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Mr. S. ought to have said ;-"as far as his state“ments are correct”. Again, Mr. S. ought not to have said ;—" one half the space ;-but, “half "the space.” The word "one" is redundant, for there are but two halves in a whole; and, if we meant both, we should not use the word “half”.
Mr. S. objects to my saying ;
“I finished the first criticism in this series by com
and he says of me; -“He blunders in the “use of the preposition by'. 'Commenting' “was not the agent or instrument by which he « finished his criticism. He should say ; 'I 666 finished the first criticism in this series with "'a comment'," etc. In nothing is the shallowness of Mr. S.'s knowledge of English more apparent than in his remarks concerning prepositions. He fails to see that the improved sentence not only does not convey my meaning, but that it is, in itself, really ambiguous. To finish “
criticism with a comment" may mean to finish a criticism containing a comment. But to finish a criticism" by commenting" is to make the comment the finish or end of the criticism ; and that was the meaning intended to be conveyed.
“With" is one of the most ambiguous prepositions in the language; e.g.:-"I killed a man “ with a sword.” This may mean, either;—“A
man having a sword was killed by me"; or,“I, by means of a sword, killed a man.” Again,“He that is not with me is against me”: Matt. xii, 30. In this passage, “ with” is opposed to “ against”; but in the following passage it is identical with "against" :-"In the days of Saul “they made war with the Hagarites, who fell by “their hand": 1 Chron. V, 10. To make war with the Hagarites was to fight against them; but when it is said, in Prov.xx, 18;-"with good advice “ make war”, the meaning is certainly not that we are to fight against good advice! Will Mr. S. think me rude if I say, that his advice, with respect to the use of prepositions, is something against which it is wise to fight ?
Concerning my sentence,
“ An becomes a before a consonant sound”,
Mr. S. says;-"It would be sufficient to say, ' An " "becomes a before a consonant.'” The fallacy of this statement is easily shown. F, L, M, N, R, S, and X, are consonants; and if “an becomes "a before a consonant", as Mr. S. asserts, then
we ought to say ;-a F, a L, a M, a N, a R, a S, and a X; a statement which needs only to be mentioned in order to bring ridicule upon the utterer. But an does become a before a con. sonant sound, even though the letter having that sound is a vowel; e.g.:-we say, "a U”, not "an U”.
With the expression
"a consonant sound”,
Mr. S. finds fault, alleging that as "consonant" means "harmonizing together", a “
consonant "sound" is an "harmonious sound"; and that
” I ought to have said ;-"a consonantal sound". This is another instance of Mr. S.'s shortsightedness. The word “consonant", in the
” expression “a consonant sound”, is not an adjective, meaning "harmonious", but is a noun or name of certain letters of the alphabet; and “ consonant sound” is the sound of a consonant. It is just as correct an expression as is either “ a vowel sound” or “a thunder clap". I suppose that they say at Trinity College, “a vowelal "sound", and "a thunderal clap”! Apropos of Mr. S.'s tautological expression
I should much like to know how sounds can harmonize otherwise than together.
My critic of Trinity College thus continues his remarks :
“Mr. Moon writes, We use one when we speak nu
“merically, and wish to signify that there are w not more than one; whereas we use either a
or an when we wish to emphasize not the “ number but the description of the thing spoken “of. What does he mean by speaking nume“rically'?"
As Mr. S. evidently does not know the meaning “of numerically”, I refer him to 'Worcester's Ameri. can Dictionary'; there he will find that it means " with respect to number”. The answer, then, to Mr. S.'s question is very simple :—to "speak “numerically” is to speak with respect to “number". Yet Mr. S. says;—“Mr. Moon's phrase "absolutely means nothing. He might as well say “that a man speaks classically because he speaks “with reference to the classics.” The summing up of this beautiful specimen of collegiate logic may be made thus:-Because “classically" means in a classical manner, "numerically" must mean in a numerical manner; and because “classi"cally" does not mean with respect to the
classics, "numerically” cannot mean with respect to number! If Mr. S. allows himself to be led away by that “Will-o'-the-wisp", the analogous
o construction of words, he will find himself and his pupils struggling in a bog of absurdities. For instance, let him take the English words “ wick” and “wicked”, and the corresponding French words“ mèche" and “méchant", and he will be able to prove, if not to the satisfaction of scholars, at least to his own satisfaction, that there is an intimate relationship between a man and a tallow candle !