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• • I-ther' and 'ni-ther’ smack strongly” of peculi
I have learnt likewise that a corrector of the English of other writers may, himself, indulge in slang, and say ;
“ If he attempts [this should be attempt] to imitate
“ the style of another, however good that style
may be in the original, he will certainly come to "grief" !
Moreover, I have learnt that there are very valuable privileges attaching to the office of public critic; privileges, from the enjoyment of which, unfortunately, my ignorance of their existence had previously debarred me. Thanks to Mr. Gould, I now see that it is quite admissible for a critic to palliate, in his own writings, the errors which he censures in the writings of an other. Mr. Gould's illustrations of this are most simple and appropriate. The following is his condemnation of Dean Alford's misplacing of the adverb “only”. I quote from Good English’, pp. 132, 133 :Queen's English', paragraph 9.—“It is said also
only to occur three times ”, etc. Read,
only three times". Par. 44.-“this doubling only takes place in a syllable",
etc. Read, “takes place only in a syllable".
Par. 142.—which can only be decided when those “ circumstances are known”. Read,
can be “ decided only when”, etc. 166.—“I will only say that it produces”, etc. Read, “I will say only that it produces”. 170.—“It is said that this can only be filled in “ thus". Read, can be filled in only thus”. 210.-"It can only be used as expressing determi“nation". Read, “can be used only as expressing “ determination". 221.-“This . . . only conveys the sense”, etc. Read, “ conveys only the sense". 233.—“I can only regard them as Scotticisms ". . Read, “regard them only as Scotticisms". 289.—"and also when it is only true of them “ taken together”. Read, “true of them only “ when taken together.”. 368.—“I can only deal with the complaint in a
general way”. Read, “deal with the complaint only in a general way”.
So also, on page 60 of Good English', as previously remarked, Mr. Gould condemns the same error in a work by Archbishop Trench, from which he quotes as follows :-“It is undoubtedly “ becoming different from what it has been, but
only different in that it is passing into another “ stage of its development”. Mr. Gould adds, “this should be, different only'.” But when a
similar error is pointed out in Mr. Gould’s ‘Good 'English', (see Criticism xv,) O that is quite another thing! It is clearly right to condemn the expression "only different”, in a sentence of Archbishop Trench’s; but it is not at all right to condemn the expression “ only takes”, in a sentence of Mr. Gould's, The simple reason for which is, that it is Mr. Gould's :an admirable illustration of the old saying,—“Orthodoxy means my doxy," heterodoxy means an other man's doxy."
It really is very delightful to be a critic, and to be thus privileged in one's use of expressions ; and I am deeply indebted to Mr. Gould for opening my eyes to the riches of my inheritance; and, in his compassion for my ignorance, kindly multiplying examples of the way in which my wealth may be advantageously employed. If I condemn an author for writing so ambiguously "as to leave the reader in doubt whether certain “words relate to what immediately precedes, or " to what follows them ", (see 'Good English', p. 110,) and am afterward caught in the commission of the same error, (see Criticism xvi,) and the public are challenged to come to any definite conclusion as to which of two meanings I intended to convey, I perceive that the proper
course to adopt is, to act on the old showman's principle, and tell my critics to “take their
This is indeed politic; and, in these days of plagiarism, when distinctions between meum and tuum are often utterly ignored, we cannot value too highly the example which Mr. Gould sets us, in drawing, as he does, a very broad line between what is his own, and what is an other's. For example, in 'The Queen's English ’, the Dean of Canterbury uses the expression, "more decisive"; Mr. Gould objects to it, and asks ;—“Does the *Dean hold that decisive' is an adjective that “admits of comparison ?" But when a similar question is put to Mr. Gould respecting his use of the expressions, “80 universally” and “ “totally", and he is reminded that a decision, in a court of law, for instance, may be confirmed by a higher tribunal, and thereby be made "more “decisive”; but that “universality” and “to“tality” cannot possibly be otherwise than perfect or complete; he very wisely abstains from entering upon any defence of the condemned expressions, and says, with amusing brevity, that he does not assent to his critic's objection. In a former criticism I stated that Mr. Gould
speaks of a word under the similitude of a counterfeit coin, and afterward of its being “ purified” by an "endorsement". Mr. Gould, in refutation of the charge, says;
“I beg leave to assure Mr. Moon that do not speak
“ of a word “as a coin'. The word 'coin' is not
Mr. Gould seems to be determined to lay me under obligation to him. He not only searches out the word "currency" for me, in “a diction
ary, (it is to be regretted that he did not give the title of the dictionary,) but he very considerately selects for me the one special meaning which he considers applicable. This is the more kind, inasmuch as I have been unable to find that particular, exclusive meaning in any of our principal modern dictionaries. I have searched Worcester, Webster, Richardson, Ogilvie, Craig, and Chambers, but all in vain. I judge, therefore, that so far from its being the meaning of "currency", it is only a secondary meaning of the word ; probably an Americanism. From Johnson and Walker, it is true, I learn that the