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"Of genius, that power that constitutes a poet, that quality without which judgment is cold and knowledge is inert, that energy which collects, combines, amplifies and animates, the superiority must with some hesitation be allowed to Dryden. It is not to be inferred that of this poetical vigor Pope had only a little because Dryden had more; for every other writer since Milton must give place to Pope, and even of Dryden it must be said that if he had brighter paragraphs he has not better poems."
Questions.—1, 2. What is Etymology? The derivation of the word? 3. What do we call a root-word? A Primary Derivative or Stem? 4. A Secondary Derivative? What examples are given? 5. Whence is the English language mainly derived? 6. Why do we call Latin and Greek the classic languages? 7. Whose language was the Anglo-Saxon? Whence came the name England? 8, 9. Why is a knowledge of Latin and Greek roots important? 10. In deriving words, do we ever change the root-word? 11. In giving a Latin or Greek noun as a root, why do we sometimes add the genitive form to the nominative? 12. In giving the verb, why do we add the supine in -um or the past participle in us? 13. Why do we put such words as nascent and natal under the same Latin root? 14. In the passage from Johnson can you select the words of classic origin?
1. Anglo-Saxon Derivatives. Our articles, a and the, Adjective Pronouns like this, that, few, many, some, none, and nearly all our Conjunctions and Prepositions, are from the Anglo-Saxon.
2. All Adjectives whose comparatives or superlatives are formed irregularly, as good, bad, better, worse, little, less, etc. Nearly all socalled irregular, or rather defective, verbs, am, go, dare, have, etc. All our auxiliary Verbs, do, have, shall, will, may, can, must, are of Anglo-Saxon origin.
3. Nearly all words which in any of their forms undergo vowel changes are from the Anglo-Saxon; such as Adjectives with two forms: old, elder. Adjectives forming Nouns by internal vowel changes: strong, strength; long, length; broad, breadth. Verbs that have modified the vowel of the Noun with which they are connected: bliss, bless; knot, net, knit; seat, sit.
4. To these words from the Anglo-Saxon we may add all Verbs with irregular Preterites, of which there are eight classes or more: fall, fell; hold, held; draw, drew; slay, slew; fly, flew; give, get, stand, take, etc. All Verbs that undergo vowel changes (sometimes consonant changes also) when they cease to be intransitive; as, rise, raise; lie, lay; sit, set; fall, fell; drink, drank, drench; hound, hunt; wring, wrench. All Nouns forming their plurals by vowel changes; as, foot, tooth, goose, mouse, man, woman (originally wif-man, plural women, in pronunciation, wimmen). Many words that modify the final consonant of the root to form Nouns: stick, stitch; dig, ditch; smite, smith.
5. Most words with distinctive Anglo-Saxon endings are from the Anglo-Saxon; such as Nouns in -hood, -head, -ship, -dom, -th,
-t, -ness, -rick, -wick (except names of places); as, manhood, Godhead, friendship, earldom, freedom, wealth, truth, drift, goodness, bailiwick. Most Nouns in -ling, -kin, -ock, -ie, which are nearly all diminutives; as, darling, gosling, lambkin, firkin, hillock, lassie, doggie, etc. All Nouns with plurals in -en; as, oxen, children, brethren. Most Adjectives in -ful, -ly (A. S. -lie, -like), -ish, -en, -ern, -ward, -some; as, fearful, kingly, blackish, childish, wooden, northern, backward, winsome. Most verbs in -en; as, whiten, quicken, strengthen.
6. How to distinguish Latin and Greek Derivatives. On the other hand, Nouns in -sion, -tion, -ure, -ity, -ice, -nce, -ncy, -tude, -or, -ation, -osity; as, extension, agitation, capture, dignity, justice, penitence, expectancy, solitude, labor, denomination, verbosity, are from the classical languages, as are Nouns in -tor, -sor, -trix; as, mediator, sponsor, executrix.
7. Also Adjectives in -ant, -ent, -ar, -ary, -tive, -sive, -tory or -sory, -ie and -ical (from the Greek), -ose, -ean (Greek) and -ine; as, extravagant, prominent, regular, primary, retentive, comprehensive, migratory, illusory, cathartic, arithmetical, verbose, epicurean, canine, etc. And most verbs in -ise, -ize and -fy: criticise, agonize, etc., typify, terrify.
8. All words, moreover, in which are found j, æ, c, ph, rh, ch hard (like k) and the vowel y in any syllable but the last, are of classic origin; as, ejaculation, æsthetic, œconomic, philosophy, rhetoric, architect, polygon.
9. How to distinguish Anglo-Saxon Derivatives. All words, on the other hand, that begin with wh-, kn-, sh-, and most words that begin with ea-, ye-, gl-, th- (all except a few from the Greek), are from the Anglo-Saxon, as are all words with the combinations -ough or -ng in the root.
10. Most of our words of one syllable are taken from the AngloSaxon. This rule is of very extensive application. Parts of the body-head, skull, ear, tongue, lip, chin, lungs, and so to our toes; the senses-sight, touch, taste, smell; infirmities-lame, blind, deaf, dumb; animals-dog, cow, horse, bull; elements-fire, storm, wind, thaw, frost, clouds; products-grass, corn, bread, fowl, fish; fuel-as coal, wood, peat, turf,‚—are all, with many others, monosyllabic and Anglo-Saxon.
11. In much of the Bible only one word in forty is not AngloSaxon. In five verses of Genesis (xliii. 25-29), out of one hundred and thirty words five only are not Anglo-Saxon. The works of Shakspeare abound in examples, and the best poetry owes much of its force to the predominance of the Anglo-Saxon element.
12. In the following passage from Byron every word, with only two exceptions, is Anglo-Saxon:
"For the angel of death spread his wings on the blast,
And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
But through them there rolled not the breath of his pride,
13. From the Anglo-Saxon we get most of the names of our dearest and earliest connections, and of the words that express the strongest natural feelings of our hearts: father, mother, husband, wife, son, daughter, brother, sister, home, kindred, friends, are all Anglo-Saxon, as are nearth, roof, fireside, tears, smiles, blushes, laughing, weeping, sighing and groaning.
14. From the Anglo-Saxon we get the names of most objects of sense, those that occur most frequently in discourse, and which recall individual and therefore most vivid conceptions. Such are the names of objects-sun, moon, stars, fire, earth, water (not air); divisions of time-day, night, morning, evening, twilight, noon, midnight, sunset, sunrise; light, heat, cold, frost, snow, hail, rain, sleet, thunder, lightning.
15. Such are the names of most objects of natural scenery: hill, dale, woods, streams, land, sea. Such are the names of the common objects of the animal and vegetable kingdoms, the postures and motions of animal life. Our horses, dogs, cows, calves, pigs, are all Anglo-Saxon, and so the last three remain till they are dressed up as beef, veal and pork.
16. We sit and stand, and lie and walk, and run and leap, and stagger and stride, and slide and glide, and yawn and gape and wink; we fly and swim, and creep and crawl; we describe our arms, or legs, or hands, our eyes, or mouth, or ears, or nose, and nearly every part of the body, from head to foot, in Anglo-Saxon.
17. While our general terms are taken mostly from Latin, terms which describe particular objects, qualities or modes of action are taken from the Anglo-Saxon. Motion is Latin, but creeping, walking, riding and running are Anglo-Saxon. Color is Latin, but black, blue, red, green, yellow, brown, are Anglo-Saxon. Sound is Latin, but humming, buzzing, speaking, hissing, singing, grunting, squeaking and whistling are all Anglo-Saxon.
18. Crime is Latin, but theft, robbery, killing and lying are all words from the Anglo-Saxon. Animal is Latin; man and sheep are
Anglo-Saxon. Number is French (nombre) and remotely Latin (num ́erus), but all our cardinal numbers, one, two, three, etc., up tc a million, are Anglo-Saxon, as are all our ordinal numbers except second, and that is Latin (secun'dus).
19. Most of the objects which occupy our practical reason in common life take their names from the Anglo-Saxon. It is the language of business, of the shop, of the market, of the street, of the farm. We sell and buy, we find things cheap or dear, we plow and sow, we grow rich or poor, as our fathers did; and they have left us words to describe the whole.
20. Nearly all words in our popular proverbs, the utterances of the wisdom of the many set forth by the wit of one, the hob-nailed philosophy of the people, are from the Anglo-Saxon.
21. From the same source comes most of the language of invective, humor, satire and colloquial pleasantry. It is often pungent sometimes offensive, nearly always forcible and impressive; as, gawky, grim, lazy, sly, shabby, trash, sham, etc. All these words, though not immediately available for grave composition, explain the secret of idiomatic and effective speech.
Questions.-1. Whence come our Articles? Whence chiefly our Adjective Pronouns, Conjunctions, Prepositions? 2. Certain Adjectives and Verbs? 3. Words undergoing vowel changes? 4. Verbs? 5. Words with Anglo-Saxon endings? 6. In Nouns, how do you distinguish the Latin and Greek derivatives? 7. In Adjectives? In Verbs? 8. What letters denote generally words of classic origin? 9. What those of AngloSaxon origin? 10. Whence chiefly come our words of one syllable? 11. What words prevail in the Bible? In Shakespeare? 12. In the eight lines from Byron, what two words are not Anglo-Saxon? 13. What class of words are Anglo-Saxon? 14. What of words describing objects of sense? 15. Natural scenery? 16. Movements of the body? 17. General and particular terms? 18. Whence come our Cardinal numbers? Our Ordinal? 19. Which is the language of business, etc.? 20. Of proverbs? 21. Of invective, humor, etc.?
1. Classic Words sometimes to be Preferred. While Anglo-Saxon gives us words that are most specific and picturesque, words of classic origin have often the advantage of brevity and, where the ideas are abstract, of clearness. For example, a book handling any subject is a tractate, tract or treatise; what belongs to a house is domestic; what hangs with the point directly downward is perpendicular; what belongs to the groundwork of a thing is fundamental; the form of a thing in the mind is an idea; what is easy to be carried is portable; what is hard to be done is difficult.
2. The advantage of brevity in all these cases is with the classic word. Similarly, essence, impenetrability, immortality, etc., are words briefer and clearer than any corresponding Anglo-Saxon forms; and,
as abstracts, they call attention to the qualities they indicate as completely as do Anglo-Saxon specific names to the individual things they represent.
3. Hence the importance of a mixed style, partly Anglo-Saxon, partly classical. We particularize and define things in Anglo-Saxon ; we generalize and define abstractions in words of classic origin. The words best fitted to express our meaning with precision are the words best to use.
4. Words from the Latin through the French. Italian, French and Spanish are all, for the most part, forms of modern Latin, allied to the old Latin as modern English is to the AngloSaxon.
5. The Norman-French was the language of William the Conqueror and his knights, who established themselves in England in the year 1066. Their conquest had great influence in superseding the rough Anglo-Saxon speech. We owe to the Anglo-Norman, or to the Latin through it, most of the terms that describe the military system of the Middle Ages, many of our law terms, and others belonging to poetry and art; as, duke, count, chivalry, homage, service, etc.
6. It is not always easy to tell when English words have come indi rectly through the French, but nouns in -ier, -chre and -eer, adjectives in -que (as cavalier, sepulchre, auctioneer, oblique, unique), and words beginning with counter-, pur- and sur- (counteract, purpose, surprise), belong to this class; and generally, if words of classic origin are greatly altered in the English spelling, it may be presumed that they have reached us through the French; as, people, from pop'ulus, Fr. peuple; fealty, from fi-del'itas, Fr. féalté; blame, from blas-phemaʼre; pursue, from per' sequor, Fr. poursuivre; royalty, from regal'itas, Fr. royauté; deign, from di'nor; feat, from fà'cio; ally, from ad'ligo (to bind to); manure, from man'us (hand), op'us (work), Fr. main-œuvre, literally, cultivation by hand labor, etc.
7. Latin Words not Perfectly Naturalized. There are some Latin words so imperfectly naturalized in English as to retain their own plural forms. Among these are: 1. Words which form their plural by changing the last syllable -a into -æ; as, form ́ula, -æ; lam’ina, -æ; larva, æ; neb’ula, -æ. 2. -us into i; as, cal'culus, -i; convolvulus, -i; foc'us, -i; gen'ius, -i; mag'us, -i; pol'ypus, -i; rad'ius, -i; stimulus,-i, etc. 3. -um into -a; as, animal'culum, -a; arca’num, a; datʼum, -a; desidera'tum, -a; emporium, -a; erra'tum, -a; med'ium, -a; memoranʼdum,-a; moment'um, -a; schol ́ium, -a; spec ́ulum, -a; stra'tum, -a, etc. 4. -is into -es; as, amanuen'sis, -es analysis, -es; ax′is,-es; bas′is,-es; cri'sis,-es; ellip ́sis, -es; hypoth ́esis, -es; paren'thesis, -es; thes'is, -es.