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his paper over after it is written. Pupils will give COMMON EXAMINATION ERRORS. the wrong thing: "comparative
comparative” when asked
for "superlative, "infinitive” for “ supine," VI.-LATIN GRAMMAR.
"genitive" for "accusative," "gender" for
"genitive," "singular" for “plural," or "plural" By W. H. D. Rouse, M.A.
singular,” “ first” person for “third,” and
the forms given are more often than not quite HE mistakes which I propose to describe in right. Sometimes they give too much : all
this paper are taken from the answers to a degrees of comparison when asked for one, a whole
public examination of three different years. tense when asked for one person. Such answers The papers numbered some five or six thousand, are not correct, although they contain the correct done by both boys and girls, and came from all answer. It sometimes happens that the form parts of England and the Colonies; it follows that given in the question is actually written down for they may be considered typical.
its own answer. A general criticism may be offered, that nearly all Latin words are very often indeed confused the papers are badly set out. It is important, for with French, or quasi-French, especially the many reasons, that answers should be orderly and numerals. Vingt is written for viginti, soixante for neatly written, if only because confused arrange- any decimal multiple of six, from sixty to six ment goes so often with confused thought. Yet I thousand, cent for centum. Sometimes this is done must come to the conclusion that little attention is with simple nouns, as filles for filii. paid to this in most schools. Boys have the habit Careless pronunciation of the teacher is the of looking upon the paper of questions, and then cause of the perennial mistake in the ordinals, by jotting down their answers wherever there may which a double s is written, as vicessimus for happen to be an empty space.
If there is a vicesimus. This is one of many blunders which of phrases to be put into Latin, the English is would not occur under the reformed pronunciation generally written too, sometimes before the Latin of Latin. So too we find triginter for triginta. and sometimes after it, each phrase as it may But the worst feature of all the sets of papers I chance; where the English is not written, the have ever examined is the parsing. A great many Latin phrases which the boy knows are written boys and girls have apparently never parsed a down often without any hint if he has left anything word: only so can I understand how they could be out. The result is that, if the first phrase be content to parse a verb by giving its principal omitted, all the others appear to render the wrong parts, a poun with its genitive case and perhaps English. When only one or two are out of place, gender. Now parsing is not an interesting exerit is difficult for the examiner to know whether cise, but it is generally recognised to be necessary; credit should be given for them or not. Pupils yet it is quite clear both that most teachers ought to be very carefully taught how to arrange neglect it, and that those who do not have very their answers so as to be clear at the first glance. hazy ideas as to what it means. It is strange that Not uncommon is a horrid distortion of orderliness such bodies as the Headmasters' Conference do by which two or three declensions are mixed up not agree upon some form of parsing to be adopted together. It is almost incredibie, but it is true, by all schools. More than one is possible. "To that when asked to decline par, felix, and acer, quite take, for instance, caperes: it might be parsed in two a number will write something like this :-par simple ways, the one being the reverse of the felix acer, param felicem acrem, parum felice acre, other in order. Thus:and so on through the whole list.
(1) Caperes: 2nd sing. impf. subj. act. of a verb It is also essential that they should be trained to of the 3rd conj., capio, capere, cepi, captum (here understand the questions before writing the follows subject, if it is taken out of a sentence).
The greatest number of mistakes are (2) Verb, 3rd conj., capio, capere, cepi, captum, due to mistaking the questions; and comparatively sbj. impf. sing., 2nd." (Subject as before.) few papers are quite free from this fault
, which Personally, I use the first, but it is a matter of might be avoided if the pupil were taught to read taste.
For the other parts of speech we have, in this Lastly (5), a word is sometimes parsed quite formula :
correctly, and then again incorrectly by guess, Gregum. Gen. pl. masc. of a noun of the 3rd sometimes even in two forms. decl., grex, gregis (governed by—).
I would also call attention to the prevalence of Quaesitus. Nom. sing., masc. of the pf. part. guessing. It would seem as though teachers enpass. of a verb of the 3rd conj., quaero, quaevěre, couraged pupils to guess what they do not know. quaesivi, quaesitum (agreeing with-).
Now, in a piece of translation, the meaning of a Bene. Adv. of manner, pos. degree (modifying word can often be made out from the context, and ).
reasoning of this sort is most valuable; but These formulae may be shortened still further, nothing can be worse than a sheer guess, and but need never be made longer.
pupils should never be allowed to write down in a Three kinds of mistakes are especially common. grammar paper what they do not know. I have (1) Some give too much, (2) some too little, and known par declined par, pra, prum, or partem, partis : (3) some use a confused order.
the plural of bos as boxes, boxum, boxibus, or bi, bos, (1) Too much. Here are some examples :- borum, bis, or bosses, bossum, bossibus, or (since the
Verbera comes from verber, verberis, it is the nomi- Transvaal war only), bores, borum, boribus. When native plural, it is neuter.
genders are asked, the majority of answers are Verbera : noun, m. pl., 3 decl., n.-V. or acc. case, rank guessing. from the noun verber, a word.
This is not an encouraging picture. My exCaperes : V., 3rd irreg. act. sbj. imp. 2nd sing., | perience goes to prove that grammar is not made
. caperem, caperes, caperet, caperemur, caperetis, caperent. nearly so useful as it should be for teaching ac
Lacesso. This is a verb, it comes from lacesso curacy and neatness and for training the memory (etc.) of the third conjugation, and is the first to be exact. The blame must, I fear, lie with the person singular of the present tense and the indi- teachers; for it is generally the case that nearly all cative mood, active voice.
pupils from a given school show the same faults and This error is commonest with girls ; but all sorts the same merits. I have no doubt that the teachers and conditions of children are apt to insert the un- generally do their best, only they often do not know necessary words: number, case, voice, and so forth. how to teach. If schools could be inspected by
(2) Too little. Some pupils habitually omit to men competent not only to criticise but to show specify the voice in verbs, or the tense, or the how a thing ought to be done, there would be unnumber; others omit the gender of nouns, and doubtedly a great change for the better. But our the degree of adjectives. The mark of quantity teachers have never been trained; they have in the infinitive of the second conjugation is nearly picked up their skill at haphazard, and if they always omitted. Number of declension or conju- want to learn how to teach, they do not know gation is useful, but not indispensable, so that I whom to ask for help. leave it out of account here. Examples :
Quaesitus. Perf. part. from verb quaero.
Quaesitus, from quaero, quaerere, quaesivi, quaesitum, part. pres.
NOTES ON ARITHMETICAL CALCULATriverit. Verb, 3rd conj., from trivo, act., indic.
TIONS. Caperes. Verb, from capio, cepi, captum, subj. mood.
By John ORCHARD, M.A. (Oxon.). Verberara word, from verbera, neuter gender
I. plural, (verberis genitive. (Here there is too much as well as too little.)
HE object of these notes is to present in an 3.
(3) Confused order. The pupil writes down an item just when it comes into his head : as
shortening of calculations and some methods Caperes. Noun, fem. gender, caperes, caperis geni- alternative to those usually set forth in text-books. tive. Other verbs in the same paper will be parsed in different order each time.
ADDITION AND SUBTRACTION. Besides these, the pupil not infrequently (4)
It is essential in most Civil Service examinations writes sheer impossibilities. Thus he contradicts
that long and cross tots should be done quickly himself:
and correctly. Addition, after a fair amount of Quaesitus. Verb irreg. of 3rd conjugation, from
practice, seems to require no mental effort, and quaero, quaerere, quaesivi, quaesitum, pass. voice, infin. mood, perfect participle.
any suggestion of shortening the process (except, of
course, by multiplication where it can be applied) Triverit. Vb., 3 sig. pf. subj. indic. act. Gregum. Supine of grego, gregare, gregui, gregitum. however, certain mental fatigue may be avoided by
seems to be out of the question. In the long run, Or he gives forms which would be impossible on his own supposition, as :
attending to the following hints :Verbere, from verbum, verbi.
784 Quaesitus, from queaso (&c.).
345 Caperes, from capio, capire, capivi, capitum, imper
8848 fect subjunctive, active voice, subj. mood, simple