he got to the


ing paragraph and time play in narrative:
Elizabeth Montgomery

After the last dance. . forms and adverbs of time in this openItalicizing the verb of a short, story shows how large a part action




or not she

woke up in the morning wondering whether was engaged. She had been out with Bob McEwen the end there had been some spontaneous and night before and at the That is, she knew she must haoe felt apparently serious love-making. serious about it because this morning she couldn't remember pretty where she had put her gloves. And now he had left for Chicago for a few days and he had promised to write. Salty Benson, People Are Fascinating, p. 27

10.2b Consistent tenses

Keep the

tense of verbs consistent in

narrative paragraphs. If you start with one tense the past or the present don't shift without reason to another. This par-



unnecessary and confusing tense


As I hop [present tense] on the city transit that will take me to the University, I notice that as always the bus is filled past capacity. As I
turned [past] around, I saw a blind man sitting directly behind me with a dog lying at his feet. I watch [present] the dog, sitting there perfectly still, looking through the glass doors. Suddenly the dog got




his master,

with no

difficulty got off

who pulled the cord above his head and the bus and proceeded up the street I

the bus,

a dog could be trained to know when to get off and when to wait for a signal. Dogs seem to have more sense than some humans.



to cross the street,

Either the present tense should have been kept throughout or the present tenses changed to past.

In most narrative writing, the past tense is the customary form, but the present (or "historical present") is sometimes used to create a sense of events actually happening, as in this

Our ship

hooting for

all she's



important last-minuter

comes surging up. The rope hawsers are being wound clanldly

there are never very many in the Mediterranean seagulls whirl like a few flakes of snow in the upper chill air. Clouds spin. And

without knowing it we are evaporating away from the shore, from our mooring, between the great City of Trieste and another big black steamer that lies like a wall. D. H. Lawrence, Sea and Sardinia,
, .


p. 41

For most narratives, the past tense is the easier to use, but whichever tense you begin with, stick to it throughout.

0.2c Adequate details Include enough details to make the narrative interesting and understandable. A remark may seem perfectly clear to the writer and yet be confusing to someone less familiar with the subject. Avoid any statement that might leave the reader wondering "What?" or "Why?" or "When?"


In this paragraph the writer fails to tell the old couple was "quite interesting":


the arrival of

Just about two years ago a family moved into the house next door to us, a family consisting of just two middle-aged women. They had no servants in their employ and thus did all the housework by them-

Both of these women lived quite happily together and then one day late in summer an old couple, a man and his wife, came along and moved in with them. The cause of the arrival of this old couple is quite interesting. The man was about seventy years of age, while the woman was just under sixty-five, and after the arrival of this old couple, all the work was shifted to their shoulders while the two



Kinds of paragraphs
lived a life of comparative ease. the man's wife were sisters.

women who owned the house turned out that one woman and

This does not mean that narrative paragraphs should be loaded down with minute and unimportant details. You can make your point and still keep the action moving by selecting two or three lively incidents, as in this example:
Grandmother didn't need reasons for fussing

Grandpa. She told

wood or carry water for her. If he did everyone that he wouldn't chop wood to her, she would throw it out the window, stick by stick, bring not caring where it landed. If he brought her water, carrying it from the spring, several hundred feet away, she would pour it out-over Then she would take the empty pail and her cane, him, if

to the spring and back again, painfully down the long slope take her half the morning, the time depending upon might though her mood and strength. "If I want fresh water, I have to carry it to Marionville or sittin' on his behind myself, because George is walHn' somewhere/' she would say to anyone she chanced to see. "And if I to come over and chop it for want wood, I have to

and trudge

get my boy Jake me."-Bertie Johnson, "The Never-Ending Time," The October 4, 1952, pp. 86-87



10.2d Direct action

When you

focus attention directly on
reader's attention

what went
fixed less

are reporting an action, try to on. In this passage the

upon the action that


being unfolded than upon the person
I was weekend



telling the

riding with a friend late one night, returning I was extremely tired, and I am sure he trip.

from a long was too, and
did notice

as a result


weren't very observant about

traffic lights. I

in the distance one very red blinker light, though. I also saw a car in a submarine's directly in front of ours, like a slow moving ship that we were going too fast to stop, so sights. I knew immediately


natural reaction

to brace myself for a crash. It seemed to that I could hear the tires squealing for minutes before anything happened.



was surprised to find during those actually few short seconds that I was seeing a variety of vivid colors that I hadn't even noticed before. I was aware of the yellow dividing strip of the highway, and still off in the distance, the brilliant red flashes of the traffic signal. There were also the browns and grays and whites of the surrounding buildings, that I hadn't seen a few moments before, but now were things
of sharp beauty.


This narrative could be tightened up, and ike Ts sentences: conspicuous, by revising some of the
tired after



Late one night I was riding with a friend. We were both extremely a long weekend trip, and not very watchful of the traffic of one very red blinker light in the lights. But I was dimly aware distance. Suddenly in front of us a car loomed up, like a slow moving We were going too fast to ship seen through a submarine's sights. and instinctively I braced myself for the crash. Our tires squealed stop, but in for what seemed minutes. only a second or two passed,
that brief instant,

Actually the color of the scene jumped into view the the brilliant red flashes bright yellow dividing strip of the highway, of the traffic light, the browns, grays, and whites of the nearby buildFor one sharp moment everything took on a strange and fearful


Instead of talking about what went on, show the action itself. A reader will realize your experience more clearly if you concentrate on the events as they happened instead of on

your feelings about them. of narrative, is Paragraphing conversation, often a part discussed in 37.1, Quotation marks to inclose conversation,
p. 420.

10.3 Descriptive paragraphs
details are

In descriptive writing, selected used to give the reader a picture of a place, a per-

son, or

a scene that the writer has himself experienced or


He had that most miserable of Navy watches, the twenty-four-hour was a stretch as duty officer on a cold ship in drydock. The Caine of iron. Heat, light, power were gone. Boilers and main engines corpse disemboweled. The fuel oil was all pumped out, and the purr of the
ventilators, the vessel's breatiiing noise,






and grinding shocks replaced it Yard workbangs, screeches, scrapes, men were executing yet another rejuvenation by plastic surgery on the scarred old ship. The foggy San Francisco air drifted stagnantly through the passage ways, rancid with the smell of mildew, and the staterooms were a chaos of scattered books and magazines and crew's



linen.-Herman Wouk, The Caine Mutiny,




and a knack

an eye significant descriptive writing requires for phrasing sensations of sight, smell,



Kinds of paragraphs

look at a scene in exactly sound, and so on. No two persons one writer's description more the same manner. What makes and the vivid than another's is the kind of details he selects reader. way he arranges them for the

0.3a Focusing details


details of a descriptive


should give your reader a clear, unified impression. Descriptive writing is more than enumeration. You need to choose the most effective details and arrange them so that the more
out. important ones stand

a lack of selection minor details, and as a

The following paragraph illustrates and focus. Too much attention is given to


single impression emerges:

entered the Roundup Room through a curtained entrance just the check room on a right turn. The Roundup Room was a long past the end of the eU angling off to the left. It was ell-shaped affair with about 200 feet long and probably forty-five to fifty feet in width. Along the wall on the left ran a long bar. Behind the bar five bartenders were and giving them to a dozen or so waitresses who busily filling orders as rushed. Above the bar mirror on the wall were paintings were



and cartoons, like those I described on the outside of the building. Down the aisle in front of us there seemed to be a beehive of activity, with couples going and coming from the small dance floor. I say "small" because it couldn't have been more than twenty-five feet square. On our right were small tables, all filled with customers, and on the wall, farther down, were a number of small booths.
of western scenes

We threaded


way through

the smoky haze to an empty table.

If the writer intended to emphasize the overcrowding and confusion in this room, he should have concentrated on those features, and omitted or briefly summarized such unnecesand dimensions of the room, the sary details as the shape above the mirror, and so on. paintings to be drawn out and Descriptive writing does not have detailed. A few well-selected details give a sharper minutely

a large picture than


of ill-assorted ones:

The next morning Peter arose early and made his way directly to the Veterans Administration office, where he had explained his problem to the Vocational Counselor. The office was enormous. It was a nearly bare loft in which several dozen young men milled about, smoking,
swearing, arguing, or merely reading the morning papers listlessly



sleepily, as though they were still resentful at their mothers for having routed them out of bed at such an hour. The floor was littered with

hundreds of ground-out cigarette butts, and the walls were placarded every few feet with large red and white NO SMOKING signs.Harvey Swados, "The Dancer," New World Writing 1952, p. 235

you are writing a character sketch, remember that what may be more revealing than his physical This brief paragraph tells the reader more about appearance. what kind of person Mrs. Matson is than would a good many

a person does or says

lines of purely personal detail:

A blind Negress, a$ tray of pencils hung about her neck, a cane monotonously tapping the pavement before her, came down the street. Mrs. Matson swerved sharply to the curb to avoid her, wasting a withering glance upon her. It was Mrs. Matson's immediate opinion that the woman could see as well as she could. She never gave to the poor on the streets, and was distressed if she saw others do so. She frequently remarked that these beggars all had big bank accounts.Dorothy Parker, "Little Curtis," Laments for the Living, p. 128
Before you begin any kind of description, get clearly in to achieve, then arrange your material so that all the statements contribute to this

mind the main impression you want

10.3b Vague description

describing a person you write because she was wearing a funny hat," your description won't mean much to the reader because there are many lands of funny hats. State in specific terms what the hat looked like: perhaps it was a black velvet beret covered with sea shells or perhaps it was a miniature
If in

*1 first noticed this lady

merry-go-round. Notice how lifeless the description is in this paraphrase, from which all the specific expressions have been removed:
After Lincoln became a lawyer, he started to pay more attention to his appearance. But even though he wore his hjn> in the accepted fashion of the time, he still wasn't well-dressed. As a result, he acquired the reputation of being one of the most careless dressers in

town, along with another local man, who was a judge, and equally careless about the way he looked.

who was



Kinds of paragraphs

By way

of contrast,

compare the description

as it



ally written:

And though Lincoln had begun wearing broadcloth and white shirts with a white collar and black silk cravat, and suggestions of sideburns
coming down three-fourths the length of his ears, he was still known one of the carelessly dressed men of Springfield, along with Stephen Logan, who wore unbleached cotton shirts and had sat two years as a circuit court judge wearing an unbleached cotton shirt with no

cravat or stock.

Carl Sandburg,




Prairie Years,


Being specific in descriptive writing doesn't mean that you should overload your sentences with adjectives and adverbs. While such words are used to "describe" or qualify other
words, too
lutely the



them can be

disastrous to

descriptive writing.


refer to the

any piece of Grand Canyon as "abso-

I have ever seen in entire hint about your emotions, but it won't tell him much about the Canyon or help him re-create your feelings for himself.

most marvelous sight



give the reader



descriptive writing


tion. It also takes practice to get

to get additional practice is to analyze, in and in books, examples of descriptive writing that appeal to you, to see what land of details the writers

One way

restraint and discriminathe exact effect that you



use and


they present them.


L Study the following paragraphs in the light of the ideas on lands of paragraphs presented in this section. a. What kind is it-expository, narrative, descriptive? In which paragraphs do you find more than one kind? b. In the expository paragraphs, try to find the topic sentence. Where is it placed? Do any of the descriptive or narrative paragraphs have topic statements?

*Tm belonged to the regiment we had just relieved Sir Osbert SitwdQ. On leaving it. and carried it with me to the dugout. that the of knowing and understanding center around the rela- mere ink marks. and spoke a ghost. . 115-116. with the words tired of having to tell you . I could not see his face very distinctly owing growing darkness: but I swore at him for his carelessness. it does indeed become. At first it looks as 133 . and after I had ordered the posting of the men. by what magic. the evening had be- come already much blacker.Exercise c. pp. and in various ways. of course. tender** for the 2) It has been said by many. What ideas do these suggest to you for improving the development of your own paragraphs? Answer this question in a single expository paragraph. asking hfm what he meant by As I finished. Reprinted by permission of Little. and I was talking to nothingness. or by what humdrum rules. 1) It was one evening in December 1915 that I saw.. a few minutes later. dusk when I took over my portion of the trench. had marched up at an hour's notice into the front to replace a Scottish regiment which had been so badly and line. and these words that we agree to accept as legal exchange of information. I saw a private soldier.** he was. although it had long been an order to. to. suddenly. for you. a peculiar pattern of lines. problems tion of language to reality. of symbol to fact. In the corner of the bay opposite. I entered my dugout. . It was. Laughter in the Next Room. We unexpectedly mauled that the Staff had been compelled to withdraw it. These ink marks over which your eyes are racing. I took up the abandoned rifle. these ink marks that we agree to call words.. no longer there in front of me. with his hands in his pockets. with their rifles on the parapet at dawn and to the at dusk. do they serve their strange functions? If you stare at a word long enough. . Brown & Company and Macmillan & Co. it. copyright 1948.. It must be borne in mind that as a result we had been deprived of the usual few days' rest between spells of duty. and noticed that his rifle was by that a]l the men should stand his side. It British publishers.

Women driving. the possessor of a long jaw as firm-willed. Guthrie. p. The drivers climbed up in the wagons and got colder yet for want of exercise and climbed back down and stumped along. then you cannot be sure. (Standards differ. That was the point. Personality. Reprinted by permission of Harper & Brothers 8) A storm came up that morninga wretched. or keep a girl lonely because the boys feel inferior to her. and are overcome with the feeling that to consider its spellfinally you at all is to enter into the most entangled mazes of humanity. may ruin a boy's. but society reacts as if there were. or even flapping ears or knock-knees. but the fact that she would be a belle is other hand. The rain* was cold. and especially a girl's existence.. etc. half the game is no great comfort to the Hoosier wallis partly a response to the habitual judgments and attitudes of others. The Way West. they went on. develop. 112 slanted by a it to escape third of the indirect values in the relations between and personality is the effects of one's physical appearance anatomy upon others. chilly breeze.) One's in the Straits Settlements own personality to stereotype the possessor of rotundity as good-natured. A. pp. B. But they went on. their feet heavy and misshapen with the clinging mud. 4) The If these malevolent pranks of nature can make life lonely. for girls in our society and in many others. so that the rearward wagons floundered half-stuck in the mire. Jr. moreover. 151-152. a harelip or a facial blemish. To be good-looking.. There is. Gardner Murphy. 91. it is likely that many lesser handicaps do a great deal to fray the cord on the by which social contact is maintained. all-day rain that greased the ground and later soaked it.10 though it Kinds of paragraphs were spelled correctly. Mere size and strength may do a great deal to bludgeon a boy's way into social acceptance. People in Quandaries. ing Wendell Johnson. And though handsome is as handsome does. a tendency flower. a secondary may 134 . it is hard not to act as one is expected to act There relation is probably no intimate relation between if facial structure and character. Reprinted by permission of Harper & Brothers. p. children driving.




5) Until a decade or two ago the phenomenon of turbulence in stream was of interest only to engineers; it seemed to have

very little significance in what is usually called "pure" science. Turbulence is that extremely irregulai internal motion which can be observed in fast-flowing liquids and gases. When a smoothflowing stream breaks up into a chaotic mixture of whirlpools or
eddies of
all different sizes,




has become turbulent.


can see

happen open the faucet a little bit, the water streams out smoothly in what is known as laminar (or streamlined) flow. Increase the speed of the stream by opening the faucet all the way, and the motion becomes turbulent. George Gamow, "Turbulence in Space," Scientific American, June 1952, p. 26


in the flow of water from the kitchen faucet.

When you

6) More men than women came down the gang-plank, many of them wearing trousers with ill-fitting overcoats buttoned around

them. In the harsh neon light they appeared to have a curious kinship. They all looked as though something had been chilled inside of them and then hollowed out. Although some were shouting like the men and women on the pier, although some were hysterical like the men and women crowding around the plank, although some were dazed, there was a difference between them and the persons who awaited them. Some cheerful, recognizable human quality had been subtracted from them. They were the second group of survivors from the Matrix, the pleasure ship that had gone to the bottom before it had even reached Caribbean waters. Leane Zugsmith, Home Is Where You Hang Your Childhood,


Barstow, Barstow and Bryce, the firm that had after his graduation from law school, occua major part of the fourteenth floor of a building off lower pied Broadway. The elevator took you up to a large waiting room with


offices of

employed Bob Tasmin

comfortable leather chairs, from which anxious clients could get a glimpse of the library when the door was open. Then came a broad

passageway flanked by the partners'

offices. First

was the corner

office of the former senior partner, Mr. Barstow,




1 1



sole surviving partner of the

currently occupied

by Mr. Bryce, the

often thought that Mr. original firm. Bob Tasmin furniture of the late slightly in the mid-Victorian

Bryce rattled Mr. Barstow.

Then came the room of Mr. Harris, the trial lawyer, from which you got a fine view of the Battery. Next came the office of Mr. Willoughby who handled divorces and family disputes, a gayer, more modernistic room than the others, reflecting Mr. Willoughby's bland disposition. The junior partners' offices farther down the passage each grew smaller depending on seniority, and the partners' row reached an end at the partners' toilet with its private key. Beyond this line the offices of Barstow, Barstow and Bryce deoak and green
generated into a grim series of stuffy rooms, furnished with golden and occupied by the secretaries and filing cabinets,

clerks. Finally

who had been

came the rooms where those bright boys worked selected according to their grades from the leading John P. Marquand, B. F.'s Daughter, p. 184. Re-

printed by permission of Little, of Authors, copyright 1946.

Brown & Company and The


11 Paragraphs in sequence

thing to



that the division [into paragraphs]



the benefit of the reader or hearer.


a device for making the

whole clear



else. This

does not

ess less valuable to the writer:

point of view.






in the least make the procmerely forces upon him the right proportion as it helps a hearer or

reader to follow.

Charles Sears Baldwin

11.1 Continuity between paragraphs Just as the statements within a paragraph should represent a continuous flow of
thought, the individual paragraphs should represent a progressive development of the subject. If there is too wide a

ning of the next, the reader
of thought

gap in ideas between the end of one paragraph and the beginmay not be able to follow the line


11. la
11.1 a Showing the relation with the preceding paragraph Link paragraphs together by connecting the topic of a new paragraph with the topic of the preceding one. The easiest way to do this is to phrase the opening statement of a par-

agraph so that


grows out of what you have

method of
from the
those of

first five

just said. This illustrated in the following sentences

paragraphs of an essay comparing the chances of marriage of girls who go to women's colleges with

who go

to coeducational institutions:
Has as


Yet surely a









spurn matrimony as
Nevertheless not

right a man Has.


of us today

Beginning of second

care to sing the praises of celibacy .... Today we as a people set more store


paragraph of second paragraph

on marriage than ever before in our

This growing sense of the value of

Beginning of third paragraph

matrimony Has boosted the
of coeducation


among us.


suspected that separate colleges for women ... by supposedly cloistering the girls and



it is


of third paragraph

reducing their contacts with men to social events, cut down chances of

La defense, the advocates of womHave been a bit sniffy and condescending, about the "matrimonial
en's colleges

Beginning of fourth paragraph

bureaus" which they say are operated on coeducational campuses. At times they have even implied that
. .


of fourth paragraph

only college girls of relatively





lapse into domesticity.

The American


public Has enough sense to see that most of this an elaborate whistling in the dark.

Beginning of



-Lynn White,

"Do Women's


Turn Out Spinstersr Harper's

44 Magazine, October 1952, p.


1 1




the supporting statements omitted from these how showing the thought connection paragraphs, you can see makes it easy to follow the development. between

Even with


The preceding example also shows that paragraphs are connected by the same methods used to link sentences within a paragraph (see 9.5): by repetition of an important word or synonym (paragraph 4: women's colleges), by a pronoun
5: this;

value of matrimony), or

paragraph 3: this growing sense of the by a connective word (paragraph 2:

11. lb Showing the relation to the topic of the paper


the material and development permit, show the relation between the paragraph and the topic or central idea of the paper. This is a good way to keep your paragraphs going in the same direction. As an example, in this discussion of the played by primitive peoples, the author begins each


paragraph with a different kind of sport:

probably universal.






(four sentences follow)

Races are far more common.


Second paragraph
(three sentences follow)

games are

also widespread,


Third paragraph
(six sentences follow)

vary greatly in type. ...
Frequently the ball games are played in a more elaborate way. . . . In the Plains and Southwest of our
country the lioop and pole"

Fourth paragraph
(fourteen sentences follow)


Fifth paragraph (six sentences follow)

enjoyed great popularity. Compared with such sports ropeskipping seems simple, but the Aus.

Sixth paragraph

(two sentences follow)
Seventh paragraph
(four sentences follow)


Euahlayi make an art of Polynesians lead in aquatic








raced one analso tried to

Eighth paragraph

other across streams


(two sentences follow)

upset one another's balance.


Robert H. Lowie,


Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, pp.



ll*lc Transition paragraphs Occasionally for major transitions in material, such as from one main section of a long paper to
reader for what
another, a brief, self-contained paragraph will prepare the is coming next. This is a typical transition


No such startling cliange in the habits of a people could have taken place without far-reaching social effects.. Let us glance at a few of them.-Frederick Lewis Allen, The Big Change, p. 125
Ordinarily the relation of the subject matter of paragraphs close .that transition paragraphs are not needed, and in short papers they are usually out of place.
is -so



Good beginnings



paragraph of a paper has two

functions: to get the subject started and to attract the reader's interest. good beginning will fulfill both these functions, but for the purposes of a composition course, getting the an paper started is perhaps more important than



original or unusual opening. The less you think about an "introduction," the more immediately you are likely to get

your topic going.



it difficult

to construct a



are writing your first draft, don't waste time, but on to the next paragraph. You can go back kter and write go the opening sentences. Or if you have written what is obviously a weak beginning in your first draft, see if the second

when you

or third sentence, or even the second paragraph, wouldn't serve better as the starting point. You may find, as many
writers do, that the first few lines of writing represent nothing more than a warming-up process, and that the paper actually begins after a few sentences.
1 1


An important



of the quickest




with the statement of an important fact that will lead to the general topic. This is a natural opening for a narrative or presentation of a situation, but it is also good for a discussion of general ideas, as these from articles
discussing important problems in education show:

open a paper


1 1





Defense Secretary Charles E. Wilson recently ordered that all post public schools located on military reservationswill be operated on a non-segregated basis beginning September 1, 1955. L. R.
Davis, "Federal Operation of Post Schools," School 1954, 79:165



May 29,

Graduates of the Class of 1950 at Newark College of Engineering were asked to complete a questionnaire which evaluated their extracurricular program from 1946 to 1950. The College is about five minutes distant from the downtown section of Newark, a city of about a halfmillion people. All commuters, the students come to college from Newark and from suburbs within an hour's travel Their heavy schedule of technical subjects and the difficulties of commuting demand so


make participation in the extraA. Estrin, "Engineering Graduates Evaluate Their College's Extracurricular Program," Journal of Higher Education, June 1954, 25:328
of their time in


cases as to





1 1


A statement of your

purpose or point of view This need not be an obvious statement of purpose ("In this paper I am going to give you my reasons for majoring in business administration") or

a flat rewording of the assignment, but a natural

leading into the topic:


only the vaguest notion of what subject

I decided to enter the university, like most freshmen I had I intended to major in. But now

after two quarters of haphazardly chosen course work, and after a good deal of self-analysis, I have decided that there are at least four good reasons why I should major in business administration. . . .

1 1



definition that applies directly to your topic Instead of starting with a dull and stereotyped statement like "According to Webster, a hobby is 'an engrossing topic,

tion, or plan, etc., to

a definition that


which one habitually returns/ " make your approach to the subject:


A hobby, as I see it, is an activity that takes up most of your spare time and all of your spare money. At least that has been my experience since I started building model . airplanes. .

1 1


reference to your experience with the subject For example, in an article discussing the question of segregation in college fraternities, the author starts off in this




During the year just past I have found myself deeply concerned with the affairs of a group of fine youngsters who, acting from high motives,

were unexpectedly embroiled in a major social problem. Under vicious attack, for a time they were dismayed and confused; but they came through and, I think, won their final trial-Alfred S. Romer, The Color Line in Fraternities/* The Atlantic Monthly, June 1949, p. 27
1 1

.2e The aspects of the subject you are going to discuss
beginning clearly indicates that the writer
Yellowstone Park


not going to talk about Yellowstone Park, but about vandalism in the Park:


in the is the most spectacular wonderland of its kind geysers and hot springs are unrivalled anywhere. Princes, savants travel from all parts of the earth to marvel at them.

has spent millions of dollars for roads and other facilities to enable the great American public to behold these matchless hydrothermal wonders. Yet, the great American public is ruinthe ing them choking them simply because some people can't resist temptation of throwing tons of assorted trash into the funnels rf geysers and springs.-George D. Marler, "Who Is Choking Yellowstone's Gey-

Our Federal Government

sers?" Natural History, June 1952, p.



1.21 Details likely to catch the reader's interest One of the best ways to get the reader to go beyond the first sentence is to arouse his curiosity perhaps with an anecdote or an apt quotation or an allusion to some current topic. Such "human interest" material should of course be tied in with
the subject of the paper, as
it is

in this beginning of



on the Korean war:
Arthur Dailey, in his "Sports of the Times" column, tells how Frank Leahy, the football coach at Notre Dame, began a lecture to his squad on its disregard of fundamentals by picking up a football and saying,
"This, gentlemen, is a football." He was interrupted by Ziggy Czarobsld, one of the tackles. "Just a minute, coach," said Ziggy, "please don't give it to us so fast." now, we could use Ziggy, or someone like Ziggy, to monitor


what we are hearing about the gloomy fundamentals of the tragic problem in Korea, its evils and their cure. It is all coming at us so fast that the spectators can no longer see the game through the fog that has settled over the field

of 'Where



Go From

.-S. L. A. Marshall, "Korean Stalemate-The War Here,*" Tlie Reporter9 November 11,

1952, p. 17






1 1

The opening paragraph should mark .3 Beginnings to avoid the actual beginning of the paper and be clearly rekted to
the subject If it does not get the subject under way, or if it does not create interest in the subject, it probably does not

belong in the paper. When you are working on the opening of a paper, be careful to avoid these common mistakes, all of which make poor
1 1

.3d Beginning too far back If you are discussing the organization of the United Nations, there is no need to begin with the reasons for the failure of the League of Nations, nor is there any reason to begin a paper on Eisenhower as President with an account of his military career. The shorter your paper, the more direct should be your beginning: a statement of your purpose or a rewording of your central idea is the



begin a paper written in


1 1


An apology

discouraging to

A statement such as this is most readers: "Being a lowly freshman, I'm afraid that what I have to say on this topic won't be of much
or a complaint

Complaints are also better left unwritten: "Before write this theme, I thought I could find some in" material on it in the library, but there wasn't any teresting

I started to


that readers are only interested in the ideas that present, not in the difficulties or disappointments


may have had
1 1

while writing the paper.


Too broad a generalization "Science in the last fifty years has made more progress than any other branch of knowledge"
is a generalization far too sweeping to explain or prove in a 500 or a 5000 word paper. Statements such as this are likely to be more impressive to the writer than they are to the reader. Wherever possible, begin with a specific statement: smaller than your thumb, a new electronic device "Though

called the transistor



is likely to have a television sets of the future."





1 1



self-evident statement Avoid starting a paper with a remark so obvious that it need not be mentioned: "America
has a great number of resorts situated in her many scenic localities." And resist the temptation to open your topic with

some commonplace observation
subject: "It has
life is

that gives no hint of your been said that the only thing constant in change." If you have started your paper with a self-

evident remark, see if the sentence immediately following doesn't mark the actual beginning of the subject.
1 1


The purpose of a conclusion is to round out the subject and to give final emphasis to the paper. The last paragraph should sound like an ending, so that the person who reads it will know you have finished your paper and have not merely abandoned it. This doesn't mean that you should
mechanically summarize what you have said or draw your discussion to a close with some such stilted expression as

Good endings

Thus we
. .

have seen






The reader will know he has come

or "In conclusion I would like to to the end if the


paragraph ties together the ideas you have been developof the paper, or, in a narsounds like the conclusion of the action. rative,
ing and emphasizes the main point

Following are some suggestions for good concluding paragraphs:

Make your final paragraph the 11. 4a Rounding out the idea culmination of the ideas you have been developing, or save the most important idea for the last The concluding paragraph thus becomes the climax of the paper. A student paper of about 1000 words, which has described in detail the operation of a large used-car lot, brings all the details to a focus
in this conclusion:
This used-car lot was sponsored by an organization which sells over a million cars a year, so it was by no means a fly-by-night affair. Although no sloppy repairs were done, and no highly crooked deals were tolerated, there was just a slight suspicion that the company was getting the best of every customer on every deal. This company, however good or bad, is representative of many similar organizations in the United







1 1

.4b Tying the ending in with the beginning


final par-


repeat, in different wording, the central idea

stated in the beginning. This method is particularly useful for longer papers, both to remind the reader what the main




to give



in defense of radio begins

emphasis. For example, an article and ends in this manner:

sins, by a multitude of persons. and congressmen attack it Lawyers, psychiatrists, doctors, educators, editors, and clergymen all take swipes at it. Many of these people are important and their views are often given wide pub-



accused of a multitude of

Senators, cranks,



alas, are neither

informed nor





No man

in American radio has ever said that everything in radio is and no radio man ever will. But they will tell you this: if you

make radio a public issue, radio will bring it to the public. Broadcasters have never flinched from a public issue and as long as democracy exists
they never will. Public trust is radio's only security, public response its mold. Wylie, "Washboard Weepers: a Small Case for Radio," Harper's azine, November 1942, pp. 633-638
1 1


*4c Giving suggestions for action If you have been criticizsome situation (parking on the campus, the price of texting

books, daylight saving time), end your paper with a positive

suggestion for action. "Something should be done about this" too weak to serve as a conclusion. Make the statement defas in this ending of an article about international


There is only one way out. have to learn the lesson that nations, asserting their petty ideas of sovereignty, prestige, national self-interest, must combine to act together for the common good of which



is the

meaning of acting morally. There

But the time

time to learn this lesson. short.-'W. T. Stace, "Have Nations Any Morals?" The
is still

Atlantic Monthly,
1 1

November 1945,



.4d Summarizing the main points in the paper Longer and more formal papers are sometimes concluded by restating
the main points of the discussion. This final paragraph, for example, sums up the reasons which the author has discussed
in detail for preferring









made The intemperance which is associated with American football may have a number of causes, but frustration is a prominent one. The American game will not allow many ablebodied and interested people even to join a team; it will not allow many of the members of a team to pky

distinguishes the Rugby scene from that of temperance; and this temperate mood is possible to a considerable extent by the simplicity of the game.

mood which most

game; and


range of

of those actually playing, only a few can engage in the activity. These are serious weaknesses in the American

how Rugby

game, and anyone interested in getting rid of them ought to observe football is played in England-Allen Jackson, "Rugby Is a Better Game/' The Atlantic Monthly, November 1952, p. 72

But for most papers written in composition courses, it is seldom necessary or advisable to summarize what has been
said. Perhaps the most unemphatic and trite way to end a 500 or 800 word paper is with a mechanical summary such as this: "Therefore, as I have shown, the benefits of intramural athletics are twofold physical and mental.*"

II .5 Endings to ovoid

Avoid unemphatic, inconclusive, or conThese are some typical pitfalls to watch tradictory endings.
out for in your closing paragraphs:

11 .5a

An apology

Ending a paper with an apology for



only serves to emphasize them:

I am sorry this paper is so short, but I always have a difficult time putting a paper like this together.

1 1





If the last sentence of

an exception or qualifying remark, that has been said before:

a paper is weakens everything

Although I haven't answered why some people refuse to face facts, have come to the conclusion that not facing facts may be a natural part of human nature. Of course this can be carried to extremes.

There are two

or scope of your paper

sides to every subject, but when the purpose is limited to the arguments for one

side only, don't suddenly shift to the other side in clusion. If for example you have been presenting

your con-

every argu145

1 1




ment you can think of in favor of universal military training, don't end like this: "Of course, there is much to be said for

the other side also." If you feel such a qualifying statement necessary, put it earlier in the paper.

1 1


paper describing the role of the pitcher in baseball shouldn't end with a remark about other aspects of the game:
is one of America's favorite sports, and to spend an afternoon Yankee Stadium or Polo Grounds, watching two great pitchers battling for a victory, attracts thousands of fans. What I have said about pitching gives you an idea as to what a pitcher must keep in his mind while out there on the mound, or as a substitute on the bench. There are eight other players on the team besides the pitcher and the same can be written about each individual player and his position.

Minor details or afterthoughts



at the


would be better to save an idea like that in the



for the topic of another paper.

1 1

.5d Unfinished ideas Some concluding statements make a reader wonder whether the writer actually finished his paper or was called away in the middle of an idea:

teresting people I permit it

could go on and on for pages and pages describing the other inmet on the ship, but the length of this paper doesn't

Instead of putting a sentence such as this at the end of your paper, round out the description fully, or if the topic is al-

ready developed sufficiently, see if the next to the last sentence wouldn't make a respectable conclusion.
Final paragraphs are important because they create the impression that tibe reader will carry away with him. good conclusion, like a good beginning, is an asset to any paper, but it is not advisable to waste valuable time trying to think of a punch line or a dramatic close. When you have said all



you have

to say, stop.


Which openings seem most effective to you. I have it were meant to be provocative. Scientists have been working on a cure for it for a long time. the curtain rises. I have put myself out on a limb. I did and did not wholly agree with some of the author's Then the thought came to me that that was my first have concentrated on the if part of this essay. The following paragraphs are the beginnings of student papers of from 500 to 800 words in length.** derived from the Greek word meaning a disease of foxes. subject. Like most other diseases. so here goes. I have asked myself: who am I to disagree with someone like that? However. 2. In the past years doctors have found out what causes baldness. . and the play Last year the University's Touring Theater did this two begins. footlights are turned up. wondered some of the observations in 2) The medical word for baldness is "alopecia. The hairs on the human head grow from a papilla about a quarter of an inch below the surafce of the skin. to use a cliche. There has been baldness among men and women for thousands of years. . Study an article in a magazine or in a volume of readings for the ways in which the individual paragraphs are tied together.Exercises Exercises 1. Make a list of phrases or statements relating separate paragraphs to the subject of the article and those linking each paragraph to the preceding one. hundred times on an itinerary of one hundred seventy cities and 3) The whistle stops. baldness is not free from false advertising. The tour troupe will play at least was so well received that this year the two hundred fifty shows in two hundred 147 . There are many ways that a person can prevent baldness. I realI unsatisfactory beginnings? ferret out ized that observations. and What specific faults do you find in the why? 1) After reading the assigned essay five times and trying to something that interested me to comment upon. . but it is still incurable.

. Study the beginnings and endings of at least three informaone issue of a magazine or in a volume of readings. type in the country. marriage should not mean the reconstructing own ideas and habits to suit those of another. is unsatisfactory. 153-163. ." or words to that effect. . "Me and my ulcer" would be more appropriate for me. following a huge meal. This is the first show to tour the entire state in many this years. pp. What is. When a young couple is united in matrimony. I suffered a con- wherever stant pain in rny 3. follows me go . About two years ago. and it is one of the very few student organizations of 4) Marriage. as is the case with a great many words and phrases. The problem lies in its interpretation. of . . . exactly what do they hope to find in their life together? itself is one's To begin with. is a word greatly misused and misunderstood. 5) How does that song go? "Me and my shadow I . 12 Revising paragraphs Anyone who can Old saying write a good paragraph can write a good paper.1 2 Revising paragraphs theaters. what does it do? How effective are tional articles in they? 4. in its true meaning.. Par Paragraph correction: This paragraph or K the following questions effective. the depth and hidden meanings are greatly misunderstood. it Check it and revise or rewrite to make it by more 11 This section reviews the points made in sections 9 through by asking questions that may lead to improving ineffective 148 . Study and evaluate the beginnings and endings of the papers in exercise 2. . The word comprehended very easily.. stomach for over three days. the relation of each to the subject and the purpose of the article as a whole. . and yet.

while you are counting die hours and the minutes until the game starts.2).1 paragraphs. You can use the questions in revising your papers before handing them in. A paragraph that attempts to cover more than one stage of the topic should be divided: About three years ago when I started my junior year in high school. or if one or more of your paragraphs have been marked by your instructor. 12. You begin the long walk across the campus. it is a beautiful sunny morning with very little wind real football weather. In either case some rewriting of the paper will be necessary. He started talking about the wonderful possibilities die 149 . or to not following the outline you have ( 9. As the paper predicted. the last two "paragraphs" and also deal with one topic the trip to the stadium and should not be separated either. and you wish for a moment at least that you were back in school again. If the paragraphs represent the right order of topics but are too brief. your difficulty is due either to a faulty outline. they may merely represent too as in this example: many thing indentions. memories of your college days come back to you.12. a neighbor who was the captain of the local National Guard unit paid me a visit. which will have to be thought about and revised ( 6). they were marked and suggestions for improvyou need more information you can refer to the is whose number given in parentheses.1 Does the paragraph develop a clear cut stage of the topic? If more than one or two paragraphs fail to develop a clear cut stage of the topic. The first two "paragraphs" concern the morning of the game hence should be written as one. Finally you start for the game. As you pass the impressive Gothic buildings. you can find here the reasons section why If ing them. joining the thousands of people all as eager as you are. all hurrying in die same direction. only to find the nearest parking lot over a niile from the stadium. You try to pass the morning by reading about the game. The day of the game finally arrives and the first you do is look out the window to check on the weather.

about this outfit and my place in it. Occasionally they would look busy when they saw an officer coming. I fell for his a good recruiting for my uniform. on beginning paragraphs. and other technical officer. I did. 1L5.lb). on concluding paragraphs). All the fancy talk I had heard was subjects. for as soon as I got to the anti-aircraft installation. for two and a half years. The beginning and ending of a paper need to be watched especially for irrelevant matter and for direct relation to the. I spent most of my weekly drills wiping the guns while the NCO's stood around talking baseball and women to each other.3 Is the relation between the thought of a paragraph and that of the preceding one clear? Your paper should have unbroken continuity so that a reader who may be unfamiliar with the subject can move easily from one paragraph to the next The continuity of the subject in this.] After attending a few drills. If you 'have conthat the spicuous trouble in keeping the subject before the reader. 11. but most of the time just propaganda. 1 2. From argument and joined. electronics. Paragraph length). Paragraphs that are conspicuously short or conspicuously long should be examined carefully to see whether they are developed properly (9. Evidently he must have been after he talked for an hour. thinking I might learn something.12 Revising paragraphs to offer Guard had training in radio. see first sentence of each paragraph contains the key or a pronoun or a synonym referring to a clearly indicated subdivision of the topic (ll. Since the discussion of recruiting clearly stops with "I did/' the next sentence should begin a new paragraph.2). [Next sentence starts a new stage of the I was able to draw some conclusions topic. but helps you may need 150 to use pronouns or connecting phrases or some .2 Is the relation of the paragraph to the topic of the paper clear? A reader should see the relationship of the state- ments of a particular paragraph to the topic of the paper. they loafed while I worked. it.topic (11.2. word of the topic or 1 2.4. they hustled me down then on. The relationship can be tested in your outline by tracing it from the subhead through any intervening head to the central idea (9.3. 11.6.

2.lc). and descriptive paragraphs).5 Is the relation between the statements of the paragraph In revising paragraphs for continuity. narrative.5). One way to test die development of a par- agraph is to see that the topic sentence (10. 1 is actually 2. try to put in the reader's place and ask yourself such yourself questions as these: clear? Does any sentence sound as if it marks the beginning of a new paragraph? Does each statement seem to be in its proper place within the paragraph? Is it easy to get from one sentence to the next. pronoun or a Exercises 1. 10. Read each selection first to get its mean151 . especially specific details. Occasionally a short transition paragraph may be needed between the 1 stages of a paper (ll.4 Is the paragraph fully developed? The most common defect in paragraph development is not putting down enough material. using a connective will show the continuity (9.1b) supported by enough detail to make it convincing. perhaps a slight revision repeating a word. which discusses characteristic material of expository. Developing ideas fully. the sentences have^been shifted their original order.Exercises repetition of important words to make the relation absolutely clear ( ll.la). Lack of detail usually means rewriting a paragraph on a larger scale (9. from In the following paragraphs. The point is not just bulk but sufficient infor- mation to make your reader see your point as you see it. or are there any noticeable gaps in thought? If it is difficult to get from one statement to the next. to convey your meaning to your reader.3.

1) Pretending to have more money than one actually has is an and usually no one is deceived by acutely uncomfortable business. does bring with responsibilities. 1) In later years they it gether and went bowling and played tennis had done Mr. the pretension. 2) While a certain amount of Dutch treating goes on. discarded or used only in concealed or safety. to- 152 . but the finish of the There is no loss of strength reflects the builder's 4) Warped boards bften go up in full view. "More Living Space. 2) house other imperfections are not 1) Boards with knots. what entertainment they can afford to offer. the mass builder of the would be unacceptable to many must save in some ways that individuals. be prepared to discuss alternative possibilities. Inc. 45 b. and locations. If you think effective. especially in group entertainment. day c. And boys should learn to be unembarrassedly frank with about. Copyright Amy Vanderbilt. house.1 2 Revising paragraphs and then indicate by number what you think would be the best order of the sentences to make a unified and emphatic parathat more than one arrangement would be graph. cracks. 5) Often he uses rough framing lumber throughout the. p. November 1952. economy approach." Sunset Magazine. reprinted by permission of Double& Company. it 4) Dating. a boy usually does pay for the entertain- ment 3) girls of his special date. then after-school jobs must provide the social activities of his difference. for boys. ing. a. and uses it pretty much as it comes from the mill. 5) If his allowance is increased financial not adequate for his participation in the high school group and if his parents cannot comfortably increase it. low cost houses 3) Naturally enough. 1952. p. Beech much good physically. 1954 by Amy Vanderbttfs Complete Book of Etiquette. 539.

written near the end of first quarter of freshman composition. or seventeen. swinging. Interest: Indicate which paper you consider the most inter- 153 . as Addison approached the twilight of his teens. 5) When his son was young Mr. 263-264 A Set of Themes. Beech had laid the groundwork to the boy's for future love and companionship by devoting the best part of his amusement. opening paragraph? The strongest closing? d.) (Try making Are there any passages in which the writer wanders from his suba sentence that defiject or repeats himself? Which papers contain a. more sedate fathers in the park. pp. in the pre-adolescent days. much to the amazement and resentment of the less doting.or underdeveloped. Sundays But Addison was always a restless one and there could be no 6) hearth sitting with him. The following themes. Beech to realize that his company was anyone's. 2. Development: What is the dominant kind of development- in each paper? Can you sugexpository. it was a source of satisfaction and reward to Mr. and then answer the the following questions:* Which papers are most effectively organized? an outline. Beech could have been seen playing marbles. not only his son. Alma Pater. sixteen. skating. 3) Excepting of course. Organization: the other papers. shooting down the slides. yet as stimulating and gratifying to Addison as Hail. or descriptive methods by which each of these subjects might gest any other have been developed? Paragraphing: Point out any paragraphs that seem to you over. 4) So. what sentence or nitely states the central idea? In come nearest to expressing the central idea? sentences b. Read each one through first.Exercises 2) He wanted Addison to grow up to be his pal. narrative. Mr. are typical papers of varying quality. Which paper has the most effective c. of any papers you may be doubtful about. Harry Dubin. any good-looking female teenager of fifteen. seesawing and bicycling with his son. 7) Now.

12 Revising paragraphs the basis of subject matter. washing dishes. better known as the SCA. such as serving meals. the activities that the SCA has engaged in have offered its members a number How is of other advantages. liveliness. was organized in the early 1930's. For the student who needs part time the co-op offers a and a limited work to earn his living number of jobs. 154 . number of office jobs. In recent years the co-op has added other services designed to ease the burden on the student's pocketbook. It is surprising the amount of work that can be done when all the individuals in a group do their job. This service obtainable at a very small fee. sweeping floors and washing windows. One of these is the arrangement with a cleaning establishment which gives the student good cleaning service with pickups and deliveries at less than cash and carry rates. In what order would you rank or grade these papers? 1) The SCA The Students' Cooperative Association. wording. The main reason given for the organization at that time was that a group of students could reduce their living costs through cooperation. the clarity of the explanation. the SCA able to offer board and room rates that its members could not get anywhere else? The answer to this is that the members do the housework. Other arrangements have been made with other cooperatives and wholesale houses which give the members the right to purchase at reduced rates a wide variety of items such as jewelry and clothing. arrangement with the students The most recent additional service is an Group Health Cooperative. which gives the health insurance covering a wide variety of conditions not covered by is many nation-wide health programs. At the beginning of each quarter the student is assigned a specific task which requires that he give about three hours of his time each week to perform. doing routine office work and helping with the bookkeeping. and so on). such as working in the kitchen. Since then. esting reading and explain why (on choice of details.

The best of these is to get a job on the Board of Directors. I have attempted to show you that this organization offers the student attending school on a limited budget many advantages which might not be available with some other group." So blares out a voice throughout the long gymnasium. Another advantage is to meet and live with students from a number relationship established in such a group gives both the foreigners and the natives an unparalleled opportunity to become better acquainted with the other's customs.Exercises If jobs are not available at the co-op. of countries. The educational program offers a number of speakers. and athletic. In some sports we compete with other organized houses. Athletics offer the student a chance to compete on a team in the University intramural program or with the co-op's inter-house program. a formal dance and a theater party every social The quarter. history. educational movies. social. the parties. so hurry. The better ways of other things. If the individual is unsuccessful in his attempt to be a part of the governing body. all-co-op banquet. folks. and several others. It would be hard to find a to give students an understanding of the reasons for the way in which things are done elsewhere. The student who is interested in obtaining practical experience in running a business has a couple of alternatives. there are always committees which can use the services of other members. program offers a variety of activities including dances. and take your places 155 . TBmgo/ You may be a for your favorite game of winner. and a number The group's activities can be broken down into three lands: educational. We also have an annual picnic. While it has been impossible posal. my dis- 2) Observations at a Carnival folks. it is often possible to get a part time job with a former co-op member. temporarily converted "Step up. and fireside discussions. hurry. I feel to cover all the advantages in the time at the more important ones have been covered.

Tiny tots tug at their mothers* dresses for a chocolate bar or double decker ice-cream cone. the tangy smell of salty. One youth's face lights up with pleasure as he performs *Vs feat and is rewarded with the bowl and the goldfish. most persuasive voice. buttery aroma mustard and the tantalizing savor of hamburgers permeate the air. The "Penny-Pitch" is surrounded with youngsters between the ages of 8 to 12. oblivious of the other person's feelings. into a place of The stalls decorated in a splash of colors. People forget the common courtesies and by elbow their . they lose thenbalance. The crowd becomes thicker necks to get a glimpse of the fish bowls into which their brothers or sisters are striving to throw small balls. The powerful voice becomes more powerful as it booms forth from the micro- phone. women and rows and rows of children of all ages to his booth. far the greatest drawing card appears to be the "Bingo" stand. doubled over the railings which separate them from the checkered board on the floor. the set of gleaming silverware. Here stands the It is seems to best barker with the loudest. To the call of the 156 . people. Little boys drawn by curiosity. crane thenlouder give in to their whimperings. they bend farther and farther until thenbodies are at a rakish angle with their heads practically touching the board and their feet up in the air. food and games. the girls white aprons dart back and forth to serve their imwearing crisp and beg patient customers. the voices become the minute. the mothers finally satisfy their childrens' hunger or Behind the food by the hour. myopic and mustached. The owner of the voice is small but wiry. Either to to quiet them. Within the booth are prizes: the oriental table lamp with an imitation jade base. a Motorola bedside radio and numerous toy ducks and pandas. and possesses a remarkable vocabulary that beckons men. and attract the crowd as wool attracts moths.12 stalls. appropriately situated in the center of all the other stands. by In this Carnival atmosphere of noise. The mahogany Admiral table model television set is certainly a temptation.way from one concession to another. With each throw of th<e coin. At this point. Revising paragraphs amusement with numerous concession and food of popcorn.

They listen intently to the numbers called and nervously finger their markers. the area around the booth is deathly still. 1-3 under B. In sharp contrast to this. and still others. fill with people and "3-2 under G. Then in the South corner is a little boy. sits a player wearing an expression of utter boredom.Exercises barker. The majority of the participants hover over their cards. the chairs encircling the booth quickly the game is begun. Some dejectedly leave the booth. as though he were a is marker chairs to the left of solving mathematical problem. share three cards instead of one and become more confused as the calling progresses. under the impression that quantity may prove to be the winner. They giggle and call out in an audible whisper. his halo of wispy grey hair being the looking only indication of his advancing age." For a while that is all that can be heard from this booth. The silence is suddenly broken by a jubilant voice from another corner which sings out "Bingo!" abruptly bringing the game to an end* A low groan in unison is heard from the other players. Two and shakes his head teen-age girls. hardly able to contain himself as his card shows that he has only one more square to be completed." fumble for a 157 . It is as the players had though suddenly been cast in a spell and save for the voice of the caller. guarding it as if it were money. A clutching orange popsicle in one hand. hardly hearing what is being said but with his face turned toward the center figure from whose hand the decisive two released. another player him sits in deep concentration. in disgust as the numbers are called. The two ladies check and recheck their cards and the three of them enjoy the game immensely as evidenced by their nods and smiles. staring at his card without batting an eye. Imdifficult for mediately opposite this threesome. others tell their neighbors of their short-lived luck. a marker in the other. half out of his chair. an youth sits in the East corner. the "die-hards. "Give us 48 under N" Sandwiched between two elderly ladies is a spry man of 60 odd years. His far-sighted eyes make it him to distinguish the letters and numbers of the card and the lady on his right points the exact square for him. with the numbers being called out with purposeful distinctness. 6-7 under O.

I had waited with eager anticipation for her pal reply to my letter. change their cards and anxiously wait for the ext game to commence. Letters soon them about myself. North Ireland. India. Africa. Since I couldn't travel. So I wrote to the International Friendship League. Inside was the warmth of a new friendship: a friend in a land newly conas I picked told me it quered. The days turned into weeks. Then. So I wrote to my new prospective friends in much the same manner. Holland. and to write to a person I had never seen. Hawaii. Through the mail slot came a large envelope with strange stamps. at different intervals. tropical countries. Just one individual walks away with triumph writ- over his face. was a little girl I have always had a desire to wanted to see China and Alaska. I the I medium of letters. Days and days went by. My heart beat quickened and I beamed with excitement and wonderment up the letter. telling and our city and state. and make received names and addresses of boys and girls in the following countries: Egypt. I it was quite difficult and of whom I knew nothing. Switzerland. I have seen much of the world through Ever since Then. adjusting her ways to a new life with an eager desire to friends with her conquerors. England. school. and all the warm. South Australia. grinning from ear to ear. vividly remember the first letter I received from my first penwho lives in Japan. I thought it would be more exciting to have letters coming from all parts of the world. Sweden. Now. in exactly two months. came and was amazed at the writers' keen 158 . I my hobbies. and India.12 Revising paragraphs quarter. This I found out when I wrote to the girl in Japan for the first time. ten all 3) Pen Pals I travel. the big day arrived. It had the task of writing the first letter. But I was not satisfied with just one pen pal for very long. That was the way it started. it is Sweden. was then up to me. Colombia. with a prized possession carefully tucked under his arm. The ragged condition of the envelope had had a rough passage across the Pacific.

and as she wrote. mountains. the people are easily influenced by American films. I wrote to him some time ago of the freezing weather and spring thaws we had just had and he replied. and the films sent to North Ireland are of poor quality to express our life in America. if it comes from the U. the result of American films. good health." Unquote. American people are liable to be shot in the back any minute by gangsters and such like.S. Novelties of plastic (coin purses. they all seem to act and think very much like typical American teenagers. The boy in Egypt is the best example of this. "rather hopeless. interest in America. and policemen drive huge streamlined cars with sirens screaming.Exercises and to find out the things they enjoyed most The boys and girls in Australia." Although these boys and girls are from far away lands with strange customs. The people are physically fit. She told me not to take these ideas too seriously. People wear lovely clothes that are apparently not expensive. In some of these countries. and India were thriDed with what they had read of our lakes. Nylon hose is a luxury. low in quantity. and consequently an abundance of happiness. as they are for the most part. quote: "America is a land of paradise where all of the people have plenty of money. But on the other hand. or westerns. I was surprised to find that a boy and girl in Egypt had never seen snow. to my friend in North Ireland. and very expensive. England and Ireland in particular. Egypt. etc. letter openers. My pen pal in Australia recently wrote about seeing a sea-plane land and take off for the first time. This is their way of finding out what life is like in our country. A good percentage of them are gangster movies.. an unusual sight because there aren't any lakes large to accomodate sea-planes and the ocean is usually too enough rough. waterfalls. about our state.) are This is never seen. The food is very good and plentiful. There is a lot of crime. 159 . My pen-pal in North Ireland wrote to me of some of these "queer" ideas the people had. quote: "We are eager to see rain falling heavily and water pipes bursting for that will give us just cause for being absent from schooll" unquote. and parks. have lovely curly hair and sparkling white teeth. Their nylon hose is of poor quality.

some cargo pickup truck. a to a stop followed by a jeep. Another fire truck creates great excitement as it crashes through a fence and enters the airport from another direction. There's his a yellow flash in the sunlight indicating that the pilot has inflated emergency life raft. An ambulance moans tugs. Each vehicle seems to be packed to capacity and people ding to any available perch as they make the dash across the field* Soon kids on bicycles arrive. followed by others stumbling and.12 I Revising paragraphs have spent many enjoyable hours reading and writing letters. 4) It's Aircraft Rescue a warm. a huge fire engine with its siren screaming lurches across the ditch at the airport boundary and stops at the water's edge. Suddenly it splashes noiselessly into the bay in a cloud of spray. The bay seems to create 160 . Its altitude seems abnormally low compared to the other planes and it continues to glide toward the water. exchanging ideas and comparing ways of life with people of my own age in countries around the world. marking the location of the pilot. whose tail is now the only portion visible above the surface of the water. sunny afternoon and the water of the wide bay laps quietly against the shore that fringes the airport. the air traffic is abundant today. Many minutes seem to pass as the other planes begin to circle aimlessly around the airport. It stops beside the first as its crew hurl yards of hose along the shoreline. It is still too far to hear its engine as it descends on its approach. Another speck on the horizon enlarges into an airplane as it approaches die airfield from out over the water. Slowly the tail of the plane sinks from view as the big plane continues to circle above the scene of the crash. activity bursts forth from all quarters of the airfield! First. and an assortment of autos and tractors. Through the medium of letter writing. running breathlessly to the water's edge. Airplanes of all types have been landing and taking off. Suddenly. I have learned to understand and accept the ways other people live. Then a larger plane appears and circles over the downed craft.

Exercises an insurmountable barrier for all of the costly equipment and the firemen stand frustrated with hoses dripping fire fighting foam. They race toward a small yellow pickup truck and extract a large rubber life raft Carbon dioxide soon and after hurling aside their shoes. The doctor and his driver stand in the door- way of the ambulance youngsters fire trucks than with the cause of the excitement. Soon a speck from the other side of the bay increases into the which lands and picks recognizable form of an amphibian plane up the unfortunate flyer. New arrivals have the yellow difficulty seeing. extends its landing gear and heads straight for the airport. By this time. Tension continues to mount and one can feel the sense of helplessness of the rescuers in spite of all of their massive equipment. This activity brings great cheers from the onlookers and the two have proceed slowly out into the water. the firemen asbestos suits and recoiled much of the fire taken off their heavy hose. One smoke eater stands impatiently digging the sand with a huge fire axe as he gazes toward the downed aviator. the two awkembark on their mission. Two of the would-be rescuers suddenly shout as though a great discovery has been made. the amphibian takes off. as others take great pains to point out raft far out on the bay. Another grotesque figure wearing one rubber boot and an asbestos helmet wades in front of the trucks. creases as carrying air rifles arrive and look aimlessly out across the bay. The doctor now sits on the front bumper of the ambulance on auto tops and standquietly smoking a cigar. People are sitting of trucks and other heavy equipment. This action seems to be the signal for great activity as the 161 . Two seem more preoccupied with the more autos happened?" seems to The noise inand the same questions arise. the ing on the roofs vantage points are swollen to capacity and now and then someone falls from his perch on an overcrowded car top. The rescue raft inflates the raft still has many hundreds of yards to go. "What be the chief concern. Members of the crowd wade further out into the water in a futile attempt to find a solution. Following this rescue. In fact. Apparently no oars or paddles wardly are available and they begin madly paddling with their hands. just looking. People stand with their hands in their pockets or talking in small groups.

No there is no need to ever be without work once she has secured a license to practice. in the patient's home. nurses in this field can sary. The work includes general courses intended for the broader development of the individual's education. Nurses longer today hold positions involving administrative responsibilities. and private duty nursing. Her goal is to prevent disease and demonstrate good nursing care. the student learns nursing procedures. Some nursing schools require one or more years of college work. Institutional or hospital nurses perform a variety of services. In shorter time than it had taken to gather. the nurse meets the challenge of a variety of cases in a variety of conditions. Studies begin with general medical and 162 surgical nursing and advance to more specialized nursing care . but there are four major fields. These are institutional nursing. principles. Nursing as a career of work. The educational requirements for entering a nursing school The minimum requirements for most is graduation from high school. public health nursing. the entire crowd departs from the shoreline. Silence again prevails and the view is peaceful. Nursing education consists chiefly of teaching in nursing schools. nursing school. While in the vary. Private duty nurses work under the direction of a physi- and cian in the care of die sick. Either at home or in the hospital. There are many types of nursing open to the registered nurse. They are also concerned with education. in the operating room. and bring health teaching to the home. They in the ward. and practices of nursing care. interwhose members are rupted only by the ill-fated rescue mission autos the aircraft parking area to still paddling their rescue raft listlessly shoreward. The public health nurse meets people must work their health problems.1 2 Revising paragraphs and heavy equipment roar into action racing the crowd to meet the rescue plane. and in the dispenStarting with general ward duty. advance to staff positions. nursing education. 5) Nursing Is My Ambition is offers expanding opportunities as to types nursing just taking care of the sick. For the well qualified girl.

Besides these educational requirements there are personal qualifications a nurse should possess. I have tried to bring out in these past few paragraphs the main fields open in a nursing career which it is my ambition to be a part of. 163 . This is one reason I have chosen nursing wanted as my ambition. and sympathy. The number of years one must spend in the nursing school ranges from three to four years.Exercises procedures. good judgment. Also I have pointed out in general the requirements to become a nurse. The nursing field is expanding rapidly and with this expansion. a liking for people. Tve always to be a nurse. new opportunities are offered. Also there is a deep satisfaction in knowing that by the work you do. humor. you will be helping someone. imagination. I do not know exactly why I have chosen nursing as my ambition. but as far back as I can remember. A few of these are good health.

why a pronoun should be in the objective case. a pattern known as the *favorite" or 13. 13. infinitive) the starting point of the statement: 164 . Most English sentences are made with a subject and verb. and not bare numbers. were! Why not? How happy we Some knowledge a writer of grammatical terms is obviously necesor or sary for meaningful discussion of sentence structure so that may understand why a modifier is misplaced "dangling/* or why a verb does not agree with its subject. and in discussing the between the words that make them. . As we sentence structure that guide words are more important than the words. not words. noun clause. or exclamation point after the last word: It looks like rain tomorrow. the patterns of real meat of mathematics. Most of these terms are probably familiar ones. just as equations functions. in analyzing This section reviews the grammatical terms that are needed and describing sentences.Sentences and words 13 Grammar of sentences and Sentences. with a period. are the shall see. Benjamin Lee Whorf A written sentence is one or more words punctuated as an independent statement. are the essence of speech. * . question mark. gerund.1 Main sentence elements "major* type of sentence. but you will find it helpful to go over them so that you will better understand the matters relations of usage in the following sections. la The subject that is The subject (S) of a sentence is a noun or a noun equivalent (pronoun. that is.

] The doorbell rang. that completes group the statement. Dressed entirely in black. names the receiver of tbe mesgiving. The government (S) decreed (V) that candy rationing would end Monday (O). or process of whatever the subject names. etc. receiving.1c The object The direct object (O) of a verb is a word or of words.. usually following the verb. The submarine (S) sank (V) (IO) used with verbs of telling. It consist of one or more words: may The British submarine (S) sank (V) the cruiser. Mr. Perhaps the plaintiff (S) should be given (V) the benefit of the doubt. condition. 165 . complements. Estelle was (V) certainly not the most 13.1b The verb The verb (V) of a sentence indicates an action. The complete subject is the simple subit: ject and any words modifying The British submarine. and modifiers: predicate. (S) gave (V) a memorial window (O) to the church (IO).13. except sage. He The to it. S ) went for a walk. colorful person at the reception. What they don't know ( S ) won't hurt them. and so on. [The verb is the complete The submarine sank (V) the cruiser. Sherwood (S) sells (V) red estate (O). gift. like submarine sentence above. asking. The simple first in the subject is a single word. (S) looked it up (looked up is the verb) in a dictionary. when it is a prepositional phrase: The indirect object He He (S) gave (V) the church (IO) a memorial window (O). often naming what tbe action of the verb is directed toward. and comes before the direct object. the cruiser (O). 13.1c The He ( British submarine (S) sank die cruiser. The baby (S) has been sleeping (V) since one o'clock. words are related predicate is the verb and whatever such as objects.

were. It is related directly to the subject jective rather than to the verb. and that Rachel is the object because it precedes follows the verb. is. hit the ball. might be. A complement A complement (C) is noun used adjective: as a complement is an adjective used as a complement called a predicate noun. [predicate adjective] The linking verb (LV) sometimes called a copula. in contrast to an object of a verb. This is the order in which we make most statements and the means by which we understand them. act. 166 . and in some contexts. taste. is called a predicate Florence (S) was (V) his eldest sister (C). When the verb is in the passive voice. smell. In "The class congratulated Rachel" we know through exof congratulated because it perience that class is the subject the verb. Though indicating relationships the form of the words is the same. feel. clude seem and appear. 1 3.2a Typical word order is The typical order of the main elements subject-verb-object (or subject-verb-complement). in its various forms: linking verb is be had been. Id The a noun or an adin the predicate. the as the recipient of the action. [predicate noun] The radiator (S) felt (V) warm (C). The most common look. but the subject is represented order of the elements remains the same: s v | Rachel was congratulated by the class. grow. Connects the subject with a noun or adjective complement in the was and felt are linking predicate: In the sentences above. verbs.2 Word order word order is an important way of between sentence elements. Other linking verbs inwas. etc.1 3 Grammar of sentences 13." 1 3. it makes a jpreat deal of difference whether you say "the ball hit the boy" or "the boy In English.

Thus in the expression "A lot he knows about it!" knows is the verb. or for other purposes: o | you c sour a minute to spare? s | LV taste 1 | How these grapes os I | v never had. Adverbs are more varied in position. for emphasis. Nouns in 167 . and since he is obviously the one who knows.13. He ran fast but wildly). and not lot In addition to the main 13. most people would agree that because of the order of the words. 13.3 Subordinate sentence elements sentence elements (subject-verb-object or subject-linking verb-complement). the subject is toves and the verbs are did gyre and gimble. or "jabberwocky. though may come immediately after (a climb steep and dangerous). they usually stand close to it (They particularly wanted to go. . most sentences also contain subordinate or secondary elements. . the statement we recognize it even though be gibberish.3a So familiar these lines . These are related either to the sen- tence as a whole or to certain words in it by one of three ways: 1 3.2b Inverted order v Have Question: Exclamation: The s | typical subject-verb-object order is varied for questions. but when they definitely modify a verb. you can find the subject of the sentence by locating the verb and then seeing what word belongs with it." as in may from Alice in Wonderland: is this order that itself the slithy toves in the wabe. | Emphatic object: A better job When the usual order of elements is reversed. he is the subject.3a Single word modifiers Single words used as modifiers are usually related by means of word order. Adjectives typically they stand before the nouns they modify (a steep climb). Did gyre and gimble Whatever the meaning.

Opening the heavy gate [gerund phrase] took longer than he thought profitable way to understand grammatical constructions is to analyze your own sentences [infinitive phrases]. which. Other phrases are linked by a participle. in. 1 3.). and function as part of the sentence as subject. which do not have a subject or a predicate: Because he (S) found (V) my wallet [subordinate clause. or modifier. while.1 3 Grammar of sentences apposition (appositives) ordinarily follow the nouns that they identify or explain (Mr. that). after. object. numerous accounts were published about the damage caused by field mice in California. by. which follows] I gave him a reward. Main (or independent) clauses express the principal statement of the sentence.3b Phrases Phrases are groups of related words connected to a sentence or one of the elements in it by means of a preposition or a verbal. of. under. since. etc. modifying the main clause. Jenkins. Both kinds of clauses contain a subject and a predicate and are thus easily distinguishable from phrases. They have neither subject nor verb and function very word modifiers. He (S) confessed (V) that he (S) had stolen (V) my wattet [subordinate clause. the lawyer). and so on) single much like A prepositional phrase connects : extensive In the late twenties. the Johnsons drove on to the next town. gerund. although. differs Cellophane (S) is made (V) by a process [main clause] which (S) (V) very little from the production of rayon [subordinate clause. These are called verbid phrases: Finding the motels filed [participle phrase].3c Clauses to sentences Subordinate (or dependent) clauses are connected by relative pronouns (who. object of the verb confessed]. modifying process]. or infininone of which has full verb function. 168 . The most 13. a noun (and any modifiers it to the rest of the sentence by means of a prepomay have) sition (at. or by subordinating conjunctions (because. tive.

or fourth-time offenders. degree. M which had practiced hard for several selection.4a Subordinate clauses are used either as nouns (as subjects. Noun clause (subject): What interested me most about my new roommate was his accent.13. s pkyed selection.4a Typical modifiers Modifiers are typically used to describe. objects. pkyed a Verb modifiers V M the selection brilliantly. and object are not sufficient to convey the writer's meaning and they are therefore further expanded or qualified by means of word. weeks. : Adverb clause (of time): When band began to pky. or complements). result. limit.4 Subordinate elements as modifiers In most statements the subject. | orchestra played Subject modifiers M By a word: By a phrase: s The The a local orchestra pkyed a selection. By a clause: The orchestra. The parts of the statement "The orchestra played a selection" may be modifieAin various ways The as the following examples show: s v | o a selection. cause. or clause modifiers (M). By a word: The orchestra pkyed 169 . 1 3. verb. consisting largely of amateurs. and so forth). 13. contrast. as adjectives (modifying nouns or pronouns). or make: meaning more exact. phrase. the Adverb clause (of cause): They were discouraged because they had do their best. Adjective clause (modifying criminals) Many of the criminals whose cases crowded the docket each year were third. tried to the ship approached the pier. or as adverbs (expressing relationships of time. s M orchestra.

M By a phrase: Considering their lack of experience. the orchestra pkyed the selection. v M if By a clause: The orchestra played the selection as they had never rehearsed together before. when he was 170 past fifty. they are equivalent to adjectives nouns or pronouns. or the sentence as a whole. and clauses function like single-word modifiers. . Object modifiers M By By a word: o o The The The orchestra played a difficult selection. they are used to modify other sentence elements. and modifying it by amplifying its more Dieaning or making its meaning specific: A A The word Kling.4 b Apposirives An appositive ( ) is a word or group of words following another expression. adverbs.1 3 Grammar of sentences V M more enthu- By a phrase: The orchestra played the selection with siasm than technique. 1 other words. apposition moans "putting beside. M a phrase: orchestra played a selection of old folk tunes. the orchestra played the selection fairly well M By a clause: Since there were no other requests. in phrases When when they they modify verbs. and to adverbs when modify 3. adjectives. o M By a clause: orchestra played a selection which audience had ever heard before. no one in the Sentence modifiers M By a word: Then the orchestra played the selection." began studying insect life A a retired furniture manufacturer.

a phrase ("In a minute. or to avoid colorless or repetitious verbs). Likewise we find in published material single words.-Clarence Day. for emphasis. to supply any "missing" words to get the as "And so the ship sailed on to (such 13. the gramaphone quiet. Life with Father. and clauses that modify main sentence elements may themselves be modified. and subordinate clauses as sentences: And The lights so on to Bangkok." "Oh?"). p. But they are minor types. some statements do not In speech. The subject is writing when it is sometimes omitted in Informal or Familiar easily carried over from the context: They took no interest in civilized ways. phrases.5a Subfectless sentences Imperative sentences (commands and requests) generally do not have subjects: Don't let me hear you say that again. Please try. they are used deliberately and for a special purpose (for dialog. Hadn't heard of them. or a clause ("If you say so. out along the deck. When typical English they appear in print. Such statements are meaningful and complete as they stand. phrases.5 Minor sentence types While the great majority of written sentences contain both subjects and verbs.5a 13. exceptions to the sentence with subject and predicate. MM The M S V M M O MM M local high school orchestra played several difficult selections venj welL 1 3. These expressions are modifiers of modifiers (MM). we may ourselves a word express single by ("Yes.").4c Modifiers of modifiers Words. p. The Shipwrecked.I3."). 17 We do not have author's meaning Bangkok"). probably. 30 171 . Spit and hiss of water. nobody about-Graham Greene.

All kinds names of att kinds of people pom all over everywhere. or written. President Truman's diary for July 14. Mr. H. I won't be. What a pity!. and old pages scratched out. 1948. p. 1) Exclamations: OuchI. with two big black men hi white turbans standing off at one side. Not if I know it. and other single words. p. How is he recognized. "Kin. No other member of the party around. 2) Answers to questions: Yes. are. My daughter and my staff try to keep me from listening. November 15. These may include answers to questions raised by the writer: What is whether in a hero? The exceptional individual. Think maybe I will be upset. Hard to hear. 1952. Life with Father. Oh!. It was chockfull. Auden. increasing the speed and naturalness of move- ment: 172 . 137 would be inappropriate and ineffective. No. In purple indelible pencil. Often in passages portraying a character's thought there are no verbs. spoken. has: made him open and show me his book. to bea factual discussion in this manner: gin It Am writing on this subject because I have been interested in chem- istry since childhood 13. they are not thought. 47 I of There was one in particular of Mother looking very roguish and chic in her voluminous dress. 93 3) Descriptive details are sometimes set off for emphasis or to avoid colorless verbs like is. and similar phrases." The New Yorker. p. President. Hear Governor Donnelly nominate me. The verbs are not left out. The statements are complete and independent without them.5b Verbless sentences Several types of sentences without a main verb are used in all levels of speaking and writing. The Enchafed Flood. Father looked about it at that photograph often and groaned and kept shouting things to himself about "the ends of the earths-Clarence Day. -W. Eudora Welty. New pages clean. p. 116 at night. in William Hillman. life or in books? By the degree of interest he arouses in the spectator or the reader. sitting way up on top of a tall and insolent camel. Not a soul in sight but the black men and Mother. however.1 3 Grammar of sentences Hear Alabama and Mississippi walk out of convention. For goodness 9 sake!. Both on the train radio.

p." The 1953. Bates. 93 at all. Mr. Morison. Ill No Appositional sentences frequently serve as transitions: So much for the contemplative aspect of mans place cosmos. Soman. or compound-com- 13. Simple sentences need not be of the one-small-idea-to-thesentence type. Woman's Home he would stop seeing her. E. this. February 15. may be com173 pound: . never appeared on Sundays for the usual midday dinners. plex. Bates paused briefly in in transit between England and the Bahamas. compound. 4) Appositional sentence: A phrase that stresses the meaning of the preceding statement or looks forward to the next one is sometimes written as a complete sentence: S. p. Many Mansions. they may contain any number of modifiers.13.6a If he had any common sense it Before was too late. I in a scientific come now to the practical aspect. The following has one main clause (Mr. July 1952. 14 New Yorfc Times Book Review. of his twelfth published novel. or both. Either the subject or the predicate.-Isabel Bolton. complex.6 Grammatical classification of sentences Sentences may be classified according to the kind and number of clauses they contain. Harvard College in the sight or sound of him. 320 He E. p. p. "Dangerous Engagement. as simple. p." Companion. Florence J. Seventeenth Century. Now. with the reflection safely bound between the covers York. An understatement.6a Simple sentences A simple sentence contains one main clause (a grammatically independent statement) and no subordinate clauses (dependent statements): The man went across the street. Bates paused briefly in New Yorfc) and six phrase modifiers: Two years later. 'Talk New with H. Society. The Impact of Science on 14 13.-Bertrand Russell.-Lewis Nichols.

There are no subordinate clauses in compound sentences Clauses in a compound sentence are separated or joined in one of three ways: 1) By coordinating conjunctions: and. p. December 1 3. Each statement and is in a compound sentence is a mam clause coordinate (of equal importance) with the other statements. 22 Time. neither . they hate shams and enjoy being indignant about them. or. attacked Indian V V V property. p.6b Compound sentences more main clauses: [First Compound sentences contain two or main clause:] Mexico has had some loyal and patriotic leaderbut not for any long periods of time.1 3 s Grammar of sentences s Teachers and students will not always agree on some matters in English. 1952. cut telegraph wires. damaged railroads. for.. but. or the . hoisted Students. looted railroad restaurants. Either you learned these simple things in high school or you will have to learn them in college. they are valuable social reformers. led by Communists. burned government V V V rail cars and stoned fire engines. 29. These Are the Mexicans. youths black flags of mourning over government buildings. 318 ship. The game was nip and tuck by 2) Without connectives: Independent clauses not joined coordinating conjunctions are conventionally separated by semicolons: They are generous-minded. Herbert Cerwin. [second main clause:} and few leaders have been of great stature. s s s v and workers.. . all the way but we finally managed to win. or. nor: correlatives either . they have no 174 .

then.7 Sentences classified by purpose According to meaning or purpose. consequently. the matter is main clause]. however. The main clause expresses the principal statement.6d Compound-complex sentences tence contains two or more main subordinate clauses: A compound-complex senclauses and one or more When trivial [first two men fight a dud [first subordinate clause].7 notion of confining books to a library shelf. The Impact of Science on Society. Nearly half of sentences. sentences are conventionally classified as: statements or affirmations: 1) Declarative: those that make Sue smiled. the No0eZ. Paris hadn't changed at all [main clause] since I last visited it ten years before [subordinate clause].-Bertrand other people [second subordinate clause] the matter is serious [second Russell. Main clauses joined by ihese adverbs 3) By tionally separated by a semicolon: The state police had proved themselves expert in publicizing their solution of crimes. also. because the subordinating conjunctions are more numerous and more precise in meaning than coordinating conjunctions. all They offer sentences in current writing are complex more variety than simple sentences and are generally more exact than compound sentences. the subordinate clause the secondary statement: As far as I could determine [subordinate clause]. 1 3. but when 200 mfltion people fght 200 million main clause]. Aspects of such words as conjunctive adverbs: These include thereaccordingly. Forster. 33 E M. p. soino local police gave them only grudging support 13.13. are convenfore. 38 13.6c Complex sentences A complex sentence consists of one main clause and one or more subordinate clauses. 175 . of the sentences Considerably more than nine-tenths tihat we speak and write are declarative. nevertheless. consequently. p.

or opinions emphatically: How lucky you References are! Burnet.4 or whatever other terms your instructor of analysis: s specifies.1 3 Grammar of sentences 2) Interrogative: those that ask questions: At what temperature does water boil? 3) Imperative (or directive): those that commands. remove it make requests. 16:38-43 Curme. 4) Exclamatory: those that express feelings. Ch. classify the sentences as simple. Copy the sentences from this paragraph and indicate the main and subordinate sentence elements (see the example below) Then . compound. When the liquid boils. from the heat. or compoundcomplex. Use the letters in 13. This example illustrates one method I | v remember M the Easter o services | I M in the Roman Catholic M in j | Church 176 Moscow. facts. Clu 10 Roberts." College English. MacCurdy. (Simple sentence) . 13 Exercises 1. "Structural Syntax on the Blackboard. or give instructions: Come! Please try to be more prompt. October 1954. Syntax Jespersen. complex.1 and 13.

Exercises 1) It was gloomy. others speak hardly at all. or three rows in front had been reserved. p. and a fine. 29 this passage. "The Russian People. and these extreme individuals are of considerable in- Some people is 2) This . 4) But if one gives attention to the matter in the course of everyday observations. 244. but had to 3) Two our push our way through on foot. terest. Reprinted Make a similar analysis of the sentences in one of your recent papers. Even the enclosure around the church was crowds of Russians. 5) One soon becomes sensitive to those persons. following Analyze 1) the directions for exercise 1. p. a fair sense of the normal range of verbal output can be acquired. People in Quandaries. or do some of the statements seem merely to be tacked on? On the basis of your analysis. old lady was on her knees in front. covered with a tiently against great open-knitted white shawl tied around her throat little One 5) Every bit of space was packed with people. by permission 3. one of the most obvious ways in which people differ so far as language behavior is concerned. at least. of course. . 3) The amount of speaking done by an individual varies greatly. 1952. talk a great deal. Leslie C." The Atlantic Monthly. Stevens. leaning pathe wall near the altar as if tired. with the circumstances in which he finds himself* . Wendell Johnson. cold rain half rain and half sleet was 2) falling. who talk much more and those who talk much less than the general run of people. so that we jammed with could not drive to the entrance. and we finally made 4) way there. Do you tend to use one type of sentence pattern more than another? Are the relationships between different parts of your sentences clear and reasonably exact. what when revising particular points in sentence structure should future papers? you bear in mind 177 . of Harper & Brothers. May 2.

same paper. Revise to another sentence. correct the mistake by the most effective of the following methods. young and old alike). If you can readily see why the construction marked on your paper is a fragment. But if you do not know why the construction is faulty. by making it by a complete sentence. when they appear again and again in the that he may not know what a complete sentence faults confuse the writer's Comma meaning and force the reader to supply the proper punctuation. p. 14* la Joining a fragment to another sentence A fragmentary sentence usually is a part of the preceding sentence. study the discussion of sentences in 13 before you read this section. fragmentary sentences that are unintentional and ineffective cannot be justified as examples of minor sentence types (13. it or by rewriting More often than not. If you 178 .1 Fragmentary sentences Frag The construction marked joining it is not a complete sentence. 171). comma (Iodine helps prevent simple goiter. The second error occurs when two sentences that are distinctly separate have been spliced tothis ailment affects gether with a. young and old alike) These constructions are considered serious errors because they suggest that the writer is either extremely careless about his punctuation or. The first error occurs when a subordinate part of a sentenceclauseis carelessly punctuated as or a a dependent phrase a complete sentence. 14. or have been fused all with no separating punctuation at simple this ailment affects goiter (Iodine helps prevent . is.5. as in this fragment: Since her health was poor at that time. it.14 Basic sentence faults The two most serious and conspicuous errors in sentence construction are fragmentary sentences and comma faults. a fragmentary sentence is the result of careless writing rather than ignorance of sentence structure.

179 .] Professor Brown suddenly glanced up from his notes.14. 2) Explanatory phrases beginning with such as9 for example. and similar expressions belong in the same sentence as the statement they explain: Sentence fragment After the cards have been run the firm knows what Revised After the cards have been run the firm knows what through. his eyes twinlding with suppressed laughter. His eyes twinkling with suppressed laughter. For the past five years I have been contributing a small amount annually to the March of Dimes. without ever suspecting that one day a member of my own family might benefit from this foundation. through. and to give you an idea of the kind of problems an accountant has to solve. For the past five years I have been contributing a small amount annually to the March of Dimes.1a read the passage aloud. 1) Phrases are subordinate sentence elements and should not be carelessly punctuated as complete sentences: Sentence fragment I cite these examples to Revised show I cite these how examples to show interesting accounting can be. That island which had made history less tlian seven years before. The next afternoon we made our way through the wreckstrewn harbor of Okinawa. [infinitive phrase] the kind of problems an accountant has to solve. This means that the fragment should be joined to the preceding sentence. [prepositional phrase] Professor Brown suddenly glanced up from his notes. you will notice that you pause slightly and do not drop your voice as noticeably before the fragment as you do at the end of complete sentences. not a full verb. [Ttoinkling is a participle. usually with a comma. Without ever suspecting that one day a member of my own family might benefit from this foundation. less Sentence fragment Revised The next afternoon we made our way through the wreckstrewn harbor of Okinawa. and perhaps rephrased. And to give you an idea of how interesting accounting can be. the island less which had made history than seven years before.

which. [Noticing verb. that) or a subordinating conjunction (such as although. introduced by which] In sentences like these a relative pronoun (who. [The subject is he. because. while) indicates that what follows is a subordinate clause and that it should be combined with a main clause. 3) Subordinate clauses are only parts of sentences and should not stand alone without definite reason: Sentence fragment Revised At the with its time. canned fruits. story. beginning with Although] seemed a high speed job to me. my old rowboat three horsepower motor seemed a high speed job to me. the predicate is the verb did notice plus the words related to it] a participle. produce. fresh such as tobaccos. [adverb clause. Apparently not noticing that half the class was asleep. volume of business has been done during the week in each of the departments. although it only attained a speed of about twelve miles an hour. when. candies. Apparently he did not notice that half the class was asleep. the Green Mansions is an unusual main part of which is taken up with a description of the South American jungles. it can into a complete and separate sentence by inserting a subject and a predicate: Sentence fragment He talked for fifty minutes without taking his eyes off his notes.14 Basic sentence faults volume of business has been done during the week in each of the departments. Green Mansions is an unusual The main part of which is taken up with a description of the South American jungles. 14. and fresh produce. Such as tobaccos.l is He talked for fifty minutes without taking his eyes off his notes. Although it only attained a speed of about twelve miles an hour. not a 180 . canned fruits. story. [adjective clause. my old rowboat three horsepower motor At the with its time. candies. if.1b Making a fragment into a complete sentence fragment is be made If the a phrase that deserves special emphasis.

[Is is the subject. and difference graph. when he was almost run over by a taxi. the small boy who removed the dead puppy from the gutter. is The size.2 National elections and student elections National elections and student elections may be compared an object and its as closely as photo- closely as may be compared as an object and its photoonly difference is in the verb. too bad. or) between them. for the occasional effective use of subjectless and verbless sentences. some people only said "Oh.14. The only difference being in size. Minor sentence types.] 14. 171.2 Comma faults CF Revise the sentence marked by changing the comma to a semicolon or or by rephrasing. This long "sentence" that seem to be subjects. but there is no verb: phrases Sentence fragment Revision The people who only said "Oh. (sometimes called a "comma splice" or "runtwo or more complete statements (main each with a subject and a predicate. written with a clauses). when he was almost run over by a taxi.] graph. or by inserting an appropriate conjunction. See 13. too bad.1c Rewriting a fragment Sometimes sentence fragments that are involved or hopelessly snarled up will have to be comhas three pletely revised and reworded. but.5." But the middle-aged man kept saying over and over that the people were making a greater fuss about this incident than they over that the people were making a greater fuss about this incident than had been made over his own accident at this same corner a had made over his own accident at this same corner a year ago. period. comma but no (and. 181 . [Being is a verbal. year ago. The A comma fault on sentence") is result is conjunction that one statement is simply backed up against the other. not a verb. as in this comma fault: The card libraries the books in the library. and the middle-aged man who kept saying over and When the small boy removed the dead puppy from the gutter. many large catalog is the key to have separate catalogs for certain collections of books." on seeing the lifeless puppy. p. 14.

For example. and closed at the store now opened for business at ten in the morning six-thirty. As he did so. he told us the valves had to be checked took daily. and turned a valve. 182 . returning. it is actually two at a comma. 14. reached out. indicates that there are two statements a new sentence should begin after past.2b Revising by using a semicolon Comma faults may sometimes be corrected by substituting a semicolon for the comma. closely connected statements only in two may result weak sentences. including Saturdays. reached out. returning. as he did so. the back of his hand. check the sentence to see if statements. try reading this sentence separate aloud to see how much more marked the pause is at the comma following past (a comma fault) than at the comma following six-thirty: The long days of Front and Market streets were a thing of the past. he wiped the sweat from his forehead with the back of his hand. 14. But correcting a comma fault by putting a period be- tween two very short. had to be checked solution when the ideas are clearly usually the best distinct or when commas are numerous in either or both state- This is ments.2a Revising by making two sentences A comma fault may be removed by using a period instead of the comma. a valve. he wiped the sweat from his forehead with Charley then crossed the room and threw a switch which started the motor. stopped. and turned stopped. Comma fault Revised Charley then crossed the room and threw a switch which started the motor.1 4 Basic sentence faults One way to detect comma faults in revision is to read your If your voice drops or if you pause noticeably paper aloud. The marked pause here. He took a couple of steps. making two full sentences: Comma He fault Revised a couple of steps. he told us the valves daily.

con- because 183 . his chances for success are much greater than are those of a person without this education. therefore). which. when . however. The person with a college education has training far beyond that which he obtained solely from books. using a connective that will show the relation between the statements. if. This may be a coordinating conjunction (such or but). therefore his chances for success are much greater than are those of a person without this education.14. . that . a good way to avoid such errors is to use other kinds of connectives. and Comma fault Revised with connective It is a personal matter. therefore for success are his chances much greater than arc those of a person without this education. . everyone has to cope with it sooner or later. bloom in the midst of a party. Comma fault The person with a college education has training far beyond that which he obtained solely from books. A large number of -comma faults in student papers occur with conjunctive adverbs. and everyone has to cope with it sooner or later. because.2c Revising by using an appropriate connective Usually the best way to remove a comma fault is to revise the sentence. consequently.) referring to a noun in the first statement: as .2c A semicolon is the conventional punctuation between two main clauses connected by a conjunctive adverb (such Repunctuated as accordingly. a subordinating conjunction (although. Since most conjunctive adverbs are more appropriate to Formal usage than to student writing. that 14.). or a relative pronoun (who. particularly if I feel some I responsibility for its bloom in the midst of a party. success. . particularly if I feel some reI sponsibility for its success. It is a personal matter. since. A better revision of the comma fault just given might read: Because a person with a college education has training far beyond which he obtained solely from books. Or: It is a personal matter that everyone has to cope with sooner or later.

Exercises 1. 184 . produce aluminum broken skis which are very successful as a device for temporary repair. It represents plain carelessness and should be corrected in the same way as a comma fault: comma fault. Since this program is still in the process of being total stranger in the early completed and traffic has doubled in the past few months. They still tips for 1 4. and the first will Possible revisions: first Two volumes of which will be published next year. They tips still for produce aluminum broken skis. need no revision. powerful than drugs.1 4 Basic sentence faults is versation a stimulant more conversation is a stimulant more powerful than drugs. sentences Point out which of the following statements are fragmentary and which contain comma faults. 2) What a strange feeling it was to arrive in New York as a morning hours of a bleak December day! 3) Statistics are not yet available to show the actual decrease in accidents. these are for very successful as a device temporary repair. his great work are now completed the of his great work are now completed. the Fused sentence: Two volumes of first will be published next year. be published next year. knowing the danger involved we would never let her go unless someone went with her. Then show how the into acceptable form. wording or punctuation could be changed to put these sentences Label correct those sentences that you think 1) My little sister often begged to play on the sand bank. Two volumes of his great work are now completed.3 Fused sentences as a A fused sentence is the same kind of error except that no punctuation at all appears between the main clauses.

An example of this being the four shops bakeries. however. well-adjusted person. He dives down to the porthole and tries to break it. 10) Looking carefully through his water glass he finds a liner deep in the quicksand. its bright surface glittering in the sunlight. 7) We do not know all the answers. 14) The one weakness most widely cultivated by the advertisers. Chicago. 15) I have spent many enjoyable hours reading and writing letters. 185 . chiefly because there is a great variety of employment in the York. he be a happy. and Los larger metropolitan areas. there would be no atomic age such as we are now going through. thrives on competition since the same kind of are all grouped together. if suggestion is substituted for nagging. The people who live in large homes with two Cadillacs parked in their will double garages. for one thing.Exercises 4) If all tion completed of the people in this country considered their educawhen they finished high school. lying on her side. is our susceptibility to flattery. they help him out of his difficulties and provide at least for his necessities. 6) Dad always complained when we asked him for money to 5) The market buy firecrackers then he would go out and bring home a lot of them himself. therefore much must be carried on 8) by love and understanding in this world. Such as New Angeles. which are in the same area. 9) When a boy lives at home. he is dependent on others. Exchanging ideas and comparing ways of life with people my own age in countries around the world. green 12) Parents should realize that a child will grow up satisfac- 11) Near the torily if he is left alone. 13) Then at the other end of town is the opposite extreme. The nearest porthole being twelve feet down. things would be very different. The tendency hi recent years has been toward urban living. grill was a freshly painted picnic table.

(5) Wounded. (1) He (2) held out his papers in fingers like thick half-smoked cigars. or How would you justify (or criti- emphasis? (See 13.14 Basic sentence faults 2. (2) He looked up at the houses. (10) Made out to Patricia Smith. (4) Little red houses. (3) Patsy told him they were so cute. (6) Why shouldn't he cash that check? (7) After all. (9) He stopped and took the check out of his pocket. great swinging words for our dreams to march to. p. signed by Philip Ropes the third and countersigned by Patsy." (12) Should he cash it. so it takes a poet to show us the wonder of what is before our eyes. edited by Alfred Stefferud. (11) Quite a story in it." in The Wonderful World of Books. 54 of age (1) What's a poet good for? (2) To give us words for the music in ourselves. Many Mansions." The Kenyan Review. opening the worn Soldbuch. dormer windows. in the identification picture. (4) War service 1914-18. First read each passage to see what effect the writer is trying to achieve. c. would they Minor sentence Would "complete" sentences be slow down the movement or weaken types. 97 186 . Winter 1951.) a. p. a little story & la Tchekhov called "The Check. "Boyhood: Made in America. discovered the man in front of him as a smooth-faced smiling boy and infirmity. 33-34 b. pp. (1) Down Barrow to Greenwich Street.5. should he tear it into ten thousand bits? Isabel Bolton. Then indicate by number which sentences lack either subjects or verbs or both. p. Louis Redmon. (3) To give us words to live by. (5) Cute enough. (7) Exempted from military service because Welsh took them and. In the passages below are some sentences without subjects or without verbs. (4) For just as it takes a child to remind us of the joy in simple things. 171. Robie Macauley. whose fault was it that he was down and out? (8) He'd paid the biDs when he'd first gone to live with Patsy. (3) He checked the necessary entries. cize) their use in each instance? just as effective. "The Thin Voice. (6) Recalled to the Landstrum in 1938.

and why: There comes a tune when you have 187 .1 sentences. The clause modifies poem. In the following sentence.] Adjective clauses may also be introduced by the to decide. a distant cousin whom I had not seen for ten years.15. where. [That is is a practice that is being adopted in the subject of the clause \vhich modi- The poem from which most of these quotations were taken is Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard.] Fingerprinting newborn babies more and more fies practice. but is shown to be a subordinate or secondary part of the sentence by a special kind of connective that relates it to the main clause.1 15 Subordinate clauses About half the sentences in most lands of writing contain one or more subordinate clauses. there were at least five eager hunters each field [main clause]. Sift the background of the situation. when is the connective: When the hunting season started [subordinate clause]. apd that are the words most frequently used to introduce adjective clauses and may serve as subjects or objects within the clause: Those who criticize Mr. which. The principal gain from using subordinate clauses is that the relationship between statements is indicated more exactly than in a series of simple or in compound 15. [Whom is the object of the verb had seen. [Which is a long black coat." [Which is the object of the preposition from. The relative pronouns who. Adjective douses A clause that modifies a noun or pronoun is an adjective clause. modifies those. relative adverbs when.] The caller turned out to be Betsy. the clause modifies cousin.] for being harsh don't really understand [Who is the subject of the clause which The speaker wore cleaning. A subordinate clause has a subject and a predicate.] hospitals. which was obviously in need of the subject of the clause which modifies coat.

and that refers to persons. oil Another reason why many people prefer heat is that there are no ashes.2 Adverb clauses A clause that modifies a verb. Inaccurate Revised Her gown was of heavy green brocade. adjective.500. la Who.lc And which used to And is sometimes carelessly and unnecessarily an adjective clause to the rest of a sentence. IS.1 5 111 Subordinate clauses show you the place where I was born. not the. the use of and or but is superfluous: . which was most becom- her. Getting on the plane was a person [whom] I hadn't seen for at least steaks [that] we we used to ten years. and which was most becoming to 1 Her gown was ing to her. In five minutes he solved a problem that [or which] I had struggled with for nearly five hours. The number of men that [or who] fell within the age limits of the draft was 3. The shorter constructions (they are still subordinate clauses) have long been used in English and are acceptable at all levels of writing. 15. IS. subject): The those [that] get in restaurants today seem much smaller than get five years ago. of heavy green brocade. which/ and that Who erally refers to things. Students who [or that] plan to enter the university in the fall quarter should forward transcripts of their records to the registrar.000. You are 188 . The join relative pronouns which or who are the connectives. which genrefers to persons or things. This is a matter about which more information is needed. 5.lb Clauses without relative words clauses With many adjective we using it have a choice of using the relative word or not (the relative in such cases is always the object. or adverb is an adverb clause (Come when you can.

concession. The street lights came on when [or just as] the snow started to fall. But in many other constructions. but in writing. like). since. While we were walking. so. he told us stories. of the most common are the following: after many Some till because before if provided since although as unless so so that when where while as if in order that like as long as though In speaking expected. In some instances it is the proper and only connective to use to express comparisons. while.15. place. smoothly) adverb clauses often modify main clauses by expressing relationships of time. or in clauses of manner (As Maine goes.2a Conjunctions for adverb clauses We have a good connectives in English for expressing adverb relations. we made for home. Time: Our guests arrived as the clock struck nine. in 'The game was continued although light rain kept falling. Degree or manner: I went as fast as I could go. He danced as smoothly as she did). the sky grew lighter. when.2b thinner than you were a year ago. greater exactness 5. Attendant circumstance: As the fire raged." the clause does not modify the verb was continued. 1 we tend to rely on only a few of these words is (especially as. so goes the nation). The variety of its meanings makes as a word to be watched in writing. Comparison: Lettuce is not as fattening as avocados are. effect. but whole main statement 1 qualifies the 5. 189 . condition.2b As The conjunction as may introduce various kinds of ad- verb clauses. direction. thinner. While they may modify single words (Come. or because would be more exact and emphatic. For example. Cause: As it was getting dark. for example (We went as far as the others did). manner. cause.

where. better in most He afraid of refused to join in the square dancing because [not as] he was making a fool of himself. 1 5.1 5 As is Subordinate clauses weak in the sense of because. particularly That he could to him. Written Since she works afternoons. most kinds of writing-. since or because writing and certainly in Formal English. when the clauses are relatively long: raise his grade by studying harder had never occurred Whether or not they should liave a vice-president was the principal topic of debate. Most of them are introduced by that. 190 . purpose. when. 1 5. 15.3 Noun clauses Subordinate clauses used as subjects. In clauses of purpose.3a As subjects are Subject ckuses introduced more characteristic of by that or whether Formal writing than of General usage. whoever. who. is faster. but whatever. and appositives are called noun clauses. The principal topic of debate was whether or not they should have a vice-president. so that I got usually preferable to so: up so that [not so] the lady could have my seat. he before I did. objects. She works afternoons and so she couldn't go to the tea. so he finished Because he reads finished before I did. what. To introduce clauses is of reason. she couldn't go to the tea. it is an overworked and inexact connective. like as. and whether are also used. He reads faster.2c So So. or result. In most writing Spoken should be replaced by a more definite word. why.and certainly in conversationconstructions of this kind would ordinarily appear after the verb: In It had never occurred to him that he could raise his grade by study- ing harder.

there is no reason why three separate sentences should be made of these obviously related ideas: 191 . people instet on munching popcorn at movies is some- thing 111 never understand. He asked why be that way.3c Reason "reason Formal English uses a thai-clause after General and especially Informal English more often have a noun clause introduced by because: is is". I The reason the subject disliked the French was because I did poor work in I didn't like 1 5*4 Subordinate clauses for exact statement Sub Make the relation between clauses exact by subordinating those of lesser importance. first. because Formal General in The reason for my poor work French was that subject intensely. the pronoun is the subject of the clause.15. But those that describe or explain another statement. why something happened should be expressed in subordinate constructions whenever the relationship is not immediately dear from context For example. Everyone knows that Columbus discovered is America. or tell how. when. whoever is the correct form rather than whomever. Object of a preposition: She always sure of what she believes.4 Other kinds of subject clauses are common writing: in all levels of Whatever is Why so many worth doing at att is worth doing well. There is a prize for whoever gets there In the second sentence. where. I saw. 15*3b As objects objects: The most common use of noun clauses is as Object o a verb: it had to He said t1wt it was quite impossible. 1 5. I conquered). Ideas that deserve equal emphasis should of course be grammatically coordinate (as in I came.

Or if Mozart's youth is to be stressed.4a Using exact connectives Subordinate clauses are exact because their connectives show a specific relationship to the main clause. His father went with him. To judge the rightness of subordination it is usually necessary to know what the emphasis of the passage is. the other ideas could be subordinated thus: Mozart was only thirteen in 1769 [main clause] when he made his first trip to Italy with his father [adverb clause]. If the first statement is the important one. especially and. in joining the struck the barn" per. while. Mozart made He was thirteen years old. That is. favorite earrings. or the adjective connectives who. accompanied by his father [phrase] . since. my looked like spirals of 15*4b Showing relative importance of statements A subordinate clause also shows that the statement subordinated is less important than the main statement. of silver. the others could be subordinated in this way: In 1769 when he was thirteen years old made his first trip to Italy [adverb clause]. it is less impor- tant for the subject being discussed. that: Coordinate statements One statement -subordinated Sandra was waiting for the bus and she saw a purse on the sidewalk. and John had John had given to birthday." the first two statements "The lightning and Mother was setting the table for supwould be the main statement in a general ac- 192 . when. bus. For instance. Coordinating conjunctions. While she was waiting for the saw a purse on the which for My favorite earrings looked like spirals My silver. Sandra sidewalk.1 5 Subordinate clauses his first trip to Italy in 1769. me . are much less definite in meaning than adverb connectives like because. which. Mozart [main clause]. 1 5. given them to me for my birthday.

But if the point was what mother did. having no family to confide in. She was five years old when her mother died. Barbara had a very unhappy childhood. p.5b Tandem subordination Avoid statements in which a series of dependent clauses are tacked on to one another. a rearrangement of the elements is necessary: Barbara had a very unhappy childhood. and since her father led a solitary life.life. Sentence economy. Sentence variety and emphasis.5a Haphazard subordination constructions or too much subordination Haphazard use of dependent may be worse than no subordination at all: Because her mother died when Barbara was five years old. 228. See also 17.4. 213. 15. To gain some semblance of proportion from a statement as cluttered as this. revise any subordinate elements that weaken sentences or obscure their meaning.5 Unsuccessful subordination Faulty subordination is as in- effective as excessive coordination in sentence structure. Too many 193 . When you go over your papers.5b count of the event: The lightning struck the barn (main clause) just as mother was setting the table for supper (subordinate clause). 1 5. p. it is important to see that the parts are related according to their importance to the subject. then.15. p. and since her father" lived a solitary. she had no family to confide in. mother was setting the table for supper (main clause). for other effects of subordinate clauses. See 18. and 19. the sentence would probably be: When the lightning struck the barn (subordinate clause). In revising sentences. 216. Stringy sentences. It usually results from a careless stringing together of ideas as they happen to pop into the writer's mind. The paragraph would probably go on to tell what mother did in the crisis. 1 5.


Subordinate clauses

clauses beginning with similar connectives (who, which, tlwt; since, because, etc.), each built upon the preceding

one, are called

tandem subordination, or "house-that-JackRevised

built" constructions:


selected carefully taught classes that








had a

slant that


directed towards students

specifically who in-

specifically slanted their courses toward stu-

who had

dents intending to go into busi-

tended to go into business.
All of the remains which are

All of the remains of the past

of civilization

seem weird,

dangerous, and fantastic to the



fantastic to


seem weird, dangerJohn and to

generation of which John

a member, which

struggling to

gling to rebuild itself.

ordinate clauses are frequently

Sentences that begin and end with the same kind of subawkward because of their seeeffect:

"When he came home at night, Dad would always when the children weren't in bed." Such construccomplain tions can be improved by changing one of the connectives: "When he came home at night, Dad would always complain


the children weren't in bed."

15.5c Inverted subordination Putting the main idea of a sentence in a subordinate clause or phrase may result in an awk-

ward or incongruous statement

("inverting" the proper rela-

between statements):
More accurate

She was eighteen when her hands were severely burned, which meant that she had to give up her lifelong dream of becoming a concert pianist


she was eighteen, her

burned severely [main clause]. As a result, she had to give up her Ufelong dream


becoming a concert pianist

[main clause].

Inverted or "upside-down" subordination frequently occurs in sentences that
trail off



participle phrases:



The road was

blocked, causing us to make a twenty-mile deSuch sentences can be improved by putting the less important statement in an adverb clause: We had to make a twenty-mile detour because the road was blocked.



clauses in the statements

below should be put

into sub-

ordinate constructions to


better sentences. In others, the sub-

ideas or because of inexact connectives.

ordination is not successful because of faulty relationship between Read these examples


and then write out your

revision of them.

1) John is really a fine high school.

boy and he


a sophomore at the local


He sprinted the first twenty yards;
rounding the

he began to


into his




course I was taking

was algebra and





and I enjoyed it 4) There are various forms of eczema. In infancy this disorder occurs on foreheads. Or often in the folds of the elbows or knees. deficiency of food protein causes this.
quite easily

very much.

5) People who buy houses that have been built in times in which conspicuous traits of architecture prevailed that have now been abandoned often have to remodel their houses completely. 6) As an enormous mountain slide blocked the road, we had to turn the car around and drive back four miles to a detour. 7) If a fellow has been fortunate enough to attend prep school and been made to study, college studying comes much more easily to him if he "wants an education, but there are many things much more interesting to him than studying but now there is no one going to tell him that he had better get his homework in. 8) Not long ago a new means of testing wool was adopted by the government. It was a mechanical-chemical-photographic





Subordinate clauses

9) Upon arrival at the army base, I was slogging through a sea of mud, thus getting a premonition of things to come.

10) I strolled through the Student Union Building, thoroughly inspecting everything, especially the billboards displaying the efforts of the art students, and pausing long enough to assure mypreferred more conventional art, and then walking toof a long hall, where busily preparing food and thoroughly enjoying his work was a student cook.
self that I

ward the end



paragraph and used in the sentence (whether a noun clause is a subject or object, what word or words an adjective or adverb
List the subordinate clauses in the following




clause modifies)


(1) There is an ancient saying that no man knows what he is and what he values until he has been tested in loneliness. (2) It was certainly true of me as far as Africa was concerned. (3) I had no idea how much Africa meant to me until one day in the recent war. (4) I was lying alone in a Japanese prison cell, in great pain and shivering with a malarial ague. (5) A sentry had just left me with the announcement that my head was to be cut off in the morning. (6) I was so exhausted and in such pain that I recall feeling little else than relief at having come to some finality, and I fell quickly into a trance of fatigue. (7) But hardly had I done so when a flash of lightning flared at the small window, followed by a sustained, solemn and majestic roll of thunder; and then down came the rain. (8) It fell so fast and thick that it muffled the glare of the lightning and released instead into the darkness of my cell a soft but imperative purple; while on the 12,000-foot volcano at whose base my prison stood, roll after roll of thunder crashed like



of a great orchestra performing a


of defied

and defeated fate.-Laurens van der
1954, p. 35. Reprinted

Post, "Africa," Holiday,



permission of Holiday magazine.

at the

Further exercises involving subordinate clauses end of 16, p. 205.

may be found




Infinitives, participles,
Infinitives, participles,

and gerunds
parts of verbs that

and gerunds are


much used in

subordinate constructions.

A gerund is


as a noun, a participle is used as an adjective, and an infinitive may be used as a noun, an adjective, or an adverb, as shown by the examples in the table on page 199. Since they

cannot be used to make a sentence of the typical subjectverb pattern, they are called verbals rather than verbs.

Although verbals usually function
adverbs, they


nouns or adjectives or

show some characteristics of verbs. They may have subjects and objects and may be modified by adverbs (gerunds and infinitives may also be modified by adjectives):
Bob's hitting






the subject of the gerund

Opening the door, he took a





the object of the parinfini-

to leave quietly [quietly

He wanted
tive to leave].

an adverb modifying the

They knew that their uniforms needed

good brushing [good


an ad-

modifying the gerund brushing\.

16.1 Infinitive phrases Most word in a sentence: single

a bus (object of go by tried); The sergeant gave the signal to resume the march
infinitives are closely related to


tried to

(modifies signal); Her friends were happy to hear that she feeling better (modifies happy). But some infinitives are "absolute" and modify the whole statement: To be exact.,


there were only eight clams.

16. la Infinitive phrases as close modifiers


the infinitive

closely related to the main clause, its subject should be the same as that of the main clause. This means usually that the subject of the main clause should be the "doer," not

the "recipient" of the action; in other words, the verb in the main clause should be active rather than passive.



infinitives, participles,

and gerunds
Close relation (active verb)

Faufaj relation (passive verb)

To get into my




To get



car, I



be broken. In an effort to arrive at an understanding, a number of conferences were held.

break the window. In an effort to arrive at an understanding, officials held a mimber of conferences.



phrases modifying the whole statement

modify the main statement are said to be used "absolutely." Though they are equivalent to subordiInfinitive phrases that

nate clauses, the subject


usually not expressed.

To do the job better and faster, the railroad million dollars in new equipment.

had invested


To tett the truth, none of these books is worth reading. England has produced a number of famous scientistsBacon, Newton, Priestley, to mention only a few.

16.1c Infinitive clauses


infinitive construction

with an ex-

He wanted pressed subject the whole group [subject of the infinitive] to go that afternoon. If the subject of the infinitive is a pronoun, it is in the


"infinitive clause":

object form: make a cake.

They asked her

[subject of the infinitive] to

16. Id

Complement with fo be In Formal English, a pronoun used as a complement after the infinitive to be is in the objective case:

They had thought
finitive to be].



be him [him


the complement of the in-

This construction is unlikely to occur anywhere except in the most rigidly Formal English; certainly it would be conspicuous in General English, where a regular clause would be
used: "They had thought that I was he"; or in Informal English, They had thought that I was him."

16.2 Participle phrases Present participles (ending in -ing) and past participles (ending in -ed or changing the vowel,

Forms and uses of infinitives,


and gerunds


infinitive is (1) the basic

any verb phrase


may be

form of the verb, with or without used with fo.

Present Perfect

(to) ask, (to) be asking (to) have asked, (to) have

been asking


be asked have been


To be asked to that party makes any girl proud. Subject: Object: He does not like to express his opinion. Adjective: I have plenty of work to do. Adverb modifier (to show purpose, cause, etc.): The students to learn.
"Absolute" phrase:


To make a long

story short,


didn't go.

"Infinitive clause" (here as the object of

a verb):




us to come.


participle is

a verb form used as an


Present Past


having asked

being asked asked, having been asked

Simple modifier:
Participle phrase:

a smiling candidate; a clogged drain The candidate getting two-thirds of the votes will

be nominated. "Absolute" phrase (modifying the whole statement): Taking everyseems the most practithing into consideration, a portable typewriter
cal gift


A gerund


a verb form used as a noun.

Present Past


having asked

being asked having been asked

a whole new field for him. Subject: Taking anthropology opened She taught dancing. Object: Complement: Seeing is believing. Noun modifier: the dining room; a -fishing boat; the melting pot



Infinitives, participles,

and gerunds

as in sung) are



used as adjectives. As a simple modifier, a it modifies: closely related to the noun or pronoun

The town hall, completely renovated four years ago, creates a favorable impression on visitors. (Renovated is a past participle modifying



sitting alone in a corner.


Sitting is a present parti-

ciple modifying him.)

16.2a Participle phrases modifying specific words When a participle phrase modifies a single word in the main clause, the reference should be clear and accurate. This means usushould be placed near the word it modially that the phrase fies and that if the phrase precedes the main clause the participle should

modify the subject of the clause.

Trying to write a theme in class my thoughts sometimes get jumbled up. (The phrase seems to modify thoughts.)
or at home,

theme in home, I find that my thoughts sometimes get jumbled -up. (The phrase -dearly modifies
Trying to write a
class or at



the -main clause.)


a participle of this sort
it is


not clearly related to

noun or pronoun,

said to

be misrelated.

16.4, Misrelated modifiers, p. 202.

16.2b Participle phrases used "absolutely" Participle phrases may be used "absolutely," modifying the main statement.
(These are sometimes called nominative absolutes.) The and a participle: Just then the tow truck came around the corner, its chains [subtypical absolute phrase has a subject

clanking [participle] noisily. These constructions are frequently used in descriptive and narrative prose for adding details or parenthetical material:


power of a Courage

stalked like the specter of a soldier, his eyes burning with the stare into the Crane, The Red


Badge of


On March
his snuffbox


7 Napoleon entered Grenoble at the head of his army. he rapped on the city gates, torchlight playing on his Ceram, Gods, Graves, and Scholars, p. 99

The Portuguese listened with his head cocked to one side, his dark eyes ringed with ash-gray circles, and now and then he wiped his damp veined dead-white hands on his stained apron. Carson McCullers, Member of the Wedding, p. 71

6.3 Gerund phrases Gerunds and gerund phrases may be used as nouns as the subject or the object of a verb, as predicate
complements, or as appositives with other nouns. In addition, gerund phrases are also used as modifiers, either of individual

words (the disagreeable task of cleaning the furnace), or of main statements (Sue went to the movies after finishing her
work). When used to express relationships of time, cause, manner, result, these phrases function like adverb clauses:
Gerund phrase: Immediately on
his lawyers.

arriving in


fork, he telephoned



As soon


he arrived



York, he telephoned

his lawyers.

Gerund phrases used as modifiers can be distinguished from participle phrases by the preposition that links the ger-

und phrase

to the rest of the sentence:
of the mountain,

Gerund phrase: On reaching the summit
to enjoy the view.
Participle phrase: to enjoy the view.

we paused we paused

Reaching the summit of the mountain,

6.3a Subjects of gerund phrases In many gerund phrases a noun or a pronoun serves as the "subject" of the gerund.
Everyone was bored by his [subject] incessant talking [gerund] There is little possibility of radio and television [subject] providing



of our entertainment in the future.

the subject of a gerund is a personal pronoun or noun, the possessive form is generally used: proper



Infinitives, participles,
less said

and gerunds

We looked

about his singing, the better. forward to Bob's coming.

With other noun forms, usage


Formal English

usually prefers the possessive form, but the the noun is used in General English.

common form


The neighbors finally complained about the dog [Formal: howling at night. It was a case of imagination getting the upper hand.


some constructions the possessive form would be unnatand unidiomatic, as when the subject of the gerund


modified by other words:


There was something peculiar about the daughter of the former prinwinning two scholarships. At the outbreak of the Civil War no one in Washington foresaw the

possibility of Grant, the Union forces.

who had

failed in so


undertakings, leading


In spite of the plan of the committee being voted down, nobody could a better one.


Marckwardt and Walcott, pp. 94-95; Curme, Syntax,

pp. 485-491

16.3b The and of


gerund phrases

when they

are not preceded by the used instead of an of phrase.

Gerunds are more direct and when a direct object

In the revising of the
first draft,


the writer can check his spelling.

In revising the first draft, the writer can check his spelling.

16.4 Misrelated modifiers
Mis Misrelated modifier. Correction: Revise the sentence marked so that
the modifier

clearly related to the


required by the meaning.


construction that from
in the sentence that



a misrelated (or "dangling") modifier:

position seems to modify a should not or cannot sensibly


a radio from a friend with a short-icave attachment. These constructions may be momentarily confusing to the reader (or unintentionally humorous), and consequently should be avoided. In revision, verbal phrases used as modifiers need to be checked especially closely for faulty reference because they are loosely tied to the other parts of a sentence; but
prepositional phrases (such as the one in the example above) and subordinate clauses may also be misrelated if their ref-


isn't as clear to

the reader as



to the writer.


6.4a Inaccurate reference When a modifier seems to refer to the wrong word in a sentence, the sentence should be revised to

make the reference accurate. Sometimes the be made by putting the modifier immediately the word to which it should refer:

correction can

before or after



the other side of the valley,
peacefully like cattle,


grazing saw a herd of buffalo [the participle phrase seems to refer to we].


we saw a herd

the other side of the valley of buffalo, grazing

peacefully like cattle [the phrase
clearly refers to buffalo],

shifting a modifying phrase will not always reclear sentence. If the sentence is rather involved, it sult in a

But merely


better to rewrite





early-day western senator said to have passed out cam-


early-day western senator said to have pinned five-dollar
to the

paign cards to the voters with them. five-dollar bills pinned to [At first glance, the phrase seems
to refer to voters.]


campaign cards he

passed out to voters.

I6.4b Modifier without a reference word Modifiers are incorshould refer to a word that is implied rectly used when they
rather than actually stated in the sentence:



Infinitives, participles,

and gerunds
In painting four of these piche used his wife as his


In painting four of these pichis wife was used as his model. [Obviously his wife did



not paint the pictures.

Who did?]

Faulty constructions of this kind occur chiefly with verbal
phrases. The easiest but not always the most satisfactoryway to correct them is to name the agent or the "doer" of the

action immediately after the phrase:
After reading a dozen books, the subject is still as puzzling as ever. [Who did the reading?]

After reading a dozen books, I find the subject as puzzling as

Generally it is better to revise the sentence entirely, making the relationships more accurate by using other constructions:


Having been delayed by a

the leading role

played by a local

was [Who was

Because the leading lady was delayed by a train accident, her role was played by a local girl,

A writer

related modifiers

should distinguish clearly between obviously missuch as these and absolute modifiers-

phrases that refer to the statement as a whole and that need no specific agent or "doer" of the action in the main clause:
Absolute phrase: Considering that they are handmade, the price reasonable enough.


6.4c Ambiguous reference
that they tence.


to refer to either of

Modifiers are occasionally placed so two elements in the sen-

I started my research on cannibalism in the These constructions (sometimes called library.) "squinting" modifiers) can be avoided by changing the position of the


modifier or

by otherwise revising the




Doctors have found out what causes baldness in recent years.


In recent years, doctors have found out what causes baldness.

Sometimes the ambiguity can be cleared up by using appropriate punctuation:

In addition to being fond of
lobsters, like you, she

In addition to being fond of you she is a con-

a con-

lobsters, like

noisseur of oysters.

noisseur of oysters.


Curme, index references
Pooley, pp. 107-118
Roberts, Ch. 17

These exercises involve principles discussed in
1. First

15 and


of words
or, if it

copy down the number of each of the italicized groups and write the word or statement that each one modifies,

does not modify, write

use in the sentence. Then identi-

fy the

word groups

as adjective or

adverb clauses, or participle,

gerund, or infinitive phrases.
original aim of public education in America, (1) preparthe young for citizenship in a democratic community, has been ing replaced in many instances by the nondemocratic concept (2) of


human unit solely for a machine. The full development of
training the

specific job in the


(3) accepted by goal of a democratic society , has been reshuffled into the narrower channels of material usefulness (4) so that the development of mechanical skills rather than the whole personality has become

the individual personality, the eighteenth-century political theorists as the


(3) Pulled out again." The New Yorker. Highbrows and the Popular Mind. could find nothing but two modest bruises. (4) where he was provided with a towel and charged with "endangering his life" He complained of a sharp pain in his side. he was hustled off to the Oak Street station house. Leo Gurko. List those modifiers that are ambiguous or misrelated and rewrite the sentence as you think it should be written. (1) at the sight of Bridge Officer Lally waiting for him. 1952. This constitutes a narrowing not only of the educational focus but also of the democratic view and is a blow against the total culture which a democracy. May 17. . . "This Alluring Roadway . 59 it had been a (10) and phrases. p. participles. 86 resources as well. 8. (7) When a reporter from the Times showed up. (5) who was called in.lO Infinitives. can be expected (5) to produce. Brodie was sent to the Tombs for the night. Some of these sentences contain misrelated clauses others contain absolute constructions 1) Near the end of the last century the Dukhobors decided to emigrate to Canada. Stanley Edgar Hyman. which need no correction. 2) Subjected to the scrutiny of scholars as well as to the less 206 . Count Leo Tolstoy gave them $17. that "darling jump/* and that he had protected himself by wearing an electric belt. where. Follow the directions given for the preceding exercise. 2. (2) lie jumped back into the water. Brodie again appeared (8) to be in terrible pain so terrible that he was barely able to gasp out that he had leaped (9) to win a two-hundred dollar bet. but the resident surgeon of tie nearby Chambers Street Hospital. Brodie was rowed to the nearby New Pier.000. but not having enough money for the trip. . The full life must necessarily include the acquisition of economic skills. powers Heroes. and on his arrival there seemed (6) to have become suddenly drunk. he said Brodie was shamming. in the largest sense. but it has many other and (6) to neglect them is (7) to distort the and potentialities of the individual man. and gerunds the order of the day. p.

in 1909. 10) Believing in to see how many fair play as most Americans do. born in Astoria. 7) To get the best results from your new pen. 5) In looking for a better way to make the paper more flexible. and headed toward the scarfing skids. it is surprising of us faithfully read the most biased columnists. steady 2) Ultra-violet blood irradiation was reported successful on 23 patients. 5) Hers was the land of childhood which is thought to breed insecurity and that leads to troubles in later Me. 3) After changing to my work clothes. a softening treatment using a white crystalline solid was tried. 4) The author states that most love affairs are blind when in the process of courting. first flush it with cold water before filling it with ink. it takes a quick eye and a hand.Exercises critical reading of the general public. 3) The miniature camera is not very useful to people with poor eyesight with the exception of the reflex type. Oregon. 9) A citizen entering the smoke-filled room found Ed propped up on one elbow and at gun point had the situation well under 6) control. this being done. What constructions in these sentences do you think would be inappropriate in Formal English? Which ones would be clumsy or inexact in General writing? Make the changes you think should be made 1) for more effective wording. all of which were children between 3 and 13 acutely ill To with inflamed heart muscles. it nevertheless appears that the real meaning of these poems has escaped almost everyone. Mr. subject that I am writing on is one that plenty of material can be found in the library to help me. Graham comes of an old pioneer family. I 4) The 207 . spear flounder underwater. 4. 8) The big steam shovels would fill a flatcar in an hour which would hold 400 cubic yards of gravel. I passed the foreman's shack to see how much steel would be coming over that night.

B. I was able ingots before forced to stop. they have qualities of style that readable and sensible. for that learns then. which we live demands someone must do the 17 Sentence length [A sentence] very moment handful. for after a while the first drafts These will need less revision." Attentive reading of first draft sentences and revising them for effectiveness is well worthwhile. P. not so much in terms of the actual number of words but as a portion large or smallof the total meaning of a paragraph. who before had had a monopoly on the diamond cutting industry for centuries. sometimes they are direct and In Good emphatic. Sentence length Many small business firms have been taken over is which by large true in every form of business. from farming to which a child to finish three running a drug store. are *lbetter or worse" rather than they "right or wrong. make them qualities are matters of choice rather than of rule. unfolding slowly. 8) Working quickly and thoroughly. Sometimes are leisurely. 208 . is as much of as much of Bollard my full purpose as my meaning as I I care to reveal at the in wish to deliver one sentences are varied in length and land. and they gradually rounding out the idea. other words. 17.1 Sentences as units of meaning The first matter to consider is the length of sentences. he is likely to retain throughout life. 10) The society in dirty work. 7) The early years are most important.17 6) business. 9) After the war the United States replaced Amsterdam.

In writing done outside the classroom you can also examine your sentences during revision for their meaning as well as for their form. What cation? is the relation between youth and the date of publi- 209 . In writing in class you can avoid empty statements by thinking your sentences to yourself before you put them down on paper. or a term paper. at Riverdale High School. They might better be combined: I took my first course in math. Of course eral that Some sentences say too little because a simple idea has been broken up unnecessarily into two or more statements: first I took my first course in math at Riverdale High School. 17.17.1b 17.1B The relation of ideas in a sentence should be clear Avoid combining unrelated ideas in the same statement. it should be clearly shown and not left to the reader to puzzle out: As Byron is the poet of youth. so that they can be reasonably combined. pletely reset edition of his it is appropriate that the new and compoems should be published on March 1. If there is a relationship between the ideas. This statement is so genone could substitute for "scientific theories'* almost anything that comes to mind Brooklyn Bridge. This was year or elementary algebra. la Each sentence should contribute its share of meaning Self-evident or extremely obvious statements contribute nothing to writing: Our scientific theories came into being only after definite steps had been taken. a college dance. elementary algebra. A reader will not feel that he is getting his money's worth from these individual sentences. the United Nations. definite steps were taken.

Haphazard Revised Her marriage to another writer may have some influence upon her style. and tie type of mate^ rial he is presenting. shorter ones in rapid narrative and other General writing. In the early grades. Sentence length varies somewhat according to the fashion of the times. Longer sentences generally occur in discussions of ideas. will be missing one of the great literary masterpieces of our time. the way in which he typically expresses his ideas. Early nineteenth-century writers built their ideas into sentences that averaged 30 to 40 words. 17. averaging between 20 and 30 words. As young people grow up. or even those that contain contradictory statements. with the majority not far from 20. there is no evidence to support I think that this. there is no evidence to support this. who haven't liked Hemingway's other novels. however. can be revised to be meaningful by showing actual relationships between ideas. No doubt there was some kind of relationship between the man's appearance and the marriage. anyone read The Old including those who doesn't Man and the Sea. and in Formal writing. Although her marriage to another writer might have some influence on her style. Current writing uses somewhat shorter sentences. Sometimes sentences that seem haphazard.17 He was seen. as in textbooks. Anyone who doesn't read The Old Man and the Sea is missing one of the great literary masterpieces of our time. Since these figures are averages. pupils' sentences average 210 . but whatever it was. their development in writing is conspicuously shown by the increasing variety and fullness of their sentences. with the sweetest smile she had ever and they were married the following June. although of course there are a great many people who don't like Hemingway's novels.2 Sentence length in current writing Written sentences vary in length according to the writer's purpose. it should have been stated. they usually mean that sentences today range from 5 or 6 words to 70. Sentence length blond and handsome.

usually in the low 20*s. There is no special virtue in long or short sentences.46 Vulgate writers 205 338 156 84 42 27 20 17 83 14 23. Used by permission of the publishers. p. If your sentences in an expository paper average less than 18 or 20 words or more than 30. in high school. Inc. Although the two groups averaged the same. formless ones. the sentences are considerably shorter than the average given for professional writers (usually in the low 20's). by Harcourt.2 11 or 12 words. their range of length and type of sentence varied conspicu- ously: Length in words 1-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70-79 SO-89 90-100 100+ Average Standard writers 84 369 373 165 105 29 19 5 02 2 23. Yet the form is appropriate because the statementsmany of them directives or suggestions for action are intended to be emphatic. "better" than shorter of words in the individual statements is the total effect of a passage in which the sentences are conspicuously long or short. copyright 1952. if the figure is low. but it is More important than the number itself a series of brief statements) : 211 . Brace and Company. Sentence length is also a distinguishing trait between Standard and Nonstandard writing. you should look at them to make sure. or. Longer sentences are of course not ones.16 From The Structure of English by Charles Carpenter Fries. (The one long sentence near the middle varies from the pattern.17. that the sentences are clear and appropriate to the material. Professor Fries' comparison of letters by educated and uneducated writers shows that the latter use more very short sentences and also more long. In this paragraph by a well-known scholar and teacher. if the figure is high. in college. but the length may be a symptom of other qualities. 291. 17 to 19. that you are grouping your details sensibly.

68-69. more comboth to the plex and leisurely sentence pattern. He clears the table. fear and hate. Inc. it is becoming more and more difficult to exchange from distant countries books where opinions across the world. and Methuen & Co. It is choice. when he is really intent. good teacher can teach it to his pupils. and that will give variety and liveliness to his The problem of length in writing. greater than the things that divide mankind: nationalities and creeds. p. 17. Knopf. Reprinted by permission of Alfred A.. and to feel all oneself part of a world-wide structure of art and learning. and increase the urgency of his study somehow. The 'Turn that radio He fixed in Ait of Teaching. that best suits the writer's purpose and his material. Take the same boy who reads his book slowly. a time. 212 . appropriate matter and to the kind of audience he is addressing: subject Are these shadows on so many of our horizons the outriders of another long night. But in another work. making the reader stop and start again too often for comfortable reading. put him to work on the prize essay off!" sits he shouts. except for one one position till he is cramped. five lines at A anyhow make study paramount photograph. More than that. But modern scholars must regret that they have to work We during a time when which helped to build the learning instead of that general supranational comradeship and culture of the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries.If Sentence length Concentration must be learnt. is what we learn to do throughout life. British publishers. More often it is variety and appropriateness: the ability to use the form.. like that which was closing in upon Sidonius? cannot yet tell. The Classical Tradition. he will miss meals and forget about sleep. the choice clearer to him. Concentration is also an intellectual process. and the importance of his and then watch. grudgingly. after all.-Gilbert Highet. And that. to carry on manysided correspondences with far-off scholars and encounter no difficulties other than those involved in the common search for truth.3 Choppy (too short) sentences Too many short sentences interrupt the flow of thought. All this because he has chosen one aim and discarded others.-Gilbert Highet. It should be learnt in school. pp. 472 most student sentences is seldom a matter of the average number of words per statement. It should not be imagined as nothing but an effort of the will. Mr. Ltd. Sometimes. Highet uses a longer. long or short. to bring new and vital points of view are freely expressed.

Nearly every member of the pep club was seated. Try reading the passage aloud to see whether conveys the effect that you intended or whether it is care- less or hasty writing.17. This game would determine which team would be the champion. I remember watching three boys was so tiny! I felt sure they were A cat boat was new to me. a good idea to examine closely any passage in your writing that contains a conspicuous number of sentences it under 18 words. I hadn't The choppy movement of this passage gives an effect the The passage could be made smoother by combining statements: When we left Japan the next morning. Our basketball team had won the trophy the year before. 17. but the breathless style defeats this purpose because it is continued too long. excited. the writer's intention was probably to convey her own feeling of excitement. for creating a feeling of rapid action or of tension but some judgment must be exercised if they are to be used successfully. It was the had come all the way through the tournament without a final game.4 Stringy sentences Avoid stringing together (with "and. It was so tiny that I felt sure they were going to tip over half a dozen times." "but. a kind of boat I had never seen before." "and then") statements that should be written as 213 . with no break in sentence pattern: It was my senior year in high school. It They were going to tip over half a dozen times. boys sailing in a cat boat. defeat. Would that starting gun never go off! My hands were clammy. This year the team was considered even stronger. Short sentences are useful in various writing situations for dialog. for emphasis. I remember watching three writer did not intend. in a cat boat. for example. In the following passage. The referees were talking." "so. It is My cheeks burned. seen one before. left Japan the next morning.4 such sentences do not show to each other: how the separate ideas are related We sailing. They. We I looked too. were toward the end of die gym.

Subordinate clauses. or from excessive repetition of the same sentence pattern. and the average number of words. 187. . running. p. tem See 15. So. would you give Study the following statements and be prepared to discuss them from the standpoint of meaning and effectiveness of com- 214 . recording the shortest. and then I had a much better target my right He was still . Kneeling knee and bringing the rifle to my shoulder. Sentences are not only monotocarelessly tacked together in this manner nous to read but lose all their emphasis because every idea seems to be of equal importance: About fifty feet away I saw a buck deer running I for safety and so I kneeled on brought the rifle to my right shoulder. . but he stopped and looked at me.17 Sentence length separate sentences or as subordinate elements. I fired once. He stopped to look at me. About fifty feet on . . those given in this section? What specific advice yourself on the basis of what you found? 2. . but. but I missed. The cure lies in cutting down the number of coordinating conjunctions (and. How do these figures compare with 1. knee and then to shoot at. and they should) . providing a much better target. the longest. so I fired one shot at him. but my right missed. Stringy sentences result either from linking too many main clauses together ( Most people know that our productive sysis the world's best and they have grown to expect great things from this system. so ) and in subordinating ideas of lesser importance. Exercises Study the length of twenty consecutive sentences in one of your recent papers. Reading such flabby sentences aloud should reveal their weaknesses and help you to revise them for better organization: away I saw a buck deer running for safety.

it \ acquired tho rcpuULIua ul being mdL au on*a. directs our minds to the extreme sadness felt by the death of the pony. good temper. 3) The slums seem TO be centered li<& in one section of the ' citjfe which 4) ture of church history in the last twenty years. v turning. Were the author's style pedestrian (which it is not). the twentieth century * ^ turning meats and fowls on electric rotisserie spits. however. meanwhile. the central character in the story. still be true. despite my admiration for his style.^'*" is 5) Though still in its fifties. were his interpretations of people and events unrealistic and inaccurate (they are quite is iSbok otherwise). -*' a letter which contains misspelled words and which ~) Mailing is poorly organized is certainly not a compliment to the one who * . - receives it. perhaps. Which ones would you 1) There is gram might a great deal of work to be done before this procompleted. 8) Billy Buck. p. This book is the most important contribution to the litera- has in abundance) the statement above would . meaningful and smoother 215 . greater than that not done to the Germans. to Resistance morale by this lack of supplies was. more exactly game in 17. 10) It cannot and should not be denied that I have no great sympathy for this author. is that they lack the personal touch. Even 4t tlla^liudL uf Gllibuii fuibMl> and seasoned judgment (all of which Iack43^balance. 3.3. 9) One reason that prefabricated houses are less satisfactory 7) The harm done than architect designed homes generally. 2) JBjr Being in the fresh air most of the time as a hunter is. Revise the passage describing the basketball 213. making the sentences to read.Exercises consider contradictory? Aminvolved? Is it the wording or the combiguous? Unnecessarily plexity of the thought that makes the statement confusing? munication. there is not so much as a person is think. it tends 4* keeisa person healthy and to developjhis body.

4). 216 . measure ability by I tests.2. for they may fail to convey your exact or com- down to the bare plete meaning. Robert Lynd Sentence economy means wording statements so that their meaning can be grasped by the reader without unnecessary effort. Sentence economy doesn't sentences mean that you should strip your essentials. No one likes to listen to a speaker who talks too much and says too little.1 Using direct expressions phrases and Try to eliminate roundabout indirect expressions from your sentences.1). and that the constructions you usewhether brief or expanded convey your meaning directly and accurately. Roundabout Direct Psychologists ability is The way psychologists measure by tests. I believe that most parents have the desire to help their children. passage marked by using more 18. The shortest posing words and simplest constructions are not always the most economical. Phrases. Economy of expression requires rather that you should try to find the most exact words possible. 18.18 Sentence economy Literature maintains an endless quarrel with idle sentences. believe that most parents want to help their children. and no reader likes to cut his way through a tangle of words or repetitious ideas to get at a relatively simple statement. as you might in coma telegram or writing a classified ad. or other constructions that use too many words to say what should be said in a word or two are called circumlocuBelow are some circumlocutions with suggested revisions for more economical wording: tions. a phrase or a single word (18. or by changing a clause to by cutting out deadwood (18. Wordy Correction: Revise the sentence or direct expressions (18.3). clauses.

For that reason a writer should avoid the formulas that serve as fillers in casual conversation: in contact with day and age due to the fact that in the year of 1954 means means means means meet or know today because or since in 1954 Such expressions occur in first drafts because a writer usu- ally puts thing that comes to mind.2 Removing deadwood "Deadwood" is a term for lazy words and phrases that clutter up a statement ^ ithout adding anything to its meaning: Anyone acquainted with violin construction knows that the longer the seasoned. like those in italics above. But they should be replaced in revision by terms that say the same thing more exactly and directly: down the first the money that you have to pay to get into the theater means the admission price that shiny stuff that they coat automobile bumpers with means chromium 18. production During the time that she was Los Angeles.18. Wordiness than it is is more conspicuous (and annoying) in writing wordy come in this in speech. six different jobs. the better the result will be as far as the tone of the instrument is concerned. she had at least While she was in Los Angeles she had at least six different jobs. Eliminating deadwood won't change the meaning in the least It will make the statement neater and more direct. as in these examples (deadwood in brackets): 217 . find their written sentences because they are so common in speech.2 The reason that prices rose Prices rose because the demand de- was that the demand was increasing at the same time that production was decreasing. wood is Empty way into expressions. they are excess baggage and do nothing to further communication. in increased while creased. but spoken or written.

nature She seldom talks on any subject of a controversial nature.3 Words to watch Certain words. illustrates phrases built upon the most common of these words: Word case As deadwood In many cases students profit Deadwood eliminated profit Many students from the research from the research paper. character His paintings are of a vigorous acter. account for much of the deadwood found in edly student writing. We hand is must felt at realize We the I felt at must realize that is fact that the producer's producer's hand every stage. instance Forest rangers prefer to work outdoors in most stances. 1 statistics [serve to] give a good idea of the effects 8. At the end of an hour and a half we arrived at [the spot where] the flag red [was situated]. He always thought he would be successful along agricultural lines. because they are repeatoverused. every stage.18 Sentence economy tion] that the Every thinking person these days seems to agree [with the concepworld has gone mad. became fact intolerable. His paintings are vigorous and intense. line in- fer to Most forest rangers prework outdoors. eral years. paper. field I have been interested the fields in ture and of literamusic for sev- in literature have been interested and music for several years. This list. He always thought he in would be successful agriculture. seem Two years lost ago Howard a leg in an automobile accident 218 . It seems that two years ago Howard lost a leg in an automobile accident. damage was not as bad as I had expected [it The following of tobacco. surprise the To my to be]. while not exhaustive. She seldom talks on any controversial subject. and intense char- exist The crime that existed conditions in Chicago the The crime conditions in Chicago became intolerable.

[one predication] Word: The snow blanketed the countryside. a field of clover. a person has a tendency to want to Folloxving a severe emotional shock. they are meaningless and unnecessary. You needn't examine every word you have written to see whether it adds something to the meaning or you are re- your reader to strike out from your sentences the more obvious and annoying examples of deadwood. one way to tighten sentence form is to see what verbs 219 . But as deadwood. A complete predication (a sentence or a clause) can often be effectively reduced to a short phrase or a single word: Sentence: The snow lay like a blanket. they want position. and so forth). [one predication] here. because both say just as tions. not. If your papers are frequently marked for wordiness. an executive These words have of course definite meanings in other ex- pressions (a case of measles.18. Since each clause you use increases the number of predications. type Some students take Some students take business courses because business courses because they want an executive type position. [two predications] Phrase: The snow covered the countryside like a blanket. a minor character in the play. a person wants to be alone. be alone. covered the countryside.4 tendency a severe Following emotional shock. [two predications] Clause: The snow. Either the phrase or the single word would be preferable much as the longer construc- and say it more economically. it may help you to keep this list of words in mind when vising your work. it but you do owe to 18*4 Using words and phrases instead of clauses Eliminate unnecessary words by reducing full clauses to shorter constructions wherever possible. which lay like a blanket. It covered the countryside.

see if some of them couldn't just as well start with another word later in the sentence: If Wordy There were two plays in our anthology and I like them both very much. While a writer's style and the general movement of his sentences determine to a large degree whether short or longer constructions are more appropriate. subject. waiting impatiently for the sound of the which would mean that the taxied back and forth in front of the starting line. and have: Excessive predication I More economical and this am a native of Florida am very glad to write on As a native of Florida. and that is "I have a class this hour. less serious who were would go into a bar where they would have a steak dinner and a few glasses of beer. waiting impatiently for the sound of the starting gun. There almost is all More direct I like both plays in our anthology very much. the careless habit of con220 . We race was started. Most big business houses provide suggestion boxes for their employees. I am very glad to write on this subject. a suggestion box in big business houses where employees may put ideas for the management to consider. The two verbs that can most frequently be eliminated without any loss of meaning are be in its various forms. few of the fellows A A beer. Sentence economy their modifiers can be eliminated without loss of effec- Two predicates taxied back Reduced and forth in We gun front of the starting line.18 and tiveness." There is Only one excuse is acceptable: "I have a class this hour/' a large number of your sentences begin with There. few of the less serious fel- lows would go into a bar -for a steak dinner and a few glasses of is only one excuse that acceptable.

There are also many beautiful wild flowers and other kinds of plants.5b sistently using two or more statements where one would just as effective should be avoided in all styles of writing." in This I Believe. in. For here it is the tail that wags the dog. Zabel. a word or a phrase should not be made conspicuous by too frequent use in the same passage: is beautiful There are myriads of beautiful. edited by Morton D. Murrow. the. "We Just Can't Play with Spools. here it is die tail of the kite-the tail that makes the kite the kite more than a frame of paper blown fly the tail that renders crazily down the wind. but.5a Useful repetition Some kinds of words must of course be used over and over again: articles (a. edited by Edward R. Useful repetition may be of two kinds: 1) Essential. 1 do not discount the marvelous development in the world of things.5b Useless repetition effective repetition is shown in these Unintentional. General Lewis B. Because their purpose is strictly functional. for meaning or for sentence structure: I believe that the greatest frontier of our ignorance lies in the relationship of man to man. nor do I devaluate the contributions of those who have made these developments possible. our conventional habits of language have to be reversed when to deal with poetry. or). for emphasis: Thus. p. The climate makes it easy to cultivate beautiful lawns. 1 8. Better still. sentences: and in- 221 . The landscape trees.5 Avoiding careless repetition Rep Repetition. 67 2) Intentional. that. ineffective repetition of words. or sound. "Irony as a Principle of Structure. these words are usually not noticed. p. an.). prepositions (of. which).18. unnecessary. Cleanth Brooks. Hershey. Correction: Eliminate the meaning. 729 we come 18. my. conjunctions (and. at). and pronouns (it. 1 be 8. with flowers and shrubs. stately which contribute greatly to the beauty of the place in every season of the year. Unless repeated for a definite reason." in Literary Opinion in America.

Key words ( such as the subject) may sometimes be repeated for clarity or emphasis. Astrology is Astrology is so popular in Hol- lywood that many movie stars are favorable. lywood that many of the movie stars won't sign a contract unless their horoscopes are favorable. adds unnecessary words to the statement.18 a Sentence econdmy When I was in high school. The problem of feeding The many psychology and and community problems soci- ology courses give people the opportunity to understand family better. Repetition of this kind is obviously undesirable. a good product Especially to be watched is repetition of the same word in two different meanings: My marks showed a marked improvement. Most of the time I would read most o my homework just in time to have it ready before class began. It was very easy most of the time to read the assignment and have it prepared when my time came to be called upon for recitation. I would take a book home once or twice week and maybe read it two or three hours at a time. Or: My marks showed a decided improvement. won't sign a contract unless the 222 . 1) Repetition of words. her ever-increasing population is one of India's most acute problems. inent person to buy. It diverts the readers attention from the ideas to the words themselves. Careless repetition Revised The many psychology and sociology classes give many people the opportunity to understand many of the family and community problems better. so popular in Hoistars My grades showed a marked improvement. and suggests either careless writing or an inability to revise. but less important terms should not be used more often than necessary. Feeding her ever-increasing population is one of India's most acute problems. Repeat words in a passage only when you have good reason for doing so. people think that if an endorsed by a prominent person that it is a good product Many Many article is article is people think that if an endorsed by a promit is to buy.

and I decided to make it the topic of my research paper. looking for a topic 2) Repetition of meaning. a theory that is being substantiated by increasing evidence as time goes on. like to use them in pairs. more evidence is found to substantiate this theory.18.5b It is striking out a When not always possible to correct careless repetition by word or substituting another of similar meaning. Then more or less by accident. believed that the age of the earth She decided to trim the kitchen in bright was not what she had anticipated. red. apparently more interested in the sound of words than in the sense. This can become an annoying mannerism in writing: First we should consider what equipment and paraphernalia are necessary. The passage could be made both wording I it neater and clearer by re- in this way: by reading several articles on the disbegan covery of America by the Vikings. even though the words overlap in meaning. As time goes on. 223 . After reading several articles about this. Adding a word or a phrase that repeats the meaning of another expression (a form of repetition called tautology) is one of the most common forms of unprofitable repetition. but the resultant effect Some writers. The italicized expressions in these sentences should be omitted because they merely repeat ideas that are sufficiently expressed in other words in the sentences: The modern ization It is college student of today must choose between is special- and a broad general education. a passage becomes badly cluttered like this one. This interested me greatly. This idea interested me greatly. and I decided to investigate this as my topic for the research paper. comis plete revision the only way to clear it up: There has been a theory advanced that the Vikings were here long hefore Columbus. about two billion years old. I ran across some articles on the first discovery of America by people other than the Vikings. I found that even the Vikings may not have been the first people to visit America.

18 The Sentence economy elderly woman's feet were encased in a pair of obsolete and almost antiquated high-button boots. shape: Unsatisfactory An Revised His hair was brick-red. Behind the house was closed rectangular court. S) Repetition of sound. and -flon may be unfortunate when a number of similar ones occur close together: The concept nant/if influenced the of such sanctuary immunity unquestionab/t/ predomienemy to enter into tie conflict. The length of the locks two-thirds of a mile long. - Even though your papers are not written to be read aloud. to smell. A sound should not be made conspicuous by careless repetition in the same passage. -ment. The most dangerous intersection is Fifth and Alder^ where three streets come together to make a terrific tangle of traffic. elementary kind of useless repetition occurs sometimes with words like color. is about The locks are about two-thirds of a mile long. Alliteration required for re-registra- ning of words in a series when ideas: it the repetition of the same sound at the beginis out of place in expository writing attracts attention to the words at the expense of the He then made himself comfortable in a rather rickety rattan rocker. The cumulative effect of certain suffixes like -ly. His hair was brick-red in-color. size. flowers an en- The odor of the water that the had been in was offensive flowers The odor of the water that the had been in was offensive. 224 . is tion of those students Written permission of the administration who are on probation. Behind the house was an enclosed court which was rectangular in shape. you should try to avoid sound patterns that may be momentarily distracting to a reader with a sensitive ear: The Yakima Indians have never forsaken certain sacred rites.

225 . 8) Many people have the belief that ignorance is an inborn trait. roundabout phrases.bemuch less. and then indicate how you would revise the sentence for more direct wording. brushing of the hair each day should be practiced. the expease-in towtto taxesjwould-. but in this they are quite wrong. it has them too. along is with one of the most fashionable hotels in the country.any excess stain that the effect that may be Our instructor made a statement to and -~. the entire surface of the desk is steel. 2) ^Generally one -a lackRef education. for if they investigate the facts pertaining to this situation. First point out in each sentence what words or phrases should be omitted or tightened up. -the county officials erf combined some of if die city their duties together. they will be quite surprised what they find concerning the actual facts of the case.wooled in order to take off . by 9) To prevent hair from falling out. - would suppose oksaefe^r&rSSn that he is hft4- 3) When the stain dried.Exercises Exercises L The following sentences from student papers contain many words and phrases that add nothing to the meaning: unnecessary predications. 7) My friend seldom seems to care to discuss any subject that of a controversial nature. attacked th^ statement # Harold StasseSS wliiuli 'wasHg* the-effectr that the Mutual Security Program needed more moneM y **'*'"' " 5) He 6) This area has some of the best ski trails in the country and as far as the other cold weather sports are concerned. and other fuzzy constructions. 1) In each stove there is a coil of pipe winoh is-cndbsed in a cast iron container ad^whsefe-is-known as the waterfront. 10) Another factor entering this adustment of the flow of water in the ditches is the reduction of the amount of soil erosion which takes place.

to us~it ocomod to hnw n . 1)1 The boofc is divided intpjifaaetts sections* with ihe"iiA4iUeg^unemployrnent. t . 226 .18 Sentence economy 2.*. --J. and in the second place. 9) There used to be a habit I once had that sometimes caused me much embarrassment 10) In many cases a corporation may wish to carry on only one type of business and in such a case it is necessary for a charter to be obtained be carried on. 6) This column can be enjoyed for its content of humor. . .3) Education should be continued beyond tfee-gp-ades-ef high school.. revise the entire statement.<"* water to retrieve the coins 5) The Hindu boys diving iiTlhe didn't seem to mind'the-'Wates? but. in a state where this particular line of work is to Revise the following sentences to eliminate careless or unnecessary repetition of words or of meaning: 3. If eliminating a word or phrase doesn't result in a satisfactory sentence.. Follow the instructions given above for removing the deadwood from these sentences..) The closely to the ^.the twelve years of formal education ^ki^he^CiiiCliiM'^^and ^ ^ c ^-'-. 4) Thesesure some individuals who think that the m'odern colwho has received fenr yoarg^rf a liberal arts lege student education is no wiser after this period than*a person who has had o4day only . \ '* higir schools. filthy and coatamipaJ-^d appearance.very . 7) The kind of papers I Wee to write best are on the topics of the experiences I have had personally.. the time limit for writing this theme makes it important that one have a good grasp of his subject matter so that he won't have to waste time on organization. 8) There are two reasons for my preference in wanting to write on a subject that is related to a course which will be part of my major: the first reason is influenced by the fact that I have a large amount of material on hand to write about.

is shippingX 2)1 hoped to get an A grade instead of a B grade in physics. But if the repetition in any statement seems to you intentional and effective. 3) The aim to create a When I first took the reading ability test. 2) The biography was an amazingly complete and objective account of an amazingly rich and complex career. 3) One'tteng^that jthe author used throughout the_article that" made it easy to read^was kis -userof ^examples.\yas_ so different froiffHhg^white man's AM*T wry well to change as muclr *' lit" had railti*r^tKa*J^yffi ~ in such a short periocFbi time S. 10) The thrill of riding a galloping horse over the hills was only one of the many thrills I experienced during the summer months I spent on a ranch in the summer of 1955. ' 5) Almost everyone of the industries a*empftftte9*which produce -e&8aarctf9ctuYe this country's necessities ef-daily "living* is by stockholders. . 8) Attitudes or viewpoints are laws or rules that regulate your behavior.* 4) The Indian [culture. according to the building code then in force at heart diseases that attack people today are that time.Exercises 1) Tire bu&me&s llial definitely makes this port what it is. 9) At eight-thirty in the morning you punch the clock for the start of another day. explain what purpose it serves. tamilia^ tO'very arried'ORcriby ad . Revise any sentence in this group that contains careless or ineffective repetition.reader.'_!. 4. my average* 227 . of this plan is tionship good infant-mother relabetween the mother and her baby. being built in 1946 was built without a garage because such a building would have been an improper use of 6) ? controlled critical materials. and you are the only person who can change or regulate "these laws.'. 7) The many numerous. Our home. and why 1) it should be allowed to stand.

operator. You have inherited them from the immediate. overseas operator. and loose. but 9) in The some it all came out in the same unsatisfactory way. conference operator.19 ber o Sentence variety and emphasis \v(ords per minute was 215 words per minute. multiple. questions. and then *h*^e^nifes*baefc - 5) home again at the end of the day. the distant. commands. and then rewrote the re- written paper. double. Simeon Potter Variety in sentence form is desirable because it makes reading easier and more enjoyable and conveys your meaning 228 . but the sentences have seldom been of your own making. such as Alaskan operator. and complex. balanced. long winter I had to trudge three miles each morning through drifted snow to school. and our feelings real satisfaction. plain fact of the matter is that our planes are inferior respects to those of the enemy. 10) In addition to the regular switchboard operators. periodic. wishes. "*" 4) Each day during that long. The words have been largely of your own choosing. the long-distant past. the telephone company trains girls for special tasks. The advantages and disadvantages of daylight saving time aird-jsaried-to different people. statements. simple. and exclamations. are many 6) Our eating club is the row. and mobile unit 19 Sentence variety and emphasis Imagine for a moment that the course of the last two all the sentences you have uttered during weeks are somewhere accurately recorded and that you can now scrutinize them at leisure. 8) I wrote the paper and rewrote it. You will probably find them to be surprisingly varied: long and short. which was comparatively low. as much of unity and a fraternity as any house along fraternity have brought us 7) I believe that colleges should offer scholarships but they should not offer athletic scholarships alone.

are seldom aware. dress. p. Plenty of "natives. or think in accordance with the accepted cliche.19 more same effectively. DeVoto's ver- The 229 . but he has vanished from American society. speak with intonations that are traditionally Yankee but they are by no means the Yankees of the tradition. with no reader's interest. aren't the especially those who live in the northern part. I have lived most of my life in New England. they do not look. A lecturer effort at who utters each statement in the emphasis. The cliche Yankee remains a stock voice on radio programs. act. December 1952. So have his counterparts in rural America at large. These natives speak with intonations that are traditionally Yankee. when reading good writing. Bernard DeVoto. where I have lived most of my life." especially in the northern part. or think in accordance with the accepted cliche. where "natives'* are plentiful. He may occasionally stroll into a movie with a scythe over his shoulder and a blade of grass between his teeth. Compare it ning with the passage as it was actually written: Take about the country a lot but I never meet any American folk. 54 I get New sentences in the second passage vary much more in length (from 9 to 40 words) than they do in the paraphrase. act. either in length or arrangement. But they Yankees of tradition because they don't dress. that we become critical of the writer's expression: I get about the country a lot but I never meet any American folk. Similarly. risks losing the attention of his audience. "The Easy Chair. We This passage is monotonous not only because the sentences are of similar length (ranging from 14 to 20 words). England. of the it is only when the pattern reflexibility of sentence pattern. But what makes the ideas easier to grasp in Mr. mains rigid. but more same pattern beginparticularly because they all follow the with the subject and ending with modifiers." Harper's Magazine. But he has vanished from American society and so have his counterparts in rural America at large. The Yankee of that client remains a stock voice on radio programs and occasionally he strolls into a movie with a scythe over his shoulder and a blade of grass between his teeth. a writer who uses again and his again sentences of the same length and stress risks losing tone.

Word: Maybe some of them didn't apologize. "Loneliest Man in Town!" The American Magazine. tomatoes. Out of the Blue. After fourteen years of this. Recently he left for a vacation in Maine and in his suitcase was a collection of notes which he refers to as his "white paper" and which he plans to turn into a "Saturday Evening Post" article during his vacation. 1 A typical and effective way 9. and a good deal of monotonous writing is merely the result of weariness or a is result will lack of interest in the subject.19 sion is Sentence variety and emphasis the movement of the statements a movement casual and It natural. compacts. umbrellas. Allen gets his ideas from current news. put the paper aside for a while before continuing A fresh view of a subject often helps make the sentence structure as well as the material more lively and varied. 26 at Clause: If I could collect aU the pop bottles that have been thrown me I could start my own soft-drink company. Allen's fourteen years in radio have been an almost continuous battle with censors and he has lost many an engagement. Ibid. or clause: Phrase: In my career I've been hit by rotten eggs. phrase. John Crosby. As a result. Because the subject is usually a conspicuous and emphatic word. preceding. seat cushions. not advisable to try too hard for sentence variety: the probably be artificial and strained. Style reflects the writer's mood as well as his personality. Bill Stewart. His jokes are invariably pointed. October 1952. Allen is a little bitter toward radio censorship. When you find that each statement you are writing is almost identical in form to the one it. a series of sentences beginning with unmodified subjects may become monotonous. because who felt sorry about that later on. p. and leftover liverwurst sandwiches. 272 230 . beer cans.1 Varying sentence beginnings of varying the basic subject-verb-object pattern is to begin with a modifier a word. in which only two sentences begin with the subject: Possibly the most censored man in radio is Fred Allen. and pointed jokes usually sting somebody. p. and yet with considerable variety in sentence structure. Note the flexibility of this passage. but they ever apologizes to an umpire? Ibid. firecrackers.

3 Of course an adverbial the effect will be no less monotonous if sentence after sentence starts with the same kind of modifier. p." The New Statesman and Nation. those terrible. 19. if I could go back.3 Varying kinds of statement An occasional question or a statement in the form of a directive will help vary sentence patterns: Only by resurrecting our own memories can we distorted is realize how incredibly the child's vision of the world. Pritchett.19. Deliberately inserting or shifting modigain variety is a makeshift and usually ineffective practice. I would be no of a dormouse. 19.2 Varying S-V-O order sentence patterns is A less common means of varying inversion. The emphasis you wish to make and the general fiers to movement of the passage should determine the way you begin your sentences. 1952. Victoria. aH-powerful monsters? I should see them as a How couple of silly. S. Unhappy inversion versal of subject may have painful and complement: results. at my present age. and should not be used solely for the purpose of variety. Such. eagerly clambering up a social ladder which any thinking person could see to be on the point of colmore frightened of them than I would be frightened lapse. V. Were the Joys. Consider this. such as clause. It is more appropriate to Formal than to General writing. would Crossgates appear to me now. shallow ineffectual people. or changing the usual order of in declarative statements: subject-verb-object M To this period | v belongs | s one of those many items of literary advice which Chekhov was apt to give throughout his life. 577 Except in questions and requests. for example. inversion is ordinarily not used unless the words put first really deserve special emphasis. Such. George Orwell. p. as in this re- A is garden city. 61 231 . and see it as it was in 1915? What should I think of Bingo and Sim. with one of the most delightful climates in the world. "Books in General. November 15.

It Unless the answer dom is self-evident ("Who would trade freefor tyranny?"). p. These subjects are parallel is because each a noun phrase: In the dressing rooms were whole boxes of white gloves and yards of all colors of ribbons and maids to aid in fitting them on pretty little girls.-Bess Furman. person and number. or if the first is a prepositional phrase. they should be expressed in the same grammatical form. Ideas of equal value in a statement should be made parallel is. phrases. and clauses in series are best stated in parallel form. Strange Empire. since shifts in necessary mood of verbs. to help direction the statement also is going.-Joseph Kinsey Howard.4a Elements in series Words.19 Sentence variety and emphasis Both questions and commands should be used when the occasion warrants. and probably helped to cost him his life. White House Profile. 116 The compound predicates alienated in this sentence are also parallel: His dramatic attempt to take over the conduct of his own case him from his counsel. the others should be prepositional phrases. But they should not be used solely as a device to change sentence pattern. almost broke up the trial. The purpose structions is of putting coordinate ideas in parallel conthe reader see in which chiefly for clarity. and helps prevent unin the tense and 19. make But the same principle may it for smoother writing.4 Parallelism Paral Parallel structure. or perhaps to startle the is unnecessary and in rather bad taste to conclude a with some such blunt question as this: "What do you paper think?" reader. p. and so on. a writer should not ordinarily raise a it. If the first is a noun. Correction: Make the elements of the construction marked on your paper that parallel in form. the rest should be nouns. question without answering 19. 516 232 .

. the paryour purpose. way should find some to raise the money. . and we should endorse our papers in the proper we were told to write in ink.. Elements that are compared or contrasted through the use of pairs of conbut nor. delay or inconvenience. you give a Htde attention to certain points. These problems are currently of great concern to the school system. and many parof ents. p. and to many parents. teachers.19. phrases] [three infinitive We manner. before deciding. but if. neither (or but also) are usually clearer and more emphatic when .4c Parallelism with correlative conjunctions . they are stated in parallel constructions: your bookshop or library. to teachers. Conjunction lacking Clearer The opposing citizens argued The opposing orbitant sioners citizens argued that the increased rates were exorbitant and the commissioners should find some other way to raise the that the increased rates were ex- and that the commisother money.4c When awkward Not this pattern is not followed. and to endorse our papers in the proper manner. at not always easy to ticular book which will best serve 233 . not only . or.4b Parallelism clarified by connectives When it is necessary be re- for clearness. 19. [an infinitive phrase and two 1 clauses] 9. the statement may be or at best untidy: Parallel parallel We that were told to write in ink. "How to Use Books. should use but one side of the paper. to use but one side of the paper. a preposition or a conjunction should peated between the items of a series: Preposition lacking Clearer These problems are currently great concern to the school system. you are less likely either to buy one which will not give you full return or to take home from the library one which will cause you disappointment. 180 It is select. junctions such as either . ." The Wonderful World of Books. . Lionel McColvin.

but that He many students couldn't afford because they were snobbish. Similar forms for similar ideas help hold a sentence together. either You may go to the ski jump by special train or by objected to fraternities not chartered bus. He objected to fraternities not because they were snobbish. Loose sentences follow the pattern of most conversational statements. Making and make 1 for clear and easy understanding. the sentence is called balanced. are noticeably equal in length and similar in movely ment. The Bridge of San Luis Rey The best model of the grand style simple is Homer. for comparing and contrasting ideas: Either we live by accident and die by accident. but because many students couldn't afford to belong. The 234 . 176 Since a reader expects similar constructions to follow pairs of conjunctions. which are analyzed and described fully. Matthew Arnold. events of his but also details of which are recorded not only the all his works. Balance is useful for When emphatic statements. perhaps the best model of the grand style severe is Milton.-I&fcZ. related ideas parallel is one of the jobs of revision.19 This is Sentence variety and emphasis the life of a musician in life.4d Balanced sentences parallel constructions.. 9. p. he may be momentarily confused or sidetracked if the pattern is shifted: Shifted Parallel You may go either to the ski jump by special train or a chartered bus may be taken. On Translating Homer Elaborately balanced sentences are more characteristic of Formal than of General writing.5 Loose and periodic sentences Sentence patterns may be varied by using loose and periodic sentences.-Thornton Wilder. or we live by plan and die by plan. to belong. 19. but the same principles of sentence structure can be used to highlight important statements. especialclauses.

45 A periodic sentence is one in which the main statement is not completed until the end or near the end of the sentence: in his position burdened with business drudgery. Most men Not so Charles Lamb. a writer should be careful to see that tences are the suspension is not awkward or unnatural. as it is in this example: The reader will probably agree after reading this essay that Pearl Buck's example of the woman who.-Ben Ray Red- the author told man. is true. followed by subordinate elements that give explanatory or amplifying details: [The Seven Storey Mountain] was an extraordinary book in which how he had come by crooked. after being married for a number of years and raising a family. p.6 Sentence emphasis Emph and expression ideas in the Emphasis. despite all his disadvantages. harassed domestic worries." The Saturday Review. gradually loses interest in most of her former outside activities. Guide Through the Romantic Movement. periodic senmuch less common than loose sentences and are more typical of a Formal than of a General style. and hampered by narrow means and a lack of colby lege education ttfowW have found sufficient excuses for stagnating intellectually. dirty ways. and had thereafter pursued his spiritual pilgrimage until it carried him through the gates of Gethsemani. in the Kentucky hills. lie achieved in the course of time a rare degree of culture and a mastery of style. the less important 235 .6 main statement comes first. Ernest Bernbaum. p. The purpose of emphasis is to help your reader see your same relative importance as you regard them to see the most important as most important. 1953.19. usually When using this pattern. to a saving faith in the dogmas of die Roman Catholic Church. "In the Belly of a Paradox. a monastery of the Cistercians of the More Strict Observance commonly called Trappists situated not far from Louisville. 19. 114 Because they require more careful planning. February 21. from worldliness and sin and disbelief. Correction: Revise the passage marked so that the position of the ideas will show their relative importance.

73 If it main points of a topic should end 236 Sentences particularly those that introduce or sum up the strongly. was the workings of our democracy that were inadequate in the Whoever thinks the future is going to be easier than the past is certainly mad." Lincoln Stef- fens brought out some points about child guidance that are still valuable to parents today. There are many parents of today who would gain much by reading this article and by following the advice that Mr. the most emphatic position is usually at the end. 2900-1950. The sentences in this paragraph. for example. are unembecause they are haphazardly constructed: they are phatic wordy.6a Emphasis by position in the sentence Important ideas can be stressed by putting them in emphatic positions in the sentence. Statements that . that before a parent understands what his child needs. first realize what is expected 19. the incidental as incidental. In longer statements. In understanding the fundamental needs of children. the writer might have revised the sentence structure. American Diplomacy. let us say so. one must realize what is to he expected of these children. "The Influence of My Father on My Son. Steffens brought out. the beginnings are weak. perhaps in this way: In his essay. Steffen's article. and each ends in a similar weaken or strengthen this effect. he must of the child. Kennan. George F. p. and the next most emphatic at the beginning: past. individual sentences can for example. To make the statements more forceful.19 Sentence variety and emphasis as less important. but rather the accurate conveying of your view of the subject While emphasis depends in large is put together. I hope and pray. the system of democracy. and the passage more readable. from part upon the way that the whole paper the beginning to the final paragraph. Emphasis does not necessarily mean force. And the system under which we are going to have to conduct foreign policy is. flabby construction: There are some valuable points about child guidance that were brought out in this article by Lincoln Steffens. as was illustrated in Mr. He pointed out.

6b are qualified by a phrase or a word at the end are usually weak: Unemphatic Improved at the mill The work was hard mill least and often dangerous. is not completed until the end. White. the practical aspects of human should interest every thoughtful student Sentences that begin with There is or There are tend to be unemphatic. 220. it is another to pronounce the words correcdy. '"The Leadership of Woodrow Wilson. See 18. 305 is The most emphatic separation into individual sentences: 237 . p. or at very seldom. Periodic Sociology 101. This is nobody's fault but own. p. and frequent use of these constructions will make your writing seem flat and uninteresting.-E. Summer 1952.19. of the people of America-and he got it Edward Ryerson. The work at the mill was hard and often dangerous. colons.6b Emphasis by separating statements Ideas can be emphasized by setting them off from other parts in the sentence with strong internal punctuation semicolons.4.5 for definitions of loose and periodic sentences): Because the main statement Loose Sociology 101 should interest every thoughtful student with its discussion of the theoretical as well as the practical aspects of human behavior." The Amer- He needed Dean West ican Scholar. or dashes: It is one thing to read Time. Quo Vadimus? p. of of Princeton. of Colonel House. but the hands didn't complain. for 1 examples of this particular kind of beginning. of Harvey the political manager. B. 9. with few exceptions. but the mill hands very seldom complained. with its discussion of the theoretical as well as behavior. 94 the support of the Princeton seniors and graduates. periodic sentences are frequently more emphatic than loose sentences (See 19. their With few exceptions. of the people of Europe. this is nobody's fault but their own.

New York. off in quotation marks. Chs. for a worker in ideas. 20 for a fighter.6d Emphasis by mechanical devices to emphasize ideas setting is The least effective way them by underlining or capitalizing words. p. 1949. It is not trivial if you are the girl and you are going to a party. Romans. 238 . Arrow in the Blue." It's the the big difference. guished Effective 19. p. Ch. Both are funny. Now may prove have been Edmund Wilson. Classics and Commercials. 1947. the question whether a girl should wear a short or a long dress is trivial. 221. to betray that one's feelings hurt. see 18. and Robert Perm Warren. the wording of the statement or its position in the sentence should give References it the emphasis it deserves.6c Emphasis by repeating key words made emphatic by Statements can be words or phrases: repeating important In the light of eternity. mechanical devices for emphasis should be avoided. a kind of emotional seasickness. it is dangerous." you may reply. Actually. but Arthur Koesder. Yet the total number of calories in each is ENERGYroughly the same! So. or by using emphatic punctuation marks (!!!).17 Sentence variety and emphasis is Adolescence only in retrospect. 82 19. New York. the steak would give you 15 times as many stimulating calories. 9-13 Cox. Sidney. it ISN'T KIND In college writing. Indirections for Those Knopf. Brace. Tlie Human Group. you see.5b. Certain kinds of advertising rely heavily on such devices: "Oh. Harcourt. 16 Who Want to Write. George C. it fatal to one's effectiveness. Cleanth. 60 distin- (and intentional) repetition should be from careless repetition. of course. p. Modern Bhetoric. "it's just a matter of calories/' But it? Suppose you had to choose between a large glass of orange juice and a half a sirloin steak? You would probably reach for the orange IS juice. p. Brooks. of calories that makes "just a matter of calories.

. and Austin Warren. 5 Graves. Clarendon Press. Brace. 5) I heard complaints about the plot being weak. and related elements 1) Recast the following sentences. but my problems same practice.Exercises Dobre*e. 3) My landlady was one of those women who spend most of their time gossiping with the neighbors. Theory of Literature. Exercises 1. 4) People living in the city must pay relatively high prices for dairy products. live 2) Associating with these fellows and how to adapt myself to with them will be helpful throughout my college career. did they own their own homes. and that the setting was played up too much. and Alan Hodge. Oxford. 1949. 8) It office. Ch. is a coincidence that with the Republicans back in the country should find men going in for such correct rather than the casualness reflected under the New Deal. Bonamy. Ernest P. type of work. putting shifted constructions . attire 239 . how many days people had been sick. whereas if you live in a rural community. Robert. or else she fusses over a hot stove. Ch. you can get the same products for much less. and many other items. Part IV Earnest. Foreword to Literature. New York. 14 New York. 6) Other questions asked in the census concerned incomes. New York. puttering around the garden. TJie Reader over Your Shoulder. Appleton 1945. Part I. 13 Wellek. Ch.*T" I in parallel form: I This book seems interesting and an informative piece of work. Harcourt. Modern Prose Style. Rene. Macmillan. 1943. 1934. 7) Making a preliminary outline has improved my speaking in writing haven't been solved by the ability.

if we are sincere or 11) Along these walks are the cottages. b. The kind of sentences you have used: simple. the long- The and the average number of words per sentence. Take notes on the following length of the sentences in words: the shortest. complex. The economy of the statements in your sentences. and balanced. 13) The most important factors are time and temperature. statements. periodic. page 211. but it is how we say it and not that makes a composition good or bad. was able to pass or kick a football farther. many of which have stood since die founding and others more recent. questions. Compare the number of sentences that follow the typical subject-verb-object order with the number of sentences in which you have varied this order. careful control at every point. compound. I 9) At home could lick me 10) I believe that the important thing I learned in Writing Laboratory was not that anyone can write or that everyone has something to say. exclamations. or clause that adds nothing to the 240 . Make in one or points: a. and had the ability to find his way in and out of more trouble than I ever dreamed of. d. loose. or we could borrow against our future allowance.19 who Sentence variety and emphasis was always overshadowed by an older brother. complex-compound. in perfect operating condition at 14) Anyone who has persistence or can get a job on a ship. The pattern of your sentence structure. 15) who is desperate enough get to in- How many times have you seen a fisherman trying to his favorite fishing spot without scaring all the fish stead he sends out messages with his rhythmic away but squeak-splash. est. and the mechanical equipment must be all times. in a fight. Put brack- ets around each word. 12) Dad gave us our choice either of earning the money by doing odd chores around the house. pitch a baseball much better. squeak-splash? 2. c. more a close study of at least twenty consecutive sentences of your recent papers. Compare your figures with those in the table. phrase.

. this section or the 4. I'd green.. make 'em shine get them cleaner in half the timel How? By using SCRUB-O Sponges on every clean-up and thanks to their exclusive new "Free-Breathing Action. . . seafoam sizes to fit every chore. Be pre- pared to comment on the reasons effectiveness of your examples. . . . . too and cleansers while cleaning better. shell pink and natural So if I were you. Come in . for Tve found a way make things sparkle. look for examples of (a) the dullest and flattest sentences you can find. . . Read the following passages carefully. write a report telling what you have discovered about your sentences. And they're tough soaps but oh-so gentle! You can trust them for everything. Discuss them with reference to any of the points brought up in On preceding section that may be helpful in solving Mention the good features of your sentences as well your problems. Considering the material and the kind of audience the writer had in mind. the basis of the analysis in the preceding exercise. . colors to match every room ocean blue. the choice of words. or newspapers. because they use less Sponges save you money. which seem to you most successful. for the effectiveness or the in- 5. In your reading of books.. and why? a. Notice the length and movement of the sentences. . and (b) the best sentences of several different types. textbooks. Estimate the amount of material that you might have omitted without changing either the meaning 3. or the effectiveness of your paper. . . 241 . and various devices of punctuation. use of repetition. as those that need improving.Exercises meaning or clarity of any statement and around any sentence that does not actually advance the thought. magazines. An advertisement in a woman's magazine: Good housekeeping is a "breeze" to me . SCRUB-O . . . so that you can compare and contrast the methods used to gain emphasis." task make every drop of water and every bit of suds work harder! they to .

. The Little Sister. get a complete assortment. Raymond Chandler. you have a light switch in a natural place at a This room hadn't. 242 . which we seek to make secure. 1941: by President Roosevelt to In the future days. translated into world a worldwide reduction of armaments to such a point terms. . though . Okay." and a mike picked it up just spoke and turned the voice vibrator into a low-power electrical impulse and a transformer built that up to enough voltage to throw a They had odd ways silent mercury switch. There's always a light switch. house.** an address Congress. 190 c. One of several crucial moments and in a detective story: I edged back to the wall felt around for a light switch. we look forward to a world founded upon four essential freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression everywhere in the world. . The third is freedom from want which. translated into world terms. January 6. Usualside as you go in. p. This was a different kind of natural height. You go into a dark room and you ly on the right want light. freedom of every person to worship God in his own way everywhere in the world. or stepping on a flat button under and said: "Let there be light. they're the genuine b. . "The Four Freedoms. The gadget time might be something fancy like having to sing A above the carpet.19 Sentence variety and emphasis Remember to ask for SCRUB-O. Everybody has light switches. means and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of aggression against any neighbor anywhere The fourth in the world. peaceful the world. cellulose sponges I recommend. life for its inhabitants everywhere in is freedom from fear which. or maybe you high C. this of handling doors and lights. . means economic understandings which will secure to every The second is nation a healthy.

who will be married. who will in three weeks be graduated from the State University. Annapurna. mountains in the world like there this. stationed in San Diego. as has been reported in The Times. That brown rock. 243 . 208-209 6. and general effec- tiveness. The summit was a and the precipices on the far side which plunged vertically down beneath us. Richard. There could be few other.. gentle.Exercises d. Harold. and will move into an apartment. were terrifying. The leader of the French Himalayan Expedition of 1950 describes his emotions on reaching the summit of one of the high- est mountains climbed by man: corniced crest of ice. and will then be inducted into the army. the limits of man's pride? Maurice Herzog. fertile valley of Clouds floated halfway down. and. amount or kind of detail. concealing the Bokhara. who at present in the United States Navy. Florida. and yet so pure. of Tampa. to Miss Sue Anne Hines. the highest of them aD. But infinitely same time we had life accomplished something greater. and rearing her nephews. and the younger.000 feet below. at the very same moment. Above us at the was nothing! Our mission was accomplished. the elder of engaged in business is in who has devoted many years of her life whom. Is the any statement difficult to grasp because of sentence length. form. 23. rearing her sons. has decided to move out of the house at 711 East Spruce. How wonderful would now become! What an inconceivable experience it is to attain one's ideal. where she has lived for twenty-five years. or the position of the main elements? Do any strike you as unintentionally or intentionally humorous? Mrs. is now married and Baltimore. Examine these sentences meaning in for clarity. Never had I felt happiness like this so intense. rather. Jr. I was stirred to the depths of my being. and Stewart Mclntosh. to fulfill oneself. 1) Maude Porter. Thomas Mclntosh. pp. unfathomable. that ridge of ice were these the goals of a lifetime? Or were they.

when once the boat has the passed 244 . 5) I often say that college is a microcosm. H. can stretch a cord.19 2) shall Sentence variety and emphasis No degree will be conferred upon the applicant unless he have sustained a good moral character. into and yet no 7) It father tions was then that I realized how little I actually knew my what he thought about the family. as one slowly glides away on the Princess Pat on the Princess Margaret. live. a tiny world in which foreshadowed the turbulence of actual life. does that the process of teaching a person how to think must necessarily include teaching him what to think. where up on the hill the people who hold the strings that control the puppets who make up the peasant populace. held horizontally at a depress high lateral 6) It tension. 3) However. what plans and ambihe had for us children. given evidence of academic ability." 4) So this is the Gateway. H. but only teachers who can develop no more than a limited understanding shackled to the few specific items of content which the to lead children able to muster in trying to explain these concepts. the fact that we have to date not been able to prepare and hold in the schools any substantial body of teachers who know enough about the present-day world so as to be able and youth into a comprehensive understanding of general concepts and relationships concerning that world. howa horizontal line that shall be absolutely straight. ever force. however great. 1952. That is what I often is may at first sight seem unlikely that the pull of gravity will the centre of a light cord. September 2. 67 What to Think. or even what size shirt he wore. [from a late Victorian work on mathematics] fine. teacher is not mean "Teaching How to Think Without Teaching School and Society. or 8) Yes indeed. Punke. p. and returned all books to the library.

a property of the mutually relevant people. These Golden Gate Bridge). 1 Denotation: the core of a word's arrangements of sounds or letters that meaning Words are we use notions to another person's attention. in the situation. one gets the feeling that one has just left a garden city of Old England. things. qualiobjects or "things" (typewriter. to take an active inas words: what gives them meaning. we need to continue to grow terest in sorts of them in our understanding of words. the various ways in which they are used. the of seimpressions they make. of lousy or unsatisfactory. "meaning" is events. These are some of the topics the study of the meaning of words. or ideas (democracy. But we know that our words are tremendously important for the accuracy of what we say and for its effectiveness. . J. their "sets. the things and events of the situation as of the noises made. relationships (without. the various meaning. Firth speaker." their specific behaviour. the impression it makes on others. To make our writing more effective. Some of the events are noises made by the it is important to realize that "meaning" is just as much a property of the people. 245 . the appropriateness of job or position. beauty).20. hers). homesickness). . except perhaps are faced with a question in what we are writing: the meaning of turbo-prop. the difference between concave We and convex. ties (excellent. on looking back across the harbor and over Beacon Hill to the massive stone Cathedral. actions to bring various notions may be or conditions (running. R. mantics.1 Company and the AllWeather Roofing Company. hard). But when we ordinarily take our words for granted. 20. uninviting fagades of the Peerless Paint 20 The meaning of words .

. 2) Relative words: words that name qualities are less definite than concrete words. But we need all kinds of words in our writing and we can learn to use all of them in responsible communication. the 246 . This is the meaning that dictionaries record and try to describe for us. These q^slittes. art. Since these 20. has a clear denotation. honest. for instance. while in a city with no skyscrapers. they are more difficult to use exactly than concrete words. pretty. my bicycle. or group of related denotations (the plant. or objects are the most exact in meaning: Walt Whitman. citizenship. and for such different purposes that they have acquired associations and suggestions that go beyond their denotation. in such different circumstances. intelligence. relationships.. silly. others because their referents are more limited or more exact These three classes of words show how definiteness may vary: 1 ) Concrete words words that name specific people. The thing that a word refers to or suggests is called its Some kinds referent (ref er ent) of words have more definite denotations than . objectives. for example) rather than a specific referent. a tall building might mean any structure over twenty stories. angry. and frequently depend for their meaning on the situation or the writer's past experience with the term: hot. Lake Erie. words have a range of reference (Think of all the activities that may be included in education. the grocery product. 3) Abstract words: words that refer to general conceptsacts. reindeer. a Boy Scout knife. In New York City. tall might : any building higher than five stories.2 Connotation: the suggestion of words Most words have been used by so many different people. education.oiLtO-jepresent as a result of the ways they haxgjbeen used. impossible. suggestion Bxej^s^djconnotatio&* Cofee. culture. situations. the library.of. of words. conditions are the least defirefer to nite: reasoning. places. we think to what they have come point tp.20 of The meaning of words When we think first about the meaning what is known as their denotation.

and reading. Very often the chief difference between words of closely related denotation is in their connotation: both inexpensive and cheap quality.2 drink). creed3 dogma differ widely in suggesting how the ideas are held. In writing^&at^callfl for great objectivity scientific reports. But the best way to find the exact connotations of words is to observe them as they are actually used in talks. belief9 faith. praising. Most dictionaries offer a choice of synonyms with some distinctions between such shades of meaning. of the price. But the emotion is not in the words. any more than the and feelings are present denotative meaning is: the emotions are in the people who speak or write them and in those who hear or read them. and We many people respond intensity than seems reasonable to have the same attitude. are in the habit of using words more intensely than the situation demands. are wordTusecTsMcfly^for ^th ^ as in poetry. or calling for action the connotation of the words may be tioris. In more personal or in persuasive writing poetry orTiction or argumentative discussions condemning. average refer to but mediocre suggests all refer to ideas held but they dispraise. but it may also carry connotations of the labor of growing or processing. conversation.20. to words with more someone who does not The speaker or writer. Both denotation and connotation are parts of the meaning of words and both must be considered for effective speaking and writing. directions for making or using things words are chiefly used for &eir denotative^ meanings. legal documents. does not need to suppress the suggestions of attitude 247 . or the aroma. There has been a good deal of discussion of "emotive" words. as a user of words. like as important as their core of meanir^rQnljrffi a discussion of scientific facts or mathematical certainties. dictionaries. of the taste. but cheap may suggest also poor and mediocre refer to the middle of a range. low price. attitudes and are part of what our words suggest. or of the coffee break as a time of relaxation.

. vague much about the citizen"? the actual process of education: "education for freedom. in speaking . botjx. Over the long history of Western civilization the liberal arts have been those that have made men free.20 The meaning of words to the situation. but strictly speaking." or "education for What do you mean by The way in which I like to think of it involves the phrase "the liberal "a liberal education. and they are always in a situation that involves the attitudes and purposes of either a speaker and listener or a writer and reader. run.or writing. they are used. ideas words loosely in discussing In this excerpt from a radio discussion of education. When 248 I joined the National Guard." the word "liberal" there being the word that means freedom. fly. Demeaning should be considered when choosing a word for a specific7pot 20. to see that they are justified in the situation. words by ing themselves or in a list do not have "meaning." but only typical or possible meaning. A battery of cameras was turned on the President as he walked to Fill the word like Batteries for the the plane. arts" or Since most writing done in composition courses is neither wholly objective nor entirely personal. other words around them.kindg. or battery might have several senses. TheyLdo notjictaaUju^ unless. It is The easy to see is context ^d_sij^ation jire botih factors in meaning. By itself a deck. the words are so general that they convey chiefly notion of approval without helping us understand a We are especially likely to use and ideals. Consequently they always have a context. I was assigned to A Battery. game were Grim and Berra for the Yankees. how the meaning of a word that lias several : denotations made definite by the context it is in. and feeling that belong but he does have a his more complete responsibility to see that they represent and "better" self.3 Words So far we have been talkin context and situation about separate words. but usually in a particular sentence it could have only one: tank with gas and put water in the battery. Lemon and Hegan for the Indians.

. especially about that he lets lie unused in his mind. the biological and chemical vocabulary of a premedical student Our vocabulary is of two sorts. pecking order. and an active vocabulary that we use ourselves in speaking and writing. The situation includes context of the it is Not only the used helps the people who are actually using the words. dictionary. 20*4 Increasing your vocabulary We learn and keep in memory words not as words but as representing meanings we probably store them away as they are used in contexts. . Consider the vocabulary of a baseball fan.20. they can communicate easily. A person probably uses only about a third as many words as he recognizes. . Occasionally you hear or find a new word in reading (diploma mill.4 word but the situation in which clarify meaning. the color words of a painter or a girl who is a clothes fancier. 249 . Consequently the obvious way to "enlarge one's vocabulary" since by "I have such a small vocabulary" he usually means that he feels he does not use enough differis by talking and writing more. electroencephalogram. We have a good stock of words in the fields that interest us. The most natural way to ent words is by learning something new from obfrom doing something.000 more derivative from them. a recognition vocabulary of words we understand when we hear or read them. Professor Seashore estimates that the average college students recognition vocabulary is about 62. spelunor from a ker ) and learn its meaning from the context acquire new words servation.000 main words with 96. writer and reader. The word bill in The bill is too would mean one thing in identifying a bird and large" another in discussing family finances. the radio and electronic words of a ham operator. the writer has to take more pains in using words to lead the reader to an understanding of his matter. In so far as their experience is similar. from conversation. If their experiences are different. or from reading. Even using words subjects in fun helps to fix them in mind.

in T. but using them in conversation when they are appropriate or in talking over the course work with someone else will fix New you are going to need first accurately learned the them in your mind and make them come more you need them. because you can't take facts or ideas away with you unless they are in verbal form.(one) bi- words: -graph (writing. A good deal of students' trouble in courses comes from only partly understanding the specialized words when they are first met. some of them of general usefulness..(blood) poly(many) photo. Language in Thought and Action. in television. words that The hundred new words and old words typical college course adds several in new senses to a stu- to use should be time they are met their pronunciation and spelling as well as their usual meaning. S. Ch.(at a distance) hemo. 1949. C. easily when The Teaching of English. 1949. they should be used. Many of them you will need in recitation or examinations or term papers. 250 . New York.(light) Since the sum of the meanings of the parts only approximates the meaning of the whole word. Ann Arbor. Standards of Acceptable English: Vocabulary Hayakawa. Once they are understood. Brace. George Wahr. Harcourt. S.(life) (two) tele. written) bio. C. 4. some words can be figured out by knowing especially the "compounding elements" from of scientific Greek or Latin that are used in forming many mono. it is safer and easier to learn the whole words. or in biology or sociology will add many new words.2O The meaning of words The meaning their parts. References Fries. A newly acquired interest in fishing. This book and Johnson's People in Quandaries are introductions to the system of "general semantics" developed by Alfred Korzybski. Eliot's poems. Groups of words are learned when you learn something new. in music. dent's vocabulary. L.

Exercises Hixson. Which might be useful to you? 251 . 25:137-152 Seashore. R. University of Michigan Press.. English Word Building Johnson. 27: 513-517. New York. and I. Colodny.. Norton. 26:181-194. Current English. 1935. especially Ch. Robert L. "The Importance of Vocabulary in Learning Language Skills. Ch. Hugh R. New York. 1946 Kennedy. 1946. (3) words that you believe you have seen before and might understand in context. 1941." in most issues of American Speech Seashore. 1933. People in Quandaries. 6. 10. Part 3. discussed in 26:407-413 Walpole. 8:36-41 Russell. 1949. I.. "How Large Are Children's Vocabularies?" Ele- mentary English. Holt.. "In Defense of Ezra. Look up the words that you number 3 or 4 in a dictionary. duction to the doctrine of I. "Taking the Census of English Words. H. Boston. G. R. (2) words that you understand but do not generally use. The Modern English Vocabulary Nelson. "Among the New Words. prefaces to volumes 1 and 10 Ramsay. Richards An intro- Exercises 1. Ann Arbor." English Journal 1938. (4) words totally unfamiliar to you. A. 1949. A treatment of meaning from a linguist's point of view Oxford English Dictionary. Classify by number the words in the following list as (1) words you now use in speaking or in writing. 1948." Elementary English. Wendell. Semantics. Willis.. Morphology. H. On the increase of vocabulary needed for current reading Nida. New York. L. Eugene. Word Ways.. Jerome C." American Speech.. Ginn. American Book Company. Arthur G.

and why. In two or three paragraphs. the one with the next most favorable second. and so on. discuss a word or expression whose connotation has changed conspicuously for you from your childhood to the present time (or in the last year or two.20 The meaning of words 2. the way in which you first originally used it. Rearrange the following lists so that the word with the most favorable connotation is at the top. What is suggested by the other terms. what its associations are for you today. and in what circumstances might they be 252 . Check the word that seems to you to represent the "core of meaning"' of the group. The words in this list are offered as suggestions. Describe as accurately as possible the associations the word had for you. they remind you may of others: psychology Santa Glaus poetry mice taxes success spelling New York professor science war sorority dancing philosophy vacation 3. or since you entered college).

would most nearly approximate your idea of "C"? Which would suggest that your work was nearer TB" 4." and why? 253 . or TD.Exercises appropriately used? In which words does their level of usage influence the connotation? ( 2) 1) in want~~ ) limousine broke penniless ' jalopy indigent -"- means of transportation Chevie f -. psychopathic mad insane mouthed ^ . which by itself. bughouse mentally nutty . the innocents little used up tired- ones 1 brats spent ^ - 5) demented " ^ 6) blurted said crazy lunatic ^ opined uttered cried ^ :' " . If letter grades of these comments. poor impecunious hard up flat automobile wreck " horseless carriage - machine 3) kids - 4) weary >. progeny pooped exhausted fatigued tired young 'uns juveniles children dog . statedJ ill spake were not used to evaluate your papers.

in. of reasoning from those that you know. but inadeis 6) Not quately developed 12) Your writing tially poten- good 7) Average 5. try to discover the meaning of the first word in each group. look in a dictionary to see how close you have come to the definition given there. In a sentence describe the differences in the attitudes reflected in the following pairs of words: intoxicateddrunk public information propaganda nonunion worker scab discriminating finicky 6. check the indexes of textbooks. but apparently conscientious work 9) Competent Not too badly done 10) Fair 11) Good idea. 1) antiseptic antifreeze antitoxin septic sore throat 2) audiometer audible audition septic tank speedometer thermometer 254 . a hearty eater a glutton saliva spit antique antiquated isn't ain't Make a list of a dozen or more words of different kinds that you have added to your vocabulary in recent weeks. 7. The following groups elements from Greek and words are made up of compounding Latin. When you have a probable meaning for the first word. consult some of your recent papers.20 1) The meaning of words Adequate 8) 2) Satisfactory 3) Acceptable 4) Passing 5) Satisfies the assignment outstanding. Break each word into its parts and. To refresh your memory. and consider the various new activities you have en- Prepare a brief statement about the circumstances in gaged which you acquired these words and the way you learned their meaning.

1). or more fair (21. or one that more more specific word marked by (21. so that they can lead your reader to an Words should be meaningful 255 . would generally excite. viewed without prejudice.2). they should represent your intended meaning. Barrows Dunham WW D Wrong word is or Diction.21 3) circumlocution circumference 4) genocide homicide suicide circumnavigate elocution interlocutor genetics genus 6) 5) megacephalic megacycle pneumectomy pneumonia pneumatic appendectomy tonsillectomy megaphone cephalopod cephalic index 7) quadruped 8) supersonic superior quadrangle quadrilateral superman dissonant centipede pedal 9) transfluent transatlantic transition fluid sonorous 10) unilateral uniform unify bilateral lateral pass confluent 21 Accurate words I think we shall have to say that a word is used accurately (1) when its meaning does in fact embrace the objects to which the word is applied. and (2) when its emotional character corresponds to the feelings literal which those same objects. Correction: Replace the correct (21.3).

suite). and a large number of other words that resemble each other in form but not in meaning. sweet. look the word up in a dictionary. 256 . or perhaps just in a hurry we either find the choice of words a problem or actually make mistakes in using them. or that he has reason to suspect may be incorrectly used.21 Accurate words understanding of that meaning. 21*1 writer should be careful to check and to The right word correct in revision any words that are not a part of his usual vocabulary. But is more likely to be labeled (wrong word) if WW ing It is a suspicion in the reader's mind that the exact meannot clear to the writer: imagination. When one nyms form is substituted for another in writing. or when we are not sure of our attitude toward it. This we do most of the time. This and the next two sections take up some common problems in words and make suggestions for getting full value out of the stock of words that we have. A he should watch words that are 21. bare. In particular easily confused. the mistake may be marked as a spelling error. as in most used in their established forms ing in college. [for harmonious] turned out to be just a fragment of person A my who is Usually accurate proofreading will catch such errors. but sometimes when we are writing on a subject that is new to us. [for figment] sincerely attempting to attain a harmonic and satisfying life will not use this philosophy as an excuse for falling into a state of mental or physical laziness. la Words of similar sound or spelling Moral and morale mean two quite different things. Where exact words are necfactual writing and most writessary or desirable. bear. especially if the words are common Words and the error there is their sounds are very close or identical (their. and histrionic. there). historic that are pronounced exactly alike are called homo(meat. meet. or when we are nervous. they should be and senses. If you have a question. mete. so do personal and personnel.

ten inches 257 . condemn condone. or concrete." "What Good Citizenship Means'*). words re- convincing by treating fer to ideas. (See 9.1. ingenuousingenious. or relationships.4. Half knowing a word may be more dangerous than not knowing it at all. Even if an assignment is so worded that it seems difficult to discuss in specific terms ("The Importance of Education. General words and vague expressions will not impress a reader any more than they will impress you when a month or so later you reread what you have written. p. have equally distinct meanings and should not be carelessly substituted for one another: astrology astronomy. and it in words that represent your own and beliefs. Other pairs of words.21. temerity timidity. 21. physiologicalpsychological. you can make your report reasonably factual. and acts. or abstract. 110 for using both details experiences and general statements. you should discuss the topic in as specific terms as possible.2 Specific and general words When you are writing a paper. conscientious conscious. ) Words can be classified according to the nature of their referents as general or specific.lb Words of opposite meanings Distinguish between words that have contrasting or wholly opposite meanings but that are very commonly confused. ) This list indicates the differences between the two ( See lands of words: General (abstract) corporation labor Specific (concrete) Standard Oil Company running a lathe youth organization height Boy Scouts of America five feet. notorious famous. qualities. while not antonyms. Some words that seem to re- semble each other in sound or in association are actually antonyms (words that mean the opposite of other words) or near-antonyms: convexconcave. words refer to definite persons. respectively respectfully. 20. Specific. places. General. objects. concrete. acts.2 21 .

2o Use of general and specific words Specific. It resides in the solemnity of the remorseless workings of things. you.~jfoFj^^ theoretical^oblems ("Is Specialization in Education Dangerous?"). 11 But ideas can be discussed usually they are. inflj-fijipiyoprifl te~ cidents. concrete_words and essential in discussions of situations. general. a philosopher used but three concrete words (me. especially in when words that are specific. Science and the Modern World. a generalization all Boer Republics lost about independence. processes that are based upon personal experience or direct observation: impressions of people or places. plans for the future. yet his meaning is clear to anyone familiar with the kind of ideas he is discussing: Let me remind you that the essence of dramatic tragedy is not un- happiness. In this paragraph. and written in General English 258 . a reference to the Boer War] 21 . As a rule. They are more characteristic of Formal than of General or Informal English and of writers with a good deal of experience in handling ideas.21 Accurate words food an educator lamb chops our biology teacher car theft the Junior crime entertainment Prom Often a word cannot be labeled as general or specific until we see it in context: Specific General War lems. p. for example.are mostnecessaryjndis- cussing general ideas ((such as 'The Intangible Values of Eduor for cdtion").-Alfred North Whitehead. This remorseless inevitableness is what pervades scientific thought The kws of physics are the laws of fate. explanations of the writer's attitudes or interests. For it is only by them that the futility of escape can be made evident in the drama. [Specific. and the drama). never solved any probwars] When the the war ended in 1902.. absfeactwords. This inevitableness of destiny can only be illustrated in terms of human life by incidents which in fact involve unhappiness.. their [Abstract.

my mail included a notice of a Rotary meeting. intelligent communication. and usually more convincing. for few style are traits of more fatiguing or boring. he would soon lack an audience. on the basis of a number of specific 259 . 21. a letter from the Institute of International Educa- tion. ing. and when you when you are are proved confident that you can use them with accuracy and clarity. p.. During the morn- wife (who is active in twice as many community services as I out campaigning for the Red Cross.21. the more convincing and impressive It is perfectly it is. Bradford Smith. your writing will be imif most of your words are specific: it is much easier. and a program announcement from an organization new to methe National Cooperative School for Group Organization and Recreation. But no matter what your subject is. concrete words (as children do when they are learning to talk).2b for a fairly large audience. my am) was Summer 1952. an announcement of a meeting lished of the state trustees of Vermont Forums." an extremely abstract notion. A phone call invited me to speak at a church club. but no one kind should be used to the exclusion of the others." The American Scholar. proper to use general words certain that your material calls for them. an invitation to join a sociological association. The reason may be some students believe the more general the word. and we were notified of a square dance. if he insisted on using nothing but very general. abstract words. 310 Words of all kinds are essential for mature. This discussion of "the American way of life. Inc.2b Inappropriate use of abstract words The most common fault in the wording of many freshman papers is a fondness for abstract terms where specific words would be more meanthat ingful and certainly more interesting. begins in language that is conspicuously specific: is But what the American way of life? This morning. to generalize at the beginning or end of your paper. an appeal for funds from World Federalists. some pamphlets pubby the Friends. If a person relied wholly on extremely specific. his ideas would not range very widely. And conversely. "We're Selling America Short.

Their lives. Accurate words than it is to build generality on generality throughout the paper. but for the reader. instead. sailing.2c Catchall expressions are Certain general words and phrases misused as "cover-up" or "catchalT exprescommonly sions. class as actual persons 21. fishing. at least on paper. or to play he should say so. and he might also indicate just how the quarter's work has broadened his "mental ability": helped him to concentrate? taught him better study habits? enabled him to solve chemical equations? The use of abstract words. turning in false fire alarms. or to dance. or tennis.21 facts. where concrete words would be more exact and vivid. writing. I was a boy of fourteen. . economics. Some boys of fourteen are concerned with swimming. hunting. they encounter various interesting courses of study. history. Some students never take physics. various recreational are so abstract that one wonders whether they are in the or as disembodied spirits. and other commendable or not so commendable activities. they do not play golf. actions and broadened my mental means that he has learned to swim. and other outdoor sports. where a concrete term. general When ming. they attend an institution of higher learning. or French. but participate in activities. "I have long been interested in psychology and things like that" may mean something to the writer. stealing milk bottles. can become an unfortunate habit in If the writer baseball. bridge. Others are con- cerned with swimming. I was mainly concerned with swim- etc. the meaning ends with the word psychology. one would ordigeneral or indefinite expression. is annoying to readers: narily expect I think that this quarter's A work has helped me to form new physical ability. learning to dance. instead of going to a specific college or university. It is better to give three or four sample 260 specific items than to rely on catchall expressions.

21. Words that conspicuously suggest attitudes and feelings are called slanted. and should be used with caution in most kinds of writing: interesting lovely fine nice terrific fascinating wonderful awful (awfully) When these words appear frequently in your writing. and may actually weaken a statement. Since people are not by nature exact and since they often "go by their feelings. These words do of course serve a purpose and should not be eliminated entirely in writing.3 Fair words Statements in serious discussions should be in words that suggest a fair and reasonable attitude toward the subject.21. and so should exaggerations that will interfere with a reader's belief : 261 .3a 21 *2d Don't rely too heavily on intensive adjecemphasize your meaning. Certain descriptive words have also become weakened through overuse. try omitting some of them to see if your statements don't gain rather than lose in f orcefulness. 21.3a Unfair slanting Too intense words should be avoided in factual statements. too: I'm not too interested in geography. But when they are overworked they do not emphasize the meaning. Some expressions that are frequently used to stress statements in conversation have become too general to be effective in writing: tives Weak intensive* and adverbs to very: a very dull lecture so: so happy to see him looking so well quite: quite lots: an unusual experience other reasons and lots of most: the most essential part really: an experience that was really unbelievable such: We had such a charming evening." they frequently use words loosely and with connotations that show these feelings.

or that he has perhaps confused morons with some less extreme word. unless he is similarly prejudiced. and they are likely to antagonize a reader. they give an impression of a writer at the very least careless of what he says serious instances of slanting social situations. or a superlative should be reduced to a less extreme word. Considered charitably. but probably the statement was just careless. it suggests that the writer is familiar only with mediocre movies. and so prevent dear communication. they are the social interest because they prevent against understanding and intelligent dealing with situations often of considerable public importance." But if the same is stated as a opinion general fact in slanted wording ("Turare fit only for animals and not for human beings"). Much unfair slanting occurs in statements of opinion. including college writing. unreasonable bias"). especially The most when to distort for his purpose. and even opinions can be presented convincingly in words that are more scrupulously chosen. Information must be presented in more accurate words. There nothing slanted in a simple statement of one's likes or 1 can't stand turnips in any form. because it could have ruined forever. and more probably willing Conspicuous slanting is out of place in the writing of responsible people.21 The Accurate words great forest fire of August 7 1949. : will lions of forest rangers. it nips implies that the writer expects his readers to share his opinion without thinking about it. or an only or nothing but should be changed is to allow for other possibilities. dislikes: come in writing on the words reflect prejudice ("a judgment or opinion held in disregard of facts that contradict it. 262 . [How many forest rangers are there. Such slanted words can be objected to on at least four grounds: they are inaccurate in representing the situation being discussed. Often an all or a most should be many. This last statement is fair neither to the movies nor to the reader's intelligence. anyway?] be remembered by milsmoke jumping All movies are produced solely for morons.

When the slanting is not inconsistrepresents attitudes and feelit is ings that fall within a reasonable. . Interest. sniggers. The one who is angling for the preschool child says "ooh" and "yes" and "fun" with grace notes and cadenzas encrusted with sugar ( and a simper ) . which like a diseased pancreas converts everything to sugar. molasses. but it is emphatic and convincing in part because of the connotation of many of the words (phonieffective ness. He could say "delicacy" with a lewdness and lubricity that would have got him jailed if he had spoken the word from a Boston stage.3b 21 . . especially vocal phoniness. liveliness. there is a vast deal of manufactured falsity. Well-based opinions are usually more readable and more when expressed with a degree of slanting. effectiveness in factual writing as well as in the imaginative writing of literature depend in large part on the connotation of words. Amourousness about soap is combined with stereotypes about nearly everything. Part of this is a holdover from radio's basic drive toward phoniness. and most of them afloat on a sea of molasses. her guest.21. the only awareness of sex I encountered . defensible range. commercial. . how delicate they are. huckster mind. is probably offhand about his job when offstage but she talks 263 . of conversation legitimate. so wonderful. cream puff). the director of a zoo. The warns the reader that it is slanted and is to be taken as style opinion and evaluated on the basis of the evidence given and the reader's own experience. the secret of mildness is in them.3b Legitimate slanting nor to write. The woman who operates a cooking school makes salad and stew and biscuits hut her manner is all cream puff and her voice marshmallow. objective language. The harmless exaggerations ent with the facts and when it ("Jim's the best freethrow shot in the history of basketball") usually are toned down in writing ("Jim's the best freethrow shot I've ever seen"). The following paragraph on one aspect of television programs is obviously rather one-sided. In a medium where actuality and naturalness are obviously the most effective instruments. the announcer made love to Ivory Soap Flakes so soft. But it is not possible to lead our lives. part of it is the huckster mind. in completely neutral. . was in a . but certainly we have a right to our enthusiasms. Apart from some wan sniggers by comedians. While the screen showed a pair of hands.

3c The responsible use of words If a person wishes to deceive. the old man all refer to the same person. 21. Reprinted by permission a monkey he has brought with him. unravel. at least for a time. daddy." Harper's Magazine. "The Easy Chair. inflammable. But a sincere effort to convey to others material with which we are really familiar can be made to succeed. But most synonyms. 53. toward. it differ. But in spite of some selfish and even evil intentions. of Harpers "Magazine. while degree my father. 21.21 baby talk to Accurate words talk to him so horribly that he catches the infection and talks baby Bernard DeVoto.4 Synonyms ing A synonym is a word of ~~ ngjfflyjtfae same mean~ ~^~ as another! sick-ill multitudethrong crowd mob tremble shiver quake shake misrepresentation untruth falsehood fib lie few words have precisely the same meaning and are therefore interchangeable (flammable. March 1953. Thus. differ in connotation. pa. by intentional misuse of words or by an irresponsible manipulation of the emotional suggestion in words a "propagandist" (or anyone else) can distort facts and make error prevail. Honest failure in communication is possible because of careless or unhappy choice of words. ravel. while they refer to the same idea or object. Since synonyms have the is A important for a writer to know in what way they same general core of meaning. The difficult}' is not so much in the words as in the intent of the person using them or the lack of a responsible purpose. towards). they reflect different attitudes on the part of the speaker or the writer toward his parent. and cannot be substituted for each other without affecting in some the tone of the statement. and sometimes we fail to make full use of the language we have. language offers him the means. an honest attempt at communication can be made to succeed. p. One* 264 .

Some synonyms are too heavy down to study with or too strained for the con- text: I sat my tomes of learning stacked around me. itablekind). [textbooks] Others may be too Informal (or even flippant) for use in serious discussions: I down on what meant .4a Synonyms for more accurate denotation Usually it is not the more subtle distinctions between closely related words that cause trouble ( ent). Notice last word in this statement is: In the 1870's. . because among other things. professional Dodge City was a lawless gathering place for gunbad men and Idlers. more concrete (soldiers army personnel). startling the reader by better to use it 265 . [desire] 21. it is little common- than to risk offending or an inappropriate synonym. [for satisfied] A hobby would have want for something to do in his spare time. and other scamps. enjoyed studying Plato. but the failure to distinguish between different contexts: necessary. Scamps might be quite appropriate in referring to mischievous children. indispensable. but the term is conspicuously out of place in this company of desperadoes. or more personal (dad father) 2 1 . how unexpected the toting cowboys. I got the lowis meant by a Platonic friendship.4b term may be more Formal than another (coiffurehair-do). inhercommon words in The mysteries of the unknown arouse satisfied his curiosity that must be fulfilled.21.4b Synonyms for more accurate connotation The connotation of synonyms should be appropriate to tibe context and to the general tone of the writing. [I learned what is .] Even though the accurate word may seem a place or flat. more exact (char. intrinsic.

dictionary groups distinctions libraries. ed. Women are as human as men. If you are writing a refer to them paper on the care and feeding of cats. G. such terms are unobtrusive and will seldom be noticed no matter how many times they are repeated. obtainable in most Handbook of New York. furry beasts. offering a wide ." to use H. and Preposi- 1947 Roget's International Thesaurus. Massachusetts. Writers sometimes worry that using the same expression for an idea or object will lead to awkward repetition. are also Books of synonyms. A studied avoidance of calling the same thing by the name is same twice ("elegant variation. .. key words (cats . 1938 Webster's Dictionary of Synonyms. 1942 A Dictionary of English Synonyms. it is proper for femdes [better: women] .21 Accurate words 21 . they). can 21. Pronouns can of course be used freely to refer . The actual name of these ani- mals call is cats and that is what your reader will expect you to them. too. and if six hours is proper for men. don't nine-lived creatures. or some factual synonym (these animals). The Thesaurus form) 266 is (also available in abridged pocketbook the most used book of synonyms. Springfield. Suggestions Hke this help people to understand the methods used to educate their young ones [better: their children]. or by other fanciful synonyms. Soule's New York.4c Unnecessary synonyms Do not use different names for the same thing just for the sake of variety. But we on the to the expect key words to be repeated to keep our attention focused subject. It was suggested that if the children try to print at home. Synonyms. Antonyms. parents should show their offspring [better: them] the small as well as the capital letters. Fowler's term) more noticeable and annoying than necessary repetition.4d Sources of synonyms Your desk of similar meaning and indicates the useful: Fernald's Standard tions. tabbies. variously as felines. Many members at the of the fair sex [better: their women] work and manage a home husbands say as much? same time. 1946 Boston. rev. words among them.

the Thesaurus should be used with an up-todate dictionary. Plain 8.. Stuart. Its most practical use is to jog a writer's memory. Rinehart. 1948. Estrich. Power of Words. Ch. London. political discussion New and Hans Sperber. Hugh. examples chiefly from American Fowler. and (2) the way the word might be carelessly or inexactly or unfairly used in speech or writing: 1. Her Majesty's StationChoosing the Concrete Word Walpole. ery Office. to supply him with a word that he knows but that has momentarily slipped his mind. Harcourt. Robert M. Words. 1954 York. Norton. 1952. But since it does not define words nor indicate their level of usage. trate (1) alibi moron smooth bird deal* (noun) real mean neat (adjective) dumb funny 2.Exercises range from slang to formal expressions and even obsolete terms. 1941. Ch. write two sentences to illuswhat you consider a reasonably exact use of the word. tive New York. Three Keys to Language. Sir Ernest." "Homonym. Semantics. mad divine hopeless vicious politician Each of the following sentences from student papers contains one or more mistakes in the meaning of words. Point out what word or words are incorrectly used and state what the correct 267 .. Emo- Language Exercises For each of the following words. Brace." "Syn- onyms" Gowers. articles titled "Elegant variation. 2. References Chase. New York.

cameras. Follow the same instructions as for the preceding exercise: 1) Through the tenacious efforts of the father and his three sons. 2) Because all mental patients need some nursing care during the day. If the mistake word should seems to you to rather than choice of word. and the parents there do not stress their children to go to school. 3) Nearsightedness in number. the family was at last able to meet all monetary obligations auspiciously. the present small nursing staffs are trying to do an almost inhuman task. 9) I was disparaged to find that my name was misspelled in the society columns of both newspapers. it will last. 8) Although it lacks the extreme compactness of miniature medium size camera is able to get around quite well. 5) first It is doubtfully thought that Lodowyk van Berghen was the for cutting diamond facets. other than that which the untrained workers can give. but WKLX was the only twenty-four-hour radio-active station. city had five broadcasting stations.21 Accurate words be. 2) Education in Mexico is optional. is one disease that is increasing each year 4) Because he had always made good grades with little effort. indicate correctly spelled: how the be one of spelling word should be 1) Two years of this kind of treatment gave John a marked inferior complex. 6) I believe that a brief summary of the primitive years of algebra would be of great help to any student at the beginning of person to advise a method his first college 7) The math course. this the more 3. 10) The less the top of a convertible car is put up and down. 268 . Chuck had a contemptible attitude toward those who spent hours over their books.

George Orwell "modern English of the worst sort. but time and chance happeneth to them all. their impressions of the 4. 9) The book was difficult to understand because the author was always eluding to something I didn't understand. an average of 36 million dollars over the preceding year. 7) A good many martial difficulties that end in divorce could be prevented by mutual understanding and cooperation. swift." in the passage following. inflated words of the revision. nor yet favour to men of skill. 9:11 I returned Objective considerations of contemporary phenomena compel the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities 269 . serious crimes are either economi- cally or psychologically 5) Statistics showed that Americans spent over 900 million dollars for dental care in 1949. Ecclesiastes. "everyday" translated this selection from Ecclesiastes into words of the original are more effective than the vague. Does the translation affect chiefly the sound. or both equally? Note that while the translation contains fewer words than the original (38 as against 49). that the race is not to the nor the battle to the strong. To illustrate what abstract wording may lead to. 8) The remarks I overheard at intermission indicated the usual reactions of an unprepared and therefore miscomprehending au- dience reaction. 10) I imagine that to most young men entering the service and spending a few years away from home. it contains a great many more syllables (90 as against 60) : and saw under the sun. service aren't too likable. 4) Most The inferred rea- men who commit ill. Read both versions carefully and be prepared to discuss why the commonplace. neither yet bread to the wise. or the meaning. 6) Physical labor shouldn't bear any blame on anyone.Exercises 3) Why do housewives listen to soap operas? sons are obvious. nor yet riches to men of understanding.

270 . This vocational choice. of the numerous times this vocational choice has been changed from practically everything from street vendor to chief executive of the land. is constantly molding new ideas concerning his future vocation. for she has endowed man with the ability to think more or less connectedly. according to his own environment. Nature is truly the possessor of the ultimate wisdom. or leadership of one's own fellow-men. Think also. but in the eyes of his Creator. "Politics and the English Language. These ideas are then integrated and revised with the old. is unlocked from within only as maturation occurs to the point where one can fully realize his place. we must remember. not only in society. the nature of our life's vocation to be. Also. but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account." Shooting an Elephant. and to make his own decisions whether it be for the purpose of self-preservation. coupled with the fact that our modern civilization is one of specialization. Choice and Preparation for a Vocation Remember back to the period of your early years leading to adulthood? Barring exceptions. What might be the central thought in the paper? What expressions might better be made more specific and to the point (for instance. pp. in rather salubrious tones. choosing a field of endeavor becomes only a matter of the intellectual and emotional faculties. one. George Orwell. "the nature of our life's vocation to be** could just as well read "what we want to be") ? Make a list of these expressions and suggest substitutes for them. 84-85 5. think of the countless times we have voiced the opinion. Also make a list of any words that are incorrectly used.21 exhibits Accurate words no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity. With the unlimited opportunities afforded today. the emulation of others. thus bringing about the end- product of his own choosing. This student paper is an extreme example of vague wording and unconvincing generalities.

Bring to class for discussion examples of statements in conspicuously vague words. problem. say "democracy. nothing can be accomplished without the rigid requirements of special training found in advanced education. or nonexistent. 7. Scout: "A member of a bourgeois children's organization hava military-political character in capitalistic countries. the dictatorship Democracy: "A The . the other! In a recent edition of Slovar Inostrannykh Slov (Dictionary of Foreign Words) issued in Moscow." but no one understands.Exercises However. he is usually an advance espionage agent of the imperialist usurpers. democracy. necessary to carry out whatever plans one might hold in mind. Bourgeois democracy is a form of class supremacy.** ing Boy political structure in which power belongs to the Soviet Socialist democracy is a new people. Some of these you may encounter in conversation or hear over the radio or in newspapers (try the 6. of the bourgeoisie over the proletariat and the working masses. or perhaps even in some of your textbooks. Part of the trouble to stem from that ubiquitous barriers. in colonial or semicolonial countries). the words in the following definitions that have unfavorWhat would be a definition slanted from our point of view? What would be a neutral definition? Some people Nations is feel that progress toward peace among the United language Diplomats make endless comments concerning. appear such definitions (translated) as these: seems extraordinarily slow. List able connotations. editorials or the letters to the editor) columns written by political commentators or the . higher type of with power actually in the hands of the people.** Missionary: *'A person sent by the ruling church (in the majority of cases with the support of the government) for religious propa- ganda among backward peoples (for example. or appears to understand.** 271 .

272 . 20-14") . Use a pair from the following list or from publications suggested by your instructor: Make a same The Christian Science Monitor. analyze the writing of a popular columnist for evidence of slanted writing. to 9. b. Novem- garchy. cL State to what extent the wording of the heading might have influenced the readers' attitude toward the facts reported in the article. Reprinted by permission of Harper & Brothers. In a written report. Washington Recognizes Senator's ProposaF'). p. The Los Angeles Times and The New Republic. 1. Suggest tual or objective writing ("State Wallops "State Defeats Midwest. These names are suggestions.2 1 Accurate words Street: Wall "A street in New York on which are located the largest etc. and the paper of a rival school Show specifically in what way words are used for their con- notative rather than for their denotative values ("Federal Officials Rap Thornton's Scheme". for the report comparing the wording of headlines with story in two newspapers or weekly news magazines different editorial sympathies. banks. The New Statesman and Nation (an English publication) your college paper In your report a." ber 1951. The Nations Business and The Chicago Tribune. Wall Street is a synonym for the interests of the American financial oliplundering imperialistic "Humpty-Dumpty in Moscow/' Inside the ACD. The New Yorfc Times Time. The Reporter. changes in wording that might make for more facMidwest" might read c. 8. financial markets. Newsweek. Indicate whether the facts in the article support or contradict the wording of the headline.

O. RETAILER. hawker. peddler . costerman. Here in what context they might be appropriate writing: dealer.Exercises which your instructor may \\ish to add others: Marquis Childs. specific examples of words you believe are intended to convince (or mislead) the readers of the column. sutler. . try to make your own comments as unbiased as possible. salesman. 273 . Describe the Roget's different denotations and connotations of these terms and indicate 11. Sylvester Mawson. Walter Lippmann. shopman. money trader. Also note any small differences in denotation and in connotation the synonyms show: 10. Autolycus. colporteur. tradesman . David Lawrence. Do you think that Give more the articles would be less interesting to read if the words were specific or more neutral? (Whether you agree or disagree with the columnist. . changer. cadger. and comment upon the writer's attitude toward his information and toward his readers. .S. Dorothy Thompson. Discriminate between fact and opinion in the articles. greengrocer. (or inappropriate) in your own MERCHANT. Walter Winchell. p. . 343 . shopkeeper. . vintner. cheap Jack haberdasher national Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases. C. solicitor [U. di&re. . chapman. . faker [slang]. huckster. . Make a list of three to five in artificial money intelligence student teacher food friend policeman work in is a partial list of synonyms for the noun merchant Thesaurus of English Word's and Phrases. groceryman. so that you will have adequate basis for judgment.. costermonger . changer [archaic]'. Use at least three or four columns by the writer you select. monger.]. . Drew Pearson. regrater. vivanhiggler.) words and indicate synonyms for each of the following what kind of context each might be used. ed. Rogefs Inter. Westbrook Pegler. chandler. canvasser. .

A. and they should reach the intended reader. (Is the glamour in your own dictionary an accurate deof the way you use the word?) scription writer can. in isolation. Richards they should appropriate as well as accurate. General: Johnny is unusually bright. his parents and distinguishing betheir Informal reflects his own personality reading as widely and their Formal usage. by paying attention to the conversation of the he meets daily his people classmates. they are obviously not interchangeable. make his language more effective in three ways: first. and third. i. by and as intelligently as possible any and all 274 . are not of much help in putting "proper words in proper places. no word can be judged as to whether it is good or bad. The differences can be roughly indicated in terms of levels of usage: Informal: Johnny's sharp as a tack." The definitions in even the largest and most up-to-date ones are of necessity limited to the denotation of words as individual units rather than to their connotation in different lands of writing. How should a beginning writer go about finding the words that will best express his ideas and his attitude toward his subject? Dictionaries. they should "sound like" the writer.22 Appropriate words . second. unfortunately. however. Technical: John has an IQ of approximately 130. beautiful or ugly. correct or incorrect. The range of words in English is wide and frequently a writer has a choice fit Words should be among several that will convey substantially the same meaning. each would be appropriate only in a certain context. himself in a manner that by definition of A expressing tween at its best. Formal: Johnny is wise beyond his years. the subject. That is. Although these four statements tell us much the same thing about Johnny. or anything else that matters to a writer. his instructors. .

where the concept of total war was first developed. for example. But a moderate degree suggest dignity and vigor. through such words as indubitably. la Appropriate use of Formal words Formal words are aphome with propriate to writers and to readers who are at them. Technical. and college publications. . as in this somewhat Formal paragraph (Note pragmatic. the writer runs the risk of remoteness. monolithic may .): cept. genotype. successive. 22. Chase. edited by John W. One of the most interesting discoveries of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey. Alan Earth. but we can see some broad differences and can guide our choice of words accordingly.1 a material that will familiarize of him with the range and fiction. educand. articulation to quite rare ones like recherchg. whose experience has made them genuinely familiar.1 Formal words that are only slightly The Formal vocabulary ranges from words more characteristic of writing than of and speaking. never. The most monolithic of all totalitarian states fell far short of the democracies in organizational efficiency. especially Formal. There. and of Formality difficulty for the reader. demonstrated. put into practice. "American Freedom: A Method/* in Years of the Modern. and ailurophobe. The various levels of vocabulary are not rigidly bounded. variety good current usage textbooks and newspapers. magazines. moribund. Typically they are found in discussions of ideas. p. which studied the and psychological impact of the American air offensive immediphysical was the fact that German resources were ately after Germany's collapse. in fact. were disclosed and the experience in Gerultimately corrected. Words from the General English vocabulary can go anywhere but questions of appropriateness arise over words from the more limited parts of the vocabulary. Successive failures on the part of the administration to mobilize production. 22. never fully employed. In using them. The pragmatic value of free criticism was never better demonstrated than in the course of the last war. Precisely the opposite was it was many. con. flabbiness.22. 54 275 . and Informal words.

Your ideas will be easier to understand and hence more convincing if you keep your wording natural.1 b "Big Big Appropriate words Words" inappropriate Formal words Change the word or words that are inap- W or Big Words. But certain words deserve particular attention because they occur so frequently in pretentious writing: Overeldborate conditions: Direct due to adverse weather because of rain conditions conversant: I wasn't conversant with this viewpoint was new this viewpoint to me 276 .22 22. We now consider the world as a unit often there are many minute of a social Our conception that of twenty or thirty rather than as a segregation of component entities." That this sort An of thing is found in print does not make it Good English. extreme use of Big Words has been called gobbledygookihe use of words that seem to have lost all contact \vith the situationas in "Such obscuration may be effectuated either by blackout construction or by termination of the illumination" for "This darkening can be brought about by blackout curtains or by putting out the lights. not inflated beyond the requirements of the subject or the expectations of your reader. perhaps in an effort to sound or uncommon." as the term is used here. Formal "Big Words. A profound: It is difficult to filter out one specific cause for a social problem. Most factors interrelated and closely correlated. are any and all expressions that are too heavy or too Formal for the subject or for the writer. Correction: propriately Formal to words from the General vocabulary. 1c Words to watch It is context rather than the word itself that determines whether or not an expression is appropriate. Try to make it exact. The words themselves may be short or long. common Words typical fault is the use of Big for "serious" subjects. 22. problem today possesses more magnitude than years ago.

Id Big Words in student writing enlarging their vocabularies. These are some of the students think they should use inflated diction instead of their normal form of expression: why 277 .22. when writers aren't certain what attitude they should take toward reasons their material or their readers. as a rule. representing an actual growth in intellectual scope. speare I have never read a play by Shakespeare read a play by Shake- 22. I have never known. not a translation of simple matters into Big Words. including College students should be more Formal words.1d development: during the period of his early during his childhood development to endeavor: we endeavored another factor get we our candidate elected factor: tried to get candidate elected our in my the another reason I to State College came choice of State College metropolis: in the offing lay we were nearing the city she will be married in great metropolis nuptials: her nuptials are scheduled for the month of June the child June participation: the child's active participation in tivities is is expected to group ac- play with other children anticipated reside: at that period we residing in upper were we were upper then living in New New York State York State termed: a situation that might be termed unfortunate thus it an tion unfortunate situa- transpire: transpired that our trip to Catalina was our trip to Catalina was delayed delayed whereas: whereas. Heavy wording. if the truth be actually. occurs most frequently in papers written at or near the beginning of a composition course. But these words should be the necessary names for ideas.

pourboire. Big Words used solely for their own sake will do neither. chiaroscuro. perhaps writing "a fair damsel garbed in the mode of the moment/' instead of "a fashionably dressed young girl. 22. a frog as a fastener for a jacket) 3. cordon sanitaire) 2. Foreign words and phrases not customarily used by most people (lex talionis. desire to impress the reader. need explaining include: Scientific terms (isotope. gneiss). Let no others stand in your paper except for a good reason. B. Words used in special senses rather than in the usual way (the the recorder as a wind instruspine of a book. The erroneous impression that Big Words somehow improve a sition writer's articles 3. White. either by displaying some newly acquired words or by making the subject sound more important than it really is. eisteddfod. farinaceous. more General words that are natural to you. ment. or any others use this A you normal manner of expression.2 Technical words In writing intended for a general audimade clear by the context should be defined or explained in the paper. E." Such humor unfortunately lies more in the mind of the writer than in that of the reader. say. Do the authors whose like to read use Big Words? stories or device? 5. 2. and other expressions restricted to a specialized activity (a cappella. Do any noteworthy humorists of our own time James Thurber. Walpurgisnacht) sidering as your potential audience not just those friends You can determine which words need explaining by conand 278 . or home economics). heroic hexameter. es- crow. confusion of Big the technical terms that the student should acquire and use Words with when he is discussing scientific topics.22 1. to justify a line of type. Technical terms or unence. The remedy for too many Big Words is simple: Read aloud what you have writtenpreferably some time after you have written it and if you find it conspicuously different from the way you would tell it to a friend. In writing done for science courses. A belief that inflated diction is humorous. unfamiliar terms not familiar expressions that often 1. 4. look at the words carefully to see whether you can't find simpler. it should be as Formal and Impersonal as possible. Appropriate words The mistaken belief that because a paper is written for a compo- course (rather than for a course in history. lobotamy.

males to the ex- clusion of females.22. The simplest way to define a term whose meaning made clear in context is to explain it parenthetically: what is not ( In cold weather the Eskimos short fur coats with fur hoods ) wear mukluks (fur boots) and parkas . Compare the definition of oligarchy in your dictionary with this description of the term: I mean by "oligarchy" any system in which ultimate power is confined to a section of the community: the rich to the exclusion of the poor. description of the way you are using an adeand the more you can include to clarify the meaning. you can. to. or acquaintances is meant by dummy in the game of bridge. as it is technically known. As a rule. Protestants to the exclusion of Catholics. but compose one that fits the style and scale of your own paper. nor your instructor. Bertrand Russell. aristocrats to the exclusion of plebeians. do not simply quote a dictionary definition. p. the better. but the members of your class. by exercising a little common sense." Do not use unfamiliar words just to show off. white men to the exclusion of colored men. but use and for your subject explain those that are necessary and concrete illustrations 279 . the subject of a paper is "Mountain Climbing/* it is better to define and use a word like piton than to say "those little metal gadgets that they tie ropes. decide whether you should explain a word like slalom. absolute monarchy is the centage extreme of oligarchy. or members of one political party to the exclusion of the rest. 43 definition of a What matters in a quate details term of this sort is it. While you may not know them individually.2 who share your interests. system may be more or less oligarchic according to the perof the population that is excluded. for instance. It is frequently better tactics to give the definition or explana- tion first and then use the technical term: The ability of the heart to function depends primarily on the state of the heart muscle or myocardium. The Impact of Science on A Society. which is usually stiff and bare. If. A writer should not try to evade the problem of definition by using an inexact or wordy expression in place of a technical term.

and cussions of italicized in this paragraph: 280 . without apology or quotation marks.22 inf Appropriate words 22. [Better: customs by throwing a by giving a feast] In Formal writing. especially by young people.3 informal words Informal word or expression. Othello began to suspect that she wasn't on the level. like of the woods. 3a Inappropriate use of Informal words disconcerting encounter an Informal expression in relatively to a reader to Formal writing or The The tribal in serious discussion: after the breaks displaced persons in Europe experienced many tough end of the war. so I accepted. in dictionaries. [More appropriate: hardships] natives believe that they can expiate certain offenses against feast. like those similar activities. and they may also suggest that the writer has a careless or flippant attitude toward his subject: When Desdemona failed to produce the handkerchief. a good deal. summertime jobs. Informal words represent a shift in levels of usage. They are often appropriate also in dismore important topics. You will find such words used. college dances. are appropriate in Informal writing: in discussions of sports.3b Appropriate use of Informal words The Informal vocabulary. how stupid can you get? We seldom saw plays of this sort in our neck The proposal sounded 22. and most of these marked Slang. It is 22. including words marked Colloq. Correction: that are inappropriately Informal to Change the word or words words from the General vo- cabulary. in many of our most reputable publications. When he admitted that he had never heard of cooperative apartments. I wondered to myself. be particularly careful about certain exso widely used that he may not realize (until the pressions to his attention) that they are considered Inslip is called formal rather than General usage: writer needs to Alice's pet A peeve was her roommate's study habits.

also in The Verbal Icon. Jr. Ch. Louisville. Walter J. 1947 Fowler. 1954. "Formal words. Therefore she controls her impulse to warm his tail and send him to bed without supper." "Literary words** 7. Miller. Helen Eustis. use them. in need of a drink and some peaceful home life. 1942. is likely to be less long-suffering. with monumental patience and slightly forced demonstrations of affection. how appropriate is the wording in each of the following passages? (Unless otherwise indicated. who comes home from the office pretty tired. Uni- versity of Kentucky Press. instead. beginning with himself. articles titled Scientific English. Saidla. Gowers. they should be used without apology* If you are tempted to apologize for them by putting them in quotation marks. ask yourself whether they are genuinely appropriate. but if not. . June 1953. disobedient. whiny. But if she has read a book she knows that this is because he feels anxious and insecure. and a pest. Edmund. she treats him. Sir Ernest. Van Nostrand. London. Engineers as Writers. References Andrews. Daddy. New York. Even to his l<y\*ing mother he sometimes gives a stiff pain in the neck. 1953 K. that the writers 281 . Words.. Nobody enjoys him much any more. "Good-By to Oedipus/' Harper's Magazine. If they are. Smith. pp. 1948. New York. 3:368-383. Wimsatt. 46 What happens fresh . and Leo E... When Informal words are appropriate. W. replace them with words from the General vocabulary. . "When Is Variation 'Elegant'?" College Eng- lish. 187-199 Exercises Considering both the subject matter and the kind of readers had in mind. Her Majesty's StationChoosing the Familiar Word S.Exercises to the child who is treated as an adult is that he gets becomes impertinent. the 1. Plain ery Office. He may even raise the possibility of cracking down. p. A History of Richard H.

show how they might lated into more appropriate language. The James Family. is tempted to view them all. one can be sure. specific instances of unnecessary Big of unfamiliar or far-fetched words. is a being who is taking advantage of the momentary escape that comics offer from the adversities and 5) vigil detestations that hobble the daily lives of humans. and general superiority is usually so vociferous that the average individual. further stimulated by movie trailers howling the virtues of Hollywood spectacles. O. In the passages satisfactory. Matthies- 3) Henry James* **. but softly absorbent of the syrup dabbed upon it for a finish. Unfortunately. his favorite food as a the oblong. farinaceous compound. Wherever possible. faintly yet richly brown.22 Appropriate words are intended for a general examples are from student papers and audience. some of the outstanding films created abroad are relegated to hole-in-the-wall movie houses on forgotten back streets. stamped and smoking. point out Words and technical terms. Here. 74 4) When observing a person reading the "funnies/* one can see the look of felicity or hear the sound of an occasional spontaneous chuckle. description of waffles. priate English. . p. 2) Amid printed and broadcasted advance publicity. not crisp nor brittle. 1) Oft one would see the students strolling who had evaded their classes on the avenue and examining the displays of the different commercial enterprises. . one sometimes stumbles upon a good production. explain and other kinds of inapprobe trans- you find why you think the wording is appropriate. with the wool thus pulled over his eyes. In this wise. The screenusually ten to twelve inches in diameter contains a small beam of light 282 . dramatis personae. child: sen. the sour with the sweet." F. ) In the examples that you consider unsatisfactory. The radar operator aboard on the radar screen while he ship must maintain a constant is on watch. the propaganda generated in behalf of the American product extolling the color.

April 1953. the exact direction and the exact distance between the ship and the unidentified object can be determined." Paint and Varnish Production. By means of a guide on the radar screen. glycerine as the polyhydric alcohol. The rest of the while trying to mainpassengers are dividing their audio attention tain a very aloof attitude. . sending a When steady stream of ultra high frequency waves over the ocean. they are esters of polyhydric alcohols and polybasic acids. "Trends in Alkyd Manufacture. This is the way in which technical terms are explained in a for a general audience: book on psychology written 283 . and anticipates the approaching decline of the intuitive realization of the privilege of the real demeanour the vacuity of existence. 8) In the bus station two middle-aged male standees are conversing with the bus driver. 34 7) From catalog notes explaining some paintings on exhibit: In order to dispel all possibility of obscurity concerning the relaas it appears in tionship between the individual and the cosmos this text and previous writings. The wave is then relayed from the antenna to the radar screen in the <s form of a small spot or blip" as it is called. and soya fatty acids as the straight chain monobasic acid. giving the appearance of a sweeping second hand on a wrist watch. This light works in conjunction with the radar antenna. usually modified with either straight chain or ring type 6) From a monobasic acids and reacted to a definite polymer size. . One septuagenarian is unconcernedly perusing a newspaper. Benjamin Farber. An example would be a reaction product of phthalic anhydride as the polybasic acid.Exercises that constantly revolves. Their attitude is one of concern regarding the possible effect of the imminent storm. technical journal for paint manufacturers: What are alkyds? Essentially. . it is necessary to add: The funda- mental pseudo-duality of the substantiality of the I indicates its failure the moment the world plunges further into the myth of relative knowledge. they rebound to the antenna. which is constantly revolving. 2. these waves strike a solid object. p.

tal illness. feeling. finesse (in bridge). as in hysterical blindness or paralysis. 259 Using a similar form. philos- ophy Science: function (in mathematics). emotional delusion A incorrigible. sacrifice (in baseball) 284 . reaction A in neurotic Laughing and crying at the same time which psychological symptoms imitate other illnesses. The following words may suggest others to you: Education: college (within a university). Fritz Redlich and June Bingham. The Inside Story.22 Word Appropriate words What doctor it means to the What it means to the layman cessation or blocking Sudden tion of ac- Forgetting thought. false belief. strut (in architecture) Hobbies and sports: stalemate (in chess). bias (in dressmaking). usually due to men- Any mistaken idea the conviction today that the moon is made of cheese would be viction before a delusion while the conthe time of Galileo that the earth was hysteria flat was ignorance. 257. due to strong unin- conscious terference. epoch (in geology). pp. professor. benign (in physiology). caller (in square dancing). 255. IQ. or from your hobby or some other particular interest. explain five technical words with which you are familiar expressions from your major field of study.

The lilacs and with the glory fires of autumn. It is the expression. they should be fresh enough and vigorous enough to be readable and perhaps memorable. Since it is easier to describe these weakening words than to present the whole range of the English vocabulary.23 3. Instead of using our full range of words to strengthen our statements we often rely too much on certain words and phrases that weaken what we say. together. serenity. 23 Effective words Nearly always the things a writer says are less striking than the way he puts them. that makes the difference. a fairy bridge provided by kind Nature for the wingless wild things that have their home in the tree tops It was a crisp lit laburnums. and the peace of God. everywhere brooded stillness. hung burning and flashing in the upper air. Words should not only convey meaning accurately (21) and appropriately (22) but they should appeal to readers. the style. How This paragraph is the opening of a short story by Mark Twain. for men in general have much the same ideas about matters that form the stock in trade of Voltaire all. far in the empty sky a solitary oesophagus slept upon motionless wing. effective does it seem to you as descriptive writing? Are there any expressions in it that suggest the writer was not wholly serious? Consult your dictionary for the meaning of any terms that strike you as unusual or out of place in this context: and spicy morning in early October. the sensuous fragrance of visit and would their purple innumerable deciduous flowers rose upon the swooning atmosphere. the larch and the pomegranate filing and yellow flames in brilliant broad splashes along the slanting sweep of the woodland. this section points out words that are likely to weaken and makes suggestions for replacing them. 285 .

that the finer tilings of life . . I would go so . . . like in conclusion . according to . Trite expressions. Did Webster write the ary you are using? diction- history (or science) tells us A dubious personification. Is the last item or fact never of least importance? thus I have shown . or cliches. no matter what they are-diamono!s. . last but not least . a Bee- Quartet. we can usually finish the expression without thinking: Quick as a is going This to hurt me more As brown as a Gone but It isn't the heat but Make a note of the following overworked expressions that occur with depressing frequency in freshman writing: Cliche Comment Webster . are pat phrases so familiar given the first words. trait of a person's writ- . I would to Better to write down what you this intro- say have to say and forget ductory phrase It is impossible to remove all trite but when they become a conspicuous 286 expressions from writing. Argyle socks be more convincing to the reader than this nebulous phrase. far as to say Just say it. Not useful unless you aren't quite certain that you have shown it. . one thai is simpler or that. . one that often leads to empty generalities. .23 23*1 Trite Effective words Trite expressions Correction: Replace the trite expression with fresher. . . . Name two thoven they'll or three.

water. sions suggest secondhand ideas. . or neater if you fresh describe it as cool as a cucumber. You will not make anything seem cooler. . when they read or see a play such as Hamlet or Julius Caesar for the first time. or neat as list a pin. all the world's a stage . .. Unless they are essential to your disavoid quotations that have lost their vividness through overuse: a sadder and a wiser man . water. is always welcome (see 23. usually you will decide that they really mean very little. 23. and you will make your point another way. So thoroughly are quotations from Shakespeare woven into our daily speech that some people. . .4).1 b ing. music hath charms . Here is a short of trite figures of speech. he should take steps to remove them. steady as a rock. everywhere . when it and appropriate..1 a Worn-out figures of speech is Figurative language. Ib Frayed quotations cussion. .23. steadier. Secondhand expres- 23. look at them closely to see if they actually mean anything to you. are surprised to find that they have been "talking Shakespeare" all their lives: 287 . you can prob- ably think of a good the irony of fate many similar expressions: a watery grave clean as a whistle in the arms of Morpheus run like a deer with bated breath brave as a lion Mother Nature bull in a china shop the crack of Father Time sly as a fox rotten to the core in a nutshell darkness overtook us commune with nature to sell like hotcakes trees like sentinels dawn When you find yourself using such expressions. but comparisons and personifications that have become stale through overuse will only serve to weaken your writing.

for instance. 23. direct name for an idea or but you may easily condition.23 to Effective words be or not to be . . . . Euphemistic expression financially embarrassed Direct expression without money.. pass away Some like activities that most common euphemisms are used for jobs or some people consider unpleasant or degrading paying guest for a roomer or boarder. it is better to use the more accurate term. . vivid lines from less-quoted sources modern you poetry. .2 Euphemisms "fair (from the Greek term meaning a polite and often affected expression for words") some fact or idea that the user feels might offend either himself or his reader if it were said more bluntly or more accuis A euphemism rately or in the more common words that may have acquired an unpleasant connotation. . There are many in if fresh. too wish to enliven your writing with quotations. You will seldom offend a reader by using an honest. . .. . broke) culturally underprivileged uneducated people late persons inadvertently detained halitosis bad breath underwear unmentionables our statement that may have your unpaid die bill escaped your attention pass on. . poor (or in Informal usage. annoy him by using a euphemistic substitute. but too well . . When the choice of an expression lies between accuracy and unnecessary politeness. and in Shakespeare. 288 . or mortician or of the funeral director for undertaker. uneasy lies the head something rotten in the state of Denmark lend me your ears not wisely.

Certainly it is difficult to imagine a student crying out "Alas!" at a crucial moment of a football game. more quickly his meaning will be idea can be expressed in a more memorable way a well-chosen figure of speech: by The same 289 . listen to a rousing concert. necessary three yards in four was required in days of yore to get along in Today we say lawn or grass instead of greensward.3 Old-fashioned words Certain old-fashioned expressions. but alas! tries. the The fewer words a person understood. and are incongruous in the \vriting of young people: One may band relax on the greensward of a Sunday and to have been won. whether or not they are obsolete or archaic. no longer represent good current usage. not in days of yore.23. This is a literal. to make item more expressive and vivid. in the past or formerly. The best way 23. analogy. Here are some old-fashioned expressions with for for their present- day equivalents: amidst befell among happened brothers (or fellow think (or consider) brethren for for for men) deem doff take off (as one's hat) don peruse for for put on (as one's clothing) read (or look over) ate supped twain for for two to judge old-fashioned wording is to read the aloud and ask yourself whether you would use such passage an expression in your ordinary conversation. The game seemed Little schooling we failed to gain the life. personification that are used to intensify statements.4 23. nonfigurative statement: uses.4 Figures of speech Figures of speech are expressions of comparison.

which had before been crusJied or discarded. . p. usually with as or Tropical birds flew swiftly from tree to tree like arcs of rainbows. both trite and fresh. hungry stantly in our conversation (dog-tired. the figure is called a metaphor. They are also used in most kinds of writing (with the exception of some impersonal or scientific reports). at the head of the class). and spread into the many brandies of children's literature that we have The nineteenth century authors.23 . . cona heart of gold. as a bear. plicitly They are called similes of figures of speech are when the comparison like: comis ex- stated. Effective words its meaning is an arrow that reaches mark when least encumbered with feathers. English Prose Style. political discussions. 23.-Herbert Read. any When Her use figurative expressions. Typically the writer asserts that one thing is another: face was a neon sign that lit up with a single expression for emotion and then blinked off into rigid obscurity. sports We writing. many tiny the comparison is implied rather than explicitly stated. If objectivity. through today. You used freely in such diverse material as figurative language financial articles. you can look at your own writing with some degree of you can usually determine whether a figure is 290 . advertising copy. 16 The most common kinds parisons.4a Consistent figures of speech A figure of speech should not begin with one kind of picture and switch to another wholly unrelated one: became a door opened by some of the braver which many of the earlier ideas of writing for children. literary criticism. again sprang to blossom. Don't hesitate to use figurative expressions whenever they seem appropriate: statements that would otherwise be commonplace become interesting and lively when they sound as though they came from the writer's own way of seeing things. and are definitely not limited to purely will find descriptive passages or to "literary" subjects.

the student might have asked himjust a little too much food imagery in this moonlit scene. for original or unusual expressions you are trying to give an exact account of tie subject. miserable. and their hopes for the future. because this is undoubtedly The a matter the way that it appeared to the student: The lake was gorgeous that night. but they should fit in their context and sound as though you were actually thinking them. their furniture. and accurate enough to contribute to the meaning. 29! . An inappropriate figure sometimes conveys an impression that the writer never intended: When he drunk. he treated his family very well. Mother Nature launclies her chemicd warfare. It would be unfair to question the sincerity of this description. An egg-yolk moon was beaming over the lime-jello and whipped cream waters that were spanked by a dancing breeze. But in self whether there wasn't revising the paper. appropriateness of a figure of speech is of course often of individual taste. 23. or whether most readers would be hungry enough Struggling usually brings on inconsistent figures or inappropriate ones.4b consistent or not. when he was drank up all their savings. Sometimes an expression that seemed very vivid at the moment of writing proves on rereading to be confusing or even ludicrous. he was sober. changing the leaves into their many pretty colors. A shadow from the darkened building fell across him like a moist towel and he wriggled his shoulders distastefully. their house. The figures to use are those that actually come to your mind when to appreciate the metaphors he used. made everyone He Expressions that are too strong for the situation or that hard to be picturesque than contribute to the meaning: strive too will distract attention rather As fall comes in with its gentle coolness.23. They need not be unusual.4b Appropriate figures of speech Figurative expressions should be in keeping with the subject and style.

Modern Rhetoric. 5. 51-57. 14 to 19. Brace. Putnam's. Chs. gazing a story) 3) with soulful eyes. 1916. George H. Words and Ways of American English.. 7.23 References Effective words Penn Warren. Every Snowball. M. Metaphor Hunter. Gaines. New York." American Speech. in various volumes. 11. which of these expressions would you consider cliches or worn-out figures of speech in the situations indicated? Which are polite or conventional phrases appropriate or necessary in certain circumstances? 1) How do you do? "I love you." (as a greeting) at her 2) (in he murmured. New York. Frank.g. New York. Boston. People in Quandaries. Ch. 146-152 Rock in Brown. 28-36. 1938. New York." American Speech. Tall Talk. 1923. Interlude: On Jargon Steadman. Appleton. The Language of Maladjustment. Harcourt. figures of speech becoming parts of the language Pyles. e. Edwin R. 114-119. Cleanth. 11. and Taboo. Sir Arthur. On the Art of Writing. English Words and Their Backgrounds. Exercises 1. Harper. 13:97-107 Johnson. 6. Ch. Ch. Turgidities. 1938. pp. Little. Can you imagine that! (in conversation) 292 . 1946. Ch. J.. 1952. and Bemice E. Thomas. and Robert New in a College Community. Language as Technique McKnight. Ch. "Clich< A Expert" papers.. 13:13-18 Sullivan. Random House. Wendell. "Verbal Taboo Brooks. 1948. According to your understanding of the terms. Coinages and Adaptations Quiller-Couch.. York. "Affected and Effeminate Words. 12. 1946. Ch.

(in a 6) Kill the umpire! (at a baseball game) 7) You can say that againl (as an expression of warm agree- ment in conversation) 8) The glad news came to us like a bolt out of the blue. 2) With all these a sports writer can cope. frequently made by his alleged guys. 2. who regularly plays at the position of shortstop. propelling it over the heads of associates 293 . put it in words. but an excuse in a classroom recitation) 10) "And so true happiness. (in I can't a student paper) 9) I know what I want to say.** (prefacing a radio TV program) how I felt at that 5) Words cannot describe student paper) moment." to pass that at long last Melissa found (transitional phrase in a radio soap opera) Read this article on clich6s newspaper. The first time the ball was thrown to him Belcher smote it mightily. he must steel himself against the same gloomy predictions of coaches that he hears day after day. He must have a plausible explanation for the defeat of the home always team. first inning. two of his were located on base. but the most un- Many kindest cut of friends all is and other wise cliches. . (as came . the charge. that his writing style is naught but a collection of baseball clich6s: Consider for a like moment what a report of a game would be without the use of good old solid 3) The Dirt Flats baseball team last night achieved a victory over the aggregation representing Hooper by gaining nine runs while their opponents were unable to get more than seven. 4) When Belcher took his position as the batter.Exercises 4) "But or first a few words from our sponsor. it . Then answer the 1) sports writer in a college questions that follow: by a are the trials in the life of a sports writer. he must be able to shrug off with a laugh his predictions that go sour. A sub- Norman in the stantial contribution to the victory for Dirt Flats was made by Belcher.

Can you see any use of slang or cliches in sports writing? justi- 3. who cavorts at short patch for the Flatters.23 Effective words Hooper players and beyond the fence that borders Belcher was awarded four bases for his stalwart and Dirt Flats added three runs which were enough performance to win the contest. sending a pair of mates. June 10. Clouting Norm Belcher. hairdresser clerk servant suicide . Find one euphemistic expression for each of the following and tell under what circumstances or in what contexts. the astonished the playing field. or sports jargon? paragraph 6 primarily Does such wording represent the language of the baseball players. Compare both versions of the game (paragraphs 3 and 4. terms. Gary Brandner. Lefty Morris. "Memo to Soreheads Who Would Purge Sports Writing of Washington Daily. as well face the fact that without Of course. 1952. figurative expressions. who were camped on the sacks. stupid theft 294 . if any. p. or of the spectators? c. or in paragraphs 3 and 4. Do you consider the language in cliches. football. 5) We may cliches. each euphemistic expression might be appropriate. across the dish with the winning tallies. Questions: a. or basket- ball game in your fication for the own college newspaper. which are supposedly free from "good old solid elich<s"? b. over the right field barrier 6) The Dirt Flats win in their tilt for a four-master. sewed up the contest in the bottom of the ninth canto. of the men who write about sports. Cliches/' University of 3. and paragraph 6) with an account of a baseball. it's possible to you can't write sports go overboard in the other direction: Diamond Squad last night blasted out a 9-7 with the Hooper nine. . Reprinted by permission of the University of Washington Press. Are there any trite expressions in the first two paragraphs. slang. . . when he drilled the initial offering of fastballing portsider.

Some of the figurative expressions in the following examples are effective. or inappropriate to the subject. If it is successful. watching the new administration try its wings at running the country's international affairs. the separate person doesn't lose his individuality. When you have made up your mind If about them. inconsistent. they form a 295 . 5. others are not. Is the usefulness of the product or its price stressed? Or is the appeal made to some other buying motive? Translate some of the more obviously euphemistic or indirect phrases into ordinary English to see what is rather than directly stated.. For example: "Be lovely to implied Use Rosebreath Daily" might actually mean "Use our brand of mouthwash constantly/* lovel . etc. ities ances. cosmetics. is to become at least a medium-sized frog in this To me a all fireroom on a ship its a beauty of own. the married couple. putting off branch shoots to each individual boiler assembly. life insurance. self-improvement courses. tell what makes it so. In a corporation the stockholders retain their separate individualities.Exercises saloon lie reform school insane asylum false teeth (noun) an old house Write a paragraph of about two hundred words on the qualof the words in one kind of advertising copy that interests (or amuses) you: automobiles. be prepared to give specific reasons for your opinions. with appear from the bilges like vines creeping up the face of the boiler. 1) When I started to work for the company. but retains it. Its intricate fuel lines a place of enchantment. a figure is trite. household appli4. but they ple marry. I was only a small cog in a big machine. That is. strained. explain why. while at the same time "sweeping the rascals out of office/* 3) Everyone is now 4) likes A marriage is similar to a corporation in that when two peonew and dislikes. cigarettes. . and hope eventually big pond. . but since then I have scaled a few rungs up the ladder 2) of success. of unit consisting of the personalities.

board of directors. It tries to its show a profit to stockholders. Discuss the following figurative expressions. with its chilly breath from the Great Lakes. so does each half of a married couple. 5) Winter usually comes in like a lion. A corporation sells its goods in order to make a profit for the stockholders. In marriage. be it children. considering both meanings and their connotations. and the officers are all one the married couple. 1) Ever since I can remember I have been consistently finding myself up to the neckline in hot water or down to my last friend in number. a home. a marriage does the same. ten report comparing or contrasting the qualities of their words* Suggestions on points to consider in your report follow the ex- These amples. And as a corporation has a product to sell. dogs. so does a successful marriage sell a happy life for all to enjoy if they wish to marry. horses. the stockholders.23 Effective words form along with the corporate charter a new unit the corporation. Are they used in and writing because we have no adequate substitutes? speaking Which of these expressions do you use? Which do you consider their literal trite or overworked? off the old a chip block pretty as a picture crocodile tears a bull market to wolf one's food bonehead road hog lion's share an eager beaver a wet blanket half-baked busy 7. select two or three for a writsubjects. Soon everything is clad in white. or anything else the married couple want. As each officer and director of the corporation has a job to perform. a new car. artistic fingers of Jack Frost. I have often read of the great virtue in having a well- 296 . touched by the 6. as a bee selections represent a variety of styles on different After you have read them. as the result of an overactive and uncontrollable curiosity.

but I'm No Cat" beaming from the cones 2) The fat. and in the glare to the curb and dis- charged elegantly appointed stars and movie-makers. for it was the world premiere of 20th Century-Fox's Call Me Modern. I have not merely approached the state of. and iron. One by one the big names of the movies made the walk past the spectators and each got applause and cheers. pp. I had inspect every apple and potato to shop carefully. but am actively engaged in. was a happy bedlam. played tic-tac-toe in the night sky above Hollywood. and under Grandma's watchful eyes. "Sex Is Not Enough." Modern Screen* June 1953. which was usually by midafternoon. changed the linen on the beds once a week. in front of the Ritz Theater. of the poor discipline and lack of direction exercised by the writer in such matters.Exercises disciplined and properly directed curiosity. I went to the grocery store. (Note: Actually my curiosity is not as insatiable as it sounds!) First paragraph of a student paper entitled "Curiosity Killed the Cat. I have as yet found no foolproof method of curbing this virtue-less pastime and so have had to adopt an alternate plan an attempt at pointing my nosiness in a and more constructive direction I from the neck down and really have logged less critical : am becoming waterto hang on to what friends I have. Wilshire Boulevard. white fingers of silver light. but on much more frequent occasions I have been reminded both verbally and through introspection. It was a gala night. Jim Henaghan. She had taught me how to to see that they did not have bad 297 . After the housework was finished. who made their way into the building through an avenue of ropes that held back thousands of breathless fans. 97 3) By make the time I was twelve. Some signed autograph books and hurried inside self-consciously. being nosey. I have since learned ironed stacks of flatwork. As I understand it. I scrubbed the floor on my hands and knees an old Scandinavian custom. Grandma had taught me how to beds. Since Grandma was far from wealthy. Traffic was backed up for of sputtering arcs sleek Cadillacs pulled up a mile. 49. of great searchlights. scrub the floor. What is worse.

I enjoyed helping Grandma. among other things. The town's rose specialist and its But she advised that I send on roses. I sent my mystery rose to experts in southern California. telling me what a good housekeeper I was and that my husband would be a lucky man to have me for a wife. I hope to teach my daughter that keeping house is a worthwhile job for any woman. the great authority was dead. their bright hour. if she wasn't feeling well enough. although there were times when I by evening. She was a true friend and a companion whose memory I will always cherish to my dying day. "Roses. and other kind remarks. p." landscape gardner have come and shaken puzzled heads. Conclusion of a student paper with this central idea: "Grandma taught me the essentials of good housekeeping.-Donald Culross Peattie. she did not know it. Grandma always thanked me warmly for the work I did. for which I shall always be grateful. She would then take me to the movie house. also to squeeze the bread gently to test it for freshness. a treasure casually unearthed each spring in my old garden. they could not name it. when the pink sprays lift again to the nameless rose light. My is but one lingerer among the multitude of those that have come. She taught me. when my specimens arrived. I sent it north to a famous grower of rare old roses. to the country's greatest authority June was gone by then. or. in Massachusetts. The other groceries were selected with equal care. The old couple who in thenlast years made my garden are long since dead. After I am married.23 Effective words spots. that it is possible and even gratifying to keep a clean house without a lot of useless gadgets. So be it. His colleagues at the Arnold Arboretum opined that mine might be some rose long lost to cultivation. June 1953. neighborhood she would give me the money to attend a matinee the next day. I was pretty tired did not reaKze at the time that I lived with her that I received much more than I gave." The Atlantic Monthly. 64 298 had . leaving the human heart stirred by fragrance. their only child had died before them. 4)1 could not find anyone to ask whence came this gnarled vine that with each spring bewitched me. and I had to it wait another year for bloom. their and gone.

Colloquial and dialect spellings are not to be used unless required by the subject matter or specifically requested. pleatings. p. I invested in a sewing machine. seam would soon be the best-dressed girl in could just hear an admiring public murmuring. zipper. This machine was. the Government Printing Office must of necessity adopt a single guide for the spelling of words the preferred forms 6) To avoid of which are not otherwise is listed or provided for in this manual. the Government Printing Office will continue to follow Webster's spelling. has been International Dictionary. Unless herein otherwise authorized. and is. which. a pattern. quite a deluxe model with extra gadgets for making buttonholes. and several other items listed on the pattern envelope necessary to make the easy-to-make dress. This little man-made wonder can also stitch over pins and run forward and backward. It is possible to get a sewing machine for a lot less money than I paid for my electric machine by purchasing a pedal-it-yourself model.Exercises 5) The strongest motivating force for making a new dress for myself stemmed from the need for economy. you may develop muscles in the calves of your legs like those of a ballet if you want to economize. but tape. My next step was to shop for material. attaching fancy trimmings such as ruffles. 1953. thread. First of all. hemming. in the thought that I I Easy" the confusion and uncertainty of various authorities on spelling. so I have stuck entirely to the plain unadorned garment. I took my loot home. Of course. I have never been able to use any of these attachments. The guide ment Webster's New successive editions. in the accepted authority for Govern- printing for more than 85 years. "Aren't her clothes lovely? And she makes EVERY STITCH of them herself !"First three paragraphs of a student paper titled ''Dressmaking Made happy town. 51 299 . and rickrack. youTl have to be prepared to sacrifice whatever cheese-cake appeal you may possess. dancer. From actual experience I can prove to you that it is possible to make a dress for just twice what it would cost in a store. GPO Style Manual. since my first venture into dressmaking was not to be my last.

This project will also check the claims of the commercial rain-makers. c. If the project is successful. Explain in your own words. 300 . Suggestions for analyzing style: a. old-fashioned. Other studies have been made proving that it is possible for man to make rain. or any combination of these intentions.23 T) Effective words 1953. and give examples. . to persuade his readers. or their opposites. trite. and as specifically as possible. such a selection might seem paradoxical but the government rain-makers prefer an area that has many days when it is Since January. most of whom will not now release their procedures to private how much users because they fear exposure of their unethical extravagant claims. In this way it is hoped to discover how much more rain falls. why you prefer the writing in one passage to that in the others. To the layman. and any differences noted. but there is no data available on could be expected. b. it will provide useful data to all interested persons. to amuse them. a small group of Weather Bureau have been conducting an artificial rain-making experipersonnel ment in the Pacific Northwest That area was selected because it has more rainy days than any other area in the United States. Informal (or a mixture). and how it would benefit crops and water supplies. Determine the writer's primary purpose and his attitude toward his subject: to inform. . and how it might prevent storm damage. and thus to find out whether it is possible for man to make rain on a large scale. to clarify an idea. only small areas will be seeded and the rainfall from these areas will be compared with the precipitation from the unseeded areas. As a further control. . On some of these days favorable to rain. Describe the outstanding qualities of the writer's wording: Formal. On other "favorable" days nothing will be done. when rainy conditions are present. General. raining or is practically certain to rain. if any. wordy. Introductory and concluding methods and paragraphs in a student paper on government experiments in rain-making. planes on loan from the Navy will go aloft to seed the rain clouds with one of the two standard weapons of commercial rain-makers: dry ice pellets or silver iodide fumes.

He is satisfied). But care must be taken with compound with subjects that are grammatically singular even subjects. Problems of subject-verb agreement rarely arise in typical sentence patterns. and with subthat foDow the verb or are separated from it. The Stars and Stripes still waves overhead. You are satisfied. 302. 301 . jects 24. or are considered as forming a unit. 1 Verb with compound subject Two or more words. Subplural subjects take plural verbs (Five guests arrive). person speaking. Correction: Make the verb marked agree with its subject. The long and short of Brown's argument is that higher taxes will mean ruin. Rimski-Korsakov. the person spoken to. phrases.Grammar and usage 24 Subjects and verbs SV Subject-verb. pound subject (A boy and a girl were dancing) 24. jects indicating the This correspondence in form between related words in a statement is called agreement The basic patterns of subjectverb agreement are outlined in the table on p. though they may look to be plural (politics). or clauses standing as the subject of a verb are called a com. Subjects joined by and usually and Shostakovich are three of the besta sizable volume. the verb is usually singular: His warmest admirer and severest critic was his wife. known Russian composers. The text of the poem and the commentary make of a compound subject refer to Exception: When the words the same person or thing. or the person or thing spoken about may require different verb forms (I am satisfied. la Subjects joined by and take a plural verb: Tscliaikovsky. Singular subjects take singular verbs (A guest arrives).

Plural verb when the group is considered as a number of individuals: The majority are willing to contribute. For the winner there was a large cash prize and weeks of glory. these. One or the other is certainly to blame. she. all > believes is. some. have are. "J everyone. they. we. all I believe have plural nouns one. General usage is as follows: When both subjects singular: are singular and felt to be separate. 24. She and I are good friends. . nor. and Italy agree to send delegates. Singular verb in some special novel or a biography is to be read outside class. Britain. 16 302 . September 29.. it.24 Subjects and verbs Typical Subject-Verb Subject Agreement Present tense typical form Present tense of be and have am. either .. . Neither chance nor political maneuvering has been the main factor in the drift of Italy's political situation toward the Left. each. neither Verbs with compound subjects nor are sometimes .1 b Subjects joined by or.-Claire Sterling. cases: A Collective subjects as a unit: Singular verb when the group is considered Tlie majority is always right. plural. 1953. those. has singular nouns J Compound subjects Plural verb in most instances: France. How Far Left of Center?" The Reporter. J he. nor joined by singular and sometimes 1) the verb is or. "Italy: p. or. I believe "1 you.

Syntax. but not consistently. you and he intend to stay here all night? When pronoun subjects are separated by or or nor. 2:697-699. 13:161- 162. 74-75. Marckwardt and Walcott. pp. 11 .Lancelot Hogben. Ic Pronouns as compound subjects Pronouns of different verbs when persons used as compound subjects take plural are joined by and: they You and she seem Do to be in disagreement. 82-84. accident or several minor ones seem to occur at this corner each weekend. handbooks. pp. References: Because of conflicting statements in stylebooks and this construction has been much studied: Adeline C. 303 . 1951. College English. 52. 276-278 24. . pp. Roberts. pp. Bardett. 60. Since neither natural science nor any form of manual craftsmanship .24. 70-71. 1941. Hughes. the verb is usually plural: No artificial colorings or One major preservatives are used in this beverage. General: Neither the revolutionists nor their leader were to blame for the slaughter. "Neither with Plural Verb. are obligatory The plural is used especially often in questions subjects are pronouns of different persons: Are either Fred or Lamj really good Neither he nor I are going. in Formal usage the verb agrees with the pronoun nearer the verb: Neither you nor she is [General: are] using the proper backstroke. Formal usage often. Curme." College English. friends of hers? and when the 3) When the first of the two subjects is plural and the second is singular. Dorothy J. 56-57. Pooley. or when both are singular but are felt to be plural in meaning. p. Retreat from Reason.1c 2) When one or both subjects are plural. has a singular verb: Formal: Neither the revolutionists nor their leader was to blame for the slaughter.

47:646 A simple solution direct is to use and one that may make the statement more and rather than such phrases wherever and the short subjects last about three hours. Autumn 1949.2 Verbs with collective nouns as subjects to Words that refer a group of people or objects but are singular in form are called collective nouns: audience. 304 . Verbs and pronouns used with collective nouns are either singular or plural depending upon the meaning of the group word. In Formal 24*1 d Verb after together with and similar phrases a singular subject followed by a phrase using an exusage. "The Teaching of Literature. team. choir. combined with the growth of college and university populations and our desire for effi- Emerson Shuck. in addition to ordinarily takes a singular verb: Specialization in the undergraduate colleges. government. orchestra." School and September 29. Seymour ability to Betsky. mob. committee. lasts about three 24. feature. 1951. have seriously depreciated. crowd. faculty. army. public. appropriate: The main feature rather than The main hours.24 Subjects and verbs is This problem of agreement other construction: usually avoided by using some You are both using the wrong backstroke." Sewanee Review. pression like with. group. etc. gang. as well as the read it intelligently. together ivith the short subjects. "Cold Society. War in the Graduate Schools. jury. 74:194 But a plural verb is often used in these situations when the added phrase is clearly intended as a compound subject: Both the demand for the competent serious literature. ciency. as well as. together with. Juts fostered rigid departmentalization of the teaching function.

the amount is considered as a number of individual used: a plural verb is Two more dottars are missing from the till this morning.2d Data. Five times seven is [or are] thirty-five. The audience is requested to remain seated during intermission. public Data is a plural form (and is gener- ally so considered in scientific writing). Four quarts of oil is all the crankcase holds. data is used for both singular and plural. gallons. and multiplication. number. 2c Measurements and figures verbs tity or extent (miles. Three months passes in no time at all when you spend your vacation on a dude ranch. The last three months have been the driest in California's history. 24. years. The committee has already held its first meeting of the vear. collectives take they plural verbs and plural reference words: The graduating class have caps and gowns. subtraction.2d 24. The audience have now returned and are taking their seats.24. usage is about evenly divided: Five and seven is [or are] twelve. 2a Collective nouns referring to the group as a unit Singular verbs and singular reference words are used with collective nouns that refer to the group as a unit: Class is dismissed. 305 . The committee are arguing all agreed to have their pictures taken in among themselves. 2b Collective nouns referring to the individuals reference is When the to the individuals of the group. Five dollars When units. There are three quarts of milk in the refrigerator. but since the singular datum is rarely used. In expressions of addition. 24. 24. Expressions signifying quanpounds) take singular when the amount is considered as a unit: is too much to pay for a book in that condition. especially when are represented as acting individually.

it takes a plural construction if the writer is considering the individual members are invited). acoustics) either in a singular or plural sense: may . 381 Plural idea: When the task at the is to analyze. other words ending in -ics that refer to physical activities or qualities (athletics. have been from some virtually smaller Battistics is the study of the His motives may be motion of good. tactics) are generally treated as plurals. Public takes a singular verb if the writer wishes to signify the whole group (The public is invited) . Singular forms Physics was Plural forms my most difficult Athletics subject in high school. Morris R. Reason and Nature. his tactics are deplorable. to the data [the individual facts] have been secured sift. (The pubUc 24. economics. or body of knowledge are usually considered singular. but projectiles.2e Words ending civics. Higginson. abolished schools.24 Subjects and verbs Singular idea: The actual data of history [a body of facts] consists of contemporary facts in the form of remains and documents. politics. in -Ics and similar -ics words that Physics. mathematics. Some words ending be used 306 in -ics (ethics. A number of pages are badly torn. it refers to preceded by the. 10 Number plural: as a collective noun may be a. art. Fields of Psychology. it refers to the total either singular or sum and takes a singular verb. to select and to arrange those data which bear upon each particular phase of the object or event examined until end the scientist has what one might call a logical construct G. D. p. Cohen. acrobatics. p. refer to a science. preceded and takes a plural verb: by the individual units The number of pages assigned for daily reading was gradually in- creased to twelve.

Fries. 54. consult a dictionary. [The verb subject who refers to men. decided to go to see exactly how one of those new cars is [not are] put together. Acoustics that is is a branch of science fast. Syntax. 26 and index entries.] "The Lottery" is one of those stories that leave you more puzzled when you finish than when you began. When you are in doubt about the number of a word ending in -ic$. Ch. 48-50. Pooley. not to one. the verb in clauses who (or that) is plural: never care one of those its men who how they look. pp. and others has [not have] ventured into the tual worlds. 3b One He is of those who that begin one of those is In written English. 85-88 24*3 Blind agreement The tendency to make a verb agree with a nearby expression rather than with its actual subject is called "blind agreement. 57-59. pp. 24. The not all acoustics in this room arc growing they might be.3a Plural nouns between subject and verb A singular subject followed by a phrase or clause containing plural nouns is still singular: [subject] Here and there a man such as Columbus. Galileo.] Although a singular verb ("one of those girls is common in who talks all the time") spoken English and in a good 307 ." 24. were offensive troversy.24.3b Singular idea Plural idea is In almost every group. politics a subject that will arouse con- Radical politics to the Federalists. [Stories is the antecedent of plural because that. unknown physical and intellec- builders The lumberman now finds I [subject] who previously sold only to carpenters and [not find] hundreds of amateurs eager to build their own homes. References: Curme.

" J. no There is when no Frigidaire. . gas. care must be taken to make the verb agree with the subject and not with some other word: 308 . 14:115-116. are would be unidiomatic. 24." Reference: Robert lish. College EngNovember 1952.3d Verb and complement A verb agrees with not with its complement or its object: The on its subject and my material [subject] that was most interesting to me when I worked reference paper was [not were] the books that stated the facts flies forcefully. 13:43-44 24. great narrative and dramatic power [subject] in the first part at our of this novel. October 1951. "There Is' Again. as in this stateespecially ment from The New Yorker: "There is no telephone." College English. . conflicting opinions [subject] about smoking in the class- There were There is familiar with the camp at least a dozen men [subject] who were mountain trail. there are When a sentence begins with the introis ductory (or "dummy") word there. December 1954. Robert J. "There Is One And ." College English.24 Subjects and verbs deal of published material as well. no use of electricity. 3c There Is. The black flies [subject] that swarmed about us on our [not was] our chief trouble. the number of the verb determined by the subject which follows: There are rooms. that trip were 24. Geist. the plural verb is customin these constructions and should therefore be arily expected used in college writing. . "Concord of the Verb in Relative Clauses After one of. Our chief trouble [subject] was [not were] the black swarmed about us on the trip. 16:188-189 . frequently is used before a compound subject. 3e Inverted order When the word order is inverted. Geist. Reference: Russell Thomas. .

takes a heavy wooden maul and slams down on the cushion. etc. [Secretary and two members is a compound subject. a series before a phrase with plural nouns take singular verbs: The best part of the summer concerts. The the top customer pays ten cents.] 24. feet in height. The other end of the board carries a rubber striking cushion. Monster Midway. A third type of religious festival the annual harvest feasts. was th< second and third performances. sending the rubber weight sliding up the it is done properly the cylinder slides all the way up and the gong. At A a bronze gong. between 25 and 30 is is standspectacular. Exercises 1. the high striker. from ground up to a wire and along this wire slides a small cylinder of tough gong. If cigar. part/ series Subjects like type. that.) indicate in parentheses what noun or phrase it refers to. This ard. is set up and guyed out. they. among these primitive people was A series of panel discussions is scheduled for the convention. which. most people agree. rubber. p. whereupon the operator gives the customer a rings wire. balanced in the center. 265 309 . portion. noisy and provides plenty of action. William Lindsay Gresham. set in motion by a teeter board. If the subject is a pronoun (it. part. Copy down the italicized verbs in the following paragraphs and then opposite each verb write down its subject. Is any one [subject] of these pictures for sale? Accompanying the publisher were his secretary and two members of his legal staff.31 Type. Running its length.Exercises Throughout the to the author's story appear thinly disguised references [subject] own boyhood. 1) One is point of psychology of the most fascinating games to watch from the standis that venerable device.

Only one lowed some such routine as interviewing parents who has fol- and children before college entrance and during the college years has an idea of the amount of pent-up rebellion against fathers and mothers. Literature. a somewhat tragic ending perhaps unintentionally. and frustrations through a fierce determination to reform the world immediately. inexact. are) out. and which (seem." attractiveness of any ideas which justify Everett Hunt. three strikes (is. of course. give the imto make pression that these are exceptional cases. with more fighting spirit. 6) As every baseball fan knows. superficial. seem They also.U. wholly 4) The kind of movies that I see on TV these days (bore. express their rebellions.A. 7) Gradually the reader comes to suspect that the tone of most of the letters that both newspapers publish (is. 3) Professor Dodd's analysis of the emotions. these students have achieved a conspicuously successful place in society. 310 . and can understand the the individual in revolt. 2) To a large class of specialists. has) proved successful in the treatment of baldness. 5) Neither expensive lotions nor frequent massaging (have. bores) me. seems) to follow Plato. Most of come from a comfortable and prosperous backand very often from a home where one or both the parents ground. the rest of mankind are) made up of ignorant laymen. Spring 1953. If there is any problem of agreement. is full of examples of dominating parents and rebellious children. repressions. acted (was. were) one of his outstanding traits. is loose. 39:25 Copy the subject of each of the following sentences and the form of the verb in parentheses that agrees with it. are) favorable to the editorial policies of the papers. explain your choice of verb in terms of 2.24 2) Subjects and verbs A much larger group of students. but writers usually manage their conflicts artfully and dramatically enough inevitable. the points 1) made in this section: The principles on which Henry Ford thought as well as (is. chiatrist. Bulletin.P. "The Dean and the Psy- A.

10) Change their to its: By the end of the second mile obvious that the crew were not rowing their best.Exercises 8) The reception to Class of 1954 (requests. 7) Begin with "Neither instead of One: One of the books you asked for last week has been returned. 9) Add one of those parents who after is: I can now see that my father is almost always right. 1) Change one mile to three miles: I generally take the bus home. Make whatever changes are necessary in the verb form and other wording. request) your presence at a be given Thursday. interest in children 2) After children add together with a sense of humor: An is an absolute necessity if a person intends to be a playground director. 8) Make what worried him most the subject: Unforeseen medical expenses were what worried him most. are) too much red tape and delay. 10) Critics of adoption agencies claim there (is. were) the series of naval defeats she suffered at the hands of the English. Recast the following sentences according to the directions given for each. 5) After you add and she: Your sister told me that you intend think that to study ceramics at night school. 3. of England and Wales after Association: The Youth Association takes special pains to enable Hosteling young people of limited means to explore the countryside. 3) Add 4) Change lighting to acoustics: Several speakers have suggested that the lighting in our auditorium is not as good as it might be. 9) One of the main reasons for the rapid decline of Spain as a power (was. it was 311 . June 3. at eight o'clock in the ball- room sea of the Hotel Geneva. 6) Change money to riches: Too many people still money is the sole standard of success. partiality and various unnecessary obstacles. since one mile is too far to walk after standing on my feet all day.

While some many adverbs end in -ly (really." a person might write "The recent (M) war brought untold (M) suffering throughout Europe (M). Adjectives and adverbs are modifying words used to make the meaning of other words clearer or more exact Modifiers are essential because the subject. Infinitives. For Modifiers clauses used as adjective and adverb modifiers. participles. see 16. see 15.1 tive or Forms of adjectives and adverbs The form of an adjecadverb should be appropriate to the passage in which it occurs* Particular care should be taken to distinguish between the forms that end in -Zj/ and those that do not. particularly. quite. more common ones do not (now.25 Adjectives and adverbs Ad AdjecHve or adverb form. p. limit or make more definite the meaning of a key word (Mary's books. He laughed loudly). and object by themselves do not ordinarily convey the full meaning a writer wishes to give to his ideas. p. too. verb. The following sections deal with single word modifiers. 187. Subordinate clauses. Correction: Use fhe proper or the more appropriate form of the adjective or adverb marked. For verbal phrases as modifiers. lonely). In addition. la Adjectives and adverbs of identical form tives and adverbs have identical form. 197. there}. fast: Some adjec- including: Adverb try to a better book an early bird a fast car do better leave early drive fast much: straight: well: much time a straight line all is well waste a better plan go straight to bed much runs well when oiled 312 . 25. of the 2 5. sincerely). some adjectives also end in -ly (friendly. you may do as you wish)." may add descriptive details (a scene of pleasant memories). Adjective better: early. qualify statements (However. Thus in place of "War ( S ) brought (V) suffering (0). and gerunds.

this kind: fast [not fastly] appreciate your kindness very Vulgate form].1 b Long and short forms of adverbs Some adverbs have two forms: one with an -ly ending (long form). Don't talk so loud. considerably. slowty. badly is the proper form in General writing bad is Vulgate (He danced badly). The the sound of the word. Substitutyou are using them as is an adverb form ing an adjective for should be avoided: It Vulgate usage and was a redly outstanding performance than trip took considerably longer Our we [not: real outstanding]. and the level of tone of the passage. expected [not: considerable longer]. The rope was drawn The rope was drawn -ly tightly. the choice usually depends upon appropriateness. factors.25. For 25. the short form (The motor runs smooth). when adverbs. Don't talk so loudly. Formal English tends to prefer the -ly form (The motor runs smoothly). usage.1c An I -hj adverbs of ending should not be added to ." Almost is an adverb. usage are the determining Caution: Do not drop -ly from words like sincerely. an archaic or 25.1 c Most. As an adverb. really. and most is an adjective: 313 .2c. the other without (short form): Short form Long form Go slow. She types much [not muchly. see 25. Other adverbs used with and without the bright ending include: smooth straight deep even fair loose cheap close second sharp wrong When two forms of an adverb are in common use. Go tight. almost In Formal and General English most is not used for almost in the sense of "nearly. General usage. in such constructions the use of bad as a predicate adjective.

p. "Farewell.-Lee Strout White. p. Jespersen. In spoken English these or those often used with these words when a plural noun occurs in the following phrase (I like these kind of records best. pp. Reference: Pooley. writing to prevent ambiguous or confusing 314 . References: Curme. is much more flexible and needs to be in watched wording. that sort of people). most is spoken usage and inappropriate in but Informal writing. p. 544-546.1 d This kind/ ffmf serf Kind and sort are singular nouns and should be preceded by singular modifiers (this kind of is clouds. [adverb. But in General usage both words should be treated as singular forms: I like this That sort of jokes land of records best. 202 25. [adverb. p. 1936. The position of adverbs. modifying the adjective In Informal English. In this sense. Few problems with single-word adjectives because they usually appear immediately before the word they modify. most is frequently used for almost: foot brake Most everybody used the reverse pedal quite as much as the regular it distributed the wear over the bands and wore them down evenly. annoys me.2 Position of adjectives and adverbs Adverbs and adjectives should be clearly related by their position in a statement to the words they are intended to arise modify. May 16. Fries. modifying the adverb always] Most fishermen are Almost all\ all optimists. Those sort of jokes annoy me). [adverb. however. [adjective. 22 My Lovely!" The New Yorker. modifying the verb The train was almost always on time. modifying fishermen] fishermen are optimists.25 I Adjectives lost and adverbs lost] almost my mind. 58. all 156 25.

The Sea Around Us. [predicate adjective modifying weather] 315 . use an adverb. sound. modifying looked] He turned abruptly when he heard his name called. look. [adverb. battle royal). or more adjectives are often placed after the words they modify to gain emphasis or to avoid clumsy or wordy expressions. tough. am. The Laysan teal is found nowhere in the world but on the one small island of Laysan. Carson. Predicate adjectives are separated verbs. 512 of blood 25. may also be weeds grew jective or To determine whether a modified by adverbs (The predicate ad- an adverb should be used. Thomas Wolfe. the most tenuous hold on life. were. become. Angel. Look Homeward.2a Typical position of adjectives jectives in English is The adtypical position of immediately before the words they modify: Some of the island species have. prove and verbs describing sensations like taste. Rachel L. The dren} children looked unhappy. 95 tive occurs after the In some set phrases or conventional expressions the adjecnoun ( accounts receivable.2b 25. use a predicate adjective. p. Probably the total population of this species does not exceed fifty individuals. was. [adverb. Two Everywhere among this swarming crowd gleamed the bright raiment and glory: die sailors thronged the streets in flapping blues and spotless whites brown. the children looked unhapp&y out the window. Some of these forms rapidly). and cfean. appear.25. bride-elect. Even on this island it occurs only on one end. smell.2b Predicate adjectives linking verbs are be. from the nouns they modify by linking The common (is. at best. see what word is being modified: when the modifier refers to the subject. seem. has been). describing the way in which he turned] Overnight the weather turned cold. where there is a seepage of fresh water. [predicate adjective describing chil- As the rain continued to fall. when it modifies the verb. attorney gen- eral. p. feel. grow.

References: Lillian M. "not ill"] made him and feel good to pack his own bag and get into the front seat drive his own car. particuone that modifies a verb or a complete statement. 66-69.2c Good/ well. Parts of Speech. The Big Money.2d Position of adverbs The position of an adverb. perhaps.Adjectives and adverbs simple method of determining whether a predicate adword following the verb jective should be used is to see if the A can be combined with the subject as an adjective: thus the unhappy children. Curme. This cake tastes good). "How Bad(ly) Do You p. 26-28 25. Perhaps once he was the most popular writer in America. He was. in writing: The team played well is As an adjective. but with different connotations: Don't you It feel well? [referring to a state. The situation boks bad to me). 1949. pp. Feel?" American Speech. Either good or well may be used as a predicate adjective in the expression to feel well (good). 319 The use of good for the adverb well is Vulgate and should [not good] for be avoided five innings. Syntax. The milk tastes bad. 316 . bod/ badly as predicate adjectives Good is an adjective (a good time. Badly is also used when the emphasis is on the verb (I feel badly [or bad] about your troubles. depending upon the emphasis desired: Perhaps he was once the most popular writer in America. pp. [referring to a general attitude or bodily sensation] John Dos Passes. 24:161-170. Feinsilver. All is well). Well is either an adjective (Are you feeling ivell?. bad the usual form after linking verbs (She feels bad. larly may vary within a sentence. 37 25. the most popular writer in America once. Syntax. References: Curme. the cold weather: but not the unhappily looking children or abruptly he. The decaying fish certainly smelled badly [or bad] ). or an adverb (He writes well).. p.

Accurate: He had a face only a mother could love. more to make a full hundred. may alter the The way that I I can stand in front of a store useless articles window and persuade myself me. stood for Parliament he only scored a hundred and twenty-five votes. The English People. 11 -George Orwell. hardly to breathe In General usage die adverb usually stands immediately before the verb: I only need six more to make a full hundred. in his native borough. The audience hardly seemed to breathe when the girl began speaking* This pattern. hardly.25. In some constructions. 72 But a writer should be careful not to misplace a modifier so that the meaning of a statement becomes ambiguous or even ludicrous: Ambiguous: Using several pen names. p. He it-Eugene only remembers one verse of the song and he has been repeating O'Neill. typical of spoken English. when no misunderstanding of the author's meaning will occur: When the brilliant lightweight boxer. Kid Lewis. just ment they modify in Formal usage: I need only six. p. are placed immediately before the elemerely. the two every article.2e This flexibility makes it possible to shift the position of many adverbs for sentence variety and movement as well as for emphasis. The audience seemed when the girl began speaking. is often found in writing. misplacing the modifier intended meaning.] editors have almost written every article in the magazine. Nonsensical: He had only a face a mother could love. 2e Only and similar adverbs Limiting adverbs like only. the two editors have written almost article in the magazine. A Moon for the Misbegotten. [Obviously almost should modify every Clear: Using several pen names. 25. [intended meaning: need even surprises surprises even me] 317 .

[Quickly belongs Kenneth Burke. or even attempt attempt to describe her physically. unnatural or misleading in some statements: . 458-465. Roberts. in succession. or even to physically describe stances of our meeting. her. But constructions of this sort are by no means always awkward. pp. A Rhetoric of it or before to. serious). slower. or makes a specific comparison between two things (redder.25 25. After a while I distinguish was able to although not very accurately. awkward or that call undue attention to themselves: viously A Awkward I will not describe the circum- Better I will not describe the circum- stances of our meeting. "Split infinitive" (for overprecise distinctions). 144. 132. disfrom tinguish the good customers the sulky ones. The positive degree (or simple form of the modifier) expresses no comparison (red. 24 ganda" in The Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences. the superlative indicates the greatest (or least) degree among three or more 318 . we know of no better way to quickly glimpse the range of rhetthan to read. pp.. 2f Split Adjectives and adverbs infinitive A phrase with an adverb between to and an want to ever see infinitive (I don't him again) is called a split writer should avoid split infinitives that are obinfinitive. not after Motives. slow. p. although not very accurately-the good customers from the sulky ones. Syntax.] References: Curme.. more seriously). 204-206 25*3 Comparison of adjectives and adverbs Most adjectives and adverbs have three different forms to indicate degrees of the characteristic they name. pp. Putting the adverb modifier immediately before or after the infinitive would be to. Fries. When the normal position of the adverb is after the word tionist a split infinitive is Standard usage (The recepasked them to please sit down). Fowler. the articles on "Property" and "Propa- oric before glimpse. the comparative degree represents an increase of the positive form. After a while I was able to.

25. least). easiest. least often forms are used with words of one and more. With two-syllable words a writer usually has a choice of either form (abler. the most or least seriously presented argument). farthest. or by prefixing more. the slowest runner on the team. the -er. 260 . -est fresher. most with words of more syllable (longer.3b things (the reddest apple of all. . driest). . Positive Comparative hotter Superlative hottest Adjectives hot most least brilliant expensive Adverbs near nearer nearest most sincerely oftenest. 25. littlest lesser. more able. the sound of the expression may determine which form is used: In general. 3a Regular forms of comparison Most adjectives and adverbs are compared in one of two ways: by adding -er. Eyvind Johnson. littler many I some > more most much] 319 . His step was steadier and more elastic. most rapidly). -csf to the positive form. most easy). Even his bloodshot eyes looked and his hair and beard were softer. further less. furthest least. p. 25. Return to Ithaca. most often. most (or less. than two syllables (more interesting.3b Irregular forms of comparison A few common modifiers have irregular forms in comparisons: bad worse better worst best good! well far little J farther.

King Lear the greatest of Shakespeare's 320 . live cigarette.25 lative: Adjectives and adverbs Worse. 20:161-167 25. the lower depths. longer). She works more diligently than her roommate. "The Rise of the Incomplete Com- parative. Better Business Bureau). further: In Formal English a distinction is sometimes made between farther. FartJier. Sheldon.4 Use of comparatives and superlatives Comp Comparison appropriate of adjectives and adverbs. it is better to avoid this construction. In Formal writing.4b Use of the superlative for the comparative lative The super- form ordinarily indicates the greatest degree among : three or more persons or things He was voted Many critics tragedies.4a Use of the comparative jective or adverb is ordinarily used The comparative form of an when two things adare compared: man than I am. In others. worst: Worst is the appropriate form for the superThat was the worst [not worse] show I have ever seen. the member consider of his class most likely to succeed.4. English (We General 25. (25." Amencan Speech. referring to physical distance (It was six miles farther to town) and further referring to abstract will study these suggestions further). In degree this distinction is not made. 1945. the is left to supply the comparison (Look younger. Correction: Change the con- struction of the comparison marked to one more accurate or more 25. You're a better But in when no reader some expressions the comparative form is used actual comparison is mentioned (higher education.5). Writers of advertising copy are particiilarly fond of this absolute use of the comparative: Smoke a milder More protection for fewer dollars. 25. Reference: Esther K. Gunga Din! Blood is thicker than water. Suds gets clothes cleaner.

perfect. 101 254c Absolute use of the superlative Superlative forms occur in expressions in which no direct comparison is implied ( best wishes. most sincerely yours). lish philosopher.4d Unique and similar words Words such as unique. Reference: Curme. pp. "Books of the Times. and the same construction ings occasionally seen in writ- Mr. and it is better to keep the superlative for comparisons or more units. highest praise.4d in The superlative is sometimes used for comparing two things spoken English (May the best man [of two opponents] is win). Inc." The New York Times. "The Use of the Superlative for the Comparative/' English Journal (College Edition). a most influential Engcontended that man is an animal subject to the general laws of evolution and that human progress results from the stern discipline of nature which eliminates the unfit. Reprinted by permission of Henry Holt and Company. Weidman's book is the most ambitious which is appropriate enough since his hero is most furiously concerned with ambition. deepest sympathy. p.~Orville Prescott. Ethics and Society. February 17.25. Fries. 46. The form with most is frequently used as an intensive to signify a high degree: For example. empty are sometimes regarded as logically incapable of comparison or qualification because their positive forms ex321 . 1935. Syntax. 24:821829. References: Russell among three Thomas. Melvin Rader. dead. Herbert Spencer (1820-1903). p. 506-508 25. 1948 tvvo Of the But this usage is regarded as distinctly Informal. The colloquial use of a heavily stressed superlative to indicate nothing more than general approval (the "feminine intensive") should be avoided in serious writing: I Hasn't she the sweetest voice? saw the loveliest lamb chops at the butcher's.

p. pp. 99-100 25*5 Constructions in comparisons In writing. the people of the United States. 204 and Whether words is like these should or should not be qualified a matter that can be determined only by appropriateness. 504. p. References: Curme. Individual from a Linguistic Point of View.25 Adjectives and adverbs press absolute states. In General writing an expression such as "That was the most perfect meeting I ever attended" would be appropriate. Otto Jespersen. "the most nearly perfect meeting" would be preferable. . Expressions that might pass unnoticed in conversation (such as all the higher the ladder witt reach or the slowest of any runner on the team) are too slipshod to be used in careful writing (where the same ideas would be as high as the ladder will reach and the slowest runner on the team). 25. . Mankind.-Preamble to the Constitution of the United States . 322 .. expressions of should be more carefully and more fully stated comparisons than they usually are in speaking. in order to form a more perfect . the more unique his nature. One reviewer compared these short stories to O'Henry. One reviewer compared these short stories to those written by O'Henry [or to O'Henry's]. Syntax. the more peculiarly his own will be the coloring of his language. 5a Comparable terms Things compared should be of the same kind and actually comparable: Terms not comparable Comparable terms The most rhinoceros has a hide al- The rhinoceros has a hide alalli- as tough as an alligator [Hide and alligator are not comparable]. Nation. but in Formal usage. most as tough as that of an gator [or as an alligator's]. But in actual usage these terms are often qualified or modified by comparative forms: We union.. Roberts.

5d 25. Blithe Spirit was more successful than the other plays we produced last year.5b As . Since the movement. The Egyptians had attained the highest degree of cultivation in medicine that had up to that time been achieved by any [not any other] nation. 25.U.5d Like like is To introduce a prepositional phrase of comparison.A. I think movies are more entertaining than any [not any other] book. Standard usage: It may of course be argued. used when the comparison involves things but not when the things belong to different She is a better dancer than the other girls. than construction tends to interrupt sentence to complete the first com- He is as tall as his brother. as should be Double comparisons filled \vith as . if not taller.] The styles van. as should not be substituted for like or such as: 323 . i f . like mathematics.P. as. . . that foreign are too difficult for students generally. his brother.25. it is often preferable parison and then add the second: . Other is not used with superlative comparisons: Jerry was the best cook of all the [not all the other] cooks in the sur- rounding camps. not more. if The styles vary as much as the colors. and languages. the colors. [not: He taller is as tall as.. if not more than. She dances better than any [not any other] boy in school. 39:79 In phrases like this.. as it has often been argued. should be reserved only for those with the ability to profit by their Norman P.. School Controversy.as much if as.5c Other of the classes: Other is same class. Bulletin. . . than out in writing: not taller than. Spring 1953. if He is as tall if not than his brother. 25." A.. "A Linguist's View of the Current Public study. Sacks.

Formal English introduce a clause of comparison with a definite subject as though to like: prefers as. The Lonely Crowd. competes against the free-trade economy. Marckwardt and Walcott. 324 . Except Like be used. 247 Although junction current writing: a conregarded as "disputable" usage. 281-282. been both of these things 1950. pp. p. March 5. the preferred forms as though or as especially in Formal English." The Saturday Review.25 Some Adjectives and adverbs and Caldwcll take their material writers like Faulkner from a particular region. Henry Steele Commager. David Riesman and others. That cat liked milk more than most children. taken as a single group. 5e Completing comparisons Statements involving comparisons should be written out in full. p. 1952. I Or: owe him less than I owe you. 46-48. if should References: Curme. [not as] To and verb. prepositional phrases. p. of "Stranger and Alone" at More and more we are treating children like a rich man incapable of love might treat his wifetrying to fob off on them material tilings in place of the vital things that they have a right to. particularly if any misunderstanding might arise through shortening one of the terms: Ambiguous I Clearer less owe him than yon. These big monopolies. 12 looks a little like he might have one time or another. "Talk Saunders Redding/' The New York Times Book Review. pp. May 10. as if. 46 is a more definite word than the overworked as and it become as acceptable in these constructions as it is in may where like is the Standard idiom. That cat liked milk more than most children do. I owe him less than you do. Syntax. 153. 155. 113-114 25. like status in is gaining respectable introducing a clause still as The author with J.-Harvey Brcit. "When Majors Wrote for Minors. are in devastating much as the fair-trade economy competition with the not yet grouped. pp. Pooley. as in the South.

and may the (better. 1) . p.. after (2) school hours and in the vacations. best) man win. Small (7) Western Civilization. newly) painted lunch stand. formative of character. If both forms are possible.." but way from being the (wickedest. Then identify each form according to its function as adjective. First determine what word or statement each of the numbered forms modifies. Edith Hamilton. 38 2) (1) Thus.Exercises Exercises 1. (4) Unhappily. Years of study are needed to read it (5) even (6) wonder that the writers of other countries left it alone > and unlike their brother artists in stone (8) never imitated Greek methods. capable of the (4) finest distinctions of meaning. 1) Near the picnic grounds was a (new. Greek is a (1) very subtle language. 3) a long 4) Reno may be the "biggest little city in the world. since they were very (3) young. commendable and Thomas Wolfe. neither Eliza nor Gant were at any pains to examine the kind of work their children did. Look Homeward. indicate the level at which each would be acceptable. 2) Everyone should drive extremely (careful carefully) when it's dusk sets in. full of (2) del- icately (3) modifying words. 112 Select the adjective or adverb form that seems appropriate in each of these sentences and give the reason for your choice. tightly). The Greek Way to tolerably. 5) You take the white chessmen and Til take the black. 325 . p. contenting themselves (5) vaguely with the comfortable assurance that all work which earned money was (6) honest. deft fingers the With cowboy rolled his cigarette (tight. Angel 2. most wicked). adverb. or predicate adjective. the boys had gone out to work.

but after a few 11) The senator's arguments always sound (convincing. a less conscientious person might have acted (different. 326 . 3. smoothly) even in sub-zero weather. 7) 8) not better Da Vincfs "Mona Lisa" is probably the most perfect por- trait of its kind. good). and sanitation. if 6) The junior varsity has been playing as well than the first team. 8) Confronted by the same temptations. 14) Without additional machinery. easier) 13) Even after he bought a hearing aid. law enforcement. There were other problems confronting the settlers. 12) Either sandpaper or steel wool may be used to remove the . 4) These kind of scissors are called pinking shears. Some of the adjective and adverb forms and expressions of comparisons in these sentences would be inappropriate in Formal English. closely) knit.Adjectives and adverbs 7) 6) This sweater must be much more (close. differently). he complained that he heard (more badly. quicker) than ever before. worse) every day. as education. conwell) vincingly) over the radio but they don't stand up very (good. when you study them in the papers. 10) 9) Writing comes (easy. 15) With high octane gas the motor starts (easy. but of the two I prefer steel wool because it's (easiest. more bites you'll probably like it. When you first bite into a mango. out parts (more quickly. the factory can now turn rust. Change these to Formal English and briefly tell why. 3) My parents were always arguing about which one was the 1) After exams I 2) best qualified to supervise the raising of the children. 5) The hours of work in public health nursing are not the same as any other business or industry. it may taste (peculiar. peculiarly). The investigations should have been carried on further. was real concerned about my grades. easily) and runs (smooth. easily) to students who like to read. Several people have been kind enough to tell me that for a beginner I play the piano pretty (well.

He found he had enough money Our teachers told us to last him 3) 4) 5) Add more Add or less: what to do and what to think. 6) 7) 8) half: There's to kill yourself difficult for on this job. a series of riots harassed the newly independent country. there bol. West is the southernmost city in the United States. is a place for that domestic sym- 327 . Explain any change of emphasis or meaning that would result from shifting the modifier. We started our march early. better: They are thus able to orient themselves in a to melt before they changing society. is 12) Experienced stamp collectors value those sort of stamps more highly than 13 ) 14) that eight miles these. Add Add Add almost: The snowflakes seemed no need is touched the ground. the bathtub. Study the following sentences carefully and state where you would place the modifier within each sentence. 10) One of the most annoying things about double features that the worse picture is always shown first. but the underbrush was so thick was all the farther we could go. 10) Add even to the main clause: Since everything is important in our cultural history. 9) Add almost to the dependent clause: I must confess that in the last year I have come to like ROTC. they caught five small trout. Add only: After fishing all day. 1) Add definitely: Should a student try to determine his future career before coming to college? 2) Add scarcely: over the weekend. Key 15) The old Ford tri-motor monoplane was used because the space for the smokejumpers was greater than the other planes. even: This sonata too a concert pianist to play. 11) Her skin was soft like a baby. 4.Exercises 9) Following the withdrawal of the occupation troops.

26 Verbs The italicized words in these sentences are verbs: The hunter shot a deer. A verb in the passive voice when the subject receives the action: A speech ( (S) was delivered (V) by the President 26. gone Tense (26. went The past participle: asked. its meaning: A verb is Active intransitive when ( it does not have an object: He slept (V). Our next speaker will be introduced by the chairman.1) English verbs have three principal parts: The infinitive. My sister has measles.10) The manner in which a statement is expressed: The indicative mood expresses a fact or a statement: I am thrifty.9) A verb The in the active voice when its subject is the actor: President delivered is (V) a speech. Are you ready? Terms used Principal ports in describing verbs (26. go (to go) The past tense: asked. 332-333. and passive voice is 26. or base form: ask (to ask). 328 . ) and intransitive Transitive A verb is The transitive teacher when it has an object to complete demanded (V) order (O).2) went of a verb's action as expressed in the Present: I go The "time" Past: I ( form of the verb: Future: I will go For other tenses. see the table on pp. The imperative mood expresses a command or request: Be thrifty! The subjunctive mood is used in some conditions and in clauses like: It is necessary that he be twenty-one.

In meaning, verbs indicate action (run, manufacture, write) , condition (am, jeel, sleep), or process (become, grow). In form, they may consist of one word or more (I should not have done it), and may indicate person, number,
tense, voice, and mood. The table on these two pages lists the terms used to describe the principal characteristics of verbs.

Terms used
Auxiliary verb

in describing



verb used with another verb form in a phrase to show tense, voice,


am going. He will go. They liad gone. The work should have been completed earlier.

Linking verb or copula


13.1d; 24.3d)


verb that 'links" She is a teacher


subject to a predicate



an adjective:

The days became warmer.

Regular and irregular verbs


Regular (or "weak") verbs form their principal parts by adding -ed, -d, or -t to the infinitive: asked, engraved, dealt Irregular (or "strong*') verbs change or retain the vowel of the infinitive and do not add -d, -ed, or -t:
sing, sang,


put, put, put


infinite verbs




verb (from the Latin

meaning "end" or 'limit") can be


In person by a pronoun or subject (I sing, she sings) In time by a tense form (she sings, she sang) In number, singular or plural (he sings, they sing) Finite verbs can be main verbs in sentences and clauses: I had gone before he came.
infinite or "non-finite" verb Participles, infinitives, and gerunds are forms because they are not limited in person or number and are ordinarily used in subordinate constructions: Before leaving I thanked our host. She needed a hat to wear.




The appropriate form of a verb should be Principal parts used to indicate each of its tenses. With regular verbs problems seldom arise because their forms do not change, except for the endings -ed, -d, or -t. But errors may occur in the formation of certain tenses of the irregular ("strong") verbs, because of a confusion in spelling (choose, chose), or because of an inappropriate use of a Vulgate form (He seen the show


following list contains the principal parts of common verbs that sometimes raise questions. The past tense in the second column is used in the simple past ( She wrote a letter)



form compound past participle, third column, is used to tenses (The bird had flown away; Soon this will be forgotten;


The chimes are being rung). Where two forms are given, both
limited a cigarette; parentheses labeled

are acceptable


He lit a cigarette). But those forms in NS (Nonstandard) should not be used in

General writing. For verbs not given here, consult a recent dictionary. Caution: If your dictionary labels a form in question Vulgate, obsolete, archaic, or rare, it is not suitable for
college writing.

Principal parts
(Forms marked


[Nonstandard] should not be used in writing.)
Past tense

Past participle




borne (carried) born (given birth to)


began (NS begun)

bitten, bit




(NS blowed)


choose (chodz)

caught chose (choz)

caught chosen

dig dive

came (NS come)
dove, dived







26.2 Use of tenses
T Tense. Correction:


the tense of the verb

marked conventional
(b, c).


the (a) or consistent with the others in


By means of the different tenses, a writer sets the time

of the

in the past, going on describing (as happening at the present time, or occurring in the future), and also indicates for the reader the continuity of the action or explana-



tion. It is important, therefore, to see that

the verb tenses are


and easy

to follow.

26. 2a Tense forms

Except for the simple present and past tense forms, English verbs show distinctions of time by various exphrase combinations, often supported by adverbs (for "he is about to go" as a future). ample, The following table lists the names of the most frequently
used tenses and the verb phrases most commonly associated with time distinctions:
Present tense

he asks he is asking he does ask

he he



being asked

Past tenses
Past (time in the past not extending to the present)

he asked he was asking he did ask
he has asked he has been asking he had asked he had been asking

he was asked he was being asked he has been asked

Perfect (past time extending to the present; past participle plus

have or


Past perfect ( a time in the past before another past time; past participle plus

he had been asked

Future tenses

Future (future, extending from the present)

he he he

will ask



be asked


be asking

going to ask


Future perfect (past time

some future

time; future

he he



have asked have been

he will have been asked

tense of have plus past participle)


26. 2b Consistent use of tenses tense (as from the present ture) should be avoided:

Unnecessary or careless

shift in

to the past, or the past to the fu-

[Past tense throughout]: I sat down at my desk early with intentions of spending the

[Mixture of present and past]: I sit down at my desk early

with intentions of spending the
next four hours studying. Before many minutes passed, I heard a

next four hours studying. Before many minutes passed, I heard a

great deal of noise down on the below me; a water fight is

in progress. Studying was forgotten for half an hour, for it is quite impossible to concentrate on

Spanish in the midst of all this commotion. After things quieted down I began studying again, but

down on the below me; a water fight teas in progress. Studying wan forgotten for half an hour, for it was quite impossible to concentrate on Spanish in the midst of
great deal of noise
all that

had hardly started when a magazine salesman comes into my

commotion. After things quieted down I began studying again, but had hardly started

when a magazine salesman came

my room.


In single sentences inconsistencies in verb tenses often when a writer shifts the form of two or more verbs that

should be parallel:

For years

have been attend-

ing summer camp and enjoyed

every minute of it

For years I have been attendsummer camp, and enjoying every minute of it.

26.2c Sequence of tenses

When the verb of a main clause is in the past or past perfect tense, the verb in a subordinate clause is also past or past perfect:
They slowly began done for them.
to appreciate


their teacher

had [not



have; not

to that



had never seen Slim when he hadn't
of tobacco in his mouth.

[or didn't





A present infinitive is usual after a past


I would have liked very much to attend [not wedding, but I was out of town.

have attended] her

26.3 Be

The verb be has eight forms, three more than any other verb in English. In addition to the infinitive there are three forms in the present tense (I am; he is; we, you, they are),
in the past tense (I,


present participle

he was; we, you, they were), the (feeing), and the past participle form

(been). Since be


the verb used most frequently in English,

forms are not troublesome in ordinary situations. Writers should, however, be careful not to use Nonstandard forms.

26.3a You was, you were In the past followed by were, not was:

tense, you,

we, they are



wasn't fooling

me, was

You weren't

fooling me,


We both
we was

joined the

army when


both joined the army



we were

26.3b Ain't

Ain't is a Vulgate contraction; arent and isn't are the Standard forms. In questions with I, am I not is Formal. Arent I is often used, but displeases many people. Fortunately the

forms are rarely needed in writing except in dialog, in which the one most natural to the speaker would be used.

Curme, Parts of Speech, pp. 48, 95-96

p. 248;

Marckwardt and Wal-

26.4 Shall

would In current American usage, will, should generally used with all persons of the verb for the future tense (I will leave tomorrow; He will arrive at six;



will return later).



To express determination or for emphasis, divided about will and shall, although shall is perhaps

the more

common form

for all persons (I shall return;


shall not pass). Some Formal writers tinctions between shall and will:


the following dis-

Simple future




will ask


shall ask

Second person: Third person:


will ask

will ask

he, she,

they will ask

Emphatic future


I will


shall ask

will ask
shall ask

Second person: Third person:
It doesn't


shall ask

he, she,

they shall ask

hurt to

know about

need not follow them unless you want to do so.

these distinctions, but you to or are expressly told

26.4a Shall and

persons, but shall or obligation:
Will I go?

will in questions In questions, will is used in all is often used if there is a notion of propriety



Obligation: Shall I go?

we go next? What will you do now? What shall she wear?
the regular form:

In the negative,
think of next?

wont is

What wont


26.4b Overuse of shall Shall should not be used where will is the Standard form:

in statements

not for


or not Congress will [not shatt] pass laws against lynching to guess.

Some people

apparently think that shall
will. It isn't.


a more correct

(or elegant) form than

26.4c Should and would Should and would are used ments that carry a sense of doubt or uncertainty:

in state-




They should be here by Tuesday. (Contrast with the meaning They will be here by Tuesday.)
wasn't ready as soon as





are used for the

In polite or unemphatic requests both would and should first person, and would for the second person:
ivould be


should be

much obliged if you could help me. much obliged if you could help me.
attention? please give this your earliest

Would you

In indirect discourse would and should serve as the past
tenses of will



and are usually equivalent
Indirect discourse



to ought to or wish
Direct discourse


said, "I will go."


said that she




adjourn?" die chair-

The chairman asked
should adjourn.






has been written about the use of these words.

For a good short summary of actual usage, see Fries, pp. 150-168. Other discussions appear in Curme, Syntax, pp. 362-371; Jespersen, Chs. 25, 26; Marckwardt and Walcott, pp. 23, 24, 83, 84;
Adeline C. Bartlett, "Shall and Will" College English, October
1953, 15:55-56.

26*5 Con and



all levels

of usage can


used for


(This car can do better than 80 miles an hour; He can walk now with crutches), and may for possibility (That may be

We may get there before dark



To express permission, Formal English uses only may (May I go now? You may have any one you like); Informal and General English increasingly use can in such expressions (Can I go now? You can have any one you like), but many people object to this. To be on the safe side, in writing use
Marckwardt and Walcott, pp. 37, 126; Gladys D. "Can and May," College English, January 1950, 11:215-216 Haase,


26.6 toy



The forms

of these

words should not be

confused in writing.

26. 6a




to recline, does not take
lay, lain:

an object.

principal parts are or lie down on the job;

The farm


down for a rest, in the valley; The log had

lain across the road for a

Lay, meaning to put or place, takes an object. Its principal parts are lay, laid, laid: You lay linoleum, lay a book on the


laid her purse on the desk; The cornerstone was the mayor a year ago. Egg laying is lay, laid, laid. by Informal English uses lay for both these verbs, but this is


inappropriate for General usage.

26.6b Set


The verb


ject. Its principal parts


(as in a chair) does not take an obsit, sat, sat: I like to sit in a hotel

lobby; He sat there an hour; three semesters.


sat in the

same chair


The verb



to put something

object. Its principal parts are set, set, set: Set the

down, takes an soup on this

pad; They set the trunk in the


She has set candles in the
sets in the


However, a hen


on her eggs, and the sun

26.7 Get, got, gotten The principal get, got, and got or gotten.

parts of the verb get are

26.7a Oof/ gotten

Both forms are used in America as the past

He could have gotten [or got] here by now. In the past I have got [or gotten] good meals here.

The choice between got and gotten in such expressions depends largely upon the emphasis and rhythm of the particular sentence and on the user's speech habits. Gotten is probably

more common.



26.7b Hove got/ have got to
ish this

Have got in the sense of possession haven't got a black tie) or obligation (We have got to fin(I
experiment today)

is widely used in speech and is most kinds of writing. Some writers of Formal English avoid the expression, regarding got as redundant (I haven t a black tie; We liave to finish this experiment

acceptable in


While have alone would carry the meaning, it is less emphatic, particularly when contracted, and anyway is so frequently used as a mere auxiliary of tense that most people do not consider it as a verb of full meaning. Unless you have been instructed otherwise, use either form in General or Informal writing, and avoid have got in Formal papers.

26.7c Idioms with get

In many

common idioms


set expressions )

Standard usage for

all levels

of speaking

and writing:

get up in the morning get cold get ahead get along with (someone)

get over (an illness) get tired get away (as in the start of a


In other expressions get is considered as Informal or slang; the last four on the following list would not be appropriate
in General writing:
get thrown out


away with (escape punishment)


stray bullet got

across (information or a point* of view) him in the shoulder.

Get the look on her face! modem music gets me. How silly can you get? Get [understand] me?

When you are in

doubt about the standing of other expres-

sions with get9 consult a recent dictionary.
References: Adeline C. Bardett, "Get,


Got, and

Have Got


College English, February 1949, 10:280-282; Curme, Parts

of Speech, p. 218; Pooley, pp. 148-151


26.8 Do; don't, doesn't The Standard forms should be used in writing, with particular past tense and the past participle:
Present tense:
Past tense:
I, I,

of the verb


attention to the

you do; he,



does; we, you, they do

you, he, she,


did; we, you, they did

Past participle: their best)

done (He knew he had done wrong; They have done

Forms like "He done his best" and "I have did what I could"
are Vulgate.

26. 8a Don't, doesn't

Don't is the contraction for do not (I do not, I don't), doesn't is the contraction for does not (ha does not, he doesn't). It is Vulgate usage to substitute carelessly

one form for the

other: Doesn't [not Don't] she look pretty?

26.8b Idioms with do
without, do




used in many standard idioms (do make do, do one's fingernails). Writers

should be careful, however, not to use in Formal English, Informal or Vulgate expressions made with do:
of Women arrived, she seemed done in. (exhausted) Leaving the game, I realized I had been done, (cheated) Hearing the police knock at his door, Simms knew he was done for, because he had already done time at Sing Sing.

When the Dean

Expressions with do and done are so numerous in current speech that a writer should consult a dictionary whenever he is uncertain about the standing of any form in question.

26.9 Active and passive verbs
Passive. Correction:


the passive verb or verbs to active.

frequently have a choice of whether a noun will be the subject or object in a sentence, with a resulting difference in the verb form:
Active verb: Jim's father gave him a car. Passive verb: Jim was given a car by his father.



great majority of verbs in English sentences are active.




26.9o Appropriate passives Passive verbs are natural when the active subject is unknown or unimportant for the statement
in the main pipe), or obvious (This topic of emtreated in the following section), or for some reason were taken there house was painted last year; phasis (Our

(A leak was found



by boat).

26.9b inappropriate passives Passive constructions are sometimes awkward and should be changed to the more direct
active form:




All the glories of

an early Ca-




the glories of

nadian sunrise were enjoyed.

an early Canadian sunrise.




conversed with,



learn a creat deal.

Talking with him],

converse with him [Or: I learn a great

It is usually



combine an active and a passive

verb in the same sentence:

With fewer games and
kept up have to cram for


the subjects could practice hours, and we would not be


With fewer games and shorter could keep up practice hours, we in our subjects and not have to cram for final examinations,



Certain instances of untypical verb forms are Subjunctives known as the subjunctive mood: he ask instead of asks; I, he, she were instead of was; I, he, she be asked instead of is or was asked. The use of these forms in current English is quite
in Formal English. There is construction in General usage almost always an alternative and students hardly ever need to use a subjunctive.






In conditions

able conditions, the subjunctive

In contrary-to-fact, impossible, or improbis sometimes used, especially

Formal English.


55-59 Exercises 1. He he tccrt: President if [he isn't).Exercises If I were said if (More common: in your position [Tin notj. he would remove them. 103-107.) offer. . Or: It is necessary for every member rules. Fowler. pp. Pooley. and so on: Formal It is required that the applicant be under twenty-one. General The applicant must be under twenty-one. (More common: He "If I said hi ia/. these troops. . 88. 37. This use does not contribute to meaning and should be avoided. J in all levels. sentences. Fries. pp. References: Ballard. 89. 12-23. Ch. often legal context) for recommendations. demands. Jespersen. . pp. 341 . article "Subjunctives". to inform himself of these I ask that the interested citizen I ask the interested citizen to watch closely the movements of watch the movements of these troops closely.s President. 27. I wouldn't accept his If I was in your position. 30. Write Correct any faults in verb forms that you find in the following "C" after the number of a sentence if the verb is form correct. 26. Every member should inform himself of these rules. were you" is a formula that is is common sometimes found in simple conditions subjunctive (If the subject of a verb be impersonal the verb itself may be called impersonal). pp. It is necessary that every member inform himself of these rules. Marckwardt and Walcott.1 Ob In that clauses pressions (usually The The subjunctive in is used in many set ex- a Formal.

these sentences. 4) I wish now I registered. aren't I? Supply the proper form of the. had (go) by plane. don't it? 8) Educational programs have been regularly broadcast at least two local radio stations. 7) In recent years the annual Harvest Festival has not (prove) to be as successful as we hoped. 5) Years later. 7) The campus looks deserted today. every- thingthe shrank. even the people seem to have 6) No sooner had he examined the flimsy evidence than the judge throwed the case out of court. 6) The moment after the engine caught fire. 2) When I was a child. If you. for that matter was faced with a similar situation. verb in parentheses in each of more than one form is acceptable. when she returned to her home town. 4) Sam kept pumping more and more air until I thought the inner tube would surely bust in his face. 9) successful by Our "Meet Your Neighbor'* program would of been more had we received more cooperation from the new mem- bers of the community. 3) 2) Pictures should be (hang) slightly above eye leveL He was suddenly (wake) by the wail of sirens. 5) The mile was (run) in less than four minutes Roger Bannister. you would have arrived five hours earlier. the streets. 3) The chairman recommended that the meeting be adjourned until the following day. the pilot (dive) the plane to extinguish the blaze.26 1) Verbs Imagine that you or anyone else. the summer months use to seem much longer than they do now. 342 . buildings. 2. I had (choose) first my courses more carefully when by Dr. If 1). 10) I am raising a perfectly valid question. an Englishman. explain in what circumstances each might be used. in 1954.

your knowledge of grammatical terms frequently used in discussing verb forms. 3) Everyone in town knew or should have known by this time Perry complain. 5) A year ago I knew I would never marry. you always heard a thing. 10) had just (begin) to study when someone knocked When they finally returned from the ice rink. she 6) If Mary's inherent goodness had ever been pointed out to would be the first to deny it. today I am not so probably have a wife. and in three more years 111 and a heavy mortgage on a home. the minority party undoubtedly intends to bring it up in the next session of Congress. 10) Although this essay was written two hundred years ago. their faces were nearly 3. a child. This exercise will test 343 . but her mother wouldn't let her. 1) But whenever it comes time won't to vote. 7) He was about to sink for the third time. 2) Statistics "My vote mean that the Geyers are visiting us. Write "C" tence that is after the number of any sen- correct as it stands. (freeze). her. 9) Virginia at the door.Exercises 8) The senator suggested that the mistakes of the past be now (forget). certain. Correct any shifts or errors in tense that you find in the following sentences by rewriting the sentence and underlining the changes you have made. 4) They intended to have stayed only a week at Miami. 9) Liz would have like to have had her hair cut in a more popular fashion." made public at a recent medical convention indicate that excessive cigarette smoking had tended to shorten life. Make up two sentences 4. when one of the members of our fishing party suddenly sees him. the facts are as true today as they were then. 8) Even though the President should veto the bill.

first. more eggs than the 10) Mrs. has. both Plymouth Rocks. Rewrite the following sentences. 3) Old Pete wrings sympathy and money from almost every- one by his pitiful stories. The newsboy complained that the same dog bit him twice 2) For centuries the treasures of the Pharaohs lay buried. using grow as a linking verb in the as a verb with an object in the second 4) Two sentences. memory 9) Two hens. Greene bears her misfortunes with great fortitude. but be sure to under- line the verb in each of your sentences. lay rest of the flock combined. using sing in the first as a transitive verb. 5) Polls show that popular opinion light saving time. or had. with the proper form of the italicized verb in each sentence. with the main verb eat in the active voice in the the second first. using have. is swinging toward day- 7) 6) After the bread rises. in the passive voice in 3) Two sentences.26 of your indicated. and making any other necessary changes. 344 . 5) Two and as a gerund sentences. and in mood and in the subjunctive mood in the second first. in 1) Two sentences. the second as an intransitive verb 2) Two sentences. Did you ever see anything as spectacular as the village bells ring in Grand of the Canyon? 8) Once each year the Liberation. using a form of go as a participle in the in the second 5. it is ready to bake. with the verb be in the indicative the first. 1) before. 4) A few members of the club swim the straits every year on New Year's Day. Verbs own You may use any tense (ten in all) illustrating clearly and briefly the terms of the verb.

Plural hostesses' princess* princesses' Jones* Joneses' 345 . last night's newspaper. beauty. a suit of wool. Spain. nouns have two case forms. boys) and their functions (as subject." because its most frequent funcmonly tion is to show possession (a student's books. lambs. A 27. the dean's permission. with the permission of the dean. 1b Apostrophe with genitives When a noun is pronounced with an added s or z sound. thing. The tables on the following page show the different forms of nouns* (as boy. 27. home. the execu- a gerund: the doctors warning. and so on ) . When there is no added sound the apostrophe alone is erally used. the spelling for the genitive case is 's: mans. lationships: Description: a day's work. Subject of : the bilTs defeat. action. lambs'. as objects. s. horse's.1 b 27 Nouns noun names a person.1 Genitive case In English. dictionary's) or by a phrase with of (of Jacob. idea: George Washington. men's. as in singular nouns ending in an and in regular plurals ending in s: Singular hostess* gensh9 or z sound. place. a mannerism of the professor). dictionary) and the genitive. hunting. of the dictionary) . the play's closing.27. which can be made by an apostrophe (Jacob's. la Uses of the genitive The genitive case of nouns is comcalled the "possessive. 27. justice. Georges. the common form (Jacob. quality. of the lambs. boy's. ship's. Doer of an act (or "subjective genitive"): the wind's force. But the genitive case also shows other re- Recipient of an act ("objective genitive") tion of a spy.

words that name the receiver of something after verbs like ask.2. aviator. resolutions* 15. Harriet's. Compound nouns: Two or more nouns that function as a single unit are called a compound noun (or group word): bookcase. a cig- aret holder.1. comedian. Gender: A for the masculine very few nouns in English show gender.1. to : As See modifiers of other words or of statements: Mrs. The term unilateral (A) means affecting one side only. others as two words (high school) . with one form and another for the feminine: actor9 actress. inside (P) the tent (O). See 39. Tyler's car. comedienne. the insurance agent (A).1a): The tires (S) squealed car {$) skidded (V) around the corner. He became (LV) president (C) of the firm.1c. books. -s to the singular: Singular and plural: The plural of most nouns is formed by adding book. give. mother. For other forms. is here. As indirect objects. pine tree. teU. : As appositives. McDermott. Some are written solid (football). 13.1d): A whale is (LV) a mammal (C). aviatrix. gentleman's). usually made by adding s to the basic form (boys. and some are hyphened (father-in-law). see 27.3b) man dog (O).4b) Mr. bites (V) As complements (predicate nouns) after linking verbs (13. : (V) as the As objects of verbs and prepositions ( 13. nouns that describe or further identify the expression which they are added ( 13. among (P) friends (O). gentleman) and the 9 genitive or "possessive" form. See 27. Harriet.3 for 346 . mothers.1c) He gave the church (IO) a memorial window (O). and that come before the direct object ( 13.27 Nouns Noun forms Case forms: Nouns in English have only two distinguishable case forms: the basic or "common" form (boy. Functions of nouns Nouns are used in statements in the following ways: As subjects of verbs (13. Each year we make new noun clauses.

United Nations program.1e The apostrophe is not used in some expressions in which the plural noun may be considered as an adjective: teachers college. some friends of fathers.27. a robin's nest) and an of phrase with inanimate objects (the door of the room. his mother-inlaw's address. or. or a statement that may be ambiguous. 27. To show joint possession the genitive is used for the last term only (Barbara and Tommy's mother). In a few statements both forms Some and respectable standing that (called the "double genitive") are used. a moment's hesitation. but. nor) the genitive form is used for both nouns (Barbara's and Tommy's bicycles). sisters-in-law's attitude. When refers to the modifying noun is separated from the word it by a phrase or a clause. 27.1c Apostrophe with nouns in series and group words To show individual possession with two coordinate nouns (joined by and. a cat's paw. Id Of phrases and 's forms The 's form of a noun modifier 9 is customarily used with living things (my uncle s house. an angle of inclination. a practice of long in General English: boy of Henry's. those hobbies of my cousin's 27. the wages of sin). The The The doctor's visiting hours book's cover or ship's log or or The visiting hours The cover of the book The log of the ship of the doctor idiomatic expressions are stated in one form only (a week's wages. the choice depending largely upon the sound of the expression. an embarrassment of riches. With group words or compound nouns the 9 s is added to the last term: the King of England's duties. Veterans Administration. le Awkward use of genitive forms An of phrase is sometimes preferable to an *s form to avoid a clumsy or unidiomatic expression. an of phrase should be used: 347 . the attorney general's responsibility. the beginning of the end). But in many instances either form may be used.

. . pants The following sections present other groups of plurals likely to raise questions. is useful in distinguishing between the reand the doer of an act (between the subjective and cipient if the meaning isn't made objective genitive). such as barracks. measles. 27. pp. beliefs. The plural of words ending in -o or -/ varies (dynamos. mink. oxen 2. Nouns ending in -y preceded by a consonant change the -j/ to -/.27 The Nor: Nouns hat of the Not: The man who got on the bus was man who got on the bus's hat. but a picture of Miss Rutherford would ordinarily mean a portrait of her. Negroes. A few nouns ending in -en. The man's hat who got on the bus. as in children. civics. particularly clear in context Miss Rutherford's picture might mean either a picture of her or a picture belonging to her. Iwadquarters. There are three groups of exceptions to the -s ending. mice 3. preserving older methods of forming the plural: 1. caddies. bushes). obviously not his. . sheep. 27. (c) a number of words rarely or never used in the singular. A few with change of vowel. (b) names of some animals: deer.2a Group words and compound nouns words and group words form 348 their plurals Most compound by adding -s to the . geese. . .3h. otherwise Accurate Wanted: High school girl to care for children of some experience.2 Plurals of nouns The typical plural of a noun is made by adding -s or -es (cats. A writer should be careful when using an of phrase for the The of phrase the genitive to place it near strange results may occur: Inaccurate word that it modifies. halves)*. as in feet. Wanted: High school girl of some experience to care for children. .3g and 45. fish. as in babies. Some nouns with the same form for both singular and in -ic$: athletics. enemies. matheplural: (a) all words ending matics-. these words are discussed in 45. 468-469.

apparatuses antenna apparatus TV) appendix cactus appendices cacti appendixes cactuses curriculum curricula curriculums formula index formulae indices formulas indexes medium radius media radii mediums radiuses sanatorium stratum syllabus vertebra sanatoria strata sanatoriums stratums syllabuses vertebras syllabi vertebrae Certain nouns derived from Greek or Latin and ending in -is form their plurals by changing -is to -es: 349 . particularly in scientific and academic writing: Singular Formal plural antennae (zoology) apparatus General plural antennas (radio. the plural sign mothers-in-law passers-by presidents-elect -fill is added daughters-in-law kings of England men-of-war The plural of nouns ending in made by adding -s to the last part of the word: two cupfuh. 27.2b last word one word Singular of the group. whether the expression is written as or two: Plural baby sitter baby sitters cross-examination cross-examinations high school major general ^ce-president high schools major generals vice-presidents But when the is significant word is the first term is ( as it often to it: in hyphened compounds).2B Words with foreign plurals Some nouns have two forms for the plural: the foreign plural and the Anglicized form ending in -5 or -es.27. three tablespoonfuls. The foreign plural is characteristic of Formal usage.

-ni. the forms would be plural: ten tons of coal.) 350 .3 A and an with nouns a consonant sound: a car A is used before words beginning with a a European country D a used car An is used before words beginning with a vowel sound: an an ape F an hour an honor an oar 27.2c Alumnus.27 Singular analysis axis Nouns Plural Singular neurosis Plural analyses axes neuroses parenthesis parentheses basis crisis bases crises psychosis synopsis thesis psychoses synopses theses diagnosis diagnoses 27. kitchen utensils.4 Unidiomotic noun modifiers When an adjective is the form in an expression. it should be used in place customary of a clumsy or unidiomatic noun modifier: Price took his doctor training at Northwestern. city [not civic] [better: championship. prison walls. [better: his medical training] After sparking his team to victory in the Les went on to play with a Canada team. -no/ -nae The word for a person who has been graduated from a college has four forms: One male graduate is an Two or more male graduates are One female graduate is an Two or more female graduates are alumnus alumni alumna alumnae (9 lum'nas) (9 lum'ni) (9 lum'na) (s lum'nB) is The simplest way out of this confusion of forms to use the term graduate or graduates. the noun forms are freely used as modifiers: a murder mystery. (Used as nouns. radio reception. In some expressions either the noun or adjective form may be used: atom bomb. Notice that noun modifiers particularly when used as units of measurement are treated as singular forms: a ten-ton truck. a six-/0o* jump. atomic bomb. 27. a Canadian team] But for words that do not have exact adjective equivalents. a jump of six feet.

7) The Hells Canyon project was argued for months in the editorial many leading newspapers. to see no eight. than aerials 2) While classics. Indicate which of the italicized nouns in these sentences are correctly written with -s endings and which should have -s or -s' endings. 1) and briefly explain I told why. 1) necessary. I When mother wanted a sweater just like Pats. 4) For the accurate spelling of little known geographical place names within our borders. If the choice is optional. "For goodness sake. feet) masts are for most (radios. but most of the girls preferred to take taxis rather than wait for the buses. certifica- 3) Keeping up with the mythical Joneses puts too great a strain on most peoples pocketbooks.or ten. 3) The sudden flowering of countless varieties of (cactuses. the United States Postal Guide is most helpful. 351 .Exercises Exercises 1.(foot. radioes). Consult your dictionary. it is it isn't difficult These all-band television (antennae. synopses) of the better to read the works themselves if you much wish to have adequate (basis. 8) I prefer Keats poetry to Shelleys because pages of it is closer to my own experiences. why?" 2) The Legislative Councils subcommittee agreed that tion of teachers is in need of revision. bases) for comparison. she exploded. explain form you consider apwhat contexts both if what forms might be used. antennas) with either more difficult to install to get (synopsis. plural forms are in use. 5) Parents too often fail to understand the problems confront- ing boys in their early teens. 2. 6) The bus line was only a two minutes walk from the sorority house. Read each sentence and then select the in propriate.

curriculums). phenomenon) that never fails to delight those who visit the Southwest deserts in the spring. calf) liver and bacon. alumnae. eights) on the ice. their (scarfs. Underline each noun form that you change. analyses) of medical directories shows that (woman. alurnnuses. 352 . 1) Make baby plural: The next task of the nurse is to prepare the baby's formula. stadiums) I saw at various (campuses. 7) My fraternity (brothers. 9) Stan had an enormous appetite and would eat as many as five (platesful. campi) throughout the nation were half as attractive as ours. 8) The girls were cutting graceful figure (eight's. hangers-on) down at the City Hall this time of year are thick as (leaves. women) doctors are twice as numerous today as they were twenty years ago. 4) None of the (stadia. 5) The (hanger-ons. a congressman's mail included hundreds of letters from cranks. platefuls) of (calfs. 10) search Women may interested in home (economic.27 cacti) is Nouns a (phenomena. 3. sympathy among 5) 4) Change This to These: This belief found the general public. her little was already set. Rewrite the following sentences. making the changes indicated in the directions and whatever others are necessary as a result of the first one. scarves) whipping like pennants. economics) re- follow one of two (curricula. 2) Change brother to brother-in-law: poem is "Dover Beach." 8) Use the hostess in place of her: table My brother's favorite When the guests arrived. leafs) in fall. calves. Change A to A series of: A crisis occurred just before the performance. brethren) had planned an elaborate stag party for some of the more distinguished (alumnus. 7) Omit a: Then as now. alumni) on the eve of the homecoming game. 6) Change children to Kathy and Jimmy: Every Saturday night Dad would shine the children's shoes. 6) A recent (analysis.

4. 353 . as a registrar's office was as crowded o'clock. Thomas Sanborn. 1) The first settler. as objects of verbs or prepositions. 10) Art also built his own television set using a neon lamp 7) 9 in place of a cathode-ray tube. 5) 6) at The -five Sally gave her escort a cold glance. 9) The hotel offers its guests a choice of daily or weekly rates. New York sub- way As I watched the parent who was punishing his child in public. of the colonists.28 8) Change Neither to Both: Neither chairman had any ade- quate basis for such a change in procedure. 3) Judo as a spectator sport will probably never attain the popularity of boxing or wrestling in this country. Who is coming? This is interests me. object. but they weren't discussed in Congress. 4) The object that Bob found was not a flying saucer but only a hub cap. 8) A look at some Eastern colleges will illustrate this problem. 9) Change one to three: I next add one cupful of crushed tomato and bring the mixture to a boil. Put ft there. See how table "Functions of nouns" on well you understand the grammatical terms in the page 346 by identifying the func- tion of each of the italicized nouns in these sentences (as subjects of verbs. 28 Pronouns A ing pronoun it: He refers to a person. later became the leader 2) Other arguments for lowering the voting age might have been mentioned. I wondered what the child'& reaction was. and so on). or idea without namhas arrived. Somebody listening. as predicate nouns. 10) Omit the: Tim became curious about the mongoose after reading Kipling's Jungle Books. Three will be enough.

three . of which back to the subject) itself. of which which Interrogative pronouns who which what Reflexive pronouns (referring whom which what whose whose. yourselves. this one. ours we you you Second person Singular Plural you you your. . themselves oneself Demonstrative pronouns: Indefinite pronouns this. yours Third person Singular masculine feminine neuter either gender he she it him her it his her. . that one. one another Numeral pronouns: one. hers its (of it) one they one one's their. himself. yourself. those Reciprocal pronouns: each other. ourselves. second.28 Pronouns Kinds of pronouns Personal pronouns Subject First person Object Possessive Singular Plural I me us my. third < 354 . theirs Plural them Relative pronouns who that whom that 'which whose whose. myself. yours your. that. two. herself. first. these. mine our.

28.1 a With clearly stated antecedent The antecedent of a pronoun should be a definite noun.1 Pronouns referring to specific nouns Ref Reference of pronouns. but the game was already over. 28. A simple test for accurate reference is to see whether the antecedent could be substituted for the pronoun: Inexact Accurate She talked a lot about the technique of horsemanship. not one that is implied: Inexact Accurate other fellow enlisted for The four years and spent one year of it in Korea. although 355 . although She talked a lot about the technique of horsemanship. [no antecedent for it] The other fellow's enlistment was for four years and he spent one year of it in Korea. heard that the game we turned it When we heard that the game game was already was being televised.] 28.3). [Enlist- ment is the antecedent of it] substitute a Inexact Instead of changing the antecedent. but the over. Correction: Change the pronoun marked (or revise the sentence) so that its reference will be exact and obvious (28.2. which we covered before lunch.28. to the meaning of a pronoun is completed by referring an antecedent (a specific noun for which the pronoun stands). televised. we turned on our set. the reference should be exact and obvious: When The first hundred miles.1a Pronouns are used more exactly in writing than in speaking and should be checked carefully for proper form and reference in revising a paper. The table on the opposite page lists the various kinds of pronouns and their forms. it is often better to noun for the inexact pronoun: Accurate When we was being on. [Miles is the antecedent of the pronouns which and they. were rough. but they seemed to go faster than the sixty we did in the afternoon.

Pronouns as a matter of fact she hud never in as a matter of fact she had never one [horsemanship?] ridden a horse in her life. sub". . and cut open the head of a young girl who was swimming under water. [Stone stitute a noun for them: building a stone wall. but only whether they were getting a lot of money. for clear reference.28 ridden her life. . you should select them all is used as an adjective. the reference should be made clear. Sometimes ambiguous reference may be avoided by mak- ing one of the antecedents singular and the other plural: Ambiguous In the nineteenth century business Clear many men In the nineteenth century business [plural] exploited men many at [plural] exploited the mass of workers [plural] at every point. not caring whether they were making a decent living wage."] girl's should read . 28. this ". he did that he would be dead within two months. select stones all of the same size. [For clear reference. is Using the same pronoun for different implied antecedents particularly annoying to a reader and should be avoided: 356 . whether were getting a of money. he did not know that Lincoln would be dead within two months. . was making a decent but only "lot living tJieij wage. When Stanton visited the President in February.1 b With two possible antecedents When a pronoun seems to refer to two different antecedents. The antecedent as of a pronoun should not be a noun used an adjective or a noun in the possessive form: Inaccurate: of the When same size. not caring whether the working lie man [singular] every point."] Inaccurate: Bill provided more excitement one afternoon when he was skipping rocks across the swimming hole and cut open a young head who was swimming under water. either by substituting a noun for the pronoun or by clarifying the antecedents: Clear Confusing When know Stanton visited the Presinot dent in February.

is to use the pronoun he or his: Each entering freshman is required to report promptly for his scheduled physical examination. The mishap dampened our spirits for a while. In such instances it is unnecessary to repeat the antecedent. the most satisfactory method everyone. Id He or she When reference is made to a noun or pronoun that includes persons of both sexes (student. Revised Johnson was fifty-four Boswell first met him. 357 . but it we decided to try it we decided to again. used: is economics major often finds that more work her than she anticipated. A home expected of The phrase his or her is almost always clumsy and no more accurate since the meaning is determined by the antecedent. It dampened our spirits for We pulled out our spare. the second to the mishap. but a while. clerk.1d Confuting Recised \Ve pulled out our spare. 28. anyone. teacher. somebody). [The the tire.28. the third to the trip. which was under the s<*at and put it on. but he refused to give it to him). which was under the scat and put it on. when 28. noun it after the proIdentifying the antecedent by repeating and should be avoided by reis a makeshift practice. Clumsy Bos well first met Johnson when he (Johnson) was fifty-four. Ic Reference clear from context The antecedent of a pronoun may be obvious from the meaning of a statement ( Craig asked the dean for permission to be absent for the first part of the week.l first n-frrs to go on. vision. When she is practically all of the group referred to are women. It is the duty of everyone who is eligible to vote to make certain that he has registered before the national election.

depending upon the meaning of writer should be careful in revising his papers to see that the verb and other reference words agree in number with indefinite pronouns. singular reference word is Standard usage in writing (Everyone brought his book). Somebody was here. everybody. somebody. and I couldn't blame them [him would be impossible] because I was a funny sight When at 358 . none. everybody was laughing me. ["By his college" would be better even the reference is to a coeducational school. Not everyone is as prompt at paying his bills as you are. nobody are singular forms and are used with singular verbs (Everybody has left. however. everybody. somebody Everyone. others singular or plural. anybody. Someone has forgotten and coat. Nobody ever calls ) There is frequently a difference between spoken and writ. all. Revised: I am sure that every reader of this weU book will find his time well spent. a singular reference word would be puzzling or nonsensical with the indefinite pronoun: I finally managed to get to my feet. somebody. his hat Someone has forgotten and coat their hat In some statements. anybody.2a Everyone/ anybody.2 Referring to indefinite pronouns A number of words of greater or less indefiniteness often function as pronouns: some. Some of these words are considered singular in form. Written Spoken Not everyone is as prompt at paying their bills as you are. -anyone. but in spoken usage where agreement is based upon meaning more than on form.] if Clumsy: time I am sure that every reader of this book will find his or her spent. A ten usage in the form of the pronouns used vvdtth these words. may be the statement A 28. 28. a plural reference word is often used.28 Pronouns Clumsy: Every student wants to participate in some activity authorized by his or her college.

-Albert C. I looked at half a dozen books on the subject but none were of any use to me. The council made headlines with a series of shocking charges. pp. Every June a thousand brides wear hers is gowns and each thinks somehow unique. none of which have [or has] been substantiated. 28. Fries. none are [or is] more unspoiled than Glacier. The use of the plural form to refer to each is considered Informal (Each of the boys ran as fast as their legs could cany them).2c References: Marckwardt and Walcott. History of the English Language. None may be it is either singular or plural. habits. any. 35 But unless a writer is prepared to justify his use of plural forms with each. 86-88 28. most. are either or plural.2b AH/ some/ none ment: All.2c Each Each is a singular pronoun and takes a singular verb and singular reference words: Each of the so-called modern composers has identical his own ideas about the principles of tonality. he should use singular verbs and pronouns with it 359 . depending upon the meaning of the statesingular All of the turkey has been eaten. Some of the farmers Jiave refused to sell their crops until the price is stabilized. 50. 38. more. Roberts. pp. p. some. Some of the dialog is witty. All of these questions need restating. 74. Baugh.28. but this construction is sometimes found in writing when the plural idea is uppermost: Each their of these peoples undoubtedly modified Latin in accordance with own speech p. but in current usage more often used with a plural verb: Of all the national parks in this country.

that.5). Correction: Change the form of the pronoun marked to the one required by the construction (28. 28. had generally applied only below that rather vague level called "management. we. Jr.4a After prepositions is The object form of a personal pronoun among us three). "A Matter of Degree. them. but did not bother about that.. "Concord Based on Meaning Versus Concord Based on Form" College English. Mark Twain Bits of thread we were still dangling from the front of my gown. which. who) and another when they are used as objects (me. in a sense. whom).28 Pronouns Reference: Russell Thomas. that the ideas to which they refer Pron Pronoun. 28. he. 1939. us." which William W.** unfortunately. 28. The distinction between these forms is often disregarded in speech (There were no secrets between Mother and secrets I). When 360 . but writers are expected to follow conventional use (There were no between Mother and me). and it are regularly used to refer to ideas or situations expressed in preceding statements: Always do right.4. 1:38-45 28. used after a preposition (a letter for him-. The iVeuj May 10. or when a noun is used with the pronoun. they. she. there is seldom any question about the proper form. 1952.3 Pronouns referring to ideas and statements This. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. Is Anybody Listening? p. him. p.-Do. her. is. but when there are two pronouns.vid Daiches. Ill The thing to watch when is using pronouns for general refer- ence in these situations are clearly indicated. 64 to relations For "human relations. a pronoun immediately follows a preposition. going at the problem backwards." Yorker. Whyte.4 Subject and object pronouns Most personal pronouns and the relative pronoun who have one form when they are used as subjects (I.

4b It's me.28. stands in the object position. 28. Ch. cans. Xonstandard After all. Although he was two years older she had grown faster than him. whether or not a verb appears in the construction (I am older than she is is. In Formal English than is considered a conjunction. those men are beings like you and me. Part II. and is followed by the subject form of a pronoun. I am common with than older than she). 1 References: p. 79. The work was she and J. as Vulgate usage frequently does. divided between The work was divided between her and me. not a preposition. In college writing the subject form is preferable in these constructions." Me is more natural in this expression because the pronoun . immediately after the verb. 361 . human The same is no doubt true of what European and Asiatic nations The same is no doubt true of what European and Asiatic nations have heard about we Ameri- have heard about us Ameri- cans. 42. Standard those men are I. Jespersen. All authoritative grammars and dictionaries consider if8 me acceptable General usage. In speech the object form when the pronoun stands alone (I am older than her. 40. but the object form is by no means uncommon among and reputable writers. grass by the street Carson McCullers. in the summer they used to wrestle and fight out on the plot of The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. 133 Marckwardt and Walcott. pp.4b writers are sometimes tempted to use a subject form. My roommate was taking more courses than me). If Is I Formal English prefers using the subject form after the linking verb be ( It is I ) But educated as well as uneducated people usually say and write "It's me. human beings like you and After all.

221 362 . 72-77. who seems the natural form to use. and not to follow Informal usage except in distinctly Informal papers. pp. \Whom is the object of the verb meets. 28. and it may eventually disappear in writing. misused for who (Whomever can that be A writer should use who when it serves as the subject of a verb: He made a list of all the writers who [subject of were] [subject of he thought con- were important in that century.28 The Pronouns notion that I is somehow more "correct" or polite than me sometimes leads people to use the subject form even when the pronoun is the object of a verb: Father promised to take game. The object form should be used in such constructions: Father promised to take you and me to you and 7 to the the game. the first thing one mentions is the weather. In is other constructions. But here.] General: No matter who you meet. Often whom is phoning at this hour?). He was a man in whom we placed great trust). college students are expected to know which form is considered more correct. contributed] between who and whom has practically from speech (the Oxford English Dictionary says dropped The distinction whom is "no longer current in natural colloquial speech").] Formal: No matter whom one meets. usage Formal: divided: Whom are you taking to the concert? [Whom is the object of the verb are taking. 88-96. the first thing mentioned is the weather. in the subject position. as elsewhere in matters of disputed usage. Pooley. References: Fries. whom Whom is the Standard form when it appears immediately after a preposition (To whom were you speaking?.4c Who. There was little doubt about who tributed most to the campaign.} General: Who are you taking to the game? [Since it stands first. pp.

Sam invited John and me [not: myself] to dinner. her favorite hat) and the other. Writers should remember that an apostrophe is not used with the possessives of personal pronouns (a relative of ours. December 1950. the chief problem in the use of possessive forms of pronouns is the apostrophe. government of ours).5a 28. We decided to pool their re- sources with ours. 4d Reflexive pronouns back to the subject Reflexive pronouns are used to refer (He shaves himself) and as intensives for (We were met at the door by the governor himself).5 Possessive pronouns In writing." American Speech. Hisself and theirselves are Vulgate. 28. 363 . Jn certain constructions myself is mistakenly considered by some people as more polite than I or me (My wife and emphasis reflexive myself accept with pleasure). Himself and themselves are Standard English forms. a friend or of mine of hers). "The -self Forms as Personal Pronouns. References: Josephine Burnham. after the noun by itself or in a phrase (That pencil is mine. the tree and its leaves).28. because of We decided to pool their and our resources. there are some constructions in which one form is obviously better than the other: either this While Clumsy I picked this college because of the location of it Standard I picked this college its location. 25:264-267 28. form may be used in many statements (our government. 5a My Personal pronouns have two forms for the possessive (see p. but in Standard English the form is not used as the subject. 354): one used as a modifier before the noun (my roommate. nor with the relative pronoun who (a boy whose name was Tom). or as a substitute for me: [not: myself] Another fellow and I saw the whole thing.

most. It 28. 28. the doer of the action seems to be the receiver: Mrs. Anyone else's offer would have been accepted. Somebody's books were left in the classroom. [not each's best side] The apostrophe and -s are used with the possessive forms of other indefinite pronouns. any.5c Possessive of indefinite pronouns used in of phrases for the possessive: Several of the indef- inite pronouns. (all. when. just as they are with nouns: Anyone's guess is as good as mine. each. few.28 Pronouns Careless use of the possessive may lead to ambiguous state- ments. When trophe indefinite -$ is pronouns are used with to else else. 5d Whose. whose is regularly used to refer to inanimate things when of which would be awkward. most frequently marked on student is a papers using good idea for writers who confuse these two forms to check each instance habitually of Us (ifs) when revising papers. its a pretty good car. One man's meat is another's poison. an ill wind that blow's no good. some) are They were both happy when things were going well. of the mistakes is it's One for Us. it's of it. ifs Its without the apostrophe is the possessive form with the apostrophe is the contraction for it is: its Everything should be in It's It's proper place. but motor could stand overhauling. of which While whose most often refers to persons and which to things. none. but adversity brought out the best side of each. for example. the apos- added and not to the preceding word: These notes are somebody else's. 364 . 28. 5b Its. Hurst was a very popular woman and her accusation scandalized everyone in town [either: the accusation she made or the accusation made about her].

November-December 1951. a . [better: I Although believing in the value of work. "American Fiction and American Values. Some questions that frequently arise in these pronouns are considered here. We is useful for general reference (We I. In writing. the writer does not believe do not believe] in labor for labor's sake. 684 . 1:55 . it. competition 365 .. but as a substitute for out of place in most writing. . 28. Some writers. the "editorial" we is We [I] [better: I] have stated earlier in our [my] paper that its we firmly believe in the present economic system with and free enterprise. or we.28. It is the white-collar worker who is Best to be affected Grandma Moses. the decision was reached apply at the state university. using 28. she. The Who's possessive form of the relative pronoun who is whose. known of American primitives is ings are familiar to thousands. whose paint- [colloquial: who's] least likely by seasonal unemployment. the person spoken to ( second person: you ).6a In the 'twenties Hemingway brought to the language of the novel . are living in an atomic age). try to get around the natural use by devices that only call attention to themselves. . we would cross a room in which no one ever sat.6a I.6 Use of personal pronouns Personal pronouns indicate the person or persons speaking (first person: I. we There any of I situation is no reason to avoid using the pronoun I in where it is needed. they).William style whose originality no contemporary can match.. whose walls were picked out with gilded mouldings. we). is the colloquial contraction for icho is and it is not used in most writing. or the person or thing spoken of (third person: he. Marcel Proust. Barrett." Partisan Review. whose fire was never lighted. . Remembrance of Things Past. one. [better: I decided] to After examining several college catalogs. the choice of form may be a problem since the writer can refer to himself as I. perhaps through excessive modesty. one. p.

sailing Yew have probably seen a boat. impersonal should use you. it is standard practice to (meaning the writer or anyone) by he and his (ors/ieandfor): One friends is warned to be cautious if he would avoid offending and thus bring down their displeasure upon his head. you/ one a writer should general reference. 6b Pronouns One refer to one In current American usage. particularly in Formal English. rather stiff. be he 366 . or a noun substitute in these situations. can one? Watching the scene on television. I [or you] sense situation.28 28. one senses the drama of the situation. it. he. One might think that a boat can sail you have selected the boat you are going to learn in.6c Consistent use of shifts we. but seeing one and sailing only with the breeze against that a sail. After Inconsistent After one has selected the boat he is going to learn in. it would be a good idea if you would first learn the theory of sailing. to refer either in general or to the writer: One can't be too careful. unnecessary to When using pronouns for be consistent and not make from singular to plural forms or from we Consistent you or one. we. Most of us have at least seen a sailing boat. 28. Or you may is think that sail stiff needed to a stiff breeze necessary to a boat. it would be a good idea if you first learned the theory of sailing. Yow may think that a boat can sail only with the breeze and not against it. is The pronoun one more shifted construclikely to lead to tions than are the other forms. and not characteristic of General English: You [or We] can't be too careful. But one is impersonal. can you [we]? the drama of the Watching the scene on television. and not Or they might think breeze is one are two different things. but seeing one and sailing one are two different things. Unless a writer intends to and also feels confident in his use of one. his One is to people used.

and that they slowly grew feebler and less imposing until one day they ceased to be. who was here for a reception in connection with a book written by the Senator. 157 Exercises 1. their days are numbered. or otherwise faulty. Carson. [better: in connection with a book he had written] results in repetition of nouns continuity of thought that pronouns give to sentences. it would no doubt be one day be written by some said that they reached their greatest grandeur and power in the younger days of Earth. some people try to avoid them. misleading. 2) Polonius gives this pompous advice to his son just before he leaves Denmark.-Rachel L. For the tides were not always as they are today. explain why you think it is satisfactory as it stands. Revise each of the following sentences in which the reference of pronouns seems to you inexact. If you leave a sentence unchanged. 1) Some professors to remember of the classes are so large that it is impossible for the their names or even their faces. 5) In most campaign speeches it isn't what you say but how loudly you can say it that counts.Exercises 28. and as with all that is earthly. 3 ) International law was profoundly affected by World in all its War II tall phases. The Sea Around Us. But this in itself is a more serious mistake because the result is stiff and unattractive writing: The speaker was Senator Smith. p. Notice how the italicized pronouns in this passage bind the statements together: Avoiding pronouns not only but also loses the effect of If the history of the earth's tides should observer of the universe.6d Avoiding the use of pronouns Because it is easy to make mistakes in using pronouns. 4) The bookcase shelves should be adjustable so that the ones will fit as neatly as those of standard size. 367 .

put them in the steam sterilizer. 8) One waitress would wipe the lipstick off the glasses with her fingers. 10) My liking for my roommate soon developed into a warm friendship and today she is one of the best that I have. Follow the directions for the preceding exercise. moment at the mirror. of the mountain looked so near they decided to eat 6) The moment after my trousers began to smoulder. 4) Science may have cures for almost everything. 368 . 3) way over motor food left. Anyone who likes to spend his vacation climbing mouncan get more than his share of it at Camp Kill-Kare. this one. 9) tains 2. but they haven't yet come up with one for hiccups. A swimming pool is available for guests which is one of the most beautiful in this area. Put "C" after the number of any sentence that does not need to be revised. 3. 10) At the last moment we were given an extra week to our term papers. during the summer finish 9) season. which was all right with me. 7) The rules governing freshman dances are always a target for criticism. By this time they had very little but the summit it all up. 7) Children can't be expected to take a real interest work when they put so much emphasis on grades. tered the skin on my legs wherever it touched them. 2) While sailboats have the right of shouldn't be carried to extremes. and then. 5) Les told his father that a bill collector was looking for him. without washing them.28 Pronouns 6) Today most people are so accustomed to flying that they seldom look up when one of them flies overhead. then hurling his electric shaver at smashed it into a thousand pieces. Correct every needless shift in the person or number of pronouns in these examples by revising the sentences in which tie shifts occur. 8) it blis- in school Danny glared for a it. 1) He mastered dancing with ease and soon became an expert boats. those directly concerned being the most vociferous.

as I was. me) . 2) The blaze was probably caused by either a careless hunter or a thoughtless fisherman who forgot to extinguish their campfire. but are not so effectively presented to the they public. your 6) Next year the Class of '49 will hold its annual reunion at the Broadmoor Hotel on May 1. him. and everyone who plans to attend should send their reservations as early as possible. relatives. 2) When we were about to get on the plane. they would sing "Honeysuckle Rose.Exercises 1) Although a rumor may contain some truth. The clerk must also one of a hundred 8) different items the be able to give the correct rate for any moment a customer telephones Someone is always taking the joy out of other people's lives by their thoughtless remarks. I now realize. him or her) when someone shouts "Fire!" there would be fewer panics and catastrophes in public meeting places. his. cleared their throats. tJieir. Select the pronoun form you consider the most appropriate in these sentences and be prepared to justify your choice. for when you may be mentioned in someone's 4. they should never be accepted as fact. just as the Navy and the Air Force have theirs. his or her) wits about (them. 4) The Army has its problems. everyone would keep (his. will be no better than the amount of time and effort that you are willing to put into your schoolwork. 3) My grades. 369 . 9) that for The trio its final bowed. its. 5) After one has been confined to a hospital bed for six months you are certain to be a cautious driver for the rest of life. 3 ) Some people think that a brisk cold shower before breakfast is the right way to begin the day. 7) for it." in close touch with one's distant tell 10) One should always keep you never can will. and then announced number. we found that no less than half of the squad had brought more than (their. 1) If our) limit of luggage. but not (I.

noun. 7) It is the duty of every voter. 6) Change An excuse to Excuses: An excuse of that sort was not acceptable because it had been used before. and would make him matter who it happened to be. 4) Change anyone to everyone: Father would greet anyone who knocked at the door. even though I disagreed with her opinions on many subjects. little doubt about (who. their. 8) Although there was not the slightest resemblance between (she and I. a duty most people avoid. pledged 6) The first assignment required each of us to prepare a threeminute talk based upon (his. my) knowing anything about it. cated. 370 . 9) Just before the game. including those in pronoun. their) quota of peas and all that remained was for the supervisor to pay (them. one is) looking for. anyone can find the location of the encyclopedia (he is> they are. Rewrite these sentences. to 5) There was acquaint (himself. 2) Change a person to people: When a person drives on the wrong side of the road. 5. our) own personal experiences during the summer. the coach had decided to start me at forward without (me. 3) Change the first her to them: I considered her a friend of mine. Follow Formal usage throughout. people were constantly mistaking us for sisters. themselves) with the candidate's past record. feel welcome. 10) By the end of the day everybody had picked (his. he is endangering the lives of oncoming motorists as well as his own. whom) would be and (who. changing the italicized words as indi- Make all other changes which would naturally follow. whom) wouldn't.28 Pronouns 4) By inquiring at the information desk. her and me9 I and her). no if its 5) Omit a: Such a phenomenon can usually be explained causes are fully understood. him). and verb forms. 1) Change Each to Ail: Each freshman is asked to indicate the church of his preference on his registration booklet.

Write "C" by the number of any sentence you consider appropriate at either level. 8) Change Another to Other: Another theater also reports that its receipts have fallen off. 2) It is easy for an inexperienced person fused by such elaborate directions. think of their own selves and never of others. 1) Arrangements have now been made for her and I to attend the State Convention. 10) prize will be given to whoever submits a correct answer 371 . 6. but do we really know what we mean by the term? 5) was then more than he 6) To us citizens slightest appeal. of the United States. 9) Change One to Two: One of the boys admitted that he was ashamed of himself for the trouble he had caused his parents and may feel that he has no home friends. 4) The "common man'" is a person who each of us talks about as if we knew him It well. is the kind of play I prefer be- Correct any errors in the case of pronouns in these sentences according to General usage. 10) Change This to These: This cause of its happy ending. like me to be con- 3) Just between you and I. would you accept the position? family expressed doubts about me earning my own living in a strange city. Indicate any instance in which another form might be preferred in Formal English. 9) Some people always The first.Exercises 7) Change child to children: real The of his child of divorced parents own if he is shunted from one parent to another for six months of each year. Sheila realized that Trent loved another girl did she. Mary considers herself a little better than ordinary people like us. communism has not the 7) 8) If you were My I.

13) Not everyone it who is employed by the government will find to their liking. 12) Each day he would go out with his expensive fishing gear. I received a 4) Lee is one of those land of people that always story than the one you just finished. which made it easy to carry it from house to house. who had a monopoly on the diamond cutting industry of the world for centuries. and general effectiveness. 6) The sophomores turned out in full force for the tug of war but they didn't have the enthusiasm of we freshmen. 8) There is an inclination to procrastinate in me that accounts for my low grades. 1) Miss Pearson was one of those unsympathetic teachers about which my friends had warned me. case. McNeir asked Mr. 2) It says on page 86 that Tasmania exports most of its precious metals. and explain why you made the changes. the doctor told his father that he wouldn't be able to play football for at least a year. (the former's) office. the United States replaced Amsterdam. hoping to catch himself a tuna. the machine resembled a small suitcase having a handle on it. Steele to attend a meeting at his 11) I enjoy reading Wordsworth's poetry. 3) Two months after I borrowed the curt note asking me to return same. adverse effect on Chuck's pitching. tells a better 5) After the war. certainly 10) Mr. who was a contem- porary of Coleridge. Pronouns is This exercise a general review in pronoun usage. 14) When it was completely folded. 7) After setting Tom's broken leg. had an. Revise each sentence in which you think pronouns are inaccurately or awkwardly used. it 9) Whether it was the heat or the listless crowd. 372 . lawnmower. 15) Everyone should love his neighbor and do his best for them. shifts. involving reference.28 7.

Dictionaries list under the key words the accepted or preferred forms of most common idiomatic phrases. For expressions not given here. a writer should learn the idioms by being attentive to the and the writing of those who use the language acspeech curately. 1 Idiomatic prepositions The appropriate preposition should be used in idiomatic phrases.1 29 Idioms Id Idiom. 29. We say for example that a person looks up a number in the phone book.29. 373 . looks after his children. In English. and looks down his nose at someone. but you have right (a literal translation of the French equivalent vous avez raison) is not. However. Expressions like these are called idioms. An expression may be idiomatically "correct" (like "to go whole hog"). as in other languages. acquiesce in or acquiesce to. The problem in the use of idioms is often not their form but their appropriateness in different levels of writing. in words that "go together/' such as a particular preposition with a noun or a verb to express a certain idea. instead of laboriously checking each time to see whether it is comply with or comply to. Following is a list of some common times cause trouble. looks into a situation. for instance. you are right is idiomatic English. Correction: Revise the construction marked to make it idio- matic English. a great many expressions are stated in fixed phrasal patterns. consult a dictionary. those that are Vulgate should be avoided. Avoid redundant prepositions in expressions that do not require them. An unidiomatic expression is one that is not typical of the language as it is spoken or written. but that he looks through the papers in his wallet. expressions in which the prepositions someSome are appropriate on one level of usage but not on another. but more characteristic of spoken usage than of General or Formal writing.

fear. Haase." Between is typically used with two objects (between you and me)." Reference: Gladys D. He was in a stupor." many people Reference: John S. you agree to a plan or proposal. ( In to is the adverb in foUowed by the preposition to: They went in to to the brown rat. College English. He came into the house. idioms agree with: You agree with a person. live in a state of dinner. compare with: Compare to means to point out likeness. different than: In writing. 1930. about: "There is About is the preferred form in expressions like this: no question about [or of rather than as to] the boy's innocence. as to. 6:61-70 into. pp. liable. is followed by with: "Holmes corresponded for many years with Lasky. 135-137 compare to. Kenyon.** beside. correspond with: Correspond to indicates similarity: "Scotland Yard corresponds to our FBI. meaning to exchange letters. ) 374 . American Speech." between. in to: In generally shows location (literal or figurative). among: there Among implies more than two objects: "For once was agreement among the members of the United Nations. besides: Beside is a preposition meaning by the side of." in which due modifies epidemic. and likely?' Reference: Pooley." Correspond.into generally shows direction: He was in the house. 10:345-347 due to: Due was originally an adjective." Besides is an adverb or a preposition meaning in addition or furthermore: "Besides these financial gifts the church also received several baskets of food/' **I couldn't afford the trip. as in "The epidemic was due different in." different from. He walked into the alley. but in many expressions it is appropriately used with three or more objects: "What is the difference between apt. But rather recently due to has come to be used as a preposition (like owing to) and is General usage in expressions like "Due to the continued tensions of the Cold War. correspond to.29 agree to. "We were asked to compare O'Henry's stories with those of Maupassant" [to point out similarities and differences]. I had already visited Mexico. besides. 1949. as "Gretel stood beside her mother." But different considerably from than is common when a clause follows: "Army life was different than I had expected. and compare with to find both likenesses and differences: "Who wouldn't be pleased to have his stories compared to Maupassant's?" [to have it said that they were like his]. different from should ordinarily be used since many people consider different than Informal usage: "Reynolds' latest book is others.

and numerology." As an intensive not followed by a that clause. such is Informal: "It was such a lovely day/' Because many people object to this construction. my type of man. "A new kind of a stove" is Informal usage. it is usually better to use another word or to omit it: "It was a very lovely day" or "It was a lovely day. Whether a writer should try to avoid all such expressions depends upon his typical style and the general tone of the paper he is writing. prior to: Usually an unnecessarily [rather coming here stiff substitute for before: "Before than "Prior to coming here"] he had attended Stanford/' regard. kind of a: In General usage kind. such a: Such as is used to introduce examples with interested in outlandish no comma after as: "He was subjects such as palmistry." Adding the article a to such in expressions like "no such a word" is Vulgate usage. type type without. But a conspicuous num1 ber of doubled prepositions obviously suggests wordiness. the appropriate form is "no such word. In writing." poems are superior of. such that. unless: Without is a preposition. superior than: The standard idiom is superior to: "His early to [not superior than] his later ones. such as.1 jealous of. this sort of boot. Here are some examples of prepositions that are frequently doubled in speech and in Informal writing: 375 . and is Vulgate when substituted for the adverbial conjunction unless: "The pipes will freeze unless [not without] the water is left mining all night." Such is used with that in clauses of degree or result: "There was such a crowd that [not: so that] we couldn't get to the door. on account of: An idiomatic preposition (She stayed home on account of her mother's illness ) but Vulgate as a conjunction ( She didn't wear the dress because [not on account of\ she couldn't wear by green). in regards to: The appropriate form is in regard to or with regard to: "What shall we say in regard to the innocent bystanders?" In regards to is Vulgate. sort." of a: See kind of." superior to.29. The use of a doubled preposition where one preposition would be sufficient (as "to arrive at around noon" rather than "to arrive around noon *) is more characteristic of spoken than of written usage. kind of a above. jealous about: The proper form is jealous of: "Tom was jealous of his brother's success/* kind of. phrenology. type of are not followed a: an odd kind of hat.

complected: Informal when used for complexioned: complexioned [not dark-complected] man. preferably the 29." "He was a dark- 376 . or losing one's money: "He busted out of jail. and similar words: In expressions such as "about this time*' and "around two dollars a yard. to bust a tntst. Some of the idiomatic verb forms in this should be avoided because they are Nonstandard or clumsy. but in practically all expressions break is the General form.29 idioms about. irritate means to vex or annoy: "The seriousness of his crime was aggravated by the prisoner's implication of innocent aggravate people/' "Stop irritating me with those silly questions/' Informally is used in the same sense as irritate: "I was never so aggravated in my life/' The distinction between the two words should be observed in college writing." "No whom special nuisance is the careless repetition of a preposition at the beginning and end of a construction: She is the one to I am supposed to look up to." bust." "at around two dollars a yard/' The extra preposition is superfluous and may just as well off: be omitted in writing. being that is a clumsy or unidiomatic substitute for because." aggravate. or for: "Randy decided to major in pharmacy because [not: being that] his uncle was a successful pharmacist. Others are acceptable in Informal or General usage. irritate: In General usage aggravate means to intensify or make worse. burs ted: The verb bust is Nonstandard in the sense of smashing." "I busted a week before payday. flat exploding. In a statement like this the of is superfluous: "The soldier stepped off of the sidewalk/' It is better to say "off the sidewalk/' outside of." It is the accepted word in a was few idioms like busting a bronco. able to: A clumsy and unidiomatic infinitive: expression when used with a passive "This shirt can be [not is able to be] washed without shrinkage.2 Idiomatic verbs Verbs and verb phrases should be both idiomatically correct and appropriate to the general level of a writer's usage. one cared except [not outside of] her mother. One of these should be first* A crossed out. since." another preposition is often added in speech: "at about this time. around. being that: To introduce a dependent clause of reason or cause. list but are sometimes frowned upon in Formal English. except: Outside of is Informal for except or besides-.

are accepted idioms: Try try and. 29*3 Double negatives statement in which a second negative the meaning of the first negative is called needlessly repeats a double negative: "The trip will not cost you nothing" Such now Vulgate constructions. let: Leave means to depart or to abandon. want want that: In the sense of ought or should. want.** adjective^ "The predominant feature of the landscape is the swamplands. The noun a difficult situation. suspicion: Suspect "The police suspected foul play. are should be avoided: "The trip will cost you nothidioms and will not cost you anything/' ing" or "The trip what writers must be careful about are not the A Usually the conobvious double negatives like not and nothing. predominant: Predominant is an predominated throughout the voyage. "Let us leave this place. Fix is Informal in the sense of to get even with (I'll fix you for that). It also means to make fast or establish (fix the tent to its pegs. fa lunch for three). Predominate is a verb: "The captains will predominate. is also Informal: "How did you fix. try to: Both in General English (Try and get your work in on time). once acceptable in English. and when used for suspect is a localism. meaning ever get into such a fix?" let means to permit: leave. enthuse: thusiastic about or to and prefer be enshow enthusiasm.29. want is Informal: "You should [rather than: want to] review your notes before the test/* In statements of desire or intention. Hubble?*' In General and Formal writing another is usually used.3 contact: touch Many people dislike this verb as a substitute for "get in with someone/* although it is widely used in business: "Will you contact our Mr. but 377 ." is the verb meaning to distrust or imagine: suspect. "call" or "see. fix: use. While enthuse is in fairly common writing. want to is the Standard idiom: "I want you to get [not for you to get or tJwt you work/' In such constructions want can from this all get] that you and want year's -for are Nonstandard. fix tariff prices). to. try to is form in Formal English ( Try to get your work in on the is and the more common preferred time). expression.** Dictionaries label this verb colloquial." Leave for let is Vulgate and should be avoided." Suspicion is a noun. it is another form in college usually better to use In General usage fix commonly means repair or prepare (fix a broken clock.

3c But what as "I don't doubt but would be "I Nonstandard idiom in negative expressions such what he will come. "anxious to increase" is a Standard idiom. the result is an unidiomatic construction: for example. adding the negative prefix the negative. doubles 29. some that call for a gerund. others by gerunds (the privilege of attending)." 29. when not is combined with but or with adverbs of negative meaning such as hardly.3d Irregardless is Nonstandard for regardless. 29. 378 ." Standard English don't doubt that he will come. The suffix -less ir- a negative ending.3a Can't hardly. You will find others in your dictionary under the key (main) word of the construction. Informal: I cant help but feel sorry for him." and "There was scarcely enough money left pay the taxes.4 Idioms with infinitives and gerunds Some expressions are regularly completed by infinitives (privileged to attend). couldn't scarcely The Nonstandard expressions "I can't hardly hear you" and There wasn't scarcely enough money left to pay the taxes" are double negatives.29 Idioms cealed ones." Three idioms are currently used for 29. Here are typical expressions. scarcely. 29. The Standard idioms to because hardly and scarcely in this sense mean almost not. When one form is substituted for the other. but "anxious of increasing' is not. others for an infinitive.3b Can't help but construction: Formal: I this cannot but feel sorry for General: I cant help feeling sorry for him. that should be used in writing are "I can hardly hear you. barely.

(from. Funk and Wagnalls. J. Frank H. with) one painted by Reynolds two centuries ago. Words and Idioms* Boston. Logan Pearsall. write down the numbers 1 to 10. with) that of is considerably different 379 ." "Cast-Iron Idiom" entries for current stand- Smith. Fowler. Then after sponding to the numbers of the following write the preposition or conjunction in parentheses each number.Exercises Gerund cannot help doing capable of working desirous of writing the habit of giving Infinitive compelled to do able to work the desire to write the tendency to give hoped to continue hopeful of continuing ignore saying my object in paying satisfaction of doing my neglect to say obligation to satisfying to pay do References Marckwardt and Walcott. for) sweets. consider most appropriate in the expression. See the index ings of some common idioms. 1925. and Idiomatic Phrases. at. and L. but very thorough Desk-Book of Idioms York. Chapters 4 and 5 list hundreds of idioms based on figurative expressions. toward. what circumstances each might be used. New Somewhat outdated. Vizetelley. A Exercises 1. 1) state briefly under Helen had a craving (about. "Idiom. Houghton Mifflin. de Bekker. the portrait bore a noticeable 2) Several critics mentioned that resemblance (to.. corre- sentences. On a sheet of paper. 1923. If more which you than one preposition seems to you idiomatic. than. 3) Saul's version of the accident the victim's.

but at first difficult to the singular and plural forms. in respect to) the two opposing systems. 2) Napoleon never did become reconciled Elba. against) democracy. to. . with) Edgar Guest's. about. I regret to say I cannot comply (fa. good grades (due to. on S) When flying saucers were first reported. for) pub- licity after his home was overrun 8) During sports. 6) It took me a long time to realize why Shelley's poetry was superior (to. as) any I had seen before. ilmn. give both or all of them. I would find it difficult to begin with the greatest dif(among. 4) Johnson vowed to himself that if he were acquitted this charge. between. by) curiosity seekers. the Air Force hastened to tell the public that there was no cause alarm. since that) the rules were so complicated (then. off of) many of his views were the same the record. I failed to make of. 6) Throughout his short and a warm appreciation 380 Keats had a deep interest the literature of antiquity. in) your request. game much more to me (on account (of. Supply a preposition for each of the blanks in the following sentences to complete the idiom. years in high school. because on account of) my interest in 9) (In regards to. 7) He developed a strong distaste (against. my first two (with. the governor admitted as those of his opponent. 2. 10) Speaking that (off. 5) "Scrabble" was a new kind of. of this) word-building because. 5) Spanish I found it is not so different distinguish life Italian. In regard to) your recent letter.29 4) ferences Idioms If I were asked to compare communism (with. than. 1) My roommate is one of those persons who always jump his exile conclusions. with. he would never again meddle his neighbor's affairs. If more than one preposition is appropriate. of a.

2) Some young married couples think that they can live in the world on love. Churchill sought a hobby that 3) Before the war broke out. my father was a prosperous Korean man of business. 9) Lines parallel 10) You seldom meet anyone who is prejudiced Scan- dinavians. To have not sailed is not to have lived. 10) Since I came over here as an exchange student. to my opinion. 3. or Swiss. 9) Sailing. but to be sailingto have the wind rushing through my hairthe harp of seagulls overhead that is the life. 7) When he was out of office. Scots. Which of the verb forms or phrases in these sentences would be inappropriate in Formal English? Which would you consider Vulgate and how would you revise them for General usage? 381 . 8} Beauty contests. sailing over the bouncing main! Ah. and he turned to painting to fulfill his need of a hobby. 6) I didn't want to write a paper pro or con to the subject. 8) No wonder we were angry self superior the proposition offered by him. I still it has passed two years and have trouble of the language. he considered himus in every way. but in a long run they will save you money.Exercises 7) The union failed to agree the management. Point out any expressions in these sentences that are not idiomatic English and show how you would revise them. 1) Fire prevention measures may take time. 5) When the Texans tried to lord over these veteran Indian fighters. would satisfy his want of something to keep himself occupied. 4) Our city planning commission is far behind step with the needs of the community. but the husband soon finds that he has to work hard to make the payments of his house. are a waste of time. each other will never meet. what people in America call a white collar. 4. a full scale feud started.

4) Because of its special rear springs and low center of gravity. that friend becomes your 5. to see) that we understood the purpose of the experiments. to buy) books rather than to borrow them from the public library. I I buy a new book. Select the verbal form in parentheses an infinitive or a gerund that is idiomatic. 10) Leave us not fool ourselves on this point: friend to borrow creditor. clerk at one of the teletype machines quickly tore off a arthritis laid it down to the administration 8) Willy could fix anything that needed fixing. when you ask a you as little as $5. it is able to be driven around sharp corners at high speeds. him low. two or three tries. It's possible to teach any puppy a few simple tricks if you Students who got patience. this sports car has excellent "cornering". 2) Our teacher tried in every way possible (of seeing. ing 3) There are many good reasons why people prefer (the buyof.that is. to prove) his in- nocence. even though he wasn't enthused about increasing the sales tax at this particular time. 3 ) Whenever ting. even a busted cuckoo clock didn't faze him. 382 . 9) The governor told the reporters that he aimed to study the measure. but if you give up in disgust after you won't learn him anything. 1) All Owen asked was a chance (for proving. 6) Before walk five miles 7) A long strip of the message and walked office.29 1) tact the Idioms 2) intend to register in evening classes may conDepartment of Extension Classes by telephone. come fair weather or foul. Doc Winters used to would every day. 5) Nothing aggravated the boss more than to find a misspelled word in one of his dictated letters. the pages of which want cutuse a sharp letter opener so's not to leave jagged edges on the pages.

in imitating) screen stars was known throughout the city. repelling) any 5) By the time she was ten. 383 . 7) Hartley wasn't exactly the least intelligent member of his class. 8) In every man's life. (to see. 6. Gleason had the annoying habit (to forget. Ex- why the negatives in other sentences are correct. can't truthfully say that I don't believe you. 8) German officials had no doubt but what the French. Chew was known as the most civic-minded citizen in our community. for Indian attack. of leaving) Bermuda than the newlyweds. 10) Although Bessie is given to wild statements. of forgetting) a guest's name the moment after he was introduced to her. 4) There wasn't scarcely a trace of sediment in the retort took it off the bunsen burner. for 9) No one was less happy at the prospect (to leave. you can't really help down by but not like her. no one can live on nothing a year. 4) The walls of 6) All citizens share an obligation (of voting. when 6) No more than four parcels may be shipped overseas in a six-month period. our college newspaper contains hardly nothing of news to the students. (for his making of. I 5) Obviously. point out which expressions are how they should be corrected. at seeing) that his mes- "double negatives'* and show plain 1) In the following sentences. 7) Mrs. 2)1 3) For the most part. 10) The author took great pains sage would be clear to his readers. Maryon's skill (to imitate.Exercises the stockade were sturdy enough (to repel. Recent public opinion polls haven't shown nothing that any intelligent citizen didn't know before. their proposals would be turned 9) It was not for nothing that Mr. irregardless of what the sender wants to do. him to make) his last will the time comes and testament. to vote) intelligently in every election.

If the correction to be made is not clear. reader the groups of words that are to be understood as and often the punctuation shows the relationship be- tween these units. These seldom table The tion marks . George Sum- mey. If sentence struc- lame or stiff. cause anyone difficulty because they are followed as a matter of habit Most questions in punctuation arise when a writer has a choice of one mark or another. Hard and fast rules are not very helpful in such situa384 . consult the No Pn following sections for the specific punctuation question. on the opposite page lists the principal punctuaand gives their main uses. punctuation is only patchwork. Practices have grown up that indicate to a The most important use units. mark or marks in of punctuation is to help make the meaning of written statements clear and easy for the reader to understand. Jr. helping after a fashion but also showing how bad the word pattern is. ) or the comma after He said introducing a quotation. Correction: Correct the punctuation or error marked. or perhaps of using no mark at all. (The numbers following the marks indicate the sections in which each mark is discussed in detail. too many marks may keep him from group- ing words that belong together. or they may slow the speed of reading down to the point of exasperation. Pn Punctuation or No punctuation. like a period at the end of a sentence or after an abbreviation ( Mr. Misused marks or too few marks may make the reader go over a passage two or three times to get its intended meanings.Conventions of writing 30 Appropriate punctuation Good ture is punctuation is possible only in good writing.) Most of the uses are standard.

30 Principal punctuation marks Internal marks Used to separate.1). and in dollars and cents ? Question mark (or interrogation point). It is helpful. not with the finality of a period. after direct questions (How are you?) but not after indirect questions (He asked me how you were) ! Exclamation mark ( or exclamation point ) . series too long or too complex to be prefaced by commas. however. Semicolon (33). but more definitely than a comma : Colon (34). to the characteristic differences between General and we Formal styles. separates constructions of equal rank. more emphatic than a comma and much less frequently used ( ) Parentheses (38. Comma (31). or to indicate the relation between elements within a sentence: . principally to mark the end of sentences: Period. to inclose. and clauses . and occasionally before explanatory statements Dash ( 35). at the end of statements. Used and words or statements tions because zines. slight separation the most common mark. phrases. used to inclose explanatory statements not built into the structure of the sentence End stops (36) Used . Formal English generally uses close punctuation more marks and often heavier marks. in decimals. and newspapers that we know find different practices in the books. after abbreviations. magaread. a mark of separation or interruption. at the end of an exclamation or a vigorously stressed sentence " " ( Quotation marks 37 ) to inclose speeches in conversation quoted from other sources. such as a semicolon in place of a comma because the sentences in this style are longer 385 . basically a mark of between words. a mark of anticipation pointing to what follows: formal quotations.

that we want to be something more than the ladylike botanists who know only the names of flowers we want to know what the problems of botany are. what difference all this what the problems of botany are. Here for example is a book on botany. or what do I. do I But what do you or what want to know about the feeble beginnings of botany? want to know. is a book on botany. with simpler sentences and more rapid movement. the punctuation is usually open. why it is makes anyway. of course. While perhaps less emphatic than die second. it is equally clear and can be read more rapidly. Here. But what do you. in what direction botanical research is tending. for example. In General English today. and continues with an even longer account of the general principles of the science. worth studying. this research it is research makes anyway. in direction botanical research what difference all is tending. Punctuation should be appropriate to the movement and other qualities of a writer's style. worth studying. In addition. It and continues with an even longer account of the general principles of the science. provided of course that we want more than the to We begins with a long account of the history of botany. It begins with a long account of the history of botany Open Close punctuation Now. Formal writing tends to follow older practice in punctuation. we want ladylike botanists only the names of to know what want to know provided. want to know about the feeble beginnings of botany? We be something who know flowers.30 Appropriate punctuation and have more involved constructions. The first version is more in line with general punctuation practices today. or relathat are conventionally tively light. why Reading first one and then the other version aloud will bring out the difference in movement. The same passage punctuated in two ways will show typical differences between open and close punctuation: punctuation Now the chief literary and dramatic vice of the scientists and philosophers is that they seldom begin at the point of the reader's or hearer's interest. and it should put the em386 . This style uses the marks and as many more as readers will need for ready required understanding. the chief literary and dramatic vice of the scientists and philosophers is that they seldom begin at the point of the reader's or hearer's interest.

the difference lies in the emphasis placed on the phrase but actually turns out to be a help: 1) One thing which at first seems to be an obstacle for an athlete but actually turns out to be a help is the fact that he usually has less spare time than a nonathlete. the punctuation each of the following four versions of the same statement equally correct. [The parentheses suggest that the idea relatively unimportant. [The dashes compel the reader to pause brings and to consider the phrase as important as the main statement. 21-24 of the Thomdike-Barnhart Comprehensive Desk Dictionary. 1949. is the fact that he usually has less spare time than a nonathlete. Ronald. eral English. 415." pp. New York. 403.. [This "open" punctuation. 409. Jr. 435. he might use either the third or fourth helpful Which of these versions versions. upon either the first or second example would be satisfactory. For example. [Setting the phrase off with commas it more clearly to the reader's attention than in the first version.] is preferable? The answer depends the writer's intention.] is 3) One thing which at first seems to be an obstacle for an athlete.] 2) One thing which at first seems to be an obstacle for an athlete (but actually turns out to be a help) is the fact that he usually has less spare time than a nonathlete. References George Summey. Marckwardt. 452 for exercises involving open and close punctuation. stresses the func- 387 . Albert H. Since most students' writing falls within the range of Genopen punctuation is usually appropriate unless there is some special reason for using close. American Punctuation. obscures the phrase. but if he wanted to emphasize the idea that less spare time is for the athlete. See pp. 'Tunctuation. If the phrase is unimportant.3O in is phasis where he wants it to be. while appropriate for Informal writing. but actually turns out to be a help.] 4) One thing which at first seems to be an obstacle for an athlete but actually turns out to be a help is the fact that he usually has less spare time than a nonathlete. is the most thorough study of current punctuation practices and the only one with authority.

31. of the machine. 127-139 and elsewhere. They account for two- thirds of all punctuation marks used.la Between main clauses joined by conjunctions With and: A comma is generally used between main clauses joined by and if the clauses are long (especially when they have different subjects) or if ness: it is desirable to emphasize their distinct- 388 . on the other hand. But in other situations the question of whether to insert commas or leave them out must often be answered by the writer himself. Correction: Insert or remove a comma at the place marked. you may The performance easy to estimate. similar to very brief pauses in speech: No. GPO Style Manual so on. tions. In some situations commas are conventional and are handled the same way in almost all writing (see 31. writer means a point as definitely as he means a Arlo Bates C Comma. tailed practices in punctuation. not go to the movies tonight. gives decompounding words. abbrevia- and 31 Commas An experienced word. All dictionaries tion practices. pp.1 Commas to separate clauses and phrases 31 .6). is relatively Commas the movement are highly important both to the meaning and to of all kinds of writing.Ol Commas summarize punctua- tions of punctuation marks. The table on the opposite page lists the places where commas are used and where they should not be used. 1953. Commas mark a slight separation between ideas and grammatical units.

lists without conjunctions ( 31. 2. 4. 5. 31. Around interrupting and parenthetical elements (31.4) Commas are not used: 1. but.1 ) a) Between long or distinctly separate main clauses joined by : and. To separate subject and verb or verb and object To separate two words or phrases joined by and To separate a single-word adjective or adverb from modifies the word it 4.6): a) In dates b) In addresses c) After salutations in informal letters For clearness d) With figures </) After f ) g) weak exclamations With degrees and titles With nouns in direct address are usually optional: Commas 1. for.4): two commas are used when the construction occurs within the sentence To set off nonrestrictive modifiers when 5.3c) With most introductory adverbs and phrases. depending upon the emphasis desired ( 31. or b) After dependent clauses and long phrases preceding the main clause c) Before a dependent clause or phrase following a but not closely related to it 2. Between short main clauses joined by and or but After introductory dependent clauses or phrases closely related to the main clause Before and in last item in a series Around modifiers that may be considered cither restrictive or nonrestrictive (31. 3. In lists and series ( 31. 3. sliould be used: Between clauses and phrases { 31. 6.31. To set off restrictive modifiers 389 .1a Commas Commas 1. 2.2) a ) In lists with conjunctions : main clause b) In 8.3): Two commas are used the modifier occurs within the sentence 4.5) ( In conventional places ( 31.

commas needed : When Roy asked the author of a flattering review sincerely grateful to ] it was because he was him for his 390 . he children of others. Preposition (no comma): Sharon her family and her friends. June 1953." The Atlantic and Monthly. a is not necessary: bitter cold of winter Ibid.. had descended [ ] and the northern seas were frozen. p. -Ibid. "The Black Yorker. felt extremely homesick [ ] for 3 Lib After dependent clauses and long phrases A comma is usually used after a dependent clause or a long phrase preceding the main clause: Preceding clause: Although grandfather could extraordinary way toward his own children. "The Salmon of Labrador. at a point visible for miles around. p. 60 When the preceding clause or phrase is short or closely aren't related in thought to the Related clauses: to lunch [ main clause. for neither her family nor her friends had written her in weeks.. 66 When comma The the clauses are short or closely related in thought.-Joyce Warren. 67 With but and clauses joined yet: A comma is usually used between main by but or yet to indicate contrast: In a month of fishing. my largest salmon in hand was eighteen pounds. p. but many much larger fish combined their fighting frenzy with the powerful currents of the rushing stream to defeat my best efforts.. 68 for: A comma is needed between main clauses joined the conjunction for (equivalent to because) to avoid conby fusion with the preposition for: With Conjunction (comma): Sharon felt extremely homesick. Gibbs. Grandfather erected the ugliest church I have ever seen. my observations were limited to an area of possibly forty or fifty square yards. 1953. p.31 I Commas was standing knee-deep in the water near the tail end of the pool. 62 and did behave in an was charming to the Monkey. June 20." The New Preceding phrase: In this lovely landscape. -Ibid. p.-Fred S.

31. onions [ ] and olives. August 1950. p. and I think he saw a binding in smooth black cloth with a decoration in gold and gilt lettering.2 Commas in In lists lists and series 3 1 .2a with conjunctions Usage is divided over the use of a comma before the and tuation may be either celery. The punc- and olives or celery. p. Informal usage. pp. often omits it. and it is usually expected in college writing. enormously eager Ibid. 249-250 Phrase: These to men were already in Washington. onions. kindly look about them. 12 Short phrase: In his mind's eye [ j he saw a book. as though he had just pronounced A comma with a distinct pause: was merung grace before a seven-course dinner. and when he asked the author of an unflattering one [ ] was because he was sincerely concerned to improve himself. and his mouth set in a sort of serene half-smile. But if the connection the close and no misreading comma is frequently omitted: that [ ] He added vote if he didn't truthful man he wouldn't think of giving so much for one man's know that York had a reputation for being a -Ibid. Kitzhaber. Commas are not used when each of the items is joined by and or or: 391 . of the last item in a series. Cakes and Ale. in royal octavo..2a it good opinion. especially in newspapers. slim and light in the hand. "Gotterdamin Topeka. unburden their hearts before the committee.. p. p.. Albert R.-I&Mf. Formal usage regularly uses the comma before and or or. printed with large margins on handsome paper in a type that was both clear and comely. Somerset Maugham. 263 31 ." Kansas Historical Quarterly. 97 31. is 259 will result. \V.1c Before a dependent clause or a phrase that follows the main clause tive customarily separates a nonrestricclause or a long phrase following the main dependent clause when the relationship isn't close or if it would be read Clause: His eyes had a bland.

When to get up. 1940. when each could be thought of as modi- fying the same It noun separately: was a long. References: Serial Comma Summey. pp. 407. Since the order of the adjectives cannot and be 392 inserted be changed.2. a science. McCutcheon. Commas first adjective qualifies the are not used with adjectives in series when the one that follows or the entire expression: He spoke longingly of the good [ ] old [ ] prewar [ ] days. 75f. Semicolons to separate elements containing commas. .. physical education. A simple test to determine whether adjectives in a series are coordinate is to see if and could be put between the adjec- tives without changing the meaning (a long and exciting and well-played game). they are sep- arated by semicolons. p. When See the items themselves contain commas. 15: 250-254 31 2b In lists without conjunctions or: Commas are used to separate the items of a series of three or more elements not joined by and or The typical freshman's program includes English. J.' American Speech. well-played game. commas should not be used. "The " Before 'and' and 'or. 31 .2c With adjectives in series Commas are used in a series of adjectives modifying a single noun when the adjectives are coordinate that is. social studies. when to eat. when to have fun.31 and Commas [ Fire insurance { ] ] and life insurance [ ] all other forms of insurance are bets placed on odds and accident insurance more or less scientifically determined. R. Notice that a comma is not used between the last adjective in the series and the noun. 69-71. nor can between them. when to work. 33. when to go to bed were all laid down in the regulations. exciting.

The renovation program does not include buildings constructed after 1921. both of tchidi were constructed in 1912.3a 31. if not. called restrictive (or close) Modifiers which define or limit the meaning of words are and are not set off by commas: Coaches who have not played football fail to understand the anxiety of the players before the final game. Coaches game fail to understand the anxiety of the players before the final [omitting the modifying clause changes or extends the meaning] . which. failed to understand our anxiety before the final game. Whether a modifier is clearly nonrestrictive or restrictive often depends upon the context of the passage. who had never played football. Asia. and that. The renovation program includes those two buildings. her first party dress). could be omitted. my mother. Three adjective clauses beginning tests may be applied in such situations: (1) If the word modified is one that cannot be further limited (such as University.3 Commas to set off nonrestrictive modifiers Modifiers which do not limit or define the meaning of a noun or a verb but add only descriptive or explanatory details are called nonrestrictive (or loose) modifiers. But a conventional test for individual sentences is to see if the modifier it could be omitted without a significant change in meaning.3d Adjective clauses The most common problem in punctuboth nonrestrictive and restrictive modifiers concerns ating with who. the modifier is nonrestrictive. it If is restrictive and essential to the Compare these versions of the meaning two examples given above: of the statement Our coach failed to understand our anxiety before the final game [the omitted modifying clause does not change the essential meaning of the sentence]. but if i 395 . the modifier will be nonrestrictive. and are set off from the rest of the statement bv a comma or commas: * Our coach. (2) If the clause is essen-- Harvard tial to the meaning of the statement.31. it is restrictive. 31.

The clause is also essential to explain which cities and what damage.3b Appositives An identifies or enlarges appositive a word or a phrase which upon the expression which it immedi- ately follows or precedes is punctuated in the same way as other kinds of modifiers. the same statement could be expressed in two sentences: I hadn't visited London since before the war. None of the students [whom or that] I knew in high school tending this university. 394 . [There are many kinds of people. if not. which could be omitted is restrictive: The book you sent me wasn't the one I needed. which I hadnt visited since before the war. In addition. if it is restrictive. If the appositive is nonrestrictive.31 Commas could be expressed in a separate sentence. who. had made such a statement about me. had changed greatly in fifteen years.] Restrictive: Most European cities which were heavily bombed during World War II have now repaired the damage. it is nonrestrictive. my best -friend. Nonrestrictive: Frank introduced who immediately dom- inated the conversation. it is set off by commas.] Restrictive: Frank's father was one of those people -who try to dominate the conversation. It had changed greatly in fifteen years. [No pause after cities or before have. no commas are used: to Nonrestrictive appositives (commas used): It was difficult for me believe that Joan. [Obviously Frank could have but one father. the clause is nonrestrictive (hence restrictive and is commas).] Nonrestrictive: London. the adjective clause shows what kind of people are meant.] Most with that are restrictive: adjective clauses beginning that The book you sent me wasn't the one I needed. Notice that any clause in which that. are at- 31. the clause is probably not preceded or followed by commas: his father. before or after (3) If the reader would pause momentarily the modifier when reading the sentence aloud. [A pause would be normal after London and war. so the clause cannot limit the word.

W.3c Commas optional Not all modifiers are clearly restrictive or nonrestrictive. our Siamese means "putting I Restrictive appositives beside. The decision in any particular situation depends on whether the punctuation in the whole piece of writing is open or close. state medicine have def- They had of course more experience by The sound of swing music reached my hall then. In open punctuation fewer commas are used. "Provence . William the Conqueror. in Stone/' Life.31. 395 . 1953. 10:158-162 p. we get rid of Mei-Mei. are mostly ancient. 1948. ears even before I from a room down the heard the tramping feet that seemed to go with it. 50. These italicized modifiers might or might not be set off by commas: These physicians who so vigorously oppose inite bases for their opinion. p. to Lewis the union Words used as titles are not separated by commas (Julian the Apostate. former President Truman). Notice in this sentence that while the two which clauses both perform similar functions. there are degrees of closeness. "Punctuating NonCollege English. and also on the writer's sense of the closeness of the relationship. 31.] Commas around modifiers emphasize a slight relationship. restrictives. References: Summey.3c The landlord tactfully suggested that cat. crumbling medieval centers [ ] which have grown out of the very stones of Provence itself Winthrop Sargeant." (no commas needed): The word appositive thought the question referred to Lewis the novelist rather than leader. no commas suggest a closer relation. tending to bind the parts of a sentence closer together. the isn't: first is set off by commas and the second The cities of Provence. [A comma after centers would mark an unnecessary pause." Paul Jones. 75. which (except for Marseilles) are small ones. July 13.

ment. moreover. 140 (Note: this form of punctuation should not be confused with the stronger punctuation that is required when these words are used as conjunctive adverbs between main clauses.] Two commas. is at least until the nineteenth century was well along.) When connective adverbs appear at the beginning of a sentence. are needed to set off such expreswhen they occur within a state- Adverhs that compare or contrast the idea of the preceding sentence (however. January-February 1953.. [A comma before for the most part would give the sentence an awkward seesaw effect. p. "Looking Around/* Harvard Business Review.-I&d. Semicolon with conjunctive adverbs. p. depend- 396 . 408. too. See 33. sions (as in these examples) not one.. good-natured fun was poked at him the tradesman that even when was on the whole regarded by the literary world with considerable respect. however. 136 [Notice that the phrase on the whole is not set off by commas because it closely modifies was regarded. Daniel Defoe. we find a notable prose writer. of a sentence require commas or not is usually a matter of appropriateness.4 Commas Commas with interrupting and parenthetical elements A word. p. more ingenious than sound.4. the tradesman or the merchant is honored for the most part.31 31. therefore. presenting himself as a propagandist for p. furthermore. they may or may not be followed by a comma. for example. p.] Howard Murnford Jones. or clause that interrupts the direct movement may be set off by commas (or other appropriate Whether the degree of interruption is sufficient to marks). also) generally set off are by commas (two commas when they do not : come first or last in the construction ) At the end of the seventeenth century. 136 Now what is remarkable in the literary treatment of the tradesman. Ifcid. phrase. 136 is This retort. Formal English uses commas more frequently than General English for this purpose: In Shakespeare.

is not sufficiently radical to disturb the comparison. 136 Adverbs that modify the verb or the statement closely (yet. such an emphasis also results in a one-sided picture. Leonard R. .Ibid. ships . 136-137 Of course.] 31. .. may or may not be set off from the clarity: rest of the statement. November-December 1952. 84 After that [ she had made ] the Flyer wasn't always on the Seatde-Tacpma run famous. but underneath. so) should not be set off when they appear at the first of the sentence: Perhaps street we won't feel the wind so much on the other side of the Short connective phrases like of course. Ibid. "Conflicts Within the Local Union. perhaps. W. that." Harvard Business Review.31. 133 Nevertheless. "Galveston. on the other hand. 49 could not get in to shore. . p. . Sayles and George Strauss.. p.5 Commas for clearness A comma should always be used wherever necessary to prevent misreading or confusion of meaning: She had a gruff manner. Ibid.Ibid. the difference between the tradesman and the business- man p. [comma needed] her only thought was the welfare of her students. 397 . . generally speaking. J.5 ing upon the emphasis desired and word to the rest of the statement: the relationship of the Thus [ ] by way of a hat the ancestry of the \Vharton School at the University of Pennsylvania acquires an air of respectable antiquity in American terms. and there were no comma is essential here to prevent Worse than wharves.. Granberg." Ships and the Sea. 42. depending upon emphasis and Of course [ ] there is a difference between the connotation of a word like tradesman and that of a term like businessman. pp.. [The misreading. p. for example. July 1953. p.

[to .6 Commas in conventional places Current practices should be followed in the use of commas in dates^ addresses. he was thoroughly ashamed. however (equivalent followed by a to but) is usually comma to to distinguish it from the simple adverb however (equivalent looking for. [to avoid reading "no emotion but anxiety*'] When Billy finally returned home. 31. 3) When one expression might be mistaken for another: On your own opinions on a subject"] the other hand. [to prevent reading 'Tiand writing 4) When the same word occurs twice consecutively is. writing on a subject in which you can express is relatively easy. [not "is over the passengers"] . the whole bunch of them acted childishly. no matter how): Connective (comma): However.31 Commas Writers should be careful to use situations: commas in the following the subject of a clause of a verb or a preposition: object 1) When may be mistaken for the As far as I can see. the passengers again breathe normally. for his parents treated him as if nothing had happened. that may be [ ] just the answer we are Simple adverb ( no comma) : However hard we tried. . To precomma before either one when it is may be used vent confusion."] prevent misreading "As far as I can see the whole bunch After the tension of passing the perilous island is over. is in a statement: What the reason for her refusal of no interest to me. we couldn't get the students interested in the election. and 398 . put a used as a conjunction: The surgeon's face showed no emotion. As a connective. but anxiety and a little nervousness must have been hiding behind that impassive mask. 2) When a word has two possible functions: For and but either as conjunctions or as prepositions.

) and after the complimentary close (Very truly yours. 31. millions.6b In addresses Commas the town from the state or the county written on the same line: are used in addresses to separate when they are both Chicago. is more Howard Roving.6 d similar places.15 Commas are not used in serial numbers or in round num- bers of four figures: 399 . February 1951..6d With figures and numbers thousands." Cottege English. year.C. is too hot and humid to be a nation's capital.60 In dotes the Commas are used in dates to separate the day of month from the year: June 18. a comma may or may not be used: open punctuation. state. Madison County. 1954 Open: June 1954 Close: June. New York Washington.529. While these uses are routine or conventional rather than meaningful.632 etc. Illinois. 1954. D. 12:286-287 31.31 . [ ] was the hottest month of the was the hottest month of the year. When the day of the month is not given. Notice that a postal zone number is separated from the but not from the city: Chicago 11. which omits the comma. writers are expected to observe them.6c In informal letters Commas are conventional after salutations (Dear Sam. 18. 1954. The form favored common in Reference: in military usage 18 June 1954 British writing than in American. is becoming more common: Open: June 1954 Close: June.: Commas are used to separate $1. Illinois Hamilton.325.). 31 . "Commas in Dates. Dear Uncle Joe. 31.

Sam. M. "that is expected of you. but I'll try to think of one.69 To separate nouns All right..D.B. U. set off by two commas: learned what "I should think.A. those were the days when an advertising man was a poet. 31 . sir? 31. Pulham. "I Robert is should think that by this time you would have learned expected of you. oh are followed by a comma when they it for yourself. A.B. .Jl The Commas serial number of my There were about 1500 words typewriter is 11-6445793. are not why.F. in the article. or quoted phrases closely built into the structure of the sentence: Danny 400 yelled "Hi!" as he entered. is An introductory yes or no customarily followed by a comma: Yes. Alexander Stockdale. H.S. 3 1 . Ret Ruth Minto. exclamations.6e After weak exclamations WeD. you answer the next question." Robert said." it is If the phrase interrupts the quotation. Jr. stressed. Esq. Do you mind if I share your table with you.6f To separate degrees and titles from names: Will Rogers. in direct address: Professor Morris. Carl Spaatz. 31. read and judge Weak exclamations like well.6h With phrases introducing direct quotations A comma is the customary mark after expressions like he said followed by a what direct quotation: said. Gen.. I have no excuse." by this time you would have No comma is necessary with very short quotations. Ph. A.

a verb from object. Joe Alex Morris. but it will pay you to follow them if your papers are marked for unnecessary commas. the object of were told.32. When by units that should run consecutively are commas. Those Rockefeller Brothers. 32 Unnecessary commas No C No comma. many commas are bad These suggestions are of necessity negative. Correction: Omit the comma at the place marked. [ divers' disappointment on finding that the cargo was soon ended when they learned it was worth Boys who are supposedly wild [ ] should not be sent to a loss.] [That 401 . the effect The manner in which their grandfather began the tremendous task of giving away substantial parts of the world's greatest fortune and the way in which their father expanded the business of philanthropy had a significant role in guiding the five brothers into new ventures intended to help make the world a better place in which to live.1 Commas between main sentence elements its Do not sep- arate a subject from its verb.1 He annoyed me by he said. 133 Students frequently use too many commas at the beginning of a composition course because of a mistaken notion that as all punctuation has to be close. 403 for exercises on commas. or a preposition from its object: Subject-verb: complement or The ] wasn't gold $50. Too as too few. p. or when the movement of a passage broken up is unneces- can only be annoying. 32.000. as in this example of over fifty words: sarily interrupted. Long sentences may be perfectly clear without any commas at all. strict preparatory school Verb-object: They were told [ ] that the ship was a total introduces a clause. tiat adding "See what I mean?" to nearly ev everything See p.

or a conjunction from the clause it introduces: Women are also It [ ] interested in sports [ ] was a cold. try reading the passage aloud. P. diaries. 393. and other material relating to the early days of the Southwest. no one had the heart to complain of the weather. 32.3. Unless a pause is clearly indicated. monographs. yet and even in business. of [ I was Dickens. ] especially fond of the works Willa Gather. Commas If to set off nonrestrictive modifiers. But and other light conjunctions are part of the clauses which they introduce and should not be fofiowed by a comma: But [ ] the milkman insisted on leaving a dozen eggs every day. [two nouns] [ ] and two boys about When is teeth are extracted nothing to [ ] and not replaced immediately. 402 . Marquand. a comma is probably unnecessary. Or you can try omitting the comma to see whether the clearness or the emphasis of the statement is in any way altered.3 Commas between modifier and keyword/ conjunction and clause Do not separate a short adverb from the words it modifies.32 Unnecessary commas ] Preposition-object: The library is well stocked with collections of [ maps. and If J. dismal day. p. there the jaws apart. Mark Twain. you are in doubt about using a comma or not in situations where the usual principles do not apply. does not do full This brief synopsis of the plot.4 Commas commas setting off restrictive modifiers Do to set off restrictive or close modifiers. [two verb phrases] ^ prop 32. a loosely related element comes between any of these it elements should be set off by it commas too commas: should be said. not use See 31. justice to the book. 32.2 Commas between two elements separate two words or short not and: parallel phrases joined by joined by and Do The canoe was paddled by a young man Tommy's age.

g that is sup- seems practical to me a that the more we 5) can learn about the people around us b and of the world in which we live c the better prepared we will be to cope with our own problems d and to understand those of the people we It certainly meet 2. 89th Street d the address given in the ad e N. Brebner b who owned the car was fully covered by insurance. in our daily lives. c a cherished 3) The closet was filled with all those useless b without the counters toys a child saves: a board game ween mask d part of a block set e a Halloand other objects too worn to identify. a 2) In more than 300 of our cities the water that comes out of the tap already contains about one part per million of added fluorine b which is a highly toxic element c that generally retards tooth decay in young children d but isn't enough to affect adults' health. Professor 1) is Ames a who is now on leave for a year b the most popular lecturer on the campus. Y. cific reasons for your choice of punctuation in each instance. for the preceding sentences: Follow the instructions given 1) As c it turned out a Mr. perhaps In the small town where we used to live a there were 2) dozens of men and women all with the same b family name who never finished high school at all. a 4) According to the few and quite dull psychology books IVe read b most people can be conveniently placed in certain c roller skate f one categories and those c such as d introverts e extroverts f who make up posed to lie the happy medium between these two extremes.Exercises Exercises In which of the lettered spaces in the following sentences do you consider commas essential? unnecessary? optional? Give spe1. 3) So a c I New York decided to write to 187 E. 403 .

a 7) What we can do show the South Koreans c and should try to do b is to homes to aid and businesses e them. explain whether you would use them or not. If commas are optional in any instance. 404 . "Kit Carson.Unnecessary see commas f whether the editor Jr. 3. 2) When the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima August 6 1945 and the reports were issued about the death and destruction there many people the world over lost hope for the future. I you would put commas in the following senand give your reasons. a and generous b and 10) My father was always kind have some wonderful childhood memories to look back upon c but it was not until I became an adult because of him d that he was able to understand my point of view. who have lost their families f that we are anxious and a for d willing b 8) But these situations were never difficult who had had a great deal of experience David c handling similar cases of hysterical men 9) In July a 1864 b during World War II. Pineo so that he learns while he plays. a b whether they are exhis toys 5) As a child grows d should become c or bought from the dime store pensive busy highway increasingly complex e 6) However \vas a man d a Mr. when General Sherman about to lay siege to Atlanta c my great-grandfather e left his father's plantation to join the Conaged sixteen federate forces. Indicate where tences 1) It seems logical therefore that if the number of accidents on the highways is reduced the number of fatalities will decrease. h " a person who called himself g stories was actually interested in cowboy by young 4) writers. b our next advisor c who didn't care the least bit about a student's previous accomplishments. When two a speeding motorists meet at an intersection of a and neither is willing to give the other the of way b right something unpleasant is bound to happen.

. 415. 33 Semicolon Semi Semicolon. Correction: Use a semicolon to separate the sentence elements at the place marked. 10) Seen from outside the house a one-story frame structure its Ken who had had looked commonplace enough but within breathtaking. it was a large. The semicolon a is a mark of separaljpn full as much stronger than comma and almost as a period: Our haunted house was not strictly in the best haunted-house tradiwas not a ramshackle pile standing at a lonely crossroad. well-built 405 . it was on a street inside the town and was surrounded by houses that were tion. damage overcome or repair by the lower 5) Robert Sherwood's first play Tlie Road to Rome a comedy written in 1927 did not receive the critical acclaim of his later plays. 9) From then on we tirely to the selection of our camp sites en- years of experience in the woods. 452 for further exercises involving commas. appearance was See pp. life 4) Regeneration the ability of animal to to parts of the organism is best illustrated forms of life such as sponges hydroids and planarias. It cheerfully inhabited. or change the misused semicolon. 6) Yes such are the experiences that each nervous expectant father has to endure before he hears the joyful news "It's a boy!" 7) The new recruit in the armed forces before he sees the rifle range knows his gun inside and out and involved.33 to see that the material 3) If you are looking for a cotton or washable dress first check is sanforized so that it won't shrink. It was not tumble-down. all the safety practices 8) The Comet" are chief advantages of this model which is called "The its low operating costs its simplicity of design and its left extremely light weight.

literature and language both derive from by semicolons: is nevertheless not all of Me. good as new. p. not life or language from literature. the use of a semicolon is in large part a matter of style. Contrasting statements are often separated Literature. Alone! p. Leave Your Language But commas are usually short clauses in sufficient in form. for: We all like to listen to stories.33 Semicolon mansion of brick. But aside from the constructions listed below. this is just because we are human. In such constructions both statements could be punctuated as separate sentences. either because they feel they should use it to avoid "comma faults" or because they use it in places where lighter marks (commas or perhaps dashes) would be more appropriate. in itself a very valuable thing. serjps.-Robert A. 51 Jr. Actually the semicolon should be much less difficult to use properly than the comma. but. he may been give himself fishing for many good reasons to justify his decision: he hasn't a long time. but they are combined because the writer wishes to have them considered parts of one idea. Hall. and it still stands. The Night the Old Nostalgia Burned Down. Frank Sullivan. 406 . Me as a whole. clearly Some sentences because of their structure obviously require semicolons.1 Semicolon between main clauses without connectives Semicolons are used to separate main clauses not joined by and. since its functions are more defined and considerably fewer: less than five percent of the total marks used within sentences in current writing are semicolons. 33. heavy as marks of separation for the series of clauses following the colon: this If he decides to go with the boys. parallel marks of separation with and closely linked in thought In statement about a young boy's reasons for semicolons would be too going fishing.. 133 This mark gives many student writers trouble. more appropriate in Formal writing with close punctuation than in General writing with open. or.

and of great men and women. 227 that Writers should distinguish clearly between main clauses may be linked by commas and those that should not 14. the original Logan County. Nimkoff.. "Is a Woman's Work Never Done?" The Wonderful World of Books. yet) in any of these situations: (1) if the clauses are long. a grist mill. (See Comma faults.33. but if you write primer style. where he invented the incandescent light. the traditions. 1952. Switzer. a blacksmith's a shoemaker's shop. including the laboratory and other buildings used by Edison at Menlo Park. Ogburn and Meyer F.) 33. Cape Cod windmill. the courthouse in which Lincoln practiced. but the same principle applies in less involved series: Her reading should include the stories children love. or. p. 181. or (4) show an emphatic contrast between them: After all. he can do the chores later.2 Semicolon to separate elements containing commas Semicolons are the most appropriate marks for separating elements in lists and series which themselves contain commas: Greenfield Village has over 100 separate exhibits illustrating 19th century America. to Test Readability. p. if (3) if the writer wishes to each clause contains several commas. containing relics such as the chair in which he sat when shot. a silk mill.2. cycle . N. p. Mary S. a sites. but. 540 shop. he may not look at your stuff at all if your presentation is as dull as dishwater. 135 33. HI. a cooper shop. etc. A sentence like the one above is perhaps encountered more frequently in punctuation tests than in actual writing situations. p. Sociology.. J. for.-William F. he may be able to work his way through long sentences and difficult words. (2) if the connection isn't close. .-Rudolf Plesch. .-The World Almanac.3 his parents will appreciate the fish.. the Wright Bros. moved from shop.3 Semicolon with coordinate conjunctions A semicolon is sometimes used between main clauses connected by coordinating conjunctions (and. if a reader is genuinely interested in what he is reading. 41 How 407 . p. the stories of history. history and folklore of her part of the country.

"Auto Theft Is Big Business. Liberal Education. but even the high nagged until he declares what he wants to do when he grows up. p. I think. December 1952. 17 local official Board permit the use of either the form or the conventional English form. the FBI has been able to assist state and municipal law enforcement agencies in identifying and convicting numerous auto thieves whose operations have not yet extended across state lines. consequently . p. it quired only to verify the spelling of the particular form used. . Edgar Hoover. Professional writers are more likely to use the con- between the junctive adverb as a link between two sentences rather than clauses of a single sentence: One could ask a hundred questions of this kind. and distinctly Formal in style. 24-25 . therefore. . it is the prerogative of the originating office to select the form which is most suitable for the If the decisions or the rules of the matter in hand. Students who have difficulty remembering whether or not they should use a semicolon will save themselves a good deal of trouble and will write better sentencesif they use con- 408 . pp. but the reader is not to imagine that I am going to provide a universal key to answer them all." Motor Trend. Form in Modern Poetry. . through cost-free services provided by the FBI Laboratory and Identification Division. however. . in marking copy or reading proof. 168 In college this would be an is Reference: Summey. however. 65 and 64 words. 97-101 33*4 Semicolon with conjunctive adverbs A semicolon is used between two main clauses linked by conjunctive adverbs (however.): The in investigative jurisdiction of the FBI is limited to those cases state to which the stolen automobile has been transported from one another. and in fact it is. nevertheless. is re- GPO 62 These two sentences are long. pp. Herbert Read. Shorter sentences requiring punctuation of this sort are rare in current writing except in student papers. therefore. The boy who knows that much is one out of a thousand. Style Manual. Mark Van Doren. that this problem of the relations of personality to character does provide the right setting for such questions.33 Semicolon school student evil. p.-J.

] hoping eventually Senator Chadwick might have succeeded in getting the bill passed." the coach continued. everyone was there: people.] old people.5 Unnecessary semicolon When semicolons are used in places other than the four situations described above. Indicate in what places a semicolon should be used Some instead of another mark of punctuation. [not might as well go home. [or a dash comma. and in what places a 409 . Engineers have been working on this problem in Los Angeles for the to eliminate the smog. 33. pp. 97-101 Exercise of the semicolons in these sentences are used correctly.5a Semicolon for colon or other marks Don't use a semi- colon for a colon or other marks of punctuation: following books were required reading for the course: [no* . but he failed [no punctuation] because public opinion was against it Reference: Summey.Exercise junctive adverbs for transitions between sentences rather than as connectives between short main clauses. 44-45. middle-aged children. 33. others are not. and babes-in-arms. young people. milling impatiently . [not . but not . 5b Semicolon between ports of unequal rank A semicolon should not ordinarily be used to separate a phrase from a clause or a main clause from a dependent clause: After the crowd had waited for five long hours. [not .] Tom Jones. Tristram Shandy. they disrupt the movement of a sentence or sometimes make the meaning difficult to grasp: 33. and Tiie Vicar of WakefielcL "Now that we have been admitted to the conference.] "what are we going to do about it?" The Pamela. past four years.] the loudspeakers announced that they in front of the auditorium. On or the last day of the State Fair.

Semicolon a colon. admit he had been fibbing.00. you may succeed. 6) Every gift the clerk suggested cost too much: a set of monogrammed towels. 4) Most of the major dams in the United States are located in the West. the figure of 24. I suppose. for example. Grand Coulee in Washington.50. I thought that writing would be a pleasant occupation.500. today.33 comma. plus tax. didn't intend his short essay to be considered a discussion of marriage. 1) may Occasionally the illustration on the jacket of a pocketbook give a clue to the contents. $15. 415. a leather-bound diary. 7) Some large libraries have separate catalogs for special collections.50. 41 .000. according to conservative estimates. of the finished product and not of the work that went into it. Fort Peck and Hungry Horse Dams in Montana. then he was called to Washington to serve as a consultant to the Office of War Information. or no punctuation would be more appropriate than the semicolon. although the title certainly gave complete 3) The author me that impression. a crystal bowl with a sterling silver spoon ("something every bride couldn't get if Sammy to however. 9) Five years ago the population of Brownville was 16. work you work hard enough. more often. it only proves that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. if you don't you will surely fail. complete with automatic pencil. "suitable for bath or beach. as most young people do. doctoral dissertations and manuscripts may be listed in a file by themselves. for hours on end. however. and so on. 8) If at aU. and Shasta 5) Dam in You Northern California." was $13. 2) For several years Hoffman worked as a reporter in Springfield. Ohio. is in excess 10) When I was in high school. 452 for exercises involving the semicolon and other marks of punctuation. See pp. Hoover Dam in Arizona-Nevada. even you questioned him needs") for $21. thinking.

September 1954. a runner's pass. pointing out the places where. is a mark of anticipation. p. therefore. or a statement that follows: A complete reading program. magazines of comment and interpretation. 72 34. Spinsters in Jeopardy. another for the roving reporter. The distincColons are not used very tion is simple: a semicolon separates. distant prospects of little towns.1 Colon to introduce a series or an example A colon is used after a main clause to indicate that an enumeration or an illustration is to follow: The printed credentials pour out in a multitude of colors and shapes: one badge for the main press box. 97 factors: much in most writing. Charles Einstein. villages that looked as if they had been thrown against the rocks and had stuck to them." Harpers Magazine. a newsreel pass. "How to Use Good Reading" Good Reading. or change the misused colon. a field pass. Atwood H. "Covering the World Series. a radio pass. in the cloisters. and book reviews. to Roqueville Raoul talked nursery French to Ricky of interest: the Alpine monastery one might see many lively pictures executed by the persons of the district whose relations had been saved from abrupt destruction by the intervention of Our Lady of Paysdoux. directing attention to a a quotation. are is other still "grammar rules.-Ngaio Marsh. a newspaper or news magazine.34. to reduce to absurdity the Me work of the kte One-Eyed Connally. a photography pass. should include four one good book each week." although not derived from Latin gram- unfounded: the best example of this quite inaccurate and the "shall" and "will" rules that we are taught with regard to the 411 . p. 36 Many mar.1 34 Colon Colon Correction: Use a colon : in the place marked. p. A colon series. and perstudents should watch when using them haps the main thing is that they are not substituted for semicolons. introduces or indicates what is to follow: a colon between the two marks On the way back and Troy. a television and from time to time a technician's passenough pass. Townsend.

440.3 Colon in conventional places A colon is the customary mark of punctuation in the following places: 1) After an introductory expression. 136 Taste and style of poet-librettist and composer were thus well is a finished craftsman. p. .. when . future of English verbs. like these: . 2) Between an introductory statement and a quotation if tiie quotation is long or paragraphed separately." say students mean they won't think.-Robert A. 23 colon is the mark to use before a series or list of items the preceding statement is a main clause ending in expressions that definitely point to what follows. which might use periods rather than colons in both of these examples. Barrett Wendell.4 below. each is able to adapt to his purposes the material at hand. a restatement. p.34 A Colon Jr.2c.2 Colon between clauses A colon is an appropriate mark of separation between two main clauses when the second clause is an illustration. as after of the first in the first sentence of 34. and after and its object. they in despair: "I can't write anyhow. 38 Punctuation of this kind is not characteristic of General writing. Peter Yates. 34. (A comma is the usual mark after phrases like he said to introduce direct discourse. or an amplification of the first: Lazy minds give up to me year after year. English Composition. Hall. as after places in the preceding statement." Arts and Architec- matched: each ture. for capitalization of the following a colon.2 above. June 1953.. See 41. Leave Your Language Alone! p.. first word 34. "Music. p. After a colon. You will notice in this book that colons are used after most sentences that introduce illustrative examples. . including the following examples: to name but a few: 34.) 412 .

The community song festival attracts music lovers of all sorts. of a book and its subtitle (China: The Land and the People). 1914. between volume and page between chapter liography (Nation. most and Por- The magazine features colorful ads for all popular means of travel. or fruit pickers.m. are languages derived from [ Low Latin. and between the title and verse of the Bible ( Matthew IV:6). pp. See pp. 129 plane mechanics. buses. or airLewis Allen. those who cluding [ who don't know they can't but think they can. 128 34. Spanish. References: Sir: Dear Summey. such as [ ] railroads. and ships. GPO Style Manual. inknow they can't. 415. 35 Dash The dash is a mark of separation or interruption between units in a sentence. planes. 98:295). followed the economic tides more readily than ever before. or between a preposition and its object: Romance languages tuguese. Italian. prominent among which are ] French. The Big Change. 452 for exercises on the colon. p. and those ] those who can sing. March 19. ). p. moving by automobile and before long by trailer wherever there might be a call for construction workers. 104-106.4 Unnecessary colon A colon should not be used between a verb and its object or complement. similar to a comma but more abrupt and emphatic: Always a mobile people by comparison with the peoples of Europe.35 11:30 3) Between hours and minutes expressed in figures ( in formal footnotes and biba.-Frederick now Americans On a typewriter the dash is made with two hyphens with separates: no space between the words it 413 . 4) After a formal salutation in a letter (Dear Professor Martin:).

and distaste for her. I wrote a story about the fictional Allison that was admired by my English teacher and was read aloud to the class but that marked the beginning of a third stage in the future writer's career. June 28. the dash has been described as The dash the interruption. if one's sound-Edmund Wilson. Malcolm Cowley. a moderator is on hand a panel program without a moderator is as inconceivable as a set without an aerial but in this instance. that all her efforts 414 . 58 She went on hideous to say that this fiasco. . 35.35 Dash Two hyphens the hyphen is the mark on the same key as the asterisk-. "Psychoanalysts and Writers. occasion. the stammer.2 Dashes to set off parenthetical material used to set off parenthetical Dashes are material when commas might be confusing or when parentheses might not be sufficiently emphatic: Naturally. p. and the mark of ignorance." The New Yorker. the sob. Though condemned by some as a nuisance. but teachers and proofreaders and others do not always agree and editors on its appropriateness." Harpers Magazine. that summer had been a complete and he could not have shown more plainly his boredom her patience. 1952. the mark of abruptness. The last name which might be equally well it records the fact that the applied to the comma as crude writers use iminformed mistake the dash for an all-purpose mark for every possible . her cheerful front. Ben Grauer.1 Dash fo mark a sharp turn in thought A dash or dasbes thought or con- may be used to indicate a sharp turn in the struction of a sentence: After I had followed the real Allison to high school. but not commas. 671 35. so useful that it has come into wide use for a variety of purposes.] Philip Hamburger. [Parentheses might have been used here. the moderator. p. According to Professor Summey. September 1954. performs his task with tact and humility. 90 A conviction that is genuine will always come through work is that is. p. the dash is . is a useful mark of punctuation.are used to make a dash in typed copy. 'Television. Shores of Light.

Mythology y p. dashes. 17 While other marks may be used in place of the dash (com- mas. 415 . colons. there seems to be no proposal except to point again to its over-publicized legs. list the possibilities in order of your preference. 35. p. and its by this time rubber-stamp "allure." Reference: Summey.Exercise her willingness to forgivehad gone for nothing. another after it. colons. But he should be careful not to overuse them so that all their they lose force as in an example like this: static Marlene Dietrich was turned into a image of lorelei charm. One dash comes before the parenthetical expression. as in the last example. periods). a colon. or a comma? If more than one of these marks would be appropriate or if no punctuation is needed. 101-104 Exercise (Semicolons. parentheses. which of these marks would you consider most appropriate in General English: a semicolon. 142 Note that dashes inclose the inserted statement when it occurs within the sentence. they would change the movement or the emphasis of the statement. Dashes are beis coming more and more popular in current writing. pp. The Echoing Grove. men freed from the paralyzing fear of an omnipotent Unknown. Edith Hamilton. and commas) In each space in the following student sentences.3 Dash before added phrase or summarizing expression A dash is often used to set off or to emphasize a phrase that summarizes or illustrates the preceding statement: That is the miracle of Greek mythology a humanized world. and there no reason why a student should avoid them in his own papers. a dash. Rosamond Lehman. frozen in a lovely pose and to bring that image again to life.

and an hour-glass figure or as a girl who wears hornrimmed glasses. many cases. to be exact 8) The secretary in the movies is two extremes in physical appearance long hair. straight hair. perfectly shaped lips painted dark red. I could see that myself publicly he had not intended to injure me in any way. our conversation turned to two topics the futility of working hard for a raise in pay or position. 5) The records factory rarely ever. and a face that would be lost in any crowd. with dull.35 2) In Dash first 1) Let us consider the method proposed by the council one-way streets. and the stupidity some men showed when it came to choosing a wife. 4) After the meeting adjourned. 9) There is an old rule about human relationships always treat the other person as you would like to be treated yourself that certainly applies to the success of any fraternity or sorority. came 7) Sooner or later a true test of friendship was to come and it too soon for me a week before the junior-senior ball. as I cooled down a bit. black. 3) At first I felt insulted by his remark and eager to defend then. 10) AH sorts of excuses are given in the business world for women's unequal opportunities and salaries homes and children to care for and so cannot give tion to a career women have their full attenoff women are inclined to take more time from 416 . structural flaws or battle Often we would confide in our house-mother things would never dream of telling each other such as our 6) cret hopes we se- and ambitions. we kept on the propellers that were unsatisshowed any troubles with the governors howwe knew that all propeller failures could not be charged to damage. a hopeless figure. a of escaping from reality person will become an alcoholic as a way for drinking is essentially a neurotic escape mechanism. which is blond. or red usually pictured as either of a girl with beautiful never the in-between everyday shades large eyes.

50 417 . etc.1c work and en can't can't therefore expect the same wages as men and all womso on. 452-457 for further exercises involving punctuation. Dr. only will arrive at 10:30 p. 36.O. an exclamation mark after an exclamation or emphatic command or especially vigorous statement. 448. A.268. marks of 36 End stops A terminal mark (. ? or !) is needed at the end of every sentence to show that the statement is completed. Please answer yes or no. be advanced regularly as men can because they usually their jobs quit to get married just when they learn See pp. Ic In sums of money and A period (decimal point) is used be- tween $3. 36*1 Period 36. p. Put a period at the end of all declarative statements. Everest St. ibid. a question mark after a question. "Why don't you wear brighter colors?" she asked. M.36. 36.F.. (in footnotes) For the use of abbreviations in writing.O. i. Jr. see 44. Yes. and abbreviations without period.1 a After declarative sentences end of all A period is used to mark the sentences that are not questions or exclamations: Madagascar is an island off the southeast coast of Africa. Va. Samuel Hopkins at the end of a sentence.e. William Green. Ib After abbreviations: Mt.95 dollars cents: $1. Oct. Abbreviations. and Mrs.m. When an abbreviation occurs one period is used: Mr. Augustine W. I.

the ending determines the punctuation: It is possible that these skills may be taught in one course. if we knew that we were on private Ask yourself if you are satisfied with your present income. 426.00 66 cents End stops unless the dollar sign $0.5.2b With an indirect question or request A question fishing mark is not used after an indirect question: The gamekeeper asked us grounds.14159 36*2 Question mark question: A question mark is used after a clear cut What was the real reason that she left? When a sentence begins with a declarative statement but ends with a question. "Who is moving into your house?" but 1 said I didn't know.98% pure . [The direct question would read: Are you satisfied with your present income?] A question as mark is not necessary after a polite request copy as soon as possible. in the questionnaire and return phrased a question: this fill Will you please return please earliest convenience.750 the decimal: 99. 2a A question within a sentence is mediately after a question that A question mark stands imincluded within a sentence: Someone once remarked (wasn't it Mark Twain?) that old secondhand diamonds are better than no diamonds at all. Id In figures with decimal fractions A period (decimal the whole point) is used before decimal fractions or between number and . Quotes with other marks.05 3. 418 . The neighbors kept asking me. but how shall they be integrated? 36.66 is The period is not used used: 660* 36. p. for question marks inside or outside quotation marks. Would you it at your See 37. 36.

as To me it was almost an elevator operator.3 36. waiting my cue to speak 419 . The Impact of Science on Society. 46 (Oh! Ouch! Fire! Help! Exclamation marks are far less than in fiction. was the most thrilling I've ever as if I was an actor. as with dates: Geoffrey Chaucer. 1340 (?)-1400 Geoffrey Chaucer. nor will two. no!) emphatic interjection and after statements that are genuinely exclamatory: Caligtda wished his enemies had but a single head. throw them up for grabs betwixt the Todal and the geese! Ill lock them in the dungeon with the thing without a headr-James Thurber. or more of them add anyfact thing to the meaning of a passage: My had! first job. p. think of going to a football game unless she looked like a giant squirrel or some other innocent furbearing animal.36. An exclamation mark (once described as "the period that blew its top") won't make a simple statement of any more impressive (The water looked inviting in the moonlight!). The 13 Clocks.3 Exclamation mark An exclamation mark is used after an No. 94 isn't Don't use an exclamation mark when the statement itself emphatic. where the dialog of emphasis: common in factual writing may require strong marks 'Ill The Duke's gloved hands shook and shimmered. p. three.2c Question mark to indicate doubtful statement tion A ques- mark with is statement or without parentheses is used to show that a approximate or questionable. no. 36. 1340P-1400 question mark in parentheses to indicate a humorous or mildly sarcastic comment is usually crude and better omitted: Dubious punctuation Standard punctuation A No fashionable woman would No fashionable woman would think of going to a football game unless she looked like a giant squirrel or some other innocent (?) furbearing animal. how he would have envied Hitler the scientific lethal chambers of Auschwitz! Bertrand Russell.

usually a double mark (") as on a typewriter. 426. In student papers in which dialog is not used. plained.-tf.1 Quotation marks to inclose conversation Statements representing actual speeches or conversation are inclosed by <juotation marks. or a word is either a quotation with quotation marks around it. August 21. There are no half-quotes: a statement. p. see p. 1953.S. 37 Quotation marks Quot Quotation marks. 37. 37.37 Quotation marks and move!! My audience responded! had to get off!!) (How could they help it? They Punctuation like this is better left to advertising copy that must attract attention by mechanical means. quotes are always used in pairs. are used by some publications in place of double marks. 31 Whether double or single. a phrase. there is seldom any need for exclamation marks. If wonder what See tion all many are used. before the quoted material (the open-quote) and after it (the close-quote). Quotes with other marks. but in most material printed in this country their use is restricted to quoted material within quotations: A quotation mark is "If you acted like run of the camp. the reader will probably the unnecessary excitement is about. for the use of exclama- marks with quotation marks. cigarettes. Single quotation marks. This passage illustrates typical punctuation 420 . For exercises involving the use of end stops. Correction: Use quotation marks in the passage " marked in accordance with the usage described in this section.5." one sergeant ex- News 6- World Report. p. an apostrophe (') on the typewriter. 452. or else it is not a quotation and so has no quotes. less a 'progressive' you could get food. the work details almost anything.

" the senator replied. for the mustache stuck out so far. I stood there a moment and he called back to me over his shoulder. have you got a light?" fumbled in my pocket for a match. is not inclosed by quotation marks: Direct discourse Indirect discourse The coach and fight" said. do you smoke?" I said. "But it is the next time!" May Hill Arbuthnot. it's a filthy expensive habit. the substance but not the exact words of the speaker. at me sternly and barked. sir." Whereupon the "cruel Three" would cry. "Dollar a barrel.37. "Get in there The coach told us to get in there and fight. But when the speeches or statements are not given for their own sake but to illustrate a point." not yet the bill made up his he had mind about 421 . teasing them by breaking off in the middle with "And that's all till next time." Then he frowned at me and turned to go to Colonel Harvey's inner office. 65 "Yes He said. Indirect discourse. with a half-smoked unlit cigar in his called out to me. p. not very much sir.1a for conversation or direct discourse (notice also the punctuation before and within the marks) quotation : One morning when Twain coming I was passing the entrance stairway." The Atlantic Monthly. But we got it lit. I saw Mark mouth. "At the present time. eager to be of service. "Young man. they are usually included in the same paragraph: To these little girls. and then he looked "Young man. la Direct and indirect discourse the actual words of the speaker and is inclosed by quotation marks. 290 Direct discourse represents 37. that I feared I might go down in history as the man who burned off Mark Twain's mustache. "I haven't yet The senator replied that made up my mind about the bill. p. He bent head toward the flame. In written dialog the words of each speaker are customarily indented like paragraphs (as in the above example)." "Don't do it. and my hand shook with anxiety. May 1952." Surges Johnson. Children and Books. I've got so I can smoke only dollar cigars. He I his in alone. "A Ghost for Mark Twain. and the cigar was so short. Dodgson used to tell stories.

if he might The words quote and unquote are not used before or after direct discourse in writing because the quotes themselves show clearly the beginning and ending of the quoted state- ment.2a Short Quotation marks are used around and short statements to show that they are being phrases quoted from other writers. Jones wasn't prietor sick.37 Quotation marks ain't "Nope. p. that 'lie played the king as though he were in constant fear that somebody else was going to play the ace. Creston Clarke. the pro- proprietor told me. I have often felt like the man who stammered and finally learned to say.2 Quotation marks around quoted material 37. they in the position of the man John Williams mentions: "About the practical usefulness of the theory. Ill 422 . 98 In the rare instances when a third quotation occurs within a second." Harper's Magazine. like this: 37. told Direct discourse represents actual speech. 'Peter Piper picked a peck If would be of pickled peppers/ but found it hard to work into conversation. "May home for dinner tonight?" Indirect discourse is a restatement of the quotation in' the writer's words: Joe asked bring a friend home for dinner that night. The quoted material may be worked into the structure of a sentence or may stand by quotations itself: Another immortal pun is Eugene Field's comment on the actor. double and single marks are alternated. "just not work- ing here any more/' me. with the speaker I bring a friend referring to himself as I: Joe asked." the No." Max Eastman. 37*1 b Quotation within a quotation Use single quotation marks around quoted material that appears within a quotation which is itself inclosed by double marks: they depended solely on economic theory to guide them. The Enjoyment of Laughter. August 1953. p. Jones sick. "New Books. he just wasn't working there any more. Hartley Grattan." C.

August 1. "Are 1953. no matter what the outcome. a single word be a fairly accurate picture of the however. Shanghai and Beyond. lined off exactly as in the original. (The quotations throughout this book are examples of lines in this style. it should be indented. my America. poems. my new-found land!"-Phyllis McGinley. and names of magazines. the lines are single spaced: A century or so ago a Harvard graduate wrote a hymn whose opening line. 23 We Worth Saving?" Harper's Magazine. 39 37. The reference paper." The Saturday Review. the darkness disappears. 516. and ships may 423 . August 37.37. and not inclosed in quotation marks. Percy Finch. 1953. 240 "A plague on both your But when a full line or more is used. prepared for Zion's war. for other examples of quoted material. The final couplet of that stanza. p.3 I felt as a treasure-hunter might feel had he tripped over the locked chest that belonged to Captain Kidd. p. as is this phrase from Romeo and A parties in houses" was the general attitude toward the any conflict.3 Quotation marks around titles Titles of books. ) than four See 49. "The Consolations of Illiteracy. 37. "Oh. would with the omission of world today: Each breeze afar that sweeps the ocean brings tidings from Of nations in commotion.2c Verse closed Juliet: phrase or a portion of a line of verse may be inby quotation marks. p. p. -Elmer Davis. plausible enough when written. newspapers.2b Long quotations When quoted material is relatively longmore than one full sentence from the original source or more your paper it is usually indented (and on the typewriter) but not inclosed in quotation single spaced marks. turned out is to be one of the most inaccurate forecasts ever set down: The morning light breaking. If typed. and plays.

(See Underlining for italics. ) 42. O. While a writer may ordinarily use whichever form he prefers. quotation marks." A rule can't be given about which form to use. avoiding changes in style (such as writing The San Francisco Chronicle" in one paragraph. short stories. U. Formal uses italics usually expected in college writing. style." in "The American College Dictionary/* Colloq.S. others (like The New YorJter). and quotation marks volume length. U.37 be Quotation marks either set off by quotation marks or underlined (itali- cized). use one form or the other.S.4a A word used as a word A word used as a word or as an example rather than for its meaning in a passage is either 424 . by quotation marks nor unOld Testament. for the titles of books and the names of periodicals. Montgomery (or any other States. some publications (like Harpers Magazine) preferring italics. A few titles United are neither set off derlined: the Bible. the Constitution of the Gettysburg Address. italics Quotation marks and are not used for the same ex- pression. 37. p.4 Quotation marks to set off words used in special senses 37.K. but not both. The San Francisco Chronicle in the next. CoHoq. Lincoln's Ward Catalog. And he should not use the same form for different purposes where such punctuation might be confusing: Confusing Clearer is "OX" labeled "Orig. magazine The Oxford Book of English Verse contains but two poems by Oliver Goldsmith: "Women" and "Memory. 443. he should be consistent. like articles: for titles of written works shorter than single poems. since current editorial practices differ." in The American Col- lege Dictionary. the Denver Telephone Directory catalog or telephone directory). is labeled "Grig. and The San Francisco Chronicle in the third).

Eliot. priate. Poetry and Drama.4b Slang and colloquial expressions used out of context In Formal writing." The reader's attention trouble with apologetic quotes is that they focus the on the expression and make him wonder is why the writer didn't use another term. Quotation marks are widely used for this purpose: When the word 'Tiemlock" is used. he will use it without apology and without quotation marks regardless of the level of his own usage. S.5 inclosed set it off by quotation marks or (as in this book) italicized to from the other words in the passage. When a real or imaginary person is frequently referred to by his nickname.37. it is not set off by quotes: Abe Lincoln 37.5. 13 ally. an expression from a conspicuously different level of speech may be put in quotation marks if the writer feels that he should apologize for it: The disheartening outcome of recent international conferences has convinced some of our statesmen that certain nations consider us as little more than "fall guys. use it without quotes. p. to whose ears both prose and verse came natur- whom liked highfalutin and low comedy in the same play. as with the word highfalutin in this passage: I suspect that this kind of transition was easily acceptable to an Elizabethan audience. use another. it who In General writing there is seldom any need to use apologetic quotes about a word or expression. If a writer certain of the appropriateness of a word. If the word is approIf it isn't. Huck Finn the Brown Bomber Ivan the Terrible Quotes with other marks tional The following are the conven- ways in which other punctuation marks are used with quotes: 1 ) Comma and period are placed inside the final quotes: 425 . T. it is bound to carry certain literary associations* 37. and to seemed perhaps proper that the more humble and rustic characters should speak in a homely language.

] Did you hear him Exercise the following passage of conversation from a short story in conventional form by copying it with appropriate use of para- Make graphs. listen to this" and proceeded to recite a poem none of us had ever heard before." [Not say. They are placed outside the final quotes apply to the entire statement: when the marks Who can deny that [The . and punctuation marks: 426 . "No. 2) Semicolon and colon axe placed outside quotes: This critic's attitude seems to occasions. "it's too late to worry about that now/' Her watch case was described as "waterproof/* but "moisture-resistant" would have been more accurate. and dashes are the placed inside or outside the final quotes depending upon situation.whole statement And tial is to top it all off. They come inside the final quote when they apply to the quotation only: "Why do you say that?" Mother asked me." Roger agreed. exclamation points. the mark within the quotes also marking the end of the inclosing statement or Every successful politician knows when to say "No comment. 3) Question marks. be "I don't like any movie". indeed "the best of all possible worlds"? a question. though.37 Quotation marks "Yes. capital letters.] she refers to her automatic dishwasher as "essenthis is equipment for gracious living"! End punctuation marks question: are not doubled. on a few he has said kind words for a travelog or a documen- tary film. He gave me a skeptical look which seemed talking!" to mean "Look who's Terence interrupted. what trainmen call Fully a third of the railroad passengers were "deadheads": people who ride on passes and never tip. "Are you crazy?" [Not ?"?] /'.

brackets." Harper's Magazine. 51. See p.1a hey clyde his name pushed him back like a brute hand howd you make out his eyes fled from one face to another i i did pretty good his voice was muffled whatd you get oh i i got a one of those erector sets the big one the one with the three motors my father gave me that my mother gave me a microscope a microscope they were impressed its its got three lenses five hundred magnification he a nice one that was absorbed what else dyou get pleaded oh i i got some other stuff quite a bit of stuff i got some skis too but a its that compulsive integrity that tyrannizes children made him from my uncle his voice dwindled book of knowledge his voice add was a husk a whisper my other uncle how about your other mother they asked didnt she give you anything clyde shook his head she didnt gee they were sympathetically surprised i dont have another mother clyde said how about your other father they asked helpfully i dont have another father clyde cried i only have one mother and one father from the the shrill smallest the least of nose he could have knocked over with the sapient cry holy cow hes still them a runty drip of his hand came got the same parents he was flat born with David Goldknopf.38. p. January 1953. add to the clearness was the key word in austerity British 427 . 38.1 ellipsis Parentheses is Parentheses are curved marks used chiefly to inclose incidental or explanatory remarks (the singular form parenthesis) . "Christmas Twice.1 a To inclose details and examples that of the statement: For seven long years (1945-1952) economic life. 452 for further exercises on quotation marks. and 38. Reprinted by permission of Harpers Magazine. 38 Parentheses.

Frequent parentheses may suggest that the material inclosed isn't im- portant enough to deserve mention. p. Parentheses for added remarks should be used sparingly They are more characteristic of Formal expository writing. Ic Around figures or letters to enumerate points: The main questions asked about our way of life concern (1) the strength of our democracy. and (4) the degree of materialism in our culture. (3) our concept of modem economy. May 3. 1952.. for the use of parentheses in footnotes. (2) our radical practices. -William Howells. 38. Footnote form. brackets. 38. Brebner. in a sudden silence of typewriters. . In some business letters and in legal documents. "Photograph Album. as if they hadn't seen him for a long time. when man in General English. B. 22 J. How to Make Friends for the 428 .S. reference works. p. p. and ellipsis Thousands of GIs enrolled in college courses under the United States Armed Forces Institute (USAFI) program. He was either within a sentence or set apart as a separate statement: adored (I have spent some time looking for the right verb.8c. and they are likely to seem clumsy if they don't fit in well with the structure of a sentence. Vera Micheles Dean and U. p. (Always read . by the members of the Journal staff. 545. 291 first . This rep- unnecessary and inappropriate in most other kinds of writing. See 49.38 Parentheses. James Thurber. -cd.") through narrowed lids a sentence which begins "When man first." The New Yorker.1b To inclose incidental remarks and asides. who greeted him each afternoon. 34 and that's it) It does not mean that religion started with some definite thing. as perceived the vastness of the universe. The Heathens. and so forth. figures are repeated in parentheses after a sum that has been written out: The contract shall be completed in ninety (90) etition is days. The few verb endings that English now being still retains (-s. -ing) are further reduced in ordinary speech.

reprinted by permission of Doubleday & Company.38. reprinted by permission of Doubleday & Company. 1954 by Amy Vanderbilt. Then come his formal salutations." Arm/ Vanderbilt's Complete Book of Etiquette.2 Brackets comment Lest is it Brackets are used to insert explanations or brief in material quoted from other writers: that I impact of am exaggerating. closing parenthesis: When The silk. Inc. honored guests [if there are . Inc. President. 38. ladies and gentlemen. Id With other marks a parenthetical statement that occurs within a sentence. 1954 by Amy Vanderbilt. Copyright 1952." Surprise on the child's part. as I remember. It first and with some such words signs of the ersatz should be treated in a relaxed manner as these: "I see you have been smoking corn ( doesn't taste very good.*' Amy Vanderbilt's Complete Book of Etiquette. is certainly not the garment for the bandylegged man or one who can't "show a good leg. 151. 1954 by Amy Vanderbilt. because of its close fit and lack of boot (it is worn with a special pull-on shoe). . If a comma is or period is needed after the parenthetical material. p. p. Inc. listen to Mencken: "The common-speech. reprinted by permission of Doubleday & Company.)-Amt/ VanderMt's Complete Book of Etiquette. therefore. 429 ." Eric Partridge. 536. any]. "Mr. Copyright 1952. Copyright 1952. p. fills in time with his "Thank you" to the chairman introducing him.2 No punctuation marks are used before 38. p. 582. . the parenthetical statement comes between senthe appropriate end punctuation is placed inside the tences. Slang To-day and Yesterday. 293 Comments or directions may be bracketed in conversation or in any other quoted material to show that the speaker didn't actually say the inclosed words: For the first few minutes the practiced speaker. placed after the closing curve: it The jodhpur. non-fashionable Americanisms] naturally most apparent in Canada whose geographical proximity be thought this flood [of and common interests completely obliterate the effects of English political and social dominance.

the Water was poured eyes and into his mouth. Then he .. . . We are met on a great battlefield of that war.. author's next letter was headed "Danbury." Eleanor "Tell Ruggles. thus ( [ ] ). assassin of Lincoln: it He blew moved . or hesitations in speech. brackets. see . . his lips to shape the words: "Tell out feebly. and ellipsis In quoting material. mother. sic (Latin for thus or so. continent a Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this dedicated to the proposition that all men new nation are created equal.. p. I . my country. pronounced sik) in brackets is sometimes used to mark an error in spelling. ." Brackets are rarely used and are not on the standard typewriter keyboard. but the occasions for such constructions are rare in most writing. When It is copywriters tiful to inadvisable to follow the practice of some advertising who use a series of dots in place of conventional .38 Parentheses. Ellipsis periods are to indicate interruptions in thought.. . . especially in narrative. Prince of Players... in the quotation: usage. Conneticut [sic] 1854. . . opened his . there are four periods because end of the sentence and the sen- added to the usual three. . 430 . punctuation marks: Keep your hands lovely . and to touch. is 38." . as in this description of the dying words of John Wilkes Booth. If you have to use them (as you may in a reference paper) put them in with pen and ink. he finished his sentence: mother . .3 Ellipsis A punctuation mark of three spaced periods and indicates that one or more words have been omitted from material that is quoted: called an ellipsis (plural: ellipses). soft . . You will sometimes see brackets used for parenthetical material within parentheses. . 194 fainted again... incompleted statements. or fact which occurred The Oct 6. . died .. . . he came to. beau- . In the second tence period is ellipsis is the omitted matter at the above. for . sometimes used.. Now we are engaged in a great civil war. .

will-o'-the-wisp) and to keep parts of other words distinct (anti-inflation. 431 . stepmother. second cousin compound numbers in fractions. sister-in-law. the correct answer is thirty eight). Hyphens are needed in some instances to prevent misreading (un-ionized) or to differentiate between the same words used in different ways (a drive in the evening. la With some names for family Hyphened: relationships: One word: father-in-law. 39. hocus-pocus). great-grandfather. Formal and somewhat old-fashioned writing use more.1c 39 Hyphen two or more words used as a single expression (heavy-hearted. lb In stepson.39.1 Hyphen in compound words A hyphen is used between two or more words considered pressions: as a single unit in certain ex- 39. Hyphens are used to connect In printed matter the use of hyphens varies considerably: newspapers and General English use relatively few hyphens. a drive-in theater). compound numbers are frequently written without hyphens when the figure is easily understood from the context (at the age of sixty five. when used as modifiers: four-fifths of a thirty-three one hundred twenty-eight twenty-first birthday box one thirty-second of an inch one-half inch In General usage. 1 c In compounds with self Some group words beginning with are written with hyphens (self-contained. 39. This section lists the most common uses of hyphens. especially and from twenty-one to ninety-nine. But generally they are used as a matter of convention and for better appearance (brother-in-law. re-examine). great-aunt Two 39. self selfself-pity. grandfather words: half brother.

especially hyphened with past par- Formal style: a well-planned attack a short-lived magazine 432 .39 Hyphen be written with a hysupport. some may or without (self support. a recent dictionary to find out which selfless. A number of compound nouns bull's-eye. Other similar compounds are written as one word (beeswax. a writer often has the option of using or not using a hyphen. policyholder) or as two words (intelligence test. Since practice is likely to vary with these forms.2 In group modifiers When two or more words act as a closely linked modifier immediately before another word. they are often hyphened to suggest the close relationship: gray-green eyes a well-kept lawn a ninety-pound tuna an all-out effort two two-hundred-pound fullbacks tongue-in-cheek comment A hyphen should reading: a slow-motion picture a navy-blue uniform always be used to prevent a possible mis- a pitch-dark room some reclaimed-nibber plants When ing in the first word is of a group modifier is an adverb end- -ly. self -government). self government}. Where no is apt to arise. When questions arise. confusion of terms 39. selfhood. A very few phen words beginning with form is self are written as one word: selfsame. secretary-treasurer. most writers would omit the hyphen except in conspicuously Formal style. Consult preferred. newsprint. shipping point. a good recent dictionary should be consulted. 39* 1 d Standard compound nouns jack-o'-lantern. no hyphen used after it: richly deserved praise openly antagonistic attitude Single syllable adverbs are often in ticiples. water cooler). good-for- are regularly written with a hyphen: nothing. labor union.

or do-gooder. no is necessary. group of words used as a modifier to describe a situation which there is no single word equivalent is hyphened: .3 With prefixes Hyphens are used between certain prefixes and the root word either as a matter of convention or to prevent ambiguity. "Korean Times Book Review. 1) Between prefix and a proper name: pre-Renaissance post-Civil War anti-Communist ex-President un-American pro-Eisenhower Truman word beginning with a vowel. Stressed prefixes include terms like ex-wife.4 A for . and he offers dramatic recitals about guerrillas (whom he didn't meet) and possible ambushes (which he didn't find). all of it pretty much of war reporting.39. often still found: preexistent cooperation coordinate 3) To prevent possible ambiguity with when the prefix is stressed: to re-cover a sofa ( to recover from an illness ) a run-in with the police (a run in her hose) to re-sort buttons (a seaside resort) a similar term. . 39. co-author. gins with the re-elected 2) Between some prefixes that end with a vowel and a root especially if the root word be- same vowel: re-ink semi-independent micro-organism When hyphen the parts have become merged it is in General use. 14 in the gosh-we-could-even-hear-the-guns-in-the-distance Scenario. all-American. 1953. though ." The school Yorfc New 39. July 12. George Barrett. anti-religious. Dictionaries list most of these forms.4 Suspension hyphen to carry the modifying expression from one next: The suspension hyphen is often used word over to the 433 . p.

5 Unnecessary hyphen ly written as a single Don't hyphen a term that is currentor as two words. 63-120. p. "Female Fighters.6 Hyphen for word division For the use of a hyphen to divide a word into syllables at the end of a line. September 12. 10. 63 As you pass the shorts- and slacks-clad women in the street stop to bless memory of Amelia Jenks Bloomer. football Separate words all right class president bookkeeping footnotes himself. myself. 1953. who invented the plus fours that sent her name down to posterity. Here is a brief list of words that students are sometimes word tempted to hyphen: One word anybody (pronoun) basketball. and not infrequently the transition is from the two. GPO Style Manual. Richardson Wright. use the first or preferred form. Compound Words and Open Compounds 39. 42 39.39 Hyphen Two-word forms first acquire the hyphen. 87. Ch. baseball. p. ourselves nevertheless grade curve high school "How do you do?" motion picture no one press agent report card school days outdoor outwit overlooked percent (or per cent) roundabout semicolon taxpayer today.to the one-word form. pp. p. 434 .3." The Saturday Review. Summey. bypassing the hyphen stage. see 7. kter are printed as one word. Even if your diclists as alternatives such old-fashioned forms as tionary to-night and post-man. tomorrow second in six o'clock command tax rate water pressure throughout uphold whatever References: GPO Style Manual. Division of words.

and to indicate the genitive plural An apostrophe 435 . those that are indicate the customarily hyphened The parenthetical expressions sense in which the expression is intended. goodnight (a farewell) high school 22. pocket book (a purse) 21. 8. 4. 7. eating my soup) 26.40 Exercise 1. inch) 29. south south west (a 13. our selves (is by night 20. re written 6. law present) (unreliable) 19. and in the third. three quarters (of 15. kilo mural (sports) watt hours some body (has been 11. 30. 14. or take out the unnecessary apostrophe. bath tub daughter in every one fly neglect) 3. 1. 16. in the second those written as one word. form of some expressions. 452 for further exercises involving the use of the hyphen. self satisfied 24. no one (is at home) un American where abouts place) (at 17. school board 23. left overs (food) 12. in so far as 9. intra 10. 40 Apostrophe Apos Apostrophe. writing in the first one the expressions that should be written as separate words. not with standing (a what conjunction) See p. Make in this list column three columns. in to mark the (') is used in contractions. over look (to slight or 2. 5. a lot (of work to do) 18. semi colon 25. ten word (telegram) an 28. man made man of war (a ship) may be (perhaps) never the less compass point) 27. Correction: Insert an apostrophe where it belongs ' the word marked.

four i's. 120 sayin'. and words considered as words: s to erally used before an letters the early 1900's [or 1900s] several size 16 s [or 16s] a . its omission or wrong insertion is very noticeable. The Narrows. 40*4 With genitive (possessive) case forms An apostrophe is used with the singular and plural forms of nouns to mark the genitive case: 436 .22's [or . until I see brought him over.40 Apostrophe (possessive) case of nouns.44 pistol and two . Although it is a minor mark of punctuation that seldom affects the reader's interpretation of a statement. and two p's in Mississippi.22s] There are four s's. of the alphabet.3 For phe letters is dropped in representing speech An apostrocommonly used to indicate the omission of sounds in C. 4O. 40*2 For plurals of letters and figures An apostrophe is gen- form the plurals of figures. he wouldn't let representing speech: "But J. Just kept where I'm goinV It is all not necessary in representing conversation to indicate difficult such omissions. and frequent apostrophes make for reading. fig- ures are omitted (the class of the spirit of 76). p. 40.1 In contractions An I'll apostrophe is used in contractions to letters: (it is) indicate the omission of one or can't more it's were won't don't I'm isn't o'clock haven't shouldn't An apostrophe shortened forms: altho is not used as an apologetic mark with thru first bus phone is tho An apostrophe used with dates from which the '59. me be until I on Mamie I'm not a-goin' to move Ann Petry.

Correction: Capitalize word marked. no capital letter (or lower case).1 John's car New York's Parks children's games your parents' permission a stone's throw An apostrophe is not used with the possessive forms of the pronouns his. hers. p.41. 345. Ib. the is written with a capital. Posses- sive pronouns. following description of conventional practices in capiis intended as a general guide rather than a comFor expressions not covered here. in- 1) People. its.1 With proper names cluding names of All proper names are capitalized. and 28. 452. Exercises involving use of the apostrophe can be found on p. Most uses of capital letters are standard conventions that every writer is supposed to follow (such as for the first word of a sentence and for proper names ) In a few situations words . or if the word marked make it a small (lower case) letter. yours. listing of all forms. the writer's taste or capitalized or not. ours. Apostrophe with genitives. theirs: its the city and suburbs these seats are ours See 27.5. 363. talization plete consult a dictionary. their nicknames and titles: John Quincy Adams Monsignor O'Brien Bill Jones Grandma Moses Professor Ames Congressman Greene 437 . 41 Capital Cop No Cap (or Ic) letters Capital letter. 41. may be The capitals. according to the type or level of writing: Fonnal English tends to use more General and newspaper style fewer. p.

Oregon Cape Cod Bay the Bowery Asia the Asiatics Ireland Irishmen Middle West Midwesterners 3) Racial.41 Capital letters 2) Places.M.) January (Jan. and the names for people Boston Bostonians who live there: Yellowstone Park The Dalles. holidays: Monday Sunday (Sun. months. and political groups (whether singular or plural): Negroes Indians Catholics Moslem Protestant Christian Scientist Baptist Swedes Scots Democrat Socialist South Koreans Republican Communist Farmer-Laborite Jews Names of social and economic groups are not capitalized ) : (ex- cept for stylistic emphasis the middle class the proletariat the bourgeoisie the intelligentsia the ruling class the station-wagon set 4) Languages: English Latin French Greek Esperanto Basic English 5) Days of the week. NAM DAR Boy Scouts 438 . G.) Thanksgiving Day Labor Day Easter Names winter of the seasons need not be capitalized: fall summer spring autumn of centuries are sometimes capitalized in Formal writing (the Seventeenth Century) but are usually not in Names General writing (the twentieth century). National Association of BPOE Sigma Chi. the Sigma Chis the Democratic Party Manufacturers. General Motors. 6) Names of organizations and their abbreviations: Phi Beta Kappa the Elks. religious.

41." she said." But no capital is used when the quotation is fragmentary or built into the structure of the sentence or is the second part of a quoted sentence interrupted by an expression such as he said: it According to the advertisement. America four-engine Constellations Bodleian Library Grand Coulee Dam Golden Gate Bridge Highway 99 the Empire State Building 41 .ved. sophomore." first time I came this way. two sophomores.2a In quotations The first word of a direct quotation that in itself a complete sentence is capitalized: is He said. four juniors." he "none of the roads were 439 . S. and a senior). junior. an invitation to the Junior Prom). of the year. senior are not capwhen they refer to a member or members of a class (The committee consists of one freshman. Capitals are used when these words are used to designate organizations (the Freshman Class.2 For the first word of a sentence Yes. "Don't ever ask me again.2a italized The words freshman. 7) Names of historical events and documents: Magna Charta Monroe Doctrine the Middle Ages the Treaty of Vienna the Battle of Bull Run the American Revolution the Constitution the Renaissance 8) Names of ships. specific buildings and other structures: the Enterprise S." "That was your last chance. Capitalize the first word of every sentence: Won't you come again soon? 41. planes." was the "most spectacular picture said. "The paved. "The first time I came this way none of the roads were .

sponsored is silence golden. themes. but we (apparently the sponsor doesn't believe The broadcast was it enjoyed nevertheless. it usually is not: parentheses is A theses The by by a local bank. 126 is The sentence after the colon often capitalized when it is distinctly separate: student: Quite a few teachers in the departments of science would tell the We scientists deliver the laws of nature to the philosopher. verbs. p. Relativity: A Richer Truth.) interrupted by frequent commercials for the bank that silence is golden).5. 4 1 2c After a colon is A complete sentence standing after a colon is not capitalized when the connection with the preceding clause close: We and observe a great diversity of phenomena: changes in luminosity color take place which seem to be capricious and unpredictable.. -Philipp Frank. but when inclosed within another sentence. 84 who 41 . and adverbs) are capitalized in the titles of books.3 With principal words the last books and articles The and all important words ( nouns.41 41. has to interpret them. Titles of papers. word. profirst word. (Apparently the sponsor doesn't believe that lengthy broadcast. p. magazine articles.2b In Capital letters complete sentence inclosed in parenalways capitalized when it stands alone. was frequently interrupted commercials. 88. and so forth: in titles of The Battle Hymn of the How To Tie Dry Flies See Republic Of Mice and Men A Man and His Dog 7. Ibid. nouns. p. adjectives. 41*4 For names of The names of specific academic courses school or college courses are capitalized: specific high Naval Science Psychology 101 (all courses with numbers after them are capitalized) General Anatomy French Literature of the Eighteenth Century 440 .

this form My program this quarter is biology. 1953. and university are not capiname of the institution is also used or the is reference clearly to one specific institution: When I was in high school." The New York Times Book Review. chemistry. After leaving Jefferson High School. 100.41.-J. E. I never thought I would get to college. Cooper Coach Lou Vice-President Nixon County Assessor Mable Poole The is title is States President referring to the President of the United always capitalized.5 For title titles of people and names of relatives A person's should be capitalized when it is used with his name: Marston Little Professor Prins Sheriff Pfc. Warner attended a business colat Riverside Junior College. p. Donald Adams. Chinese. English composition. In referring to the various departments of an institution.7) and are always are not specific capitalized. Other branches of study that course names need not be capitalized: Physics and chemistry I found almost as baffling as analytic geometry a form of mental torture in which I distinctly recall having achieved a 17 per cent grade out of a possible 100. French) are proper adjectives (see 41. 2 For listing specific courses with general may be used: subjects. all names should be capitalized: the Department of Applied Psychology the English Department the School of Biological Sciences the Graduate School talized unless the The words high school. lege for three months and then enrolled The University also acknowledges an anonymous the aid of needy foreign students. L. July 12. college. A. A few other titles of high rank are similarly capital441 . "Speaking of Books. gift of $5000 for 41. and of course P. whether or not the officeholder named. European history.5 The names of languages (German. English.

of family relationships like mother. Dad?" Tim asked. Perhaps the greatest shock to Ruth and me was that Father and to take it for granted we should be unhappy. 1954. the Queen of England. Ibid. the Virgin Mary. "School is always like that at first. are not capitalized: An Barbara refused to run for class president. the Chief Justice of the United States. uncle. September 18. and nouns like Saviour are capitalized. Sarah's grandmother) : Now our mother wrote to Sister Laura Mary asking for us to be excused from the services.. "The Little Fishes. 85 Mother seemed These names are not capitalized when used as common nouns ( She had three brothers) or when used with possessives (their father. Others use lower-case let442 . Usage differs about the capitalization of many proper ad- jectives: some publications for example capitalize Levis (referring to jeans) and Diesel engine. are capitalized when used with the person's Names name (Aunt Letty. Parisian styles) are capitalized except when the adjective has been so fre- which quently used that it has lost its relation to the noun from it came (pasteurized milk. Other titles referring to a position or an office rather than to the person holding it. p. infantry sergeant should have a voice that will command respect. Rumer Godden. -father.41 Capital letters ized: the Pope. Grandma Moses) and as proper may be considered a person: "May I usually when they nouns standing for the name of have the car tonight. although usage varies: God has fashioned man in His own image. a jersey sweater)." The New Yorker. sister. Jesus. 41*7 With adjectives derived from proper nouns Adjectives derived from proper nouns (the Roosevelt era. Pronouns referring to these names are usually capitalized also. 85-86 41*6 In references to deify God. brother. pp." wrote Mother blithely.

443 . 452 for exercises involving the use of capital letters. like this: Encyclopedia Americana.42 ters for these forms. The sun always rises in the east and sets in the west). your 41 .9 I and O The pronoun he can I capitalized to prevent reading and the exclamation O are always them as parts of other words: . 42 Underlining Ital Italics.8 For geographic areas and directions Words used to designate geographic areas and words that refer to these areas are generally capitalized: the old West Eastern oysters the South Southern fried chicken the Far East the Midwestern states the Pacific Northwest a Southerner A word indicating direction only is not capitalized (We traveled north for several hours. "Gifts" The exclamation oh in a sentence. love thee. Correction: Underline the Words by are set off or emphasized in many published works printing them in slanting type called italics. . In handwritten or typed papers they are underlined: The article first appeared in Harper's Magazine and was later reprinted in The Reader's Digest. As I. 41 . you in An up-to-date dictionary will usually help selection of the proper form. is James Thomson. for italics words marked. not capitalized unless it stands first See p. O my love. Give a man a girl love. .

" Gourmet. Act III the movie High Noon (or: the Longfellow's Evangeline Titles of articles.42 Underlining for italics The names of newspapers and maga42. p. In books and Formal writing. and other short pieces of writing that are part of a larger work are usually inclosed in quotation marks: "The Easy Chair" See is a regular feature in Harper's Magazine. lex talionis. 8 Foreign words that would ordinarily be underlined include terms like coup fitted. the accents and other marks would also be used. and other complete works published separately are conventionally italicized (underlined): Newsweek The Caine Mutiny the novel Huckleberry Finn Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary The Chicago Tribune Chicago Tribune) Hamlet. Words and Ways of American English. short stories. Weltschmerz. 37. 423. poems. 70 42. 42*2 Underlining words and phrases as illustrations Words used as examples rather than as parts of a sentence should be underlined if they are not set off by quotes: Even on a sophisticated level there is some variation in word usage. 'The Schlags of Vienna. manana. what in other parts of the country is called a sidewalk was and may still be called in my native section of Maryland a pavement.3. For instance. and what is elsewhere called a pavement was in our usage the street if in town and the road if in the country. plays. Josef Israels II. p.1 Underlining titles zines and the titles of books. Thomas Pyles.3 Underlining foreign words set off Words from foreign languages that are not considered as English should be underlined. September 1953. not by quotes: The wave of rich whipped cream (Schlagober is what you ask the waiter for) that rolled in about 1948 has grown and been reinforced by rebuilt dairy herds on Austria's own Tyrolese Alpine slopes. p. 444 . Quotation marks around titles.

i. clothing.g. and showing hte trousers underneath.4 Scientific names for plants.. etc. he should not underline it. pp. and ran across the stage. Words from other languages that are now widely used in General English are not considered foreign terms and so are not underlined or otherwise set off: blitzkrieg chic fiancee laissez faire status quo bourgeois chalet debut debutante vice versa slalom Although dictionaries designate which words are now Anglicized (have become part of the English language) and those that are not. 113-114 Underlining should be used sparingly for emphasis. et al. Period Piece. viz.4 Underlining to emphasize words or statements are used in printed material to indicate an emphatic a stressed statement: Italics word or The food. his petticoats. China: The Land and the People. the effect writer intended: may be just the opposite of what the 445 . et seq. and shelter of this vast rural population add up to one fact-poverty. but as I remember it. Abbreviations of some Latin words and phrases used mainly in reference works are generally italicized (ibid.42. If a writer is certain that an expression marked "foreign" is familiar to his readers. insects. p. and so forth are under- lined: The mistletoe (Phoradcndron flavescens) is the state flower of Oklahoma.). thing men dressed up No since then has ever shocked me so much. one of the young lifting up as Charley's Aunt. Gwen Raverat. Gerald F. vs. When a word or statement is underlined that does not actually deserve stress. Winfield. 82 I had never seen the play since then. 42.e. their usage tends to be conservative. but Latin abbreviations in common use are not: e.

page numbers). Usage varies considerably in writing numbers that are parts of consecutive sentences: some scientific and technical pubpressed in use figures exclusively for sums that might be exwords in other lands of writing.. street addresses. at p. not changing needlessly from words to figures for the same kind of sums: ence. Inconsistent He Consistent 15. 43 Numbers Num Numbers. 483 Young found oral presentation superior to reading by grade six this superiority had disappeared. are used for numbers over ten. grade four. "Critical Listening and the Educational Process. Ibid. I was fifteen.1 Numbers written in words Write out as words all simple sums and round numbers that can be easily read. that a person over thirty-five was 43." Education. and words for smaller figures lications numbers and round numbers: College freshmen listened to a series of recorded quotations or statements varying in length from approximately 50 to 125 words. I When I was thought that When old. March 1952. but 483 Except in situations in which figures are customary (such as dates. p. Arthur Heilman. Whether a figure or its spelled-out form should be used depends largely 446 .43 Numbers What I really mean is that most students are mature enough by the time they enter college to select their own courses without an adviser's help. But in general. I thought a person over thirty-five was old. Correction: Revise the number or numbers indicated according to the principles in this section. a writer should use the form that is appropriate for his material and for his audi- should also be consistent in his usage.

m. 3rd. in one against it Minnesota.43. The nation-wide If I had ten dollars for every time I've broken one of my resolutions. 17. 318th Bomb Group . We 43*2 Numbers written in figures 1) Dates and time: January 1.2 appearance on the page.835 the 38th parallel longitude 74 02' E. are used. A writer's reading experihis common sense should tell him that 'There were three of us in the front seat" is a more appropriate form than "There were 3 of us in the front seat" upon its ence and Words appropriate shot three quail and one Figures appropriate He rabbit The next of pounds pounds of 200 pounds of crab. in favor. 19 HI. 183-186 chapter iv page 12 Genesis 39:12 Act III. twelve noon 1800 hours (military usage) one o'clock 2) Mathematical and technical numbers: 3.410 gauge shotgun 3) Page numbers and similar references: pp. 1956 January 1 The forms 1st.003.750. in Indiana.m. Hours are written in figures when a. and two 2-room houses. was 87. scene iv. 3500 947 king chinook salmon and ship unloaded salmon.14159 99.8 percent. but generally without the year (October 10th.2% were shown two 6-room about a dozen 4-room houses. but are spelled out before o'clock: 7 a. or p. October 10. iv.547 fanners voted for controls. twenty- In Colorado 10. line 28 ( Ch. I would have at least a thousand dollars by now.m. houses. 99. 28 ) 447 . 1815). total 10. Five votes were cast for the class president's proposal. 11:35 p. 1. are sometimes used in dates. 1956 Jan.m. 2nd.

The space that might be saved by abbreviations isn't imlegal documents.85. writing including freshman papersordinary words and phrases should be written out in full. 234 3% of loading and up to 10% is common and 20 to 30% in . 1788 Grand North 43.-"Paper Manufacture. Correction: Write in full the abbreviation marked or change the incorrect abbreviation. Britannica. Abbreviations are useful and appropriate in business and works (dictionaries. 44 Abbreviations Ab Abbreviation. Coffee was then selling about a dollar a pound.44 4) Figures Abbreviations Sums of money except in round Words figures: a bargain at $4. for Los Angeles) are obviously not appropriate in General usage. Forms that might be used in notes or in letters to close friends (chem for chemistry. ." Encyclopaedia .3 Numbers of the beginning of sentences year: Numbers at the of sentences are written out unless beginning they refer to a Two to specially surfaced papers. in reference footnotes). 448 . and other places But in most other kinds of portant The situation and the writer's common sense should determine whether an expression is better written out in full or abbreviated. for 5) Street numbers (with no 2027 Fairview North commas between thousands): Apartment 3C. p. L. where space saving is important. 1953 was a year of spectacular heat waves in the central and eastern states.98 Can you a year? live on two thousand The British pound was once worth $4. A. catalogs.

D. Esq. Professor Prof. Admiral are usually written out in full. Senator.] Mr. James T.] titles like Reverend. 44. Christian names are not as a rule abbreviated: rather than rather than Charles Wilson Chas. J. They are not used in combination with academic titles degrees or honorary following names: Mr. the army.. William Carey or William Carey.1 Titles and names Christian.e. Prof. Dr.. George Washington T. Ph.D. Ph.44. but they don't indicate in what situations these forms should be used. James T.] Dr. but in most other styles these words may be abbreviated when the first In Formal writing. i. FBI) and to write in full all other words. Hargrove Hargrove was a sergeant in Hargrove was a in the army. Wilson Robert Burns Robt Burns 449 . President. Esq. R. Professor.. Holloway. Prof. Logan Rice or Logan Rice. A safe rule is to use only a few standard abbreviations (Mr. [not Dr. Holloway.. M. name or the initials of the person are used: Standard jorms Forms Rev. Eleanor Roosevelt. Washington General Washington Gen. Dr. T. tions to use before a Mr. Shaw Rev. Sgt. Shaw delivered a sermon. Moore Moore John Moore Moore Gen. Mrs. to avoid Shaw The Rev. The following sections list abbreviations most often found in General usage as well as some forms that should be avoided. Logan Rice. - The Reverend Mr. [not Mr. William Carey.1 Dictionaries list most abbreviations used in current writing.D.D. are the proper abbrevianame: Mrs. sgt. James Shaw Rev. J. M. Holloway or James T. Shaw The Reverend delivered a sermon. [not Mr.

hr. noon." ("before Christ" and "anno Domini") are always abbreviated.H. recipes. mph in low gear. and A. well-known place names are often abbreviated: Captain Austin U. and 93.44 Abbreviations 44. butter.H. units are abbreviated in directions.3 Units of measurement In consecutive writing most expressions for time. (for ante meridiem. D. weight. and size are customarily written out: a pound four ounces rather than one Ib.C.2 Names of places/ dates in ally written out full: Names like the following are usu- United States South America Ghent.C.7 mph Such expressions are not abbreviated ures are given: The speed hour. Washington. J. in a min. rpm. The (mph. Representative Henry Cabot Lodge of San Rafael. Belgium Portland. "after noon") and B. of a ship is when no specific fig- usually given in knots rather than in miles per 450 . 58. 4 oz. kwh or K. refertechnical writing when they are used with figures: ences. 44. X Ib.S. These and and p.5 the car's best speeds to be 34 mph in third. wt. 16 ft. 3 in.W.m. weight a half inch in a minute hour a half in. "before and post meridiem. (for Territory of Hawaii). King A few place names are customarily abbreviated to avoid unnecessarily long expressions: The USSR.. Calif.D. Tests ft-lb) : show in second. November Oregon Wednesday Christmas (rather than Xmas) In reference work and journalistic writing. Honolulu. T. Expressions of combined measurements and certain technical terms are abbreviated when they are used with figures expressions a*m.

p. 44.6 Capitals with abbreviations Abbreviations are capitalized when the words they stand for are themselves capitalized and when the abbreviations represent a person's title: DAR St. trade names CARE Some scientific NATO words. mph).o. USAF (Daughters of the American Revolution) (t/nited States Air Force) Lt. Thomas Aquinas 100 degrees F.4 Names of organizations ernmental agencies quently referred to Names of organizations and govfre- may be abbreviated when they are by their initials and the form is one that most readers are familiar with: GOP TVA ROTC AP SPCA UNESCO CIO FBI 4-H Club Abbreviations that are pronounced as words (called aeronyms) are written as they are pronounced: WAVES (rather than "women accepted for volunteer emergency service") WAC (aWac) Amvets UNRRA words.. 44.h. Network Studios MGM FM PMLA GPO radio (Publications of the (Government Printing Office) Style Modern Language Association) Manual OED (Oxford English Dictionary) 44. St.5 Scientific trade names. and other expressions are referred to by their abbreviations when they are familiar to most people and would be needlessly long if written out: DDT (in ACTH Rh factor place of dicMora-diphenyl-Mchloro-ethane) NBC c.d. Brown Matthew. (Fahrenheit) 451 .6 Abbreviations of this kind are usually written with three periods or none (m.44. Col.

7 Periods with abbreviations A period should be put after the abbreviation of a single word and between the letters of a term that p. others the solid form (PTA. Doubleday & Company. (page) 44. and T. unless it stands at the first of a sentence: i. "the "and so forth") same" used in footnotes) p.T. P. It doesn't make much difference as long as he is consistent.S. hp. (et cetera.g. General writing unless is The ampersand (&) should not be used in it appears in an expression which the copying: Abercrombie News 6.d. Lt.World Report & Fitch Co. doz.4*4 Abbreviations When an abbreviation stands for words that would not be capitalized if they were written out. "that is") etc. B. which form a writer uses same form for the same 44. A. Nov.o.Y. ch. A:.8 Ampersand writer 17. Inc.D e.). T. c. isn't written solid: N. using the abbreviation throughout his paper.e. BBC). some publications preferring periods and spaces (P. Exercises for 1. no capitals are needed (idest.S.C. (ibidem. B. Ph. ibid. is Usage many words divided about the punctuation of abbreviations of of two or more letters written as a unit. Most dictionaries list the optional forms. 30-44 The punctuation marks (including hyphens and apostrophes) and the capital letters have been removed from the following 452 .

. p. How 2) This paragraph was published in three sentences. August 17. then put in the punctuation you consider appropriate and necessary for an easy understanding of the passage. 1) This paragraph was originally written with close punctuation: in three sentences whatever may be said against us most foreigners would agree on one thing americans are friendly people perhaps because of the loneliness of early frontier days when neighbors were scarce and which makes us therefore valuable perhaps because of our democratic upbringing feel free to talk with everyone we meet americans are quick to break the ice wherever they go our howdy stranger attitude which is alien to the english and french the germans and the Japanese strikes visitors to our shores as refreshing and sometimes even as overwhelming in its all embracing hospitality to peoples and ideas Vera Micheles Dean and to Make Friends for the U. 1953. While the punctuation you use need not follow the original. be prepared to explain the marks you have put in. B. Brebner. 3 J. p. First read each selection for its meaning and general movement. 20 3) This paragraph was written in four sentences with one quoted statement: based on the re use of a word with a slight meaning perelmans doctor i ve got brights disease and hes got mine a pun involving not the slightest verbal distortion may have great richness take Sidney smiths famous remark the simplest pun is shift in s j 453 .S. The state- ments at the beginning of each passage describe briefly the original punctuation.Exercises passages. with a minimum culties of internal punctuation: in his report to the nation last encountered when position the difficulties elected by the greatest of majorities but his party controls congress by the slimmest of margins they are still further compounded week the president spoke of diffia party takes over after 20 years of opare compounded when a president is when some stiff of that partys rank and file find it difficult to alter the necked old habits of opposition Life.

" Stories of Sudden Truth. 1) Lord Chesterfield advised his son to learn spelling. 8 4) This passage was written in two paragraphs.44 Abbreviations observing two housewives screaming at each other across a courtyard he remarked that they would never agree because they were arguing from different premises Clifton Fadiman. 103 Study the punctuation in the following passages. with an interrupting remark in the third sentence: when in dolls glassies the great depression struck our family brother freddy nine i was ten my my sister aggie five i had long ago lost interest and was concerned with collecting marbles especially and prying my way into roller skate hockey with the boys on main street freddy was engrossed in model airplanes and aggie it was a shame aggie had to come out of the name angela for aggie looked more like an angel than any child ive ever seen aggie occupied herself with burying dead birds in the tulip bed and digging them up the next day to see if they had turned to dust yet Mary Bolte. p. 17 what is intended if punctuation should be omitted The Associated Press Style 5) This paragraph was written in three sentences. On the other hand the Duchess of Cordon. justified her want 454 . Explain briefly the purpose of each mark and comment on any that you think might be changed or omitted. August 1953. "The End of the Depression. p. graph contained three sentences. two: The first para- punctuation is the visual inflection the marks should clarify meaning and shouting should be employed sparingly skillful avoids ambiguity insures correct interpretation and lesphrasing sens need for punctuation when punctuation is used it should be like employed solely to bring out it does not clarify Book. "Party of One. edited by Joseph Greene and Elizabeth Abell. a miserable speller. the second. 2. saying that he knew a man of quality who never recovered from the shame of having spelled "wholesome** without the w.** Holiday. p.

driv- ing back from a shooting party. and quotes as well as other marks. it is not even the dealing just with heads of State. John Foster Dulles. I was chosen to play the role of "Sheridan Whiteside. p. 98 our government negotiates with the government of 4) Soviet Union. and the present Pretender to the Throne of Portugal has just returned to the land of his ancestors. write "correct" after the number. Peace. in addition to being heads of State. took place the murder of King Carlos and his elder son." 1) When 455 . all is forgiven and forgotten. 79 doesn't matter. The Big Money. War or Correct every error or inconsistency in punctuation that you find in these sentences. 15 3. and wrong it it spelled spelled right Journal. at the corner. p. Now. Smith's London 2) He was slumped in the leather chair fumbling for the cigar- clipper in his vest pocket looked up the portly man in the next chair from a bluecovered sheaf of lawpapers he was poring when over. King Manuel and his Mother. who died in 1951. p. the Man Who came to Dinner. south of the Tagus. it. it is not dealing with individuals. If the punctuation of a sentence is satisfactory as it stands. 355 3) Here. June 1953. our Junior class decided to produce the play. capital letters. at the invitation of the Republic. and if it is H. Notice apostrophes." House and Garden. without immediately recognizing p.Exercises of learning don't know if it is when she told a friend: "You know. in 1908. Allen Smith. "Portugal. when I how to spell a word I always draw a line under it." passes for a very good joke. Queen Am61ie. it is dealing with those who. are heads of a Party which has a clearly enunciated creed and a membership which adheres to that When creed with almost religious fervor. were riding in the fatal carriage. Sacheverell Sitwell. Charley looked into the black eyes and the smooth bluejowled face and at the bald head shaped like a bird's wing. my dear. John Dos Passes.

3) Many of the school officials are of course television methods of financing an educational concerned about program. By (for busy). these are some of the dramatic incidents in the daily life of a nurse. dance halls. but no one has as yet offered a practical solution which would be acceptable to the taxpayers as well as to the members of the school board.44 2) that Abbreviations Before examining these three view-points. 9) "At that price. the cry of a newborn baby. "I couldnt 10) To every rule there is an exception. too. who objected most loudly to daylight saving the noisiest were those associated with such night time. bowling alleys. or to justify the omission of a mark. Read the following sentences (if or marks 456 . time recreation businesses as theaters. nor mine. to explain possible optional marks. I. 4) For the past 6 years." me. Da for "Dont Answer/* and Nf for "no telephone number. have wanted to become a nurse. parents who have a complete understanding of the bases of racial prejudice can prevent these feelings from becoming a part of their children's attitude by teaching tolerance in the home. that different peoefforts ple have different opinions that neither your can achieve a perfect World. a leading businessman told afford to stay in business very long. the gleaming instruments in the operating room. 8) Perhaps the most widely-known graduate of Spokane's Gonzaga university is the world famous Actor and singer. 6) The wail of an ambulance siren. such as. "Bing" Crosby. and then write down what mark any) should be used in each of the lettered spaces. an "angel of mercy". 4. 7) Among those and indoor skating rinks. lets first admit many of our friends wont take our advice. could I. the smell of anesthetic. Be prepared to give reasons for each mark you use. and thus help those in pain or in need of care. 5) There are certain terms that telephone operators use when talking to each other. however.

Taine made was qualified b the weather was never c very pleasfor example a ant 8) d It it was always e somewhat pleasant f a c and asked wasn't until our housemother gently took my hand b Are you perhaps a little bit homesick that I realized I was homesick d very homesick. d 5) 6) he this The boss was utterly aloof from the office help a would call b Here boy c or d Here girl. b a a pudgy 9) The boss d asked almost expressionless face work on Sundays and holidays e little man c with an me if I would be willing to a he found that 10) When Younger finally returned home b all livestock the family plantation had been put to the torch d all family treasures c driven away or killed except e stolen or destroyed* those carefully hidden 457 . b that is one believes that he 2) Without warning a a viously a guard from some industrial concern b obuniformed stranger c stopped and fifty dollars asked Sam if he would like c to I make d 3 ) Tucker said a an admirable yes man his way for once d was right as usual if b but he wondered Tucker was he might do it 4) Another field of investigation fruitful b but which I had to a which promised to be abandon c was the origin of public opinion polls.Exercises 1) After reading this story a c one if is led to believe that all it is unwise to marry reads. to a Northcott pleaded guilty six years after the murder a reduced charge of manslaughter b and was sentenced to fifteen years in prison c but was paroled after less than a year to go on to greater things. do e 7) Almost every statement Mrs.

bough. even persons who are careless about their own spelling are quick to detect and to condemn misspelled words in the writing of others. through. What would your reaction be in a list you found your name misspelled an honor society or to of students elected to class offices? Would you willingly register for a course that "Sosial Science 101"? was How listed in the college catalog as reliable would you consider a Haribook of Curent English? Standardized spelling is a convenience for reminding a reader of the words he knows orally and is useful in conventitle textbook that bore the tional situations like alphabetical lists. looking it up in your dictionary if necessary. or the cm in though. in first the social world. acquired good spelling habits. Why swer if is this correct spelling considered important? You can anquestion for yourself. hxt. Julia Norton McCorkle Sp Spelling.1 Causes of misspelling Spelling would not be so each sound that we use in speaking was gle letter or combination of letters. taken for granted that the spelling of educated people will be accurate. fare. was. And one sound 458 same letter or . lay. as the a in aha. Leam the correct spelling so that you won't repeat the error. The spelled combination of letters may represent a variety of sounds. Correction: Correct the spelling of the word marked on your paper. idea. enough.45 Spelling The man who writes with no misspelled words has prevented a suspicion of the limits of his scholarship or. to regular spelling is the fact that the but the chief motive It majority of people con- sider is it a sign of literacy and even of social respectability. 45. of his general education and culture. jar. If you are one of those who have not now is the time to begin by an intelligent analysis of your errors and making by trying conscientiously to remove them from your writing. difficult if represented by a sin- a word and the way it is But the way we pronounce do not always coincide. many.

But if a writer persists in making them. it is. a number of words are written with letters that are not pronounced. it's for its. Absolute correctness in spelling English. fourty for forty basic words that you learned before entering high school. believe. site. 45. In themselves. It may result from too rapid writing (as in paor from failure to check the finished pers written in class). copy carefully. attained in printed matter only common difficulties. In addition. piece Such individual inconsistencies are explained wordsbut that does not by the make them history of the easier to spell today.45. Carelessness undoubtedly accounts for the majority of misspelled words in student papers. so that causes of misspelling are responsible for your you can concentrate on them. and others (called homonyms) sound alike but are spelled differently: Silent letters Homonyms meat. such errors are trivial and cannot lead to any misunderstanding in writing. If spelling is still a major problem for you. la may be represented in a variety of ways: bee. sea. precede. it's peace. isn't easy to achieve in ful by careand repeated proofreading. Typical examples are their for there. 459 . mete sight. meet.1 a Carelessness Be as careful about your own spelling as you would expect other writers to be about theirs. it certainly indicates carelessness. cite lam(b) ( psychology (k)nife r(h)ythm s(w)ord (w)rote capital. capitol write. find out which of the in fact. But certainly every college student should be able to achieve an acceptable level of accuracy. to for too. whose for who is. right. Every misspelled word that you actually know how to spell is an example of carelessness. rite its.

when he needs to write the word. par-tic-u-lar-ly9 stud-y-ing). letter by letter.45 Spelling 45. Although faulty pronunciation is not a major cause of misspelling. ." and "He was prejudiced yourself . or -hower? The careful writer. Unless you have a clear mental picture of the word to start with (cu-ri-os-i-ty). and contains an 7i. but how many letters are there in the first two syllables? And is the last part spelled -hour. You should also notice that even though many people say "I use to go there every summer" or "He was prejudice against red-headed people/' these forms are in the past tense and should therefore be written " "I used to go . many people do not see the individual letters in a word as it appears on the printed page. Because reading is better taught by complete words and groups of words than by separate letters or syllables. of course. -hauer. 45.1 c Faulty pronunciation Words should be spelled as they are written. The trial and error method of writing a word several ways un'looks right" (curiousity? couriousity? curosity?) isn't a reliable guide to accurate spelling. it is til it better to be safe and look it up. it is responsible for Correct spelling some very common mistakes: Misspelled because pronounced athaletics atfi-Zet-ics priv-Mege en-vi-ron-ment prtefege enviroment ac-ci-den-toWy tem-per-a-men-tal dis-gust acciden% tempermental dis-cust You will find that it helps to pronounce each syllable to are writing longer words (ac-com-pa-nying. For example. not as they are sometimes mispronounced. when you 460 . will look it up and fix it in his mind for future use. everyone has seen the name "Eisenhower" in print a great many times. yet not everyone has noticed the individual letters: it begins with an E. lb Failure to visualize words If you aren't absolutely certain how a word is spelled. consult your dictionary.

A that a person might derive a certain pleasure in the victim of an interesting allergy or a spectacular run being same way of bad This luck. If 461 . then when you are ready to revise. in fact. you may lose the flow of thought. and correct most of your errors. look up each word you have marked. try following each line with a pencil point. so that you are obliged to ing. seem to enjoy poor spelling habits in much the him any good.2a 45*2 Improving spelling A writer's own attitude is the main consideration for improving spelling. or if he feels that his spelling is hopeless. If you can spell these and distinguish between similar forms. Put a check in the margin or over the word as you are writing. few peoonly ple. If he isn't really interested in bettering it. or at least interrupt the sentence movement. It isn't a Accurate proofreading requires careful word-by-word readyou have difficulty checking your own writing. like most other aspects of writing. your spelling isn't hopeless: to.45. For papers written outside class. is a list of the ten most frequently misspelled words compiled by several high schools in one city. Check all written work for spelling errors 45. in revision. Careful proofreading doesn't take long ten or fifteen minutes should be sufficient for a 600 word paper and the time will be well spent if you can find spelling should be checked good practice when writing a first draft to stop to look up the spelling of every doubtful word. they're) separate pleasant dis- Some useful practices for improving faulty spelling are cussed in the sections that follow. as important as the writer wishes to make it. no amount of general advice or of "rules" to memorize will do is Spelling. if you do so. too ( two ) principal ( principle ) its (it's) believe writing (written) therefore together their (there. 2a Proofreading before you hand it in.

lists In your notebook. Each word is divided into syllables so that you can see more clearly how it is put together. Less common forms are given in parentheses. ben-e-fit-ed 14. din-ing room 28. en-vi-ron-ment 33. Some people find it helpful to read their papers aloud.45 Spelling see every word as you have written it. dis-ap-point 30. a-nal-y-sis 8. fa-mil-iar 38. ex-ist-ence 36. ex-ag-ger-ate 10. at-tend-ance 12. keep a list of words you have misspelled or that you have trouble spelling. for-eign 18. pronouncing each word distinctly. con-science 21. hin-drance 45. e-quip-ment 34. em-bar-rass 32. all right 6. Or start at the end of the paper. 1. bus-i-ness 16. def-i-nite im-ag-i-nar-y 46. The words should be spelled correctly (not as they may have been misspelled in your papers ) and should be easy to find so that you can refer to them when proofreading future work.2b Spelling actually been put down on paper. 40. im-me-di-ate-ly 462 . a-cross 4. de-ci-sion 23. 3. Brit-ain 15. gram-mar 43. dor-mi-to-ry 31. change-a-ble 17. de-pend-ent 25. 20. ac-com-mo-date ac-quaint-ed 24. (de-vel-ope) a-gree-ment 5. dis-ap-pear-ance 7. following list contains common words frequently misspelled in student papers. de-vel-op 2. Any method is useful if it makes it easier for you to see the way that the words have 45. con-tin-u-ous 22. ap-pear-ance 9. and may be used as a check list The when you are correcting your own errors. ar-ti-cle 29. reading backwards and covering the line directly above with a sheet of paper. al-read-y 27. fas-ci-nate 39. choose 35. com-par-a-tive 19. de-scrip-tion 26. for-ty 42. ath-let-ics 11. height 44. con-ceive for-mer-ly 41. be-lieve 13. ex-treme-ly 37.

attention. man-u-fac-rur-er 58. re-ceive 80. for example. or more 463 . rep-e-ti-tion 82.4. will be more profitable to study than those made by others. pas-time 88. priv-i-lege 73. li-brar-y 55. val-u-a-ble 100. u-su-al-ly 99. Words that sound alike. 469. sym-pa-thize 91. knowl-edge 53.45. oc-ca-sion-al-ly 64. mo-not-onous 60. If you aren't certain about tie spelling of embarrass. un-doubt-ed-ly 97. tem-per-a-ment 92. pre-ced-ing 71. pro-por-tion 77. pro-nun-ci-a-tion 76. psy-chol-o-gy 78. o-mit-ted 66. lik-a-ble (like-a-ble) 56. nec-es-sar-y 62. re-fer-ring 81. p. write or type the word. however. suc-ceed 90. sep-a-rate 87. per-form 70. writ-ing See also the list of words in 45. mys-te-ri-ous 61. re-sem-blance 83.2c Writing the word words by writing them until you spell them right without thinking. print it in large capitals (FAS-CI- NATE). op-por-tu-ni-ty 67. prob-a-bly 98. purpose such a list is to prevent the same mistakes from occurring in one paper after another. sched-ule 84.2c 47. trag-e-dy 95. par-tic-u-lar-ly 68. tru-ly 96. in-de-pend-ent 74. in-ci-den-tal-ly 48. in-tel-li-gent 50. write it in red ink. ir-re-sist-i-ble 51. because it will help you to concentrate on your individual The of A problems. judg-ment (judge-ment) 52. oc-cur-rence 65. pro-ce-dure 75. un-til 69. prej-u-dice 72. soph-o-more 89. When the same word occurs more than once in your list. quan-ti-ty 79. tend-en-cy 93. twenty. Master the spelling of troublesome 45. there-fore 94. ten. lei-sure 54. no-tice-a-ble 63. spell it over it and over to or use any other system that will call your to yourself. main-te-nance 57. sec-re-tar-y 85. spelling list of your own. mis-spelled 59. seize 86. sim-i-lar 49.

pronounc- ing them ba-cil-lus as you do Gen-ghis Khan me-tath-e-sis pro-pri-e-tar-y u-ni-cel-lu-lar bi-par-tite car-bon-if-er-ous de-men-tia prae-cox When instructors in various courses complain that their students can't spell. Make a note of the words you will probably have to write in reports or in examinations. Chaotic as spelling is in English. until the spelling becomes auto- matic: embarrass.45 times. ter. Then write them out so: in syllables. Stress those letters or combinations of letters that trouble you: em-baR-Rass oC-Ca-sion-al-ly par-aL-Lel preJ-U-dice rep-E-ti-tion o-MiT-Ted op-tl-mist sep-A-rate It helps to say the (2) writing will yourself. either aloud or to The combination of (1) seeing a word letter by letit carefully. 45. find difficult to spell Separate into syllables words that you (consult your dictionary for the proper divisions). it at the same time 45. A new or unfamiliar expression isn't it a useful part of your writing vocabulary until you can spell with confidence. they are referring either to very common words of the language or to the words that make up the essential vocabulary of their subject. Underline key words in your textbooks. there are some principles that are helpful for spelling common words. embarrassing. embarrassed. 464 . word as you write it. and (3) pronouncing overcome most spelling problems. embarrassment. and observe their spelling when they are written on the blackboard.2d Learning new words Learn to spell new words correctly as you meet them in your college courses.3 General principles of spelling Use whatever rules will help you to overcome your personal spelling problems. in Spelling its various forms.

3a Rules would be the best answer to spelling problems if they did not have any exceptions. but as everyone knows who has memorized exspelling aids since the fourth grade. Listed below are guides to spelling that you have probably heard before.3a Final -e Words ending in silent ~e generally retain the -e before additions (called suffixes) beginning with a consonant (-ment. -ot/$. ~ary). it is the that make the rules only partially helpful in the ceptions spelling of the most troublesome words. If you know that you know them. But if you aren't quite certain about these general principles. 45. -ly. -e retained before a consonant nine require ninety arrange arrangement awe definite awesome definitely requirement shapeless shape hope hopeless Exceptions: argument -e attfful duly ninth truly dropped before another vowel arguing arriool argue arrive imagine imaginary shaping valuable writing shape value write conceive grieve conceit?0ble grievous Exceptions: In a few words silent -e is retained before a vowel to avoid confusion with other forms: dye Ine singe dyeing (compare dying) lineage (compare linage) singeing (compare singing) 465 . you might better spend your time on some other aspect of writing. -ness). review them and perhaps also consult the spelling section in the front pages of your dictionary for more detailed information. -able. but drop the -e before additions beginning with a vowel (-ing. -some.45.

After c. neither.words: learned most school children Write ibefore e Except after c. prefer).and -ie. Other sounds spelled -ei-: counterfeit. forget. sieve. . height. -eiceiling is used: reign sleigh perceive receipt receive eight freight conceive deceive neighbor : vein Exceptions (long e sound spelled -ei-) either. and mischief. o 9 or ou (so that the final -c or -g will Words ending not suggest the "hard" sound) changeable courageous noticeable : outrageous unmanageable vengeance -le- 45.are more common than words with The typical sound of -ie. foreign. leisure. the third person singular present tense form of verbs ending in -y (defy. fry. enemies). seize. ending the same way and accented syllable (commit. Or when sounded as a As in neighbor and weigh -ei-.is e: achieve believe chief field grievous niece siege hygiene Other -ie- words include the plurals of nouns ending in -y (companies.3c Doubling the before a consonant Double the final consonant beginning with a vowel (-able. and also to spell the sound a. defies. sit) and (2) with words of final suffix more than one on the last 466 syllable. Words with -ie. -4ng) with (1) words of one syllable ending in a single consonant after a single vowel (brag. weird. -er. -ed. hit.3b !- and may help you This jingle by to spell -el. 45.45 Spelling in -ce or -ge retain the final -e before additions beginning with a. view. heir. fries).

bias biased counseled. spoil. preferring omit prefer spot spotty. occurred omitted. lurk. lurked).3d Final -y change y apology to Nouns ending in -y preceded by a consonant i and add -es to form the plural: library libraries apologies company curiosity companies curiosities study studies Exception: in forming the plural of proper names. prefer*. dinning gripping. committing controllable.3d One-syllable words Words commit control of more than one syllable bat din grip hit batter. traveled counsel diagram kidnap diagramed kidnaping. controlled dinned. or (3) when the accent of the lengthened word shifts to an earlier syllable (infer'. preference. omitting preferred. the -y is retained and s added: all the Kellys. spotted The consonant is not doubled ( 1 ) in words with two vowels before the final consonant (daub. keep. batting committed. gripped hitting. keeper. refer'. reference). kidnaper worship worshiped. spoiled). peck. worshiping 45. carrying dutiful easily happiness loneliness duty easy marry mercy study marriage merciful studious. or (2) in words ending with two consonants (help.45. inference. studying Final -y preceded suffix is by a vowel remains unchanged when a added: 467 . A final -y preceded by a consonant regularly changes to i before body busy carry all suffixes except those beginning with happy lonely i: bodies business carried. counselor quarrel travel quarreling traveler. helped. Usage is divided about doubling the final consonant of some words not accented on the last syllable. daubing. hittable occur occurrence. both Marys. pecking. but American spelling generally favors the single consonant.

enjoyment. -ence should be carefully checked in a dictionary unless the writer certain of their correct spelling. Negroes. desirable. Dictionaries indicate the more common or preferred spelling by putting ventible). horrible. -ent also be watched since there is no difference in the pronunciation of either endings defendant. improbable. 3f -ab/e. secede. 45. it first (collapsible. collapsable. -ence. intercede. suitable) are much more common than those ending in -ible (such as audible. enjoying playful. etc. existent ) . pre- The must spelling of words ending in -ance. Words ending in -able (like advisable. succeed. All other words of this sort end in -cede: precede. 45. visible). potatoes. -ance. But since no rules govern the formation of these endings. preventable. is Words with these endings -l&fe. playing. A few add -s only: silos dynamos Eskimos Filipinos pianos solos sopranos tobaccos 468 . divisible. Only three end in -ceed: exceed. in -o preceded by a consonant form the plural by adding -es (heroes. (attendance. boyish delayed. confidence. recede. the individual words should be looked up in every case of doubt A few words are spelled with either -able or -ible endings.45 boy delay enjoy play Spelling boys. 3e -cede/ -ceed. delayer enjoyable. -ant. tomatoes.3g Words ending cameo folio in -o Nouns ending in -o preceded by a vowel form the plural by adding -$: cameos folios studio tattoo studios tattoos Most nouns ending vetoes). proceed. played 45. -sede Only one word ends in -sede: supersede.

belief. unhappy child entire personality from a withPsychiatric treatment changed Bobby's to a normal. cargoes.4 A few nouns ending in -0 add either -s or -es to form the Beplural (cargos. The confusion of one form for another that the writer did not intend: suggest an idea may drawn. Be careful to distinguish between identical or similar sound. happy boy accepted by his group. scarves wharf wharfs. hoboes. for may be. but the writer who is conits for ifs. 45. zeroes). hobos. wharves 45. chiefy chiefs. beliefs. It is easy of maybe scientious about his finished work will check it closely for errors of this sort. Check this list to see if you can distinguish between the meaning of each form: accept advice affect aisle except advise effect isle beside capital besides capital choose cite chose site allusion illusion conscience coarse conscious birth berth course 469 . cause no rule can be given for adding -s or -es. zeros. hoof scarf hoofs. roof. hooves scarfs.4 Words that sound alike the spelling of words for anyone when writing rapidly to put down their for there.45. elves staffs. a writer must either memorize the in -f plurals or look them up in a dictionary. The following pairs of words are often confused in writing. fife. fifes. roofs ) But some common words ending in their plurals calf -f form by changing -f to -ves: loaf self calves loaves selves half halves knife leaf knives leaves thief thieves The plural of a few nouns ending staff in -f may be staves either -s or -ves: elf elfs. 3h Words ending -f is The plural of many nouns ending or the sound of -f in regular ( .

awhile (adverb): Can't you stay awhile longer? may be (verb phrase): He may be the next mayor.45 credible Spelling creditable dessert it's principal principle desert its quiet stationary quite stationery . try making up sentences that will illustrate plainly the differences in meaning: If It's difficult for Everyone except Sam accepted the invitation. the leopard to change its spots. maybe (adverb. conventionally written as two words): all right to me. The girls were : all The seats seemed right (adjective phrase. The ceremonies will be held whether or not the weather is fair. lead loose led lose than their then there too passed peace personal past to piece personnel weather who's whether whose you have trouble keeping any of these forms clear in your mind. short for it may be) Maybe you'll have better luck next : time. already (adverb of time) It was already dark when they arrived. altogether (adverb. 45. These forms frequently need to be checked in revision: all ready (adjective phrase): at last att ready to leave. meaning wholly): That's altogether another matter.5 Separate words and combined forms Observe the distinctions between expressions that are written as one word or as two.) ( all together There were adjective phrase ) : six trout all together. ( The forms alright and alrite are not accepted in Standard usage. awhile (noun): They talked for a while. 470 .

catalog. ruf. plough. and so on. ketchup). plow instead of catsup (or catchup. usually British or forms which are labeled in dictionaries as Brit. programme. mould. program. Archaic. alrite. it is usually a good idea more common form. Other shortened forms sometimes seen in advertisements and Familiar writmost people and should therefore ing are not accepted by be avoided: nite. p. [not: beckon See rial call] 39. 2 ) The simpler form of a specialized word if it has attained currency among the people who use it most: anesthetic. will ordinarily prefer: The more modern common words: two equally reputable spellings mold. for further mate- on word division. naborhood. sulphur. extoll). laff. [not: dot] Will you be able to go? [not: beable] The puppy was always there at his owner's beck and call.6 Variant spellings When a word is currently two ways (extol. spelled in to use the have secondary spellings. altho. enuf for enough).1. Most peocertainly anyone who has difficulty of spelling. Three forms are gradually gaining wider in Informal papers if your inacceptance and may be used structor doesn't object: tho. medieval. inclose is used rather than enclose In this book the spelling 471 . simplified Variant. brot. 45. catrather than anaesthetic. so that you can choose the form Many words most appropriate with 1) of to ple writing today. thru. mediaeval. Although many common words can be and undoubtedly should be spelled in simpler ways (as thoro for thorough.6 Certain phrases may be through analogy to other together in speech: The assignment was a mistakenly written as one word forms or because they are often run lot more difficult than I expected. sulfur alogue. and your subject and your style.45. Hyphen in compound words. conventional spelling is expected in most kinds of writing. 431..

most good desk A in all college libraries. 51-62 Kennedy. 11. New York. Learning to Spell: An Informal Guide for Heath. and Appendix II New York. 1927 GPO Style Manual. English Spelling. Ginn. 7 and section 128 McCorkle. 5 New York. judgment. Exercises 1. 1930 English. pyjama. 1935. judgement. available front pages of dictionaries. References: Discussions of English spelling may be found in the great deal of information is given in the section "Orthography. Thomas. 1952. 4. Albert C. but in other situations the American forms should be used... Other sources are: Baugh. labour. labor. Craigie." at the front of Webster's New International Dictionary (unabridged). Appleton.. Julia N. pajama rather than centre. pp. Ch. For the spelling of proper names (the British Labour Party) and for direct quotation (the Prime Minister described it as "a humourless situation"). 3) American rather than British spellings: center.45 Spelling because it appears to be gaining popularity in General American usage. W. What words are misspelled in the following sentences? The words used as examples are correctly spelled in the preceding section on spelling. New York. Chs. point out which 472 . Arthur G. Without referring to the text. A. British spelling is appropriate. Pyles.. Words and Ways of American Random House. Boston. 1935. Current English. A History of the English Language. Crofts. 9. Chs. College Students.

that awesome heighth. A temperamental person maybe one whose not well ad- justed to his environment 7) The judgment of the labor relations board benefited the skilled laborers more then it did the white-collar workers. 2) 3) to it's When The he was only a sophomore. child's it outrageous curiosity was quiet as embarrassing parents as was is to there neighbors. the courageous climbers 6) a definate sense of loneliness. 10) What woman wouldn't be embarassed if the contents of her overstuffed purse were unexpectedly revealed to the gaze of the public? sentences that will illustrate clearly the differences between these pairs of words of similar sound (for example: "The 2. 4) Mathematics probably because I 5) alot easier for me than foreign languages. Compose morale of the troops overseas has never been higher". Mike was all ready the outstanding athlete in school. Pay particular attention to those words that give you trouble in writing: advice affect advise effect conscience its conscious it's beside capital besides capitol loose lose personal principal personnel principle choose coarse chose course quiet quite 473 .Exercises words are misspelled form. am Looking down from felt prejudice against grammar in any form. in each sentence and write down the correct 1) President Eisenhower accepted an invitation to be the principle speaker at a convention of the governors of the fourty-eight states. "You would look in vain to find a moral in this story"). but not to expensive. is is 8) My advice to the beginning skier adequate. to buy equiptment that 9) site of Old timers still remember the argument over the original the state capital.

Ren-ais-sance . . syllables (consult your dictionary for of your subjects for headings. sc t ghbor nee ze 4. cor-re-la-tion. counterf 5. bias 3. . s 12. to be copied as indicated. benefit 8. . divide the words into their proper this purpose). . fix the spelling in your mind. 1 ach bel sure 2. sched-ule. clot 5. 14. history: me-di-e-val. 13. per-son-nel psychology: . . n 3.ture. fr 7. y hyg ne w rd 2) Add -ed to the following verbs to show whether the final consonant is doubled or not.45 stationary Spelling stationery there to their than 3. If there is a choice of forms.as required for correct spelling: 8. "general": dor-mi-to-ry. repay 4. kidnap 2. explain why you used the one you did: 1. 9. in this manner: Use the names economics: guar-an-tee. c 10. . cur-ric-u-lum 4. for 11. Med-i-ter-ra-ne-an. drop handicap 13. de-ben. . . . si gn ght gh Id 6. then too Keep a have To list of words in your spelling notebook that you will to use in writing for the different courses you are taking. quarrel 12. worship 474 . soph-o-more. ap-per-cep-tion. The words in each of the following groups are down with the correct letters filled in the blanks 1) 1. travel 14. 7. 6. he-red-i-tar-y . light chafe dine 10. 9. play 11. Supply ve ve ling -ei- or -ie.

ridicule 5. 5. become decide dine 6. -ent to these words. 9. 4. prove use endure 4) 10. 7. changing letters to conform with accepted spellings: justify laugh profit contempt digest force sense size Add -ance. making any necessary changes in the root form of the word: 1. making any other necessary changes: attend exist compete confide . indicate which alley alto the more common form: play quiz radio bus diary Eskimo Macy motto ax belief duty enemy Negro tomato 6.Exercises 3) Add -ing to each of these words. 8. courage courtesy disaster humor mischief 4. hope hurry 2. Write the plural forms of the following nouns. 5. or -ence. control 3. write Change each of these words to an adjective ending -ous: 1. expect revere vigil descend 475 . 8. -ant. Add wherever necessary admire advise -able or -ible to the following words. outrage fame 10. continue 6. grieve 7. 2. is If there is a choice of spelling. 9. 3.

sofisticate. Spelling This is a "demon" spelling list compiled at Purdue University. distaf.") Also doomed to Trib extinc<c tions: the letters "f. tarif. by George 2 Wykoff.g. mastif. p. on which the highest score made by four English teachers was 92%. quoted in Inside the ACD. ph" within a word. diphtheria exhilarate rarefy seize heinous liquefy Eskimos meringue mortgage sergeant mosquitoes picnicking naphtha villain siege sieve supersede weird Last compiled November 8. Magnanimously. would a foreigner or student find 'fthisis* to learn that it meant tuberculosis?" Time. 1949.45 7.g. Do the changes seem reasonable and consistent to you? Would be to see you willing spelling such as sofomore become general? on.. This paragraph explains and illustrates one land of simplified spelling as used by The Chicago Tribune. . proclaimed the Trib.. . for instance. which will be replaced by anglofobe. To abolish 'ph' at the beginning of words would mean to be out of line with the : dictionary. 56 476 . have someone dictate them to you to see how many you can spell accurately without the use of a to spell for the dictionary. Explained [the education editor] "It is a wise policy to recognize the universally valid principle of jestina lente (hasten slowly). Without looking at the words. 1951. words of more than one syllable ending in "fF will end simply in "f. rifraf. purposes of general writing? Which words should you know how battalion ecstasy Chautauqua maintenance perseverance questionnaire sacrilegious S. the Trib granted "ph" the right to continue to exist at the start of words. bdif. (One syllable words like cuf. sherif.g. photografer." e. e. p. midrif. biografy. July 18. From now scoff. philosojy. Where. sofomore. . sofistry. and fluff will keep the "ff.." e.

It is worth experimenting to find the 477 . 46. These include or table of convenient height (making it easy to focus eyes on the book or paper). concentration a desk proper physical conditions can help. and either can become fixed into habits.Study and reference 46 Study habits Thinking means shuffling. interest. and light that is adequate but does not tire the eyes with glare. Since they are likely to remind you you of what you already know you should do. and often the less agreeable necessity of earning money. a chair that suits the body but is not too comfortable. These habits can be cultivated by those who may have to work hard in their courses so that they will get the maximum results for energy spent and will steadily increase their skill Suggestions in the pages book are of little use by themselves. 46. digest it. they may help of a reinforce your good intentions. but they can help examine your practices. 1 a Physical conditions ing is Although the important part of study- mental activity attention. selecting the contents of one's mind so as to assimilate novelty. relating.1 Conditions of study it It is only good sense for you to make by having as easy as possible to carry out these good intentions conditions and habits that will prove effective. the central occupation of a college student is studying. and create order. The suggestions usually given for studying are based on the habits of successful students. Jacques Barzun In spite of the agreeable competition of social life. As in other work there are more profitable and less profitable ways of going about studying. of athletics and a multitude of other activities.

Preparation for subjects that meet on alternate days can be divided into shorter daily periods.46 Study habits tension (lolling will not waste combination of conditions that calls for a position of slight is not conducive to concentration) but that energy in combating actual discomfort. so that it is necessary to allow Get up and stretch. Most people cannot concentrate profitably for an hour at a time. Because In psychological terms. because expecting to attack a subject at a definite time helps to focus attention on it in advance. is Usually the best time for working on a particular subject as soon after the class hour as possible. Obviously not everything can be left for evening but it is often hard to make efficient use of the afternoon. not to get when you 46. lb Time more than a forty-hour week: fifteen or more hours in class with the theoretical allotment of two hours preparation for each class hour (probably approximated by most serious students) means forty-five hours at least The class hour is fixed but you arrange your own periods of preparation. It is better if written assignments or any unusually long or complex assignments are started early to allow for revision and rounding out at a second period. These should be as regular as other circumstances allow. chat but try absorbed in anything that will be a distraction return to study. walk around. and it is especially useful to form a habit of doing work for one or more classes in the afternoon. Programs that are very heavy on some days and conspicuously planning. studying is first a matter we cannot see the mind in action we 478 . with a longer period on the day preceding the class. before the natural time off for relaxation. Looked at as a job. Lunch period should not be allowed to stretch out indefinitely. Ic Attention of attention. more than for breaks. college work usually calls for 46. light on others require careful advance It is wise to have the time of studying for specific courses as regular as possible.

The comis real and sometimes intense. for reducing distractions to a minimum. Sports and other activities not only take energy but are so interesting that they may absorb attention when they shouldn't. and if they can't be disposed of. and then try to forget them for a bit. try to honor on the wall or dresser. you just have to learn to live get them out of the way first with them and try to keep them in perspective. it is better to put them in a position of have other duties. and it needn't mean that you are a grind. Most people will respect this. Talk about these things at mealtime or before your study period. even with talkative an agreement to study at certain times and to neighbors: Interruptions To respect each other's habits. financial or personal. adding. some students have to go to a library or some other quiet place to study. Pictures of family and friends on the desk are a natural temptation. but you are responsible petition for apportioning your time. If you or postpone them to a definite time after studying. Consequently one of the conditions of attention is reducing distractions as far as possible. so that you can concentrate on the main job.46. escape them. Worries. 479 . multiplying as a transition to a period by others are perhaps the hardest to handle.1c sometimes forget that it can be directed. There is always competition for our attention and our minds cannot go in two directions at once. as more observable action can be. Many students don't seem to realize that a preoccupation with football or some other activity simply prevents attending to study. But often an open underroommates or standing can be arrived at. noting them on a scratch pad or calendar. are the greatest handicap. The point to remember is that among the varied competitions for your attention you have to make a choice. There is naturally a tendency for previous lines of thought to continue. One defense against interruptions is building a reputation for taking your studies seriously. A commonly given bit of advice is to do some mental arithmetic of study.

but interest can be cultivated and ordinarily will grow if you do not set up barriers to your natural curiosity. Beginning students sometimes object to courses outside their immediate. the reasons you are taking it (especially whether it is elective or required). seniors almost always wish they had had more of them. find yourself "fighting" a course. and it is always possible to make progter. for eventual application in some job. already formed interests. Psy- and the start of every college course is a new chologists call this stage "the undifferentiated blur.2a Genera! attitude Your attitude in a particular course depends on a number of matters: the hour the class meets.46 Study habits 46. resign yourself to making the best of a bad matIf you But often the sources of discontent are superficial. 46. why is it? Are you giving it a fair chance or handicapping yourself by repeating cliches about it? A hard course may be a challenge. the way the instructor conducts the class. More important still your idea of how useful and interest- ing the course is going to be. It is natural that some courses should interest you more than others. If you can't bring remove them. or for the general cultural background proper for an educated person. for understanding what goes on in the world. its size. the causes into the open and examine them. The usefulness of a particular course may be as preparation for other college work.2 Adjustments required in study Although we talk about "methods of study" in general. If the is required. You are likely to feel somewhat confused in a new situation. they vary with the particular subject Actual accomplishment depends not only on time and attention but even more on your attitude and adjustment to the individual course. what others say about the course and the instructor. or for general information for conversation. try to find out why. new subject matter becomes familiar with practice. your past experience with the subject or lack of experience." Soon 480 . the effort it requires of you. situation. course ress or to turn over a new is leaf.

understand them. It is a good thing to examine occasionally what you do in a particular course. are made in 47. and find ways of removing them. or the whole table of contents of the textbook to get a frame within which the particulars fall. As a people. we do not take easily to languages. These are usually suggested by the instructors in the courses. Some general suggestions for studying textbooks. It takes only a few minutes to glance over a paragraph. 46. Lectures. to read a little aloud. and Here are comments on a few to particular courses: 1) Many students The reference paper. to find difficulties. not wait. Suggestions for writing the "papers" frequently required in courses are the principal subject of this whole handbook. And best of all. helps give the Copying feel of the language. matters of adjustment specific 49. Instructors are glad to discuss such matters with students. till the last two weeks when too late. if one is given out. to look through a conjugation table. and some comments on lectures in 46. by being looked at often for short periods outside the time of preparation for a specific class. It is often a help to study the outline of a course.2b Special methods Each subject requires somewhat differ- ent methods of work. to intensify your successful efforts. You should bring up questions of this sort early in a course. have made harder work of a foreign language than they need to.46. you can actually use the 481 . and finally with luck a pattern that is understandable.3. Reading. and they have always been a means of adding to a person's experience and general development Probably no other college subject profits so much by incidental study. the largest part of the work in most courses. with general suggestions for composition especially in 5. out brief passages. like reading aloud.2b some they fall into particular facts stand out clearly. with those who are doing reasonably good work as well as with those who are doing poorly. it is as so many do. though they have become increasingly important as our world contacts have increased. Writing a paper.

Most problems are very compactly stated and often have to be read through several times to be understood. and perhaps diagrams.46 added Study habits language with others. the instructor gives special directions and hints that apply to the but they grow very important to master each as it comes and to keep up with the assignments. and when there is interpretation or discussion the report is a profitable exercise in clear. The final stage of writing up the experiment calls for accuracy and neatness. Try to visualize in advance what you will do. and might apply. or methods usually a sign of clear thinking and Comparing work with that of other students is often helpful and most students who do well with problems usually work more of them than are actually assigned. essential thing is to grasp the actual "problem. In general the first problems are simple in complexity as the course goes on. Although ordinarily a laboratory period has no outside preparation. seriously or for fun. 2) Laboratory work is partly for training in handling the apparatus and materials of a science. many problems give an is Orderly. concise composition. All these skills grow with practice. partly for emphasizing its general principles. which sometimes have to be read several times and broken down into clearly seen stages: accurate observation. formulas. perhaps calculations of some sort. to see what the problem is and what principles are involved. The subject. you should read the directions for the day's work before going to the laboratory. so that it is manded. This will often save time in doing the actual ex- periment and make it more meaningful." what is deto see what principles. and partly for practice in interpreting and reporting on specific data. 3) In courses in which working problems is important. As with laboratory reports. careful recording of observation. Such small contacts to regular preparation of assignments can build a familiarity with the language. Often the most important part is applying principles. The work requires a clear understanding of directions. interpretation of the data. if there is a prepared manual. neat work may even encourage it 482 .

Use any devices that your experience shows can be of help.2c Special devices Some students work out special helps for such as cards with vocabulary or word forms of a themselves. formulas. they may become just busy work. Sometimes they present separate material but more often in beginning courses they are related closely to other work in textbooks or the laboratory and are intended to show the general plan of the course.3b opportunity for clear expression in words as well as in ures and symbols. but don't let them become ends in themselves. A lecture usually is reprofit lated to a reading assignment or some other work and fre- quently cannot be understood without this reading. adding pages. if or 46. and taking them out for convenient study.3 Lectures Lectures are an important part of a good many introductory courses in college. to add to or interpret or re-emphasize topics that are also treated in the course reading. These allow for moving pages about. But if the cards are made without thinking through the material as it is copied.46.3b Preparation that for the lecture some students do not all think the lecturer does Probably the main reason from lectures is that they the work.3a Materials The best materials for taking lecture notes are the usual loose-leaf (ring) notebooks of whatever size you like. tables of dates. There is some value in the act of copying things of this sort. fig- 46. Notes should is be taken in ink because it doesn't smudge and clearer to read. It is a waste of time to sit through a lecture that is meaningless or almost meaningless because you have put off the reading and 483 . foreign language. The wirebound notebooks are fixed and should not be used unless you are going to copy the notes. 46. It is necessary for you to learn how to get facts and ideas from listening and to keep a record of them in notes. 46. they are not actually used in review.

3. 3c Form of notes The form of the notes depends on your habits and on the lecturer's method. 2. so that it is helpful to glance over the last notes in order to connect the two. and to add essential bits while you still recall them. reasons indented under them. 1. just the main points graph. It is a good habit to go over the notes of a lecture soon after they have been taken to see that you really can follow and understand them. your mind at work on die subject of the course.46 Study habits so cannot understand terms that are used in it One lecture is usually related to the preceding one. as you understand it and relate it to what you already know. with subtopics or examples or margin. As a rule a demonstration can be briefly summarized with emphasis on the point actually demonstrated. a group of sentences or phrases following each other in an informal sort of para- have main points stand out. you should come prepared to pay attention. with 46. And as in all study. The material should be put into your own words so far as possible. Special care has to be taken in copying diagrams and formulas accurately from the blackboard. Summarize exactly what said. A lecture that thought proceeds by numbered points. or is by pause. Every good lecture has quite a bit of repetition that make it more understandable but do not add content. can be taken down in outline form. is The important thing left to starting from the and important details. It is not necessary and usually a waste of time to copy notes unless they are on material that you will want to 484 . Learn how your lecturer emphasizes important points by saying they are important. Leave good margins and frequent blank lines to add material from other sources or your own comments. incidental matter and rather than record Phrases are usually more efficient than full sentences. You should not take down too much. with the speaker. and abbreviations or symbols (standard ones in the subject or some of your own invention) help you keep up by tone of voice. Often it is more satisfactory to use a block forminstead of separate lines for topics.

4ct Increasing confidence use of the material and from recognition and encouragement by others. Confidence comes from your own 46. Notes are for your and they should in the course. One device that often helps is to concentrate for two or three days on the particular course. both the instructor and students. If you are not gaining confidence and do not have a sense of accomplishment in a course.4b Grades Although it is possible to think too much about grades and sometimes a fraternity or one's family stresses them more than is reasonable a healthy regard for grades is a proper incentive. Though there is some element of chance 485 .46. If you have been putting a proper amount of time and effort on the work but with unsatisfactory results. by giving bits of extra information. going 46. in doing problems. fit own use around and supplement your other work 46. it is best to talk with your instructor. in discussion. belonging to the class. in laboratory work. It is possible to improve your note -taking by giving it a little thought.4 Progress in a course Your progress in a course is a steady addition of knowledge and increased skill in using that knowl- edgea growth in thinking. and encourages a feeling of.4b use after the course is by adding related points Early in a course it is a to their notes over or unless you really improve them from the textbook or other source. in papers. over the textbook and notes from the beginning. but closer to the latter than the former. you should do something about it. but there is no single perfect system of notes for a lecture. is a sign of. good idea for two or three students on a lecture soon afterwards (not waitcompare ing for the threat of an examination) and to discuss how well they represent the lecture. The proper attitude is somewhere between in- difference and apple polishing. Taking part in class by asking and answering questions.

all competing for attention. 46. There comes a time when things can't be postponed any longer and many students find themselves swamped just when they should be getting ready for examinations. Use the material in conversation if it is appropriate. walking.4c Retention of materiel Above all. But nothing helps like a de- why frequent tain termination to remember as much as possible and to build the mass of ticulars details into a growing body of related. Learn to review lecture notes and your reading as soon afterwards as possible. and remember that frequent short reviews will increase retention. they are usually a fairly accurate sign of progress in a course. expect to remember what you study and try to retain a sense of the direction of the whole course and as many details as possible. Don't take any one grade too seriously there will be othersand try sometimes to get a better grade than you usually do by extra concentration on the work.46 Study habits in them. You are taking several courses. or riding on a bus. both the high ones. And try to see the reasons for your grades. This is one reason quick reviews from the beginning help you reboth the general line and the particular facts. and the low 46. 486 . Know the general policy on grades: in most large courses about half the grades are C. associated parwithin the general frame of the course.4d End of the term Work in all courses piles up toward the end of a term. Wait a few minutes to let the first one sink in. Try to recall points when you are at rest. Don't worry about "curves" and instructor's crotchets. Some move fast and later material tends to blot out earlier. The last themes in a composition course are consequently often not the best ones. and examinations usually show that the last readings have been slighted. Don't turn immediately from studying one subject to another. Look ahead and try to keep up along the way so that you can give the tasks of the last week or two a fair chance.

46. fitting a general idea to some particular situaapplying principles in working out a problem Interpretation. often to see it in new relations. it is only good sense to make a little extra effort and go to them as well prepared and as confident as circumstances allow. to emphasize important material. Application. differ- ences 487 . remembering and producing both and general principles from lie course particular facts Selection. 5a Practice questions It is a good idea to make up and ask yourself some questions of the sort that are likely to be on the examination. to give students a chance to use the material. shutting out matters that don't belong and picking out details that relate to each other or to a general prin- ciple tion. as for any other contest.5 Preparing for examinations All study prepares for examinations and the best preparation is steady day-to-day work. But since examinations are conspicuous and important parts of most courses. This is not to try to outguess the examiner but to practice for the examination. Examinations have several functions in a course: to encourage students to look at a part or the whole of the course in one view. important to make full answers to these trial questions and to check them for correctness. Grading by no means their only function. similarities. seeing causes and effects. to give the instructor information for grading a student in comparison with others in the class and in precedis and ing classes.5a 46. facts showing the meaning or the implication of Relationships. Often questions from previous examinations are good for practice. 46. Do not make them all of one type but get some practice in the various activities that may be called for on the actual exIt is amination: Recall. to let a student see his grasp and progress in the course.

for which you are allowed lines on the question sheet or are told to write "not over three sentences" in a bluebook. a social situation). In review for this type of examination you would mark or note 488 . arranging the discussion lows another and they all add up to a full answer Reflection. reasons. an idea. In a textbook you would ordinarily underline or check headings and topic sentences as a guide to review for essay questions.. and so on call for much the same preparation as essay questions. which statements are presented on the examination with filled in blanks that are to be with a word or two. your response to or opinion of it so that one part folOrganization. usually " "Discuss . which they were developed in the textbooks or lectures. thinking through to some conclusion on the basis of facts given 46. and completion questions. or from three to five possible answers from which you are to select the most accurate. your attitude toward something (a story.46 Study habits Reaction. and so depend their relations. drawing diagrams." or "Describe beginning "What are . made clearly so that the notes can be reviewed rapidly. typically they depend on rapid spotting of particular points. . the subject matter. ... . They call for discussing a rather general on knowing the principal topic of the course.5 b Preparing for essay questions Essay questions. and remembering at least a samtopics. 5c Preparing for objective questions In an objective examination you do not as a rule produce the answer but select among statements given: statements to be marked true or false. 46. Working problems. Although objective questions call for "thinking" and sometimes for quite complex thinking.. results. Two other types of question that depend on your recall of a few in material are short answer questions. Outlines and summaries are especially useful in preparing for essay questions and so is a good notebook." or name a specific topic for which you must recall and organize . seeing and so on) by ple of the specific data (facts.

Intelligent final preparation. you may become more confused. You may naturally emphasize areas in which you feel weakest. it will perhaps let decide which of various allowed choices you will take.6a Reading the questions It is a good idea to read first all the main questions of an examination (though not the detailed an objective part if there is one) and perhaps to questions of read them through twice.46. 46. as does thinking about the actual material of the course rather than about yourself or others. You will certainly find some that you can do well on. whether you call it cramming or not. allowing more for the harder ones. but you should try to distribute your time and energy over the whole body of material to be covTry to increase your understanding as well as your memory. Objective questions usually come in fairly large numbers and not much time is allowed for each one. A feeling of general readiness and an intention to make the best of the period help. phrases. words. or sentences that focus and emphasize material. it will see if some are more important than others (often inlet you by a suggested time allotment). 46. you and most important it will start your mind working on the dicated 489 . 46.6 Taking examinations As a rule if you are well prepared you will make good use of the actual examination period.6a not only the main points but particular details. ered. definitions.5d Final preparation amination seriously is Anyone who takes an approaching ex- going to put some concentrated effort on preparing for it If you lose too much sleep or study too long at a time or do not bother to think about the subject as you go over it or see how the parts fit together. This quick reading will let you lay out your time for each. Consequently any or part of practice that makes you shift rapidly from one topic a course to another and encourages you to recall points quickly and accurately will help. usually pays dividends.

making your answers. and leave some space for afterthoughts. Often when several possible answers are given you will work by elimination. contrast. have a 46.6b Order of answers of. Underline key words in the questions. always. whether it calls for check marks or crosses or . Often the right choice is not a completely accurate answer but is the most accurate of the ones given. leaving space for the ones you are going to fill in later. This is a great help to the reader as is making the answer numbers correspond to the question numbers. Do first the questions that you feel sure to get full credit for them and to get in the swing of writing. In general don't crowd the pages. Use accurately the system of marking. numbers or letters or lines. never. all. enumerate (make a list). the specific matters called for. But don't spend so much time on them that you won't fair amount left for the others. Watch for little words of strong meaning. Get the pattern of the questions in mind and note their use of typical examination vocabulary: illustrate (give try to approximate it in examples of). which make statements to which there are no exceptions. If a sample answer is given. If the objective questions form only one part of the whole examination. like main. discarding one and then another till you are left with the most likely. most important.6c Objective questions Be sure you understand the directions for objective questions because they tell exactly what you are to do. Keep the answers in the same order as the questions. a tenthand if an amount of time is allotted to individual questions.46 topics Study habits you will treat. 46. Be careful of questions that have more than one part and do not omit one unintentionally. a fourth. and for words calling for evaluation. like only. principal. and directions like outline or in not more than three sentences. compare. See what proportion of the whole examination a particular question is a half. study that Do the ones you are sure of first and then go back to the ones you need to think longer about. do not spend 490 .

Keep out material that you know is irrelevant. Usually half an hour) or a fraction of the examination (say.6e Revising the examination to read over and questions on you remembered after writing the answer. 46. p. Very few people can write consecutively for fifteen minutes or longer without a plan of some sort. If possible save a few minutes revise your examination or at least some it Probably you can add some small facts that 46. be as between your specific as you can. Since by its nature and by the time allotted to the question you are expected is to say quite a little. try to figure things out and use association: with the topic under which the question falls. because writing it will take time from more important statements and having to wade through it will irritate the reader. can well be applied Make your answers as full as your knowledge allows. with related facts. it is necessary to see exactly what is called for. one-fourth) will be indicated. 491 .6e more time on them than the part deserves. in examinations.6d Essay questions Since an individual essay question is often likely to be an important part of the total examination. one-fifth or more. it is wise to make notes of points as they come to you and when you have enough for a satisfactory an- swer to arrange them in a rough outline. If time allows you to search your mind for further material.46. though you may have to esti- a time mate this for yourself. Be concise and compact. this pre- liminary work very important and sometimes takes longer than the actual writing. 107. and show the relationships statements. and any special directions for the form of the answer. (say. with the part of the textbook or lecture from which it comes. As a statement and develop rule start the actual answer with a general or summary it with the appropriate details. The suggestions on writing paragraphs in 9. Writing paragraphs. to note parts and subdivisions if there are any. Since you have to recall the material.

On basis of this record and your time could be most profitably spent. ed. and Henry A. Farrar and Rinehart. Draw a horizontal line through any matter you do not want read. Check your use of the technical words of the course for meaning and for spelling. Larsen. Luella. naming courses to be studied at specific times and be realistic. Pupils into Students Little. Ch. In short. allowing time for fun and recreation. and Robert P. rev. consideration of Then on the how your 2. Seville. Under each you jects of the following headings list in order all the subare taking. Pacific Books. Exercises a notebook page keep a record of exactly how you spent your waking time on two consecutive days. 1941 Stanford. Learning and Forgetting. Brown. Cambridge. Study Methods.46 Sfudy habits Touch up your writing. Bamman. 19. Ch. AddisonWesley Press. breaking the time into 1. The Background for College Teaching. lay out on a notebook page a time schedule for a typical week. 1940. Palo Alto. 11. Jacques. 1945.. Be specific. Ch. Gilbert. 1949 Cole.. Teacher in America. Ch. New York. How to Improve Your Study Habits. half-hour intervals. Stanford University Press. 1953 Wrenn. Chapman. Samuel N. Examinations LeCount. especially checking on spelling and the punctuation of sentences. Studying Effectively. 12. C. How to Study Physics. Boston. do anything that will make the examination an accurate and clear representation of your knowledge of the course* References Barzun. putting at the top of the first column the one 4O9 . 2.

Then make a key to any objective questions you used and a model answer to any essay question or questions. to organize it. . Though actual improvement comes only from practice. if examine you need to improve. Make out questions for a half-hour examination based on of this book. 47 Reading The art of reading consists in getting from the printed page as nearly . Ideally. Jacques Barzun The amount of reading expected in difficult. some of it quite effective reading habits. some general suggestions may be helpfuL college. to extend it. or on a section in another of your textbooks. the reader should use printed matter to reinforce his experience of life. 1-4 3. or on some other material indicated by your instructor. freedom from distraction.47. noting both satisfactions and problems and giving suggestions for meeting the problems. and the general conditions required for successful study ( 46.1 you find most interesting. It is a good idea to requires early in your college course the way you read and see 47.1). the one you find Your past success Usefulness Effort required Your present standing Taking these lists into account. and so on: Interest at the top of the second. write a short discussion of your attitudes toward your courses and of your study habits. serious reading calls for concentrated attention. . most useful. at every stage.1 The activity of reading Although you can read for pleasure in almost any circumstances. as possible a sensation equivalent to the real thing. Though dif- 493: .

be. in your college course to examine early | It is of it quite a good idea I the way you read I you need to improve. (There are about 415 words on a solid page of this book. it would be wise to go to a reading class. If your efforts to improve in reading do not bring results. readers comprehend better than conspicuously slow readers. you can feel the movement of your vocal cords with your finger. | I some | requires effective reading habits. College students usually a magazine article. If you force yourself to go faster seeing the words. Though actual improvement some general suggestions comes only from practice. 47. la Avoid vocalizing A symptom of slow reading is forming the sounds in your throat. like read material of average difficulty. "sense groups." and efficient readers are not conscious words of which they are made. Sounding out new and difficult words may help master them but ordinary material should be read find yourself vocaKzing as you read. at 250 to 300 words a minute. Here is the first paragraph of this section with the sense groups marked: of the individual letters or The amount difficult. ) If you are a conspicuously slow or inaccurate reader.47 Reading ferent people read at different rates. even of the incidental ones like in. the. can take in five or six words up to a total of thirty Your eye letters in one glance. it has been found that that fairly rapid speed and understanding tend to go together. try to silently. may be and see if | | | helpful 494 . you should make an effort to increase your speed and comprehension. "vocalizing. Meaning is conveyed by small groups of words. and to get the meaning just from 47." Sometimes though you make no sound. | of reading | expected in college.1 b Read by sense groups A second symptom of slow reading is being conscious of individual words. Most colleges have such classes or clinics and they have helped thousands of students to better reading habits.

seeing the rightness and relative importance of are reading as compared with other ideas. seeing beyond the words on the page to the things. study seem 47.2a Practice in seeing the sense groups in what you read is one of the best ways you can improve both the speed and the com- prehension of your reading.1c Read actively Reading as a skill involves not only the use of your eyes but the full use of your mind.2a Browsing In browsing you allow your eyes to wander down the column or page. Browsing is primarily for passing the time. its Applying. How you read depends on the kind of on your purpose. 495 . perhaps pausing when something strikes your fancy. situations. factors. going through a book or magazine you have picked up casually. tying these facts and ideas to others you already have. in your work. 47. in your thinking Enjoying. Somewhat arbitrarily this can be analyzed into these activities: Understanding. as well as your selected reading for pleasure. its place its what you in your general development. most closely to those from the course in which you are working but perhaps more importantly to the rest of your experience Evaluating. ideas they represent Associating. can be enjoyed. for though this discussion may make reading and like work. and on other For efficiency you should be able to adjust your readfive types: ing to at least these 47.2 Types of reading material. value in the life of our time meaning to other people. using what you learn not only in the course but in conversation. voluntarily Progress in reading will be a source of satisfaction. your college reading.47. on the time you have. and is of little use in college work though occasionally of course you pick up a few random facts in this way.

You are usually looking for some particular item or kind of material you need. that details. If you do a certain amount of rapid reading in magazines and fiction along with your study. for most fiction. it will have an effect on your whole reading skill. should help your efficiency in the following two types. it is sometimes necessary because of lack of time. and for reviewing material with which across at the fastest rate you are somewhat familiar. Skimming is useful in picking up particular a work has something of importance to and in making a preliminary survey of an article or chapyou. 7. plan. so that you could write a fairly good summary of the content You are definitely reading to absorb the material presented You should be able to handle a good deal of textbook and outside reading one slower reading. casional rapid reading. Often two "ordinary" read- ings of a passage will give a better idea of the material than . your rate tends to slow down. It should give you the general progress of thought without many details. passing your eye down the center of the page or column.2c Rapid reading In rapid reading your eye follows each line you are capable of. getting the sense groups clearly and understanding the general content and important details. going as fast as you can. It is the appropriate type of reading for articles of general interest. Ocing. ter or book to get its general scope. Skillful skimming is useful in college and worth practicing.2d Ordinary reading Typical or general reading is somewhat slower: The goal for most people is from 250 to 300 words a minute. or perhaps moving from the upper left corner to the lower right. and skillful rapid reading is useful under pressure. Though it is not a satisfactory substitute for more thorough reading. 496 in this way. You follow across the lines. Rapid reading is also a way of keeping up your rate of readBecause you have so much difficult reading to do in college.2b Skimming In skimming you cover material rapidly.47 Reading 47. direction. in seeing if 47.

judging what you read. plan.3 Reading textbooks Textbooks vary in their readability. Close reading is often necessary for a new subject. and main topics of the book from reading the table of contents and perhaps the introduction. Note the 497 .3a Preliminary skimming part before actually Skimming the chapter or assigned reading it is a good practice. Before beginning to read the text. but even if he doesn't. When you must read thoroughly. a rapid survey of the book and your knowledge of the course requirements should indicate the degree of thoroughness needed. and usually for evaluating. it or the closing paragraphs in relation to the whole. and rereading of important passages will often be necessary.47. like some poetry. rate.2e Close reading Compact or difficult material or the need to master the material requires slower reading. This might actually be called study rather than reading. if it has these. 47. for literature written in the past or written in a difficult idiom. go as rapidly as you can and still understand the material. and you should know any special parts it contains the index. The following suggestions apply to particular assignments: 47. and appendix. for un- derstanding directions and problems. glossary. the way the central theme is repeated and developed. Often an instructor will make specific suggestions on how you should read a textbook. Give it the concentration it deserves and feel satisfaction in mastering its substance. This completely is largely because you have to reflect. You will usually be helped the form of the piece. thorough reading. figure things out as you go. others Some can be read at your typical require close. This preliminary survey is especially important if you are reading only part of the book or are not reading its parts or chapters in the order in which they come in the book.3a 47. noting the introduction or by examining keynote. you should know the general purpose. but don't fight make short cuts. especially if it is compactly written.

it 47. some questions that you will want to 47. introduce you to the key words. read very slowly at first. After this practice you can usually go faster. Learn to spot automatically the subjects and main verbs and see how the modifiers fit If the sentences are long or interrupted. you are much more likely to remember its content than if you go over it only once. look at the illustrations. Most textbooks carefully define technical terms when they 498 . ask if you can restate the ideas yourself questions about it and see in your own words. Pronounce new words so that you can use them and can recognize them if they turn up in lectures. until you feel at home with them. and in a carefully written book these are developed in paragraphs and short groups of parasection before going on graphs. and focus your attention. This is the time to underline important them in the margin. Four or five minutes spent in this way will give you an inkling of what is to come. If you become confident that is less likely to you know one topic before going on to the next. let your eye glance over the pages.3d Vocabulary lary Every college subject has its special vocabuand sometimes at the start new words come fast It is necessary for you to know what the words stand for. perhaps reread or even read a page or so aloud. and for efficient reading you have to accustom yourself to their movement. read the introductory paragraph and the conclusion. perhaps raise answer as you read.3c Sentences The style of sentences varies noticeably from one book to another. 47. Be sure you understand one to the next. If points or check them or summarize after the first close reading you go back over a section two or three times rapidly.3b Reading by sections or paragraphs You are looking for the ideas in your reading. Pause and think over the subject of a section. be blurred or buried by the later material.47 title Reading and the paragraph or section headings if there are any.

and may be using the words in a special sense. 47.3e Diagrams and charts Diagrams. useful to write a summary. get the meaning so far as you can from the passage (the "context*' as described in 20. more your own. own in your notebook if the text- 47. A textbook it is to be of greatest use to you.3. If you find this useful or . first Use the glossary if the book has one. pic- tures supplement the text. 248). Look at them especially to see how what they add to the subject. reference to a lecture or outside reading. If a word is not defined directly. The writer expects you to "read" many facts them or he would not put them in. Sometimes marginal notes added a definition. Often they give a great in a small space. p. and if what the course is costing you. tables. Some not too much underlining or checking of important general ideas and key details keeps you alert as you read. Consult a dictionary if necessary. or how If they summarize it. but remember that your book will usually give a fuller definition than a dictionary can. you will often remember facts presented by these devices better than from the sentences. or even to may be make an 499 outline of a textbook in your notes.3f appear. maps. or even to make a book does not have glossary of your one. or through the index find the places where the word is discussed. forces you to understand what is being said. you are visual-minded. and in addition makes it possible for you to review rapidly. Words in context and situation. they are related to the text. This to usually shortsighted policy. The two a small or three dollars you may get for a secondhand book is sum compared is a tool. It is useful to underline definitions of words that are important for the subject. another example or application will make the book more It useful. charts.3f Underlining clean to sell Many students try to keep their textbooks is them.47. you should adapt it to your needs. actually impresses it in your mind. Do not try to understand charts or diagrams without reading what the text has to say about them.

The process of reading is the same. but there are a few special you do not own. would also questionnaire. you need to give sample data and the principal con- clusions. point is to see the relationship of the outside to the topic of the course and how it reading expands the text or lectures. you will have depend on the purpose of the assignment and the nature of the book or article. labor relations in an industry. or what). Many of the sug- pages. certainly the Since ways of keeping track of the exact title and what to take notes on. 47. detailed investigation.4 Outside reading In many courses supplementary reading. The best way to review a book of this sort is to run over your notes on it until 500 . interview. the preliminary skimming is especially helpful. For this you would probably take notes on the method of the study. one man's interpretation of a social or political situation (the presidency. and then you would read more rapidly. on what was actually done (whether a laborais points to consider. Practice will improve your judgment of gestions for taking notes in 49. Since the reading to take notes. a whole book. a detailed history of a war or of an industry or a part of the country). topical headings. is part of the work. by all means do it. But the book is already organized so that it or your lecture notes (or both) will make a record of your experience with the course.4 apply here. and so on). as they relate to the topic of the course. in books The sort of notes will tory experiment. Often the assignment is to report on some special.47 if Reading you are by nature extremely thorough. Perhaps you might make a condensed sum- The important mary followed by some important details. you were at home with the tone. style. you would not skim first but would read carefully the first part. usually in library books or periodicals. and general direction. these books usually have fewer helps than textbooks (summaries. Sometimes the reading is extensive. In reading a long play or novel for a literature course. a biography.

and Robert G. Stanford University Press. Gilbert. the reading should be done when it can be of immediate use in the course. Houghton Mifflin. 1943 Wrenn. Holt. The color of a flower the 501 . 1949 Wilking. Brown. 4. Chi- cago. 1935 Gilbert. University of Chicago Press. pp. Reading in an Age of Mass Communication. Stanford. New York. ed. and Luella Cole. 1952 S. Webster. rev. And above all. Teacher in America. at least in the to customers is like of a flower can be dimensions of the insect world. Ch. How to Read Rapidly and Well.. Boston.. Boston. ed. Stanford University Press. Wrenn. divide the sen- tences of the following paragraph into sense groups: The odor calls compared to radio advertising that from a considerable distance. References Altick. A College Developmental Reading Manual.. 1945. 9 1951 New York. New York. Heath. C. ed. Studying Effectively. Stanford. and Robert P. William I. Appleton-Century-Crofts.. Richard D. and not be allowed to pile up. section of the book itself to bring it vividly The notes on outside reading should be filed in your notebook with other notes on the topic it relates to. Growth in Maturity Through Reading. How to Read and Be Right. William Gray. 9-15 Exercises 1.. S. Larsen.. James Gray. 1952 S. Barzun. 11. Preface to Critical Reading.Exercises and then reread a to mind. Vincent. By drawing slant lines between expressions. 1941. Jacques. The Classics off the Shelf Brown. Efficient Reading. C. Little. Ch.

class five is minutes in which to read as much as pos- When time called. p. violet. 140. TTie lip of the snapdragon is colored red where the bee enters. as times the nectar guide a bright the red center of certain pinks and mallows and the little yellow circle at the center of bluets and blue-eyed grass. 2. Compare the way you read two textbooks in your present two selections in the volume of readings for your composition course. In Platt. mark the point at which you stopped. These are especially important in the hidden nectar flowers where a visitor must tread in precisely the right places to operate the pollinating gears. Somecircle.. you to write the answers to four or words did you read and at the rate of how many words a minute? Did you answer the questions five questions. that converge for the entrance of body or head or proboscis. lady's slipper these guides in such flowers as the and countless others.47 Reading store front or neon sign. Illustrate how the format of the book (section divisions. or bright dots. The tall blue lobelia has two white patches at its portal. 4. or in class the factors of reading involved. Then your instructor will ask How many -correctly? 502 . headings. the development of paragraphs. your own words make a note of the general idea of the paragraph in exercise 1 with sample details. Many petals and sepals which act as landing stages have white or yellow streaks. Mead & Co. Make your report in the form of notes and be prepared to discuss 3. When the right insect customer arrives at the right flower a variety of attractions and devices are provided at the point of sale. and so on). Reprinted by permission of Dodd. called nectar guides. Inc. (For a class exercise) Your instructor will select a passage and give the sible. from This Green World by Rutherford right 1942 by Dodd. We find is speedwell. iris. the sentences and words affect your speed and understanding. courses. Mead & ComCopy- pany. The tiger lily has red glands that not only as nectar guides but also glisten deceptively as though converge with nectar drops.

1 There is no such thing as the Evaluating dictionaries a supreme authority which can be quoted to dictionary. they help a writer to disgiven tinguish between closely related words. Dictionaries answer questions about the meanings. Samuel Johnson Every college freshman should buy a good dictionary and to use it. or ganglion? Is the preferred American spelling judgement or judgment? Should you say Him a la'yas or Hi maVyas? Dictionaries give a good deal of information about the forms of words (plurals. What. for example. like childish and childlike or imply and infer. for an air-raid warning). see that you get the most or edition of the one you prefer. A reputable. One of the most valuable habits the college student can acquire is that of checking the dic- tionary for meaning. up-to-date dictionary is an indispensable reference not only in composition courses but in most other courses as well. and 4 8. la Date An up-to-date dictionary is essential because new words are constantly being added to the language (orlon.1a 48 Using a dictionary Dictionaries are like watches. spell* ings. the worst is better than none. past tenses) and constructions (which preposition goes with a noun or verb). and pronunciations of words. know how does unilateral mean. especially during the revision of his papers. purpose and in three general characresponsibility of editing. size. there are numerous dictionaries. differing in teristics: date. 48. spellings and pronunciations change. pronunciation. origins.48. settle all arguments about words. ) 503 . In recent printbuying a dictionary. (Copyright dates and ing of the printing dates are listed on the back title page. and spelling of words. and the best cannot be expected to go quite true. wetback)-. or aphorism. Instead. other words are used in new senses (alert. In addition.

but they are obviously not adequate for college work. check spelling.000 in the 504 . not a patchwork from existing word books. greatly simplified pronunciation key with few diacritical marks. comprehensive treatment of technical words. all words (general words. proper names. Long established. The larger. frequently revised. Ic Editing Responsible editing makes the dictionary really useful. synonym studies. Intelligent handling of technical definitions. (3) geographical names. College Standard Dictionary (Emphatype edition. common meanings of each word come first in entry. etymologies unusually full. good synonym studies. unabridged dictionaries. (2) biographical names. lb Size Using a dictionary students to For everyday use the most practical dictionaries for own are the "college" dictionaries that cost from (a five to six dollars list is given below). meaning Thorndike-Barnhart Comprehensive Desk Dictionary (1951). The following position courses usually use: dictionaries are currently available and comrecommend certain ones for student American College Dictionary (1947). careful treatment of usage problems and the general vocabulary. 48. Contains 90. Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language ( 1953). CoUegiate Dictionary ( 1949). includes many Informal words and phrases. such as Webster's New International Dictionary and the Standard Unabridged. (Not a Merriam-Webster dictionary) Emphasizes simplified definitions even for technical terms. no common first. four alphabetical lists of words: (1) common and technical words and foreign Webster's New words and phrases. It should be a compilation from a vast accumulation of actual recorded uses of words. are available in all recommended to Pocket dictionaries may be helpful college libraries. Simplified pronunciation key and pronunciations based on current usage. gives it what "authority" it may possess. (4) abbreviations. common meanings first in entry. New synonyms. 1947). frequently revised.48 48. raw material then should be worked over by specialists in various subjects This and by trained editors who digest the evidence and compose the dictionary's brief entries.000 to 140.000 entries as contrasted with the 120. all words in one alphabetical list. oldest meaning of a word stands first in each entry. new words added annually. abbreviations) in one alphabetical list.

an intransitive verb. simplified pronunciation key and pronunciations based on current educated usage. Try pronouncing some familiar words. it is important for you to know your own thoroughly to make it of maximum use to you. Look through just the table of contents to see what units of material there are besides the main alphabetical list of words. as the notes made show. a discussion of punctuation. Since dictionaries differ in various features.2 usual "college" dictionaries. All of these abbreviations are explained in a table at the front or back of the dictionary. Definitions begin with an abbreviation showing whether the word is being defined as an adjective.. a table of signs and symbols. etc. making you sure of words you partially know and giving you some idea of the meaning of words that are new to you. baseball. to see Are proper Read a page or how the pronunciation key works. 48. a guide to letter writing. it may be so labeled. noun. looking only at the respelling for pronunciation. If the word is used in some special sense. as in these examples: 505 . The next subsections describe in some really detail the main features of a typical dictionary. a transitive verb. frequently revised. chemistry. See if your dictionary has a supplement of new words or if new words are incorporated in the regular list names and foreign words listed separately? two consecutively to see how words and phrases are handled. perhaps a list of the colleges and universities in the United States. and the exercises at the A little end of the section will give you practice in the actual use of your own dictionary. usage notes. synonym studies. one alphabetical list of all words. time spent in learning your dictionary will make it useful to you. You may find a grammar of the English language. and so on. common meanings first in entry.2 Definitions The most important use of a dictionary is as a guide to the meanings of words. adverb. simplified etymologies. The definitions then follow. as in music.48.

often with the aid of an example. A By permission. A t. brazenly. flaunt'ing.48 Act Using a dictionary flaunt (fldnt: flSnt). v. or acts that particular refers to* word 506 . 246). by G. most useful in the meanings of words he is almost sure of but not checking quite perhaps such a word as flaunt. 2. estance a standing. 2. although the usage label or illustrative phrase or synonym entry may sug20.ly. copyright. 1951. will indicate to you what objects. preparatory to making a stroke. o flutter showily.Mode rf standing or being player's position after he places his feet placed. as for a building: site. ideas. n. 1953. Three points should be remembered in using dictionary definitions: (1) A dictionary does not require or forbid a particular meaning of a word but records the uses that have been found for it (2) The dictionary definition is for the most part a record of the denotation of a word. posture. gest also its connotation (see For this reason it is safest not to use a word until you have read it or heard it and so know at least in part what suggestions it may carry if it is not a simple factual word. 3. adj. i. it is usually necessary to read the whole definition entry. position. & C. tion. which. When revising a paper he should make sure that such doubtful words mean writer. Merriam Co. display. positionj JL Soot. 245. In using a dictionary either for your writing or your reading. the dictionary definitions are To a what he thought they meant when he put them draft. the words in the definition are not the meaning of the word but phrases suggesting their referents. pp. Often you will need neither of these but a more specialized meaning that comes late in the entry.1. flaunt'?. a words.. to Jtance of flaunting. above. Some dictionaries put the oldest meaning first and others the most common one. or the like. It is most valuable for finding the exact sense in which a word is used in a particular passage. From Webster's New tionary. 20. u^. adv. something flaunted. (3) Finally and most important. [OF. Sta(st&ns) . To move or displ boastfully. Collegiate Die1949. n. in his first useful not only for meanings dictionary of unfamiliar words but also for unusual senses of familiar is To a reader. Golf.2. flannt'er.

The letters of our alphabet are directions to say sounds. 87. tainly be safe if you use the spelling put labeled British (such as colour.3a Division of words of lines according to the syllable divisions Words should be divided at the ends shown in the dic- tionary entry.4 Pronunciation To show how they are pronounced. p. gaol. two spellings spellings for a word. you are accustomed to. If you can't certain how it starts (is it immediately find a word because you aren't gibe or jibe?). Accurate division at the ends of lines will prevent such blunders as dividing bedraggled into bed.3. usually specially sounds of words. though since there is a tendency toward uniform spelling.) 48. hemoglobin.4 48. 48. dictionaries use a uniform system of marked letters. (See 7. keep in mind other spellings for the same sound. judgement) Spellings should be avoided in favor of the usual American spelling. You can thus see each part of the word clearly and correct any omitted or transposed letters in the word as you may have written it. The sounds represented by the symbols are 507 .3 Spelling Learn how to use your dictionary to check the spelling in your papers. Dictionaries divide words into syllables by means of spaces or small dots between the syllables (delightful) (de-mar *ca*tion). Division of words.3b Optional will be given is When usage is divided. Because their directions are often confusing (there are over 250 letters and combinations of letters to spell some forty sounds of English). liaemoglobin. spelling Use the 48. Hyphened words should be in the divided only at the hyphen to avoid more than one hyphen same word.and raggled. you will cerfirst in the dictionary. The one the editors believe is more given first: common altho. to represent the symbols.48. although. Thus dis par ag ing ly could be divided at any one of the four breaks. words are respelled (in parentheses) in specially marked letters.

a person should use whichever pronunciation is more common among the educated people of his community. < dtcorcr OICORATB] . and the stress varies with the of a word in a position phrase. < archi. Brit. Dictionaries usually give a full pronunciation followed completely would give a person's which if 48. [<F <L svavis agreeable] suavely.tlz'nwnt. by Scott. (ad'wr.48 usually Using a dictionary at the bottom of the page and are more fully in the discussion of explained pronunciation in the front shown of the book..ti. -tiz-). n. A Pronouncing Dictionary of American English. as in this example: esp. ad-ver'tis-nunt.k8r'). 1955.chief + tekton builder] d*cor on a <d5. suave' ness. In ordinary speech. person whose profession is to design buildings and superintend their construction. sua-vi-ty (swS'vd.5 Areos of usage and special labels Words unlabeled in a dictionary are supposed to to the general belong vocabulary. Foresman and Company While the first pronunciation given is usually preferred. ad*ver*tt*e*HL6iit. [< F. swav'*-). Copyright. ) Dictionaries list two or more pronunciations when usage : is divided. 1. adv. 1944. 1955. Foresman and Company The accented or stressed syllable is indicated by a heavy mark ( ' ). ad*ver*tize- a public notice or announcement. n. by Scott. secondary stress is usually indicated by a lighter ' mark ( ev'er lasting. suave (swSv) adj. arcMtect (ar'Jw-tekt). 2. n. ment n. available in most college libraries. The only comprehensive survey of American usage in pronunciation is Kenyon and Knott. 1. decoration. or over the radio. 3. 2. 508 . [<L <Gk. maker. speech a slow and somewhat stilted sound. person skilled in architecture. vowels are often less distinct than most dictionaries indicate. creator. as in a newspaper or magazine. smoothly agreeable or polite. Copyright. scenery stage.

perforce) and would mar the writing of young people. . 2. Cer- own he wouldn't use words marked obsolete or archaic. Reprinted by courtesy of the publishers from The American College Dictionary. electricity. conning. conned. that the word is used in the United States but not in other parts of the English-speaking world. manufacturing. t. foreign. but a writer should observation to bear on individual words. United States. British. copyright 1947 by Random House.S. slang. Slang. means that cultivated conversation rather the word is characteristic of than of Formal writing. journalese. except Law. L convenlre agree] . or are referred to some particular activity. obsolete. ad).. or Colloq. archaic. colloquial. confidence: con game. highbrow) would fit perfectly well into both Informal and General English. COV'in a secret or colhe p . der. typical use of some labels: These examples illustrate con4 (k5n). and many words marked Dial. . 48. con man. Obs. but many that carry no label are rarely used (moot. sports. lusive agreement between two or more of another. opinion. delirious. defraud. extraordinary or remarkable: n. 3. v. 1.48. to smrlndle. (such as chunky. n.medicine. music. 2. adj. 2. Inc. ray-ing frenzied she's no racing beauty in my 1. Colloq. irrational. that raves. (kttv/Yn). or Archaic. (r5/vYng) . Colloq.S. (textbook edition by Harper & Brothers). law.t. [short for CONFIDENCE (GAME or MAN)] . U. raging. Obs... In general the viewpoint of dictionary editors is rather conservative. 1. These labels are rough guides bring his tainly to usage. c.6 other words are labeled dialectical. U. adj.6 Synonyms and antonyms similar Most dictionaries list words of meaning (synonyms) with the basic or most comprehensive word of the group and show in what ways they are alike: 509 . astronomy. fraud.

as above. MENTALITY are terms for sensitiveness to emotional t SENTIMENT is a sincere and refined sensibility. Inc.. 1949. Often.48 Using a dictionary Syn. excessive.7 Other information Dictionaries give the part of speech in which a word is generally used and any distinctive forms that a word may assumethe principal parts linguistic lative of verbs. logic. by G. Sometimes this is merely a statement of the language from which the word came into English (Italian. realism. and sometimes it is more complicated. Ant. for courageous. 1951. French. Japanese). See feeling. the comparative and superforms of adjectives and adverbs when they are in any irregular. 2. Latin. 1. it often illustrates how word meanings change 510 . SENTIMENTALITY implies affected. 1953. (textbook edition by Harper & Brothers). See opinion. sometimes mawkish sentiment: weak sentimentality. Merriam Co. reference is also made to an antonym. & C. Whether or not such information helps in the understanding of a word. as the statement on scope in Webster's New Collegiate. In addition.. copyright 1947 by Random House. and ultimately to Greek: tforoc#. the plurals of nouns. copyright.- Reprinted by courtesy of the publishers from The American College Dictionary. way They label verbs as transitive or intransitive and indicate when words are usually capitalized or italicized. 2. tracing the word back through Italian and Latin. the etymology of the word is given its origin and how it got into English.Ji a fluores- set and some- By permission. . From Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary. a tendency to be influenced by emotion rather than by reason or fact: to appeal to sentiment. a word antonym of opposite meaning. as cowardly would be an 48. .

1888-1928) dictionary of the words and idiomatic phrases of the English language. 48. The Oxford English Dictionary (10 volumes and a is a historical Supplement. may prove easier for the student to use. such as slang.8 Special dictionaries The general dictionariesabridged and unabridgedare supplemented by a number of specialized word books which occasionally need to be consulted for material not to be found in general works. A Dictionary of Americanisms (2 volumes) gives the history of words that originated in the United States and brings the record of American English down to 1944. 48. The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (2 volumes). It traces the various forms and meanings of each word. Periodicals like American Speech and PADS (Publications of the American Dialect Society) regularly publish regional and occupational vocabularies. 8b their original to their present-day use in themselves. There are some dictionaries for special periods of English. to time. 8b Dictionaries Most special fields have in special subjects dictionaries of their specialized vocabularies. an abridgment of the larger work. made on the same plan as the Oxford. stating the date of its first appearance in recorded English and giving illustrative quotations from writers to show its typical use at various times in its history (a dozen or more pages are sometimes devoted to a single word). The Dictionary of American English (4 volumes). It is a good idea to know the one in any field you are going to do much work in. for particular regions. The following titles (Most of them are revised from time indicate the range of such books.) 511 .48. interesting from and are sometimes 48. 8a Historical dictionaries Good college dictionaries are in part based upon scholarly dictionaries made over long periods of time. and for special usage areas. gives the history of words as they have been used by American writers from 1620 to 1900.

Dictionary of Education Hackh's Chemical Dictionary Henderson. 4) The order or the Does the meaning 2. Law Dictionary Chamber's Technical Dictionary Dorland.. 1) The title. This date page. N.." "Colleges versities in the and Unioldest United States.. \V. A. of the material in the appendix (if any). D. such as "A Guide list 3) "Signs and Symbols. A Student's Dictionary of Psychological Good. V. B. copyright date.." "Biographical Names. and W.. I. C. the name of the publisher. American Illustrated Medical Dictionary Terms English. C. H. Dictionary of Scientific Terms (biological sciences ) Rice. for discussion in class or to be handed in if requested. A." of definitions of the words. Write out the following information about your dictionary." and so on). most common meaning come first? Answer the following questions by using your 1) dictionary: six feet tall weighing ten stone be considered underweight or overweight? 2 ) What relation if any is there between the word jet in jet black Would a man and jet in jet engine? 3) In what expression foot? is foots sometimes used as the plural of 512 .48 Using a dictionary Abbrevs: (A Dictionary of Abbreviations) Business Terms Alsager. Dictionary of Ballentine. C. F.." "Usage Levels. M-. 2) may and the most recent be found on the back of the title A A list ceding the dictionary entries (such as ary/' of the sections following the introduction and pre"How to Use the Dictionto Pronunciation. Dictionary of Geological Terms Exercises 1. J. M.

islets) of Langerhans an American your dictionary on the spelling of words? Are the spellings interchangeable? Which of these pairs form would you use in writing. larger or 6) not? When is the term needle point hyphened and when is in General or word guys be appropriately used Formal English? 8) By what name is Siam now known? 9 ) Do you have any siblings? 10) What distinction. and why? inclose jest What information do you find in baritone barytone citrous criticise enclose citrus criticize gest oesophagus esophagus practise disfavour disfavor practice employe employee encyclopaedia encyclopedia rhyme rime (heater theatre veil vail gray grey 4. smaller than that of Geneva.Exercises 4) Is Welsh rarebit or Welsh rabbit the preferred form for the dish made of cheese and toast? 5) Is the population of Milwaukee. What form or forms you use If plural of these nouns? in your own writing? do you find in your dictionary for the there is a choice of forms. or to sit on? 12) Is the California Institute of Technology a coeducational school? 13) A page numbered Ixvi would be equivalent to what page number in Arabic numerals? 14) In what sense might crew be used as a verb in Formal English? 15) Are the islands (or protectorate? 3. is there between a golf links and 7) In what sense might the a golf course? 11) Is a crumpet something to blow. Switzerland? it Wisconsin. if any. to eat. which woiild 513 .

What : address a<Jult Don Juan drama economics exquisite herb ice morale penalize pianist cream amateur chic idea isolate research coupon 7. Read beige boatswain ensign err gunwale heirloom indict orgy salve government greasy worsted (yarn) does your dictionary list for each of these pronunciations words? Is the first pronunciation given the one that you hear most how it differs. grievous Los Angeles rodeo These questions concern the etymologies of words their origins and histories. In what respect are the origins of these words similar: bloomers. You can find the answers in the etymological entries or following the definition of the words in your either preceding dictionary. sandwich? 2) From the combination of what words did the word nostril 1) originate? How was the word what spelled in Old English? The word tattoo has two distinct meanings and two differ4) ent origins. From what language is each meaning derived? 3) 5) Who coined each of these words: blurb. tell 6. fahrerJieft. including the stress (accent) frequently? If not.48 beau Using a dictionary criterion bus crisis gladiolus medium phenomenon plateau ski index stadium stratum the section in your dictionary that explains the symbols used to indicate the pronunciation of words. indicate 5. pasteurize. robot. iron curtain? 514 . mackintosh. kodak. Then using the same how these words are pronounced: symbols.

scan. childUke childish. and the other to show the word as used in General English. (noun) city was infested character cut ice junk old shingle coke horse Java tough 515 . as in these examples: 9. do you peruse. or study it? 4) What is a cartel? Is more than one meaning given? 5) What is the difference between the American interpretation of a billion and that of the British? 6) Which of these words are identical in meaning: ravel unravel. the with rote. "Auld Lang Syne" be expressed in current American usage? sentences for each of these words one to show what sense your dictionary considers the words as slang or colloquial. might the title of Robert Burns' well-known poem. Consult your dictionary for answers to these questions: 1) What is the meaning of circus in an expression such as Piccadilly Circus (an area in London)? 2) Would a Francophobe be likely to take up permanent residence in France? 3 ) If you leaf through a magazine quickly and casually.Exercises 8. scrutinize. Is the word used as the same part of speech in both instances? 9) You might read the word billingsgate in an English publication. Make up two clearly in rat: Slang: No kid in the reform school ever rats on his General: Mends. express the meaning of it in your own words. and after it indicate what part of speech the word is that you have used. Label each sentence. is exactly described would which of these words: runt9 dwarf. thumb. (verb) lake most seaports. by pygmy? 8) Distinguish between the meaning of the word monitor as it used in grade schools and as it is used in radio. 10) How. flammable inflammable? 7) very small but perfectly developed American adult A be most midget.

magazines. For many students the reference paper will also provide prac- the work tice for various papers they may be called upon to do after graduation as part of a business or professional project In addition. reading in such sources. usually assigned in the middle or later part of the course. a research. 516 . and other reference is a selected by the student assigned by the instructor or courses require reports based upon Since many college methods of finding material.1 Choosing a topic A good reference paper should begin with your interest in the subject you are going to investigate. and presenting these methods is a start on the road of scholarship Learning that leads through advanced courses and graduate study to putting it of professional people who constantly add to our knowledge and understanding of the past and the present. 2) An introduction to the resources of the coflege library. choosing between what is useful and what is not. This project. standard it have been developed. 4) An opportunity to learn something new about it. 3) Practice in using source material intelligently that is. this kind of assignment offers more immediate values for college freshmen: 1) Practice in exploring the possibilities of a subject and limiting it so that it can be treated adequately in a paper of a given length-typically from 1500 to 3000 words.49 The reference paper called a liPlanning and writing a reference paper (also is an important part of most brary. 49. together. or a term paper) freshman composition courses. with training in the most efficient ways of locating material. works-on a subject either encyclopedias. and organizing and interpreting the information. primarily record of intelligent reading in several sources books. a subject and become something of an authority on Because the reference paper is longer and more complex than the other compositions you are asked to write. it should be handled in successive steps.

and then to write about. history. you might investigate the beginning of child labor kws or early insurance companies in the United States. If you have only a hazy notion about the subject. 2) subject related to your reading interests (biography. consider your various interests. find a specific topic within that field that can be treated adequately and intelligently in a paper of the assigned length. it can easily become a chore and perhaps a waste of time if you do not feel that what you are doing is of some importance. or to the history of a specific geographic area. Ib Limiting the subject As soon as you know what general field you would like to concentrate on. out. music. These general subjects may 1 ) Before making a definite choice of both inside school and suggest others to you: subject related to one of the courses that you are now taking you intend to take. if you are majoring in business administration and you intend to take American economic history next A or that year. you should be reasonably certain that the subject you select will be one that you will like to read about. In either instance. science fiction. For example. but more often the choice of subject will be largely a matter of your personal preference. or one related to your favorite hobby Me A or sport (4-H clubs. or to events in the life of some famous person). to think about. explore its possibilities by a few hours of preliminary background reading in one or more 517 . mountain climbing. detective stories).49. Since a reference pa- per may take as much as five or six weeks to prepare.1b In some courses the subject field is limited by the instructor's assignment (perhaps to various aspects of the United Nations. la Deciding on a field topic. 3) tion: A subject about which you now have an opinion but little informa- Does capital punishment help prevent crime? Are children with high IQ's generally successful in later life? Is hazing in colleges declining? Do rapid readers retain more than slower readers? 4) A subject that has aroused your curiosity but that you have never had time or opportunity to investigate: Why is ROTC a required program in land-grant colleges? Do sun spots actually affect the weather? How has the popularity of TV affected book sales? Can rain be made by aerial cloud seeding? 49. 49. dress design).

Keep these considerations in mind when you are narrowing your subject: freshman reference paper is 1) Length of the reference paper. in general or special encyclopedias (see articles. and perhaps too complicated for the writer to interpret. too.2c. but you should certainly know. Avoid drastic. Before you begin to read and take notes. Unless you have a reasonably accurate idea of what you are investigating. and still further limited to recent safety measures suggested by the CAA.1c Final definition of the topic Before you begin to take notes. Select a limited subject so that you will feel confident that you can cover it with reasonable thoroughness. 49.d). the available material may be too technical for a general audience to understand.2b ) to see how the field you have periodical literature ( see selected ject like aviation then to may be broken down into smaller units. not expected to be the last word on a subject. for example. two or 518 . For some subjects (chemical structures of synthetic rubber. for example). A broad submay first be limited to commercial aviation. last-minute changes in your topic unless it has proved completely unsuitable. too. Since five or more sources are required for most reference papers. some and perhaps in newspaper articles. you gather may have to be discarded a final statement of the central or connot expected. find out whether the more important books and periodicals that A you will need are available in the library. it is important that you know that there are at least this many available before you begin your paper. if the subject is one of current interest. 3) Complexity of the source material. the functions of the CAA.49 magazine The reference paper 49. 2) Availability of source material. neither is it intended to be a disconnected enumeration of commonplace facts. or a superficial summary of a complex topic. define your topic as accurately and clearly as possible. your reading will be without direction and a great deal of the material later. whether you intend to discuss the growth of rural electrification in the South or in farming changes this early stage is At trolling idea methods brought about by electricity. Next look through the library card catalog and the guides to 49. A sudden switch.

The cards are filed in drawers or trays. periodicals. or to shift "sources of pigments slightly. Librarians are always willing to help a student with his research problems. of and often advisable.2a three weeks after the paper has been assigned. narrow the topic still further. the material in the and quickly efficiently. on cards. of the items in the library. by showing knowledge of the standard sources of reference. pamphlets). As you read further course. Minor changes within a topic are. and each drawer is labeled to show what part of the alphabet the entries contain (for example: Bank-Bat). also be some 49. 519 . encyclopedias. perhaps changing for oil painting" to "the process of making oil paints. and the quickest way to obtain this information. will not only waste precious time but may also lead to the suspicion that the writer doesn't know or particularly care what he is writing about. 49. the material.2 Sources of reference is to A primary purpose of the reference their colacquaint students with the resources of paper so that they can locate the information they need lege library On most subjects. that a writer his research would be hopelessly lost unless he about to is begin knew something about methods used to index and catalog the essential works in his subject. too. newspapers.2a The library card catalog The card catalog is an alphabetical index." Consult your instructor about any changes you would like to make you may decide the emphasis to before you continue extensive reading. will Thoughtful and early attention to the choice of topic make all the later stages in the process easier and more profitable. permissible into your material. This section deals with library facilities and the various aids that will help you find the material that you need for a reference paper. but every student should willing to help the librarians. library so extensive and so varied in form (books.49.

The Univer- front. like those reproduced below for Forty Library Acres and Steel Mules by Clarence Herman Nixon.1T5 Nixon. Til. You can save yourself many hours of thumbing through books that are not relevant to your subject by learning to 520 . Chapel sity of North Carolina press. Hill. front. 1886. 27cm. 96 p. tantly. ril. plates. 27cm. Herman Clarence. encyclopedias. 1988. and by title. by universally used for cataloging. but most importells what books the library has. Chapel Hill.49 cate The reference paper list of periodicals (and indihas). Author card (alphabetized by author's last name) 309... the card catalog All books are listed three ways in the card catalog: by titles Most card catalogs what copies the the subject. Title card (alphabetized title) by the Forty acres and steel mules 309. Forty acres and steel males.. 1886M65f . The UmversKyofNorthCarolinapres^lWS.Forty acres and steel mule*.175 Nixon.. are almost author.pUteB. 96 p. the titles library of government publications and other works.. Herman Clarence. The cards issued by the of Congress.

p. title. 6) What specific material does it contain that you could use? The subject headings for this book show that it is concerned with agricultural administration problems in the South but also has more general bearing (4. that it does contain illus- 4) How trations (plates) that may be useful.3. book is extensive is the treatment of the subject? This brief 98 pages of text. In almost all libraries. The rest of the information on the card is for librarians the size of the book (27cm twenty-seven centimeters high). 5) Does it have further aids for your research? The two pages labeled "Selected bibliography" might prove helpful. and so on.N5). 521 . to the librarian. which is in the upper left-hand corner. agricultural administration. what is the book about? In this instance. Notice. author. however.2b interpret catalog. 2) How can the book be obtained for examination? By giving the call number. you would not bother with this book. ) . the Library of Congress classification (HD207. and evaluate the information given in the card The subject card on page 520. Agricultural administration U. for example. Also listed are the other subject headings under which the book is cataloged. provides answers to these questions: 1) In general. 49. borrowers are requested to fill out slips with the call number. 3) Is the book up-to-date? If you were looking for more