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word "currency" was formerly used for paper "passing for money in the colonies”. But unless Mr. Gould is prepared to show that that is its exclusive meaning i.e., that it does not mean coin likewise, he cannot justly censure me for saying that he spoke of coin when he used the word currency. “ Currency" is a term which is applicable to anything which passes current as money. “ Abraham weighed to Ephron four hundred “ shekels of silver, current money with the “merchant": Gen, xxiii, 16. When, therefore, I stated that Mr. Gould speaks of a word under the similitude of a coin, while, as he says, he really speaks of a word under the similitude of
paper passing for money", the cause of the error must, in justice, be attributed to him for his having used, in a conventional and restricted sense, the word "currency", which is a general term for “the aggregate of coin, notes, bills, etc., “in circulation in a country". If I have been misled as to Mr. Gould's meaning, it is his language which has misled me; for he not only speaks of spurious currency, but of its being unconsciously accepted as genuine, and mixed up and paid out with "standard currency". Surely this language is more applicable to coin, than to
paper, seeing that, according to the ‘Encyclopedia 'Britannica', 8th edition, Vol xv, p. 430, "by the “standard of money is meant the degree of “purity or fineness of the metal of which coins
are made, and the quantity or weight of such “metal in them". But Mr. Gould's use of the word “ currency" is objectionable for another reason: he uses the word as if it were synonymous with promissory note; whereas, the word is descriptive not of a part, merely, but of the whole "the "aggregate of coin, notes, bills, etc., in circula“tion in a country". A promissory note may be current, as legal tender; but it is not "currency"; and the calling it that, is a technical use of the word which a writer on the proprieties of language ought not to adopt. But granting, for the sake of argument, that "currency" means a promissory note, I have still to learn how a promissory note can be purified by an endorsement.
EDWARD S. GOULD.
The principle charge which Mr. Gould brings against 'The Dean's English' is, that in certain passages in it there are nouns which are followed by present participles, and yet are not in the possessive case. For instance, I say, on page 42;—“I spoke of editors falling into mistakes”. Again, page 56;—“We may properly speak of a “word being not strictly a neuter substantive, “but we cannot properly speak of a substantive “being strict".
Mr. Gould says ;
“ The three italicized words should be in the posses
I have well weighed Mr. Gould's opinion upon this matter; I have consulted the highest authorities upon it, and I am compelled still to differ with Mr. Gould. There are passages in 'The Dean's 'English' which I had considered would be better with the noun in the possessive case; and, in the present English edition of the work, they
which he makes others pass. Mr. Gould while praising in general terms the accuracy of my language in 'The Dean's English', commented upon what he considered to be errors of mine in that book. For his correction, or for any other person's correction, of any real errors of mine, I am, and always shall be, sincerely thankful. I no more lay claim to infallibility than I do to omniscience. I endeavour to impart to others whatever knowledge I have acquired ; and I am always glad to receive instruction in return. The reviewers will find that I freely avail myself of their criticisms, in order to make each successive edition which I issue, more worthy of public esteem than was the previous
In criticising Mr. Gould's work, then, I have but followed the example which he set me-he first criticised mine-and I am not conscious of having in any way spoken discourteously of him. His book might be made a valuable contribution to English philology, and one that would be read with advantage by all. But it is not perfect yet; and his defence of the errors which have been pointed out in it is, both in matter and in manner, anything but praiseworthy. Concerning my
criticisms on his 'Good English', and his replies to those criticisms, he says;
“ My modest [!] belief is, that he [Mr. Moon] will
“ learn from my criticisms on his essays, more " than I have learned from his criticisms on my “ book.”
It would be unbecoming in me to contend with Mr. Gould on this delicate point. Indeed, it is quite unnecessary for me to do so. I admit that I have learnt from his criticisms more than it is probable that he has learnt from mine. Let me enumerate my gains from this source :-I have learnt from Mr. Gould's example, that a writer on the proprieties of language may say, of a certain Latin quotation respecting matters of taste, that;
"The proverb is something musty"! An expression quoted, indeed, from Shakspeare, but one that is not the less inelegant on that account.
I have learnt also that it is not considered inelegant to say of a certain word ;
“ It smacks of attempted prettiness in style”; and that we may even intensify the expression
and say ;