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the crowded appearance of such words as fullly, skillless, &c. Having begun to exclude the superfluous 1 in such cases, the exclusion was extended or rendered absolute; whilst double f and double s were suffered to remain: as stiffly, stiffness, successful, carelessness: not stifly, stifness, succesful, carelesness, &c.
The usual affixes in connexion with which the superfluous I is dropped, are ly, less, full, ness: with such affixes as er, est, eth, s, ing, age, &c., it remains: as, till, tilling, tillage, tiller, &c.
The above are all the rules that the present state of English orthography seems to admit of: there are, indeed, eleven or twelve rules usually given in systems of grammar, but one half of them are repetitions of the other.
It would be a great improvement if the following principles were adopted:
1. That all superfluous letters be discarded: as in staff, full, grass; which might be spelled staf, ful, gras: and in have, serve, swerve, &c.; which might be spelled hav, serv, swerv, &c.: and in covetous, candour, &c.; which might be covetos, candor; sense, sens; immense, immens.
The only good reason for double s would be its having uniformly a different pronunciation from single s; but the latter has often the sharp or hissing sound as well as the former. The proper office of final e is to render the preceding vowel long, as in mate, or to render g and c soft, as in charge, face, &c.
2. Every letter should remain unchanged in the same word: as carry, carryer; accompany, accompanyment; lay, layed; pay, payed; day, dayly, &c. not carrier, accompaniment, laid, paid, daily.
All such instances as the following properly come under the above rule: high, hight (not height); nigh, nighbour; whole, wholely (not wholly); connect, connection (not connexion).
The reason of the above rule is obvious: it renders spelling easy, and it indicates the derivation and meaning of words.
3. No letter should be dropped: as blame, blameable; place, placeing; lodge, lodgeing; judge, judgement; abridge, abridgement; acknowledge, acknowledgement: not blamable, placing, lodging, judgment, abridgment, acknowledgment: due, duely; true, truely-not duly, truly, &c. &c.
The reason of this rule is also obvious: it would prevent much perplexity.
4. No letter should be reduplicated except for the purpose of indicating the pronunciation: as abet, abettor; hat, hatter; distil, distilling. Revelling, counsellor, bigotted, worshipper, &c., as before noticed, are contrary to rule.
5. All duplicate, triplicate, or diversified forms of spelling the same word, should be reduced to that one form which is most agreeable to analogy, and which best indicates etymology and meaning: as show, shew; strow, strew; author, authour; labor, labour; inquire, enquire; negotiate, negociate; ex
pense, expence; connection, connexion; allege, alledge; appretiate, appreciate; martial, marshal.
The first of these forms (i. e. show, labor, inquire, &c.) is evidently to be preferred; and we have ventured to adopt it in the Dictionary. The other improvements suggested must obtain the suffrage of the literary public, or of its influential members, before a lexicographer can prudently adopt them. The first rule proposed for adoption seems the only one likely to encounter much objection; and but for double I we would not have proposed it: but leaving orthography as it is, as to f, l, s, we may either adhere to Rule 3,-though such words as fullly, skillless, would have a crowded appearance, or we may follow the old rule, viz. Words terminating in double 1 drop one 1 when they are compounded with other words. The sole object of the author is simplicity, i. e. utility. Let English spelling be made easylet it be divested of unnecessary difficulty-and he cares not how the improvement is effected.
Some of the most objectionable peculiarities of our present orthography are evidently adopted from the French, though our system of pronunciation is very different from theirs: as enquire for inquire, candour for candor. Custom is not yet so fixed as to prevent us from adopting the Latin spelling of such words; but perhaps the French ou is now immovably established in many instances; such as court, mould, wound, covetous. All that can be safely recommended with such instances is, to make them conform as
much as possible to the analogy of English pronunciation, as in sound, hour. One of the greatest evils we have to complain of in the present connexion, is that of conflicting contrariety between orthography and orthoëpy, which should be mutually adapted, and not opposed to one another. There is a whimsical combination of le and re, instead of el and er, which might be yet rectified without much violence to established usage: as theatre, bundle, metre, spindle, &c.—instead of theater, bundel, meter, spindel. The latter form answers to the pronunciation; and final e should be appropriated as much as possible to such words as mate, charge, face, &c., in which it indicates that g and c are soft, and that the preceding vowel is long.
THE ORTHOËPY, OR RIGHT PRONUNCIATION OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
HERE there is as much cause for complaint as concerning orthography; for custom is neither fixed nor uniform, but exceedingly various and anomalous; so that Dr. Watts (if we remember correctly) proposed, as a rule of English spelling and pronunciation, that the one should be as unlike the other as possible.
It is to be regretted that so much having been done of late years to fix and indicate the mode of pronouncing, more has not been done to render it simple and uniform. Much praise, indeed, is due
to Mr. Walker, who was evidently capable of much higher departments in language than Orthoëpy and elocution; but, as he frankly confesses, he was afraid to attempt all that he considered necessary; and in general contented himself with ascertaining and exhibiting the present, polite usage. Perhaps little more could be accomplished; and in this he was remarkably successful; so that his Dictionary is justly regarded as the standard of English pronunciation. We have hardly ever departed from that standard, except in adopting a simpler notation: for, as in one respect, Mr. Walker attempted too little, so in another respect he performed too much; for it cannot surely be necessary to mark the sound of every word in the English language: it must be quite sufficient to mark the words in which pronunciation is likely to err. In the following Dictionary, therefore, those words only are marked by a different spelling, which deviate in any respect from the analogy of the language: the pronunciation of all the rest is considered as sufficiently indicated by the accent, with the assistance, occasionally, of the following marks and, the first of which denotes that a vowel is long-the second, that it is short: as, contem'plate, ǎlb. The reader will please, also, to attend to the following particulars respecting the Dictionary :
1. The accent is to be understood as falling on the letter immediately preceding the mark or sign: as, Ac'cent, n. Accen't, v. a.; Favor, Endeavor.
2. When the letter immediately preceding the ac