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or "so beautiful!” The excessive use of these words, or, indeed, of any set form of words, is a mannerism, and should be avoided. "So", in its proper place, is a very precious little word; and no where is it more precious than in the expression ;-"God so loved the world”. But the "80", in Mr. Gould's expression—"so to“tally”, destroys the force of the word which it is meant to intensify.
Of the phrase “in so far as”, Mr. Gould says, on page 62;
“It seems strange that so clumsy a phrase could get
“into use when the proper phrase is so familiar “and simple; but so it is that men will cumber “themselves about [with] many things when but “ few things are needed. The in of the phrase is worse than superfluous.”
Now turn to page 166, and you will find Mr. Gould writing as follows :
“The work as it now stands and with the exceptions
“herein-above designated, is worthy of the praise “ bestowed on it; for its entire reconstuction “ has made it what it should be,-always except
ing the uneradicated tares of Webster's sow“ing."
If Mr. Gould will apply the reasoning that is found on page 62 of his work, to the language on page 166 of it, he will strike out the “ and” and the “herein", for they, too, are "worse than “superfluous."
So” is most frequently misused when in connection with "as". Whether Mr. Gould is speaking affirmatively, or negatively, he almost always says;_"80-a8", -rarely, if ever, “as"as”; yet, in comparative clauses of equality, the latter expression is the correct one; and the former, the correct one in comparative clauses of inequality. Having, in a previous criticism,
a , fully discussed this matter, it is not necessary here to do more than show in what way Mr. Gould has misused the words. I read as follows:
Page 21.-" 80 long as its place is occupied". 37.-80 far, at least, as the dictionary is con
• cerned”. 94.-" This is very well, so far as it goes ". 115.—“This is fortunate, so far as its author is
80 far as the newspapers are concerned”. 143. -“ And so long as he occupies the secretary's
159,-“it is to be observed that, so far as we
“know". 191.-" so far as that sentence is concerned”.
Page 214.—“so far as I can”.
217.4" he should...... so far as he can”.
In each of these passages, “80°
should be changed for “as”. The only sentences which I can call to mind, where the words “80-as' are proper when speaking affirmatively, are those in which the last of the said words precedes a verb in the infinitive mood, e.g.:“ An author should so write as to be clearly “understood"; and those in which we use the words emphatically. For instance :-“How can you descend to a thing so base as falsehood ?”
EDWARD S. GOULD.
HAVING, in the two previous letters, examined the grammatical composition of Mr. Gould's work, and incidentally glanced at his condemnation of certain expressions of Archbishop Trench's and of Dean Alford's, I purpose now to consider Mr. Gould's choice of words and their relative positions in his sentences, in the work under review.
He speaks strongly against Noah Webster for his attempted alterations in the orthography of the language; and, in Mr. Gould's denunciation of the learned lexicographer, he so far lets his indignation get the mastery over him, that it carries him away beyond the bounds of prudence. With an exuberance of metaphor, which gives evidence of the fertility of his imagination, rather than of the soundness of his judgment, he describes Dr. Webster as an alchemist; moreover, as an alchemist engaged in “ tinkering"!—the said “ tinkering” is declared to have the effect of imparting a lesson in husbandry! while the general result of his labours is designated, "the “progress of the plague”! Surely, Mr. Gould must have been trying to emulate the Irishman who, at a public meeting, rose in a state of great excitement, and said ;—“Gentlemen, the apple “of discord has been thrown into our midst; “and if it be not nipped in the bud, it will burst “into a conflagration which will deluge the "world!"
The passage to which I refer occurs on page 165, and reads thus :
“ The fact remains, that all [that] Webster really
"accomplished by his alchemy, is a hopeless “confusion show can a man accomplish a con"fusion ?] in the spelling of (derivatives and all)
[“ and all” what ?] perhaps two hundred words “ in a dictionary that contains nearly a hundred " thousand words. Whereas, before Webster com
menced his tinkering, the spelling of those two “ hundred words, however irregular to his appre"hension, was more uniform than probably it ever “will be again. He has proved how much easier “it is to sow tares than to root them out. “ After the concessions made in the quarto of '1866, there is some hope that the further pro“gress of the plague may be stayed."
In the introduction of Mr. Gould's book there occurs the following passage :