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EDWARD S. GOULD.
Mr. Gould objects to my sentence :
your meaning be obscure, and no grace of diction nor any music of a well-turned period, will “make amends to your readers for their being
“liable to misunderstand you." He would say;—“Neither grace of diction, nor any music ", etc.; from which correction (2) I can draw no other inference than that he believes it to be wrong to use the negative particle "nor", except as the co-relative of “neither”. Again I refer him to an authority to which he has appealed.-G. Brown's 'Grammar of English 'Grammars'. On page 664, I read :-“Undoubt
, edly a negative may be repeated in English “without impropriety, and that in several differ“ent ways; as, There is no living, none, if "Bertram be away':- Shakespeare.
Great “.men are not always wise, neither do the aged
[always) understand judgment’:-Job xxxii, 9. 6. Will he esteem thy riches ? no, not gold, nor all “the forces of strength':-Job xxxiv, 19."
Likewise to the following sentence of mine, Mr. Gould objects :
“This is enough to show that the schoolmaster is
“needed by other people besides the directors.”
Mr. Gould would alter this to,“ other than". But, here again, it is he who is in error; and he is condemned on this point also, by the authority just quoted. In a foot note on page 678 of 'The 'Grammar of English Grammars', I read ;“ After 'else' and 'other', the preposition “besides' “is sometimes used; and when it recalls an idea “previously suggested, it appears to be as good “as 'than’, or better; as, 'other words, besides "the preceding, may begin with capitals”.” The phrase, “other than", is exclusive of those mentioned; whereas, “other ... besides ", is inclusive of those mentioned. No slight difference; and yet, one that has escaped the observation of Mr. Gould.
Another sentence to which he objects is the following:
“I wished to show, by your own writings, that so far
“were you from being competent to teach others “English composition, that you had need your“self to study its first principles."
Mr. Gould's objection is to the repetition of the word “that”, not on account of its being somewhat inelegant; but, on account of its being positively incorrect; indeed so very incorrect, that he questions whether anything could be
I had previously considered that the sentence would be improved by the omission of one of the "thats”, and in the English edition of 'The Dean's English' it had been altered accordingly. But, that the sentence, as it stands in the early edition from which all Mr. Gould's quotations are made, is not incorrect, admits of very simple demonstration.
It will, at once, be conceded that it is correct to make a statement thus :"So far were you “from being competent to teach others English “composition, that you had need yourself to
study its first principles"; and no one but Mr. Gould would say that it is incorrect to preface that statement by these words ;—“I “ wished to show, by your own writings, that—".
_ Yet Mr. Gould says;—“ Could anything be worse than that'?”
Yes, Mr. Gould; many sentences of your own
are decidedly worse; sentences, too, in which the error consists of the misuse, or of the omission, of the identical word
under discussion. On page 60, of Mr. Gould's work, I read :—“Many writers have a habit of "omitting that', from what would seem to be 'a propensity to over-neatness of style; or, it "may be omitted through carelessness. The “ omission makes a sentence both inaccurate “and inelegant."
Was it "a propensity to over-neatness of style” which induced Mr. Gould, four times in one letter to 'The Round Table', to omit the word “that", where its presence was needed; or is the omission but another evidence of his “careless
Compare his remarks on this subject with his practice in the following sentences :
“I hope [that] he is not so far lost”. Mr. Moon says [that] 'a deal of argument is
“I think [that] Mr. Moon ought to know".
Mr. Gould objects to my speaking of
“the childish prattle of our little ones ”;
you “the prattle of children '?” Certainly, Mr. Gould, I could; but I greatly prefer the tender
ness of the former expression, to the comparative unlovingness of the latter.
Mr. Gould, knowing that I censured Dean Alford for confusedly mixing the tenses of verbs, exults in what he believes to be the discovery of a confusion of tenses in a paragraph of mine. He says ;-"Mr. Moon knows that Dean Alford “occasionally mixes the past and present tenses; "and that the mixture is a fault. Yet Mr. Moon "gives us, on page 106, this : [Perhaps Mr. Gould will pardon me if I add to his quotation certain words which he chose to omit.] “ It was not until I had long and hopelessly pondered
over your sentence, that I discovered what it was you intended to say, and what was the reason of my not instantly catching your mean"ing. I find that the first clause in your “sentence is inverted, and that the punctuation necessary to make the inversion is incorrect, or
“rather is altogether omitted”. Here, again, it is Mr. Gould who is in error. The two sentences are perfectly distinct, and each is correct. The first relates to the past—to what I“discovered", to what was "intended". The other sentence relates to the present—to what "I find”, namely, that the clause " is inverted”, and that the punctuation is incorrect”, etc. My