Page images
PDF
EPUB

“ How great was the sacrifice !"
" How great was the sacrifice ?"

PARENTHESIS.

A Parenthesis is a clause containing some necessary information, or useful remark, introduced into the body of a sentence obliquely, and which may be omitted without injuring the grammatical construction : as,

“ Koow then this truth, (enough for man to know,)

Virtue alone is happiness below.”'
“And was the ransom paid ? It was ; and paid

(What can exalt his bounty more ?) for thee." "To gain a posthumous reputation, is to save four or five letters (for what is a name besides ?) from oblivion.' “Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man ay long as he liveth ?

If the incidental clause is short, or perfectly coincides with the rest of the sentence, it is not proper to use the parenthetical characters. The following instances are therefore improper uses of the parenthesis. “Speak you (who saw) his wonders in the deep." “Every planet (as the Creator has made nothing in vain) is most probably inhabited.” “ He found them asleep again ; (for their eyes were heavy ;) neither knew they what to answer him."

The parenthesis marks a moderate depression of the voice, and may be accompanied with every point which the sense would require, if the parenthetical characters were omitted. It ought to terminate with the same kind of stop which the member has, that precedes it ; and to contain that stop within the parenthetical marks. We must, however, except cases of interrogation and exclamation : as, “While they wish to please, (and why should they not wish it ?) they disdain dishonourable means.? " It was represented by an analogy, (Oh, how inadequate !) which was borrowed from paganism.

See the Octavo Grammar, on this subject.

[ocr errors]

There are other characters, which are frequently made

nse of in composition, and which may be explained in this place, viz.

An Apostrophe, marked thus 'is used to abbreviate or shorten a word : as, 'tis for it is; tho' for though; e'en for even ; judg'd for judged. Its chief use is to show the genitive case of nouns: as, “ A man's property; a woman's ornament.”

A Caret, marked thus a is placed where some word happens to be left out in writing, and which is inserted over the line. This mark is also called a circumflex, when placed over a particular vowel, to denote a long syllable: as, “ Euphrates."

A Hyphen, marked thus - is employed in connecting compounded words ; as, “ Lap-dog, tea-pot, pre-exiştence, self-love, to-morrow, mother-in-law.”

It is also used when a word is divided, and the former part is written or printed at the end of one line, and the latter part at the beginning of another. In this case, it is placed at the end of the first line, not at the beginning of the second.

The Acute Accent, marked thus'. as, “ Fáncy.The Grave thus ': as, Favour.”

In English, the Accentual marks are chiefly used in spelling-books and dictionaries, to mark the syllables which require a particular stress of the voice in pronunciation.

The stress is laid on long and short syllables indiscriminately. In order to distinguish the one from the other, some writers of dictionaries have placed the grave on the former, and the acute on the latter, in this manner:“Mìsor, mineral, lively, lívid, rìval, river.” The proper mark to distinguish a long syllable, is this: Rõsy:" and a short one this ° : as,

Fol'y." This tast mark is called a breve.

A Diæresis, thus marked ", consists of two points placed over one of the two vowels that would otherwise make a diphthong, and parts them into two syllables : as, " Creätor, coädjutor, aërial.”

A Section, marked thus s, is the division of a discourse, or chapter, into less parts or portions.

A Paragraph 1 denotes the beginning of a new subject, of a sentence pot connected with the foregoing. This

as,

character is chiefly used in the Old, and in the New Testaments.

A Quotation “”. Two inverted commas are generally placed at the beginning of a phrase or a passage, which is quoted or transcribed from the speaker or author in his own words; and two commas in their direct position, are placed at the conclusion : as,

“ The proper study of mankind is man.” Crotchets or Brackets [] serve to enclose a word or sentence, which is to be explained in a note, or the ex. planation itself, or a word or a sentence which is intend. ed to supply some deficiency, or to rectify some mistake.

An Index or Hand points out a remarkable passage, or something that requires particular attention.

A Brace three lines, which have the same rhyme.

Braces are also used to connect a number of words with one common term, and are introduced to prevent a repetition in writing or printing.

An Asterisk, or little star*, directs the reader to some note in the margin, or at the bottom of the page. Two or three asterisks generally denote the omission of some letters in a word, or of some bold or indelicate expression, or some defect in the manuscript.

An Ellipsis – is also used, when some letters in a word, or some words in a verse, are omitted as, " Thek-g," for the king."

An Obelisk, which is marked thust, and Parallels thus ||, together with the letters of the Alphabet, anu figures, are used as references to the margin, or bottom of the page.

PARAGRAPHS.

It may not be improper to insert, in this place, a few general directions respecting the division of a composition into paragraphs.

Different subjects, unless they are very short, or very numerous in small compass, should be separated into paragraphs.

When one subject is continued to a considerable length, the larger divisions of it should be put into paragraphs

And it will have a good effect to form the breaks, when it can properly be done, at sentiments of the most weight, or that call for peculiar attention.

The facts, premises, and conclusions, of a subject, sometimes naturally point out the separations into paragraphs : and each of these, when of great length, will again require subdivisions at their most distinctive parts.

In cases which require a connected subject to be formed into several paragraphs, a suitable turn of expression, exhibiting the connexion of the broken parts, will give beauty and force to the division. See the Octavo Grammar.

DIRECTIONS respecting the use of CAPITAL LETTERS. It was formerly the custom to begin every noun with a capital: but as this practice was troublesome, and gave the writing or printing a crowded and confused appear ance, it has been discontinued. It is, however, very proper to begin with a capital,

1. The first word of every book, chapter, letter, note, or any other piece of writing.

2. The first word after a period; and, if the two sen tences are totally independent, after a note of interroga tion or exclamation.

But if a number of interrogative or exclamatory sen tences, are thrown into one general group; or if thconstruction of the latter sentences depends on the former, all of them, except the first, may begin with a small letter: as, " How long, ye simple ones, will ye love sim-' plicity ? and the scorners delight in their scorning ? and fools hate knowledge ?” “ Alas ! how different! yet how like the same !"

3. The appellations of the Deity: as, “ God, Jehovah, the Almighty, the Supreme Being, the Lord, Providence, the Messiah, the Holy Spirit.”

4. Proper names of persons. places, streets, mountains, rivers, ships : as, “ George, York, the Strand, the Alps, the Thames, the Seahorse."

5. Adjectives derived from the proper names of places. 22,

Grecian, Roman, English, French, and Italian.”. 6. The first word of a quotation, introduced after a

is Ouz

colon, or when it is in a direct form : as, Always remember this ancient maxim : •Know thyself.'” great Lawgiver says, ' Take up thy cross daily, and follow me.""

But when a quotation is brought in obliquely after a comma, a capital is unnecessary: as,

" Solomon observes, that pride goes before destruction.'”

The first word of an example may also very properly begin with a capital : as, “ Temptation proves our virtue."

7. Every substantive and principal word in the titles of books : as, “ Johnson's Dictionary of the English Lan. guage ;" “ Thomson's Seasons ;" “ Rollin's Ancient History.

8. The first word of every line in poetry.

9. The pronoun ), and the interjection o, are written in capitals: as, “I write :” “Hear, 0 earth!"

Other words, besides the preceding, may begin with capitals, when they are remarkably empbatical, or the principal subject of the composition.

« PreviousContinue »