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Title: The Century Vocabulary Builder
Author: Greever, Garland, 1883-, Bachelor, Joseph M. (Joseph Morris), 1889-1947
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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By Garland Greever and Easley S. Jones.

By Garland Greever and Joseph M. Bachelor.

By Garland Greever and Joseph M. Bachelor.

By Garland Greever and Joseph M. Bachelor.

By George F. Reynolds, University of Colorado, and Garland Greever.

By General Henry M. Robert.

_Other Volumes To Be Arranged_









You should know at the outset what this book does _not_ attempt to
do. It does not, save to the extent that its own special purpose requires,
concern itself with the many and intricate problems of grammar, rhetoric,
spelling, punctuation, and the like; or clarify the thousands of
individual difficulties regarding correct usage. All these matters are
important. Concise treatment of them may be found in THE CENTURY HANDBOOK
manuals are issued by the present publishers. But this volume confines
itself to the one task of placing at your disposal the means of adding to
your stock of words, of increasing your vocabulary.

It does not assume that you are a scholar, or try to make you one. To be
sure, it recognizes the ends of scholarship as worthy. It levies at every
turn upon the facts which scholarship has accumulated. But it demands of
you no technical equipment, nor leads you into any of those bypaths of
knowledge, alluring indeed, of which the benefits are not immediate. For
example, in Chapter V it forms into groups words etymologically akin to
each other. It does this for an end entirely practical--namely, that the
words you know may help you to understand the words you do not know. Did
it go farther--did it account for minor differences in these words by
showing that they sprang from related rather than identical originals, did
it explain how and how variously their forms have been modified in the
long process of their descent--it would pass beyond its strict utilitarian
bounds. This it refrains from doing. And thus everything it contains it
rigorously subjects to the test of serviceability. It helps you to bring
more and more words into workaday harness--to gain such mastery over them
that you can speak and write them with fluency, flexibility, precision,
and power. It enables you, in your use of words, to attain the readiness
and efficiency expected of a capable and cultivated man.

There are many ways of building a vocabulary, as there are many ways of
attaining and preserving health. Fanatics may insist that one should be
cultivated to the exclusion of the others, just as health-cranks may
declare that diet should be watched in complete disregard of recreation,
sanitation, exercise, the need for medicines, and one's mental attitude to
life. But the sum of human experience, rather than fanaticism, must
determine our procedure. Moreover experience has shown that the various
successful methods of bringing words under man's sway are not mutually
antagonistic but may be practiced simultaneously, just as health is
promoted, not by attending to diet one year, to exercise the next, and to
mental attitude the third, but by bestowing wise and fairly constant
attention on all. Yet it would be absurd to state that all methods of
increasing one's vocabulary, or of attaining vigor of physique, are
equally valuable. This volume offers everything that helps, and it yields
space in proportion to helpfulness.

Aside from a brief introductory chapter, a chapter (number X) given over
to a list of words, and a brief concluding chapter, the subject matter of
the volume falls into three main divisions. Chapters II and III are based
on the fact that we must all use words in combination--must fling the
words out by the handfuls, even as the accomplished pianist must strike
his notes. Chapters IV and V are based on the fact that we must become
thoroughly acquainted with individual words--that no one who scorns to
study the separate elements of speech can command powerful and
discriminating utterance. Chapters VI, VII, VIII, and IX are based on the
fact that we need synonyms as our constant lackeys--that we should be able
to summon, not a word that will do, but a word that will express the idea
with precision. Exercises scattered throughout the book, together with
five of the six appendices, provide well-nigh inexhaustible materials for

For be it understood, once for all, that this volume is not a machine
which you can set going and then sit idly beside, the while your
vocabulary broadens. Mastery over words, like worthy mastery of any kind
whatsoever, involves effort for yourself. You can of course contemplate
the nature and activities of the mechanism, and learn something thereby;
but also you must work--work hard, work intelligently. As you cannot
acquire health by watching a gymnast take exercise or a doctor swallow
medicine or a dietician select food, so you cannot become an overlord of
words without first fighting battles to subjugate them. Hence this volume
is for you less a labor-saving machine than a collection and arrangement
of materials which you must put together by hand. It assembles everything
you need. It tags everything plainly. It tells you just what you must do.
In these ways it makes your task far easier. _But the task is yours_.
Industry, persistence, a fair amount of common sense--these three you must
have. Without them you will accomplish nothing.

Even with them--let the forewarning be candid--you will not accomplish
everything. You cannot learn all there is to be learned about words, any
more than about human nature. And what you do achieve will be, not a
sudden attainment, but a growth. This is not the dark side of the picture.
It is an honest avowal that the picture is not composed altogether of
light. But as the result of your efforts an adequate vocabulary will some
day be yours. Nor will you have to wait long for an earnest of ultimate
success. Just as system will speedily transform a haphazard business into
one which seizes opportunities and stops the leakage of profits, so will
sincere and well-directed effort bring you promptly and surely into an
ever-growing mastery of words.




Verbal Discords
  1. Abstract vs. Concrete Terms; General vs. Specific Terms
  2. Literal vs. Figurative Terms
  3. Connotation

Preliminaries: General Purposes and Methods
1. A Ready, an Accurate, or a Wide Vocabulary?
2. A Vocabulary for Speech or for Writing?
The Mastery of Words in Combination
  1. Mastery through Translation
  2. Mastery through Paraphrasing
  3. Mastery through Discourse at First Hand
  4. Mastery through Adapting Discourse to Audience

What Words to Learn First
The Analysis of Your Own Vocabulary
The Definition of Words
How to Look up a Word in the Dictionary
Prying into a Word's Past

Words Related in Blood
Words Related by Marriage
Prying into a Word's Relationships
Two Admonitions
General Exercise for the Chapter (with Lists of
Words Containing the Same Key-Syllables)
Second General Exercise (with Additional Lists)
Third General Exercise
Fourth General Exercise
Latin Ancestors of English Words
Latin Prefixes
Greek Ancestors of English Words
Greek Prefixes

Words Often Confused
Parallels (with Lists)

How to Acquire Synonyms
Exercise (with Lists)

Exercise (with Lists)

Literal vs. Figurative Applications
Imperfectly Understood Facts and Ideas




1. The Drift of Our Rural Population Cityward (an Editorial)
2. Causes for the American Spirit of Liberty (by Edmund Burke)
3. Parable of the Sower (Gospel of St. Matthew)
4. The Seven Ages of Man (by William Shakespeare)
5. The Castaway (by Daniel Defoe)
6. Reading Lists





Sometimes a dexterous use of words appears to us to be only a kind of
parlor trick. And sometimes it _is_ just that. The command of a wide
vocabulary is in truth an accomplishment, and like any other
accomplishment it may be used for show. But not necessarily. Just as a man
may have money without "flashing" it, or an extensive wardrobe without
sporting gaudy neckties or wearing a dress suit in the morning, so may he
possess linguistic resources without making a caddish exhibition of them.
Indeed the more distant he stands from verbal bankruptcy, the less likely
he is to indulge in needless display.

Again, glibness of speech sometimes awakens our distrust. We like actions
rather than words; we prefer that character, personality, and kindly
feelings should be their own mouthpiece. So be it. But there are thoughts
and emotions properly to be shared with other people, yet incapable of
being revealed except through language. It is only when language is
insincere--when it expresses lofty sentiments or generous sympathies, yet
springs from designing selfishness--that it justly arouses misgivings.
Power over words, like power of any other sort, is for use, not abuse.
That it sometimes is abused must not mislead us into thinking that it
should in itself be scorned or neglected.

Our contempt and distrust do not mean that our fundamental ideas about
language are unsound. Beneath our wholesome dislike for shallow facility
and insincerity of speech, we have a conviction that the mastery of words
is a good thing, not a bad. We are therefore unwilling to take the vow of
linguistic poverty. If we lack the ability to bend words to our use, it is
from laziness, not from scruple. We desire to speak competently, but
without affectation. We know that if our diction rises to this dual
standard, it silently distinguishes us from the sluggard, the weakling,
and the upstart. For such diction is not to be had on sudden notice, like
a tailor-made suit. Nor can it, like such a suit, deceive anybody as to
our true status. A man's utterance reveals what he is. It is the measure
of his inward attainment. The assertion has been made that for a man to
express himself freely and well in his native language is the surest proof
of his culture. Meditate the saying. Can you think of a proof that is

But a man's speech does more than lend him distinction. It does more than
reveal to others what manner of man he is. It is an instrument as well as
an index. It is an agent--oftentimes indeed it is _the_ agent--of his
influence upon others. How silly are those persons who oppose words to
things, as if words were not things at all but air-born unrealities! Words
are among the most powerful realities in the world. You vote the
Republican ticket. Why? Because you have studied the issues of the
campaign and reached a well-reasoned conclusion how the general interests
may be served? Possibly. But nine times in ten it will be because of that
_word_ Republican. You may believe that in a given instance the
Republican cause or candidate is inferior; you may have nothing personally
to lose through Republican defeat; yet you squirm and twist and seek
excuses for casting a Republican ballot. Such is the power--aye, sometimes
the tyranny--of a word. The word _Republican_ has not been selected
invidiously. _Democrat_ would have served as well. Or take religious
words--_Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Baptist,
Lutheran,_ or what not. A man who belongs, in person or by proxy, to
one of the sects designated may be more indifferent to the institution
itself than to the word that represents it. Thus you may attack in his
presence the tenets of Presbyterianism, for example, but you must be wary
about calling the Presbyterian name. _Mother, the flag_--what sooner
than an insult coupled with these terms will rouse a man to fight? But
does that man kiss his mother, or salute the flag, or pay much heed to
either? Probably not. Words not realities? With what realities must we
more carefully reckon? Words are as dangerous as dynamite, as beneficent
as brotherhood. An unfortunate word may mean a plea rejected, an
enterprise baffled, half the world plunged into war. A fortunate word may
open a triple-barred door, avert a disaster, bring thousands of people
from jealousy and hatred into coöperation and goodwill.

Nor is it solely on their emotional side that men may be affected by
words. Their thinking and their esthetic nature also--their hard sense and
their personal likes and dislikes--are subject to the same influence. You
interview a potential investor; does he accept your proposition or not? A
prospective customer walks into your store; does he buy the goods you show
him? You enter the drawing room of one of the elite; are you invited again
and again? Your words will largely decide--your words, or your verbal
abstinence. For be it remembered that words no more than dollars are to be
scattered broadcast for the sole reason that you have them. The right word
should be used at the right time--and at that time only. Silence is
oftentimes golden. Nevertheless there are occasions for us to speak.
Frequent occasions. To be inarticulate _then_ may mean only
embarrassment. It may--some day it will--mean suffering and failure. That
we may make the most of the important occasions sure to come, we must have
our instruments ready. Those instruments are words. He who commands words
commands events--commands men.



You wish, then, to increase your vocabulary. Of course you must become
observant of words and inquisitive about them. For words are like people:
they have their own particular characteristics, they do their work well or
ill, they are in good odor or bad, and they yield best service to him who
loves them and tries to understand them. Your curiosity about them must be
burning and insatiable. You must study them when they have withdrawn from
the throng of their fellows into the quiescence of their natural selves.
You must also see them and study them in action, not only as they are
employed in good books and by careful speakers, but likewise as they fall
from the lips of unconventional speakers who through them secure vivid and
telling effects. In brief, you must learn word nature, as you learn human
nature, from a variety of sources.

Now in ordinary speech most of us use words, not as individual things, but
as parts of a whole--as cogs in the machine of utterance by which we
convey our thoughts and feelings. We do not think of them separately at
all. And this instinct is sound. In our expression we are like large-scale
manufacturing plants rather than one-man establishments. We have at our
disposal, not one worker, but a multitude. Hence we are concerned with our
employees collectively and with the total production of which they are
capable. To be sure, our understanding of them as individuals will
increase the worth and magnitude of our output. But clearly we must have
large dealings with them in the aggregate.

This chapter and the following, therefore, are given over to the study of
words in combination. As in all matters, there is a negative as well as a
positive side to be reckoned with. Let us consider the negative side

Correct diction is too often insipid. There is nothing wrong with it, but
it does not interest us--it lacks character, lacks color, lacks power. It
too closely resembles what we conceive of the angels as having--
impeccability without the warmth of camaraderie. Speech, like a man,
should be alive. It need not, of course, be boisterous. It may be intense
in a quiet, modest way. But if it too sedulously observes all the _Thou
shalt not's_ of the rhetoricians, it will refine the vitality out of
itself and leave its hearers unmoved.

That is why you should become a disciple of the pithy, everyday
conversationalist and of the rough-and-ready master of harangue as well as
of the practitioner of precise and scrupulous discourse. Many a speaker or
writer has thwarted himself by trying to be "literary." Even Burns when he
wrote classic English was somewhat conscious of himself and made, in most
instances, no extraordinary impression. But the pieces he impetuously
dashed off in his native Scotch dialect can never be forgotten. The man
who begins by writing naturally, but as his importance in the publishing
world grows, pays more and more attention to felicities--to "style"--and
so spoils himself, is known to the editor of every magazine. Any editorial
office force can insert missing commas and semicolons, and iron out
blunders in the English; but it has not the time, if indeed the ability,
to instil life into a lifeless manuscript. A living style is rarer than an
inoffensive one, and the road of literary ambition is strewn with failures
due to "correctness."

Cultivate readiness, even daring, of utterance. A single turn of
expression may be so audacious that it plucks an idea from its shroud or
places within us an emotion still quivering and warm. Sustained discourse
may unflaggingly clarify or animate. But such triumphs are beyond the
reach of those, whether speakers or writers, who are constantly pausing to
grope for words. This does not mean that scrutiny of individual words is
wasted effort. Such scrutiny becomes the basis indeed of the more
venturesome and inspired achievement. We must serve our apprenticeship to
language. We must know words as a general knows the men under him--all
their ranks, their capabilities, their shortcomings, the details and
routine of their daily existence. But the end for which we gain our
understanding must be to hurl these words upon the enemy, not as
disconnected units, but as battalions, as brigades, as corps, as armies.
Dr. Johnson, one of the most effective talkers in all history, resolved
early in life that, always, and whatever topic might be broached, he
would on the moment express his thoughts and feelings with as much vigor
and felicity as if he had unlimited leisure to draw on. And Patrick Henry,
one of the few really irresistible orators, was wont to plunge headlong
into a sentence and trust to God Almighty to get him out.

EXERCISE - Tameness

1. Study Appendix I (The Drift of Our Rural Population Cityward).
Do you regard it as written simply, with force and natural feeling? Or
does it show lack of spontaneity?--suffer from an unnatural and self-
conscious manner of writing? Is the style one you would like to cultivate
for your own use?

2. Express, if you can, in more vigorous language of your own, the thought
of the editorial.

3. Think of some one you have known who has the gift of racy colloquial
utterance. Make a list of offhand, homely, or picturesque expressions you
have heard him employ, and ask yourself what it is in these expressions
that has made them linger in your memory. With them in mind, and with your
knowledge of the man's methods of imparting his ideas vividly, try to make
your version of the editorial more forceful still.

4. Study Appendix 2 (Causes for the American Spirit of Liberty) as an
example of stately and elaborate, yet energetic, discourse. The speech
from which this extract is taken was delivered in Parliament in a vain
effort to stay England from driving her colonies to revolt. Some of
Burke's turns of phrase are extremely bold and original, as "The religion
most prevalent in our northern colonies is a refinement on the principle
of resistance; it is the dissidence of dissent and the Protestantism of
the Protestant religion." Moreover, with all his fulness of diction, Burke
could cleave to the heart of an idea in a few words, as "Freedom is to
them [the southern slave-holders] not only an enjoyment, but a kind of
rank and privilege." Find other examples of bold or concise and
illuminating utterance.

5. Read Appendix 3 (Parable of the Sower). It has no special audacities of
phrase, but escapes tameness in various ways--largely through its simple

6. Make a list of the descriptive phrases in Appendix 4 (The Seven Ages of
Man) through which Shakespeare gives life and distinctness to his

7. Study Appendix 5 (The Castaway) as a piece of homely, effective
narrative. (Defoe wrote for the man in the street. He was a literary
jack-of-all-trades whom dignified authors of his day would not
countenance, but who possessed genius.) It relies upon directness and
plausibility of substance and style rather than temerity of phrase. Yet it
never sags into tameness. Notice how everyday expressions ("My business
was to hold my breath," "I took to my heels") add subtly to our belief
that what Defoe is telling us is true. Notice also that such expressions
("the least capful of wind," "half dead with the water I took in," "ready
to burst with holding my breath") without being pretentious may yet be
forceful. Notice finally the naturalness and lift of the sinewy idioms ("I
fetched another run," "I had no clothes to shift me," "I had like to have
suffered a second shipwreck," "It wanted but a little that all my cargo
had slipped off").

8. Once or twice at least, make a mental note of halting or listless
expressions in a sermon, a public address, or a conversation. Find more
emphatic wording for the ideas thus marred.

9. To train yourself in readiness and daring of utterance, practice
impromptu discussion of any of the topics in Activity 1 for EXERCISE -

Though we are to recognize the advantage of working in the undress of
speech rather than in stiffly-laundered literary linens, though we are not
to despise the accessions of strength and of charm which we may obtain
from the homely and familiar, we must never be careless. The man whose
speech is slovenly is like the man who chews gum--unblushingly

We must struggle to maintain our individuality. We must not be a mere copy
of everybody else. We must put into our words the cordiality we put into
our daily demeanor. If we greeted friend or stranger carelessly,
conventionally, we should soon be regarded as persons of no force or
distinction. So of our speech and our writing. Nothing, to be sure, is
more difficult than to give them freshness without robbing them of
naturalness and ease. Yet that is what we must learn to do. We shall not
acquire the power in a day. We shall acquire it as a chess or a baseball
player acquires his skill--by long effort, hard practice.

One thing to avoid is the use of words in loose, or fast-and-loose,
senses. Do not say that owning a watch is a fine proposition if you mean
that it is advantageous. Do not say that you trembled on the brink of
disaster if you were threatened with no more than inconvenience or
comparatively slight injury. Do not say you were literally scared to death
if you are yet alive to tell the story.

EXERCISE - Slovenliness I

Give moderate or accurate utterance to the following ideas:

The burning of the hen-coop was a mighty conflagration.
The fact that the point of the pencil was broken profoundly surprised me.
We had a perfectly gorgeous time.
It's a beastly shame that I missed my car.
It is awfully funny that he should die.
The saleslady pulled the washlady's hair.
A cold bath is pretty nice of mornings.
To go a little late is just the article.

Another thing to avoid is the use of words in the wrong parts of speech,
as a noun for a verb, or an adjective for an adverb. Sometimes newspapers
are guilty of such faults; for journalistic English, though pithy, shows
here and there traces of its rapid composition. You must look to more
leisurely authorities. The speakers and writers on whom you may rely will
not say "to burglarize," "to suspicion," "to enthuse," "plenty rich,"
"real tired," "considerable discouraged," "a combine," or "humans." An
exhaustive list of such errors cannot be inserted here. If you feel
yourself uncertain in these details of usage, you should have access to
such a volume as _The Century Desk Book of Good English_.

EXERCISE - Slovenliness II

1. For each quoted expression in the preceding paragraph compose a
sentence which shall contain the correct form, or the grammatical
equivalent, of the expression.

2. Correct the following sentences:

The tramp suicided.
She was real excited.
He gestured angry.
He was some anxious to get to the eats.
All of us had an invite.
Them boys have sure been teasing the canine.

Another thing to avoid is triteness. The English language teems with
phrases once strikingly original but now smooth-worn and vulgarized by
incessant repetition. It can scarcely be said that you are to shun these
altogether. Now and then you will find one of them coming happily as well
as handily into your speech. But you must not use them too often. Above
all, you must rid yourself of any dependence upon them. The scope of this
book permits only a few illustrations of the kinds of words and phrases
meant. But the person who speaks of "lurid flames," or "untiring efforts,"
or "specimens of humanity"--who "views with alarm," or has a "native
heath," or is "to the manner born"--does more than advertise the
scantness of his verbal resources. He brands himself mentally indolent; he
deprives his thought itself of all sharpness, exactness, and power.

EXERCISE - Slovenliness III

Replace with more original expressions the trite phrases (italicized)
in the following sentences:

_Last but not least_, we have _in our midst_ one who began life
_poor but honest_.

After we had _done justice to a dinner_ and gathered in the drawing
room, we listened _with bated breath_ while she _favored us with a

_A goodly number_ of _the fair sex_, perceiving that _the
psychological moment_ had come, _applauded him to the echo_.

We were _doomed to disappointment; the grim reaper_ had already
gathered unto himself _all that was mortal_ of our comrade.

_No sooner said than done_. I soon found myself _the proud
possessor_ of that for which I had acknowledged _a long-felt

After _the last sad rites_ were over and her body was _consigned to
earth_, we began talking _along these lines_.

With _a few well-chosen words_ he _brought order out of chaos_.

The way my efforts were _nipped in the bud_ simply _beggars
description_. I am somewhat _the worse for wear. Hoping you are the
same_, I remain Yours sincerely, Ned Burke.

Finally, to the extent that you use slang at all, be its master instead of
its slave. You have many times been told that the overuse of slang
disfigures one's speech and hampers his standing with cultivated people.
You have also been told that slang constantly changes, so that one's
accumulations of it today will be a profitless clutter tomorrow. These
things are true, but an even more cogent objection remains. Slang is
detrimental to the formation of good intellectual habits. From its very
nature it cannot be precise, cannot discriminate closely. It is a vehicle
for loose-thinking people, it is fraught with unconsidered general
meanings, it moves in a region of mental mists. It could not flourish as
it does were fewer of us content to express vague thoughts and feelings
instead of those which are sharply and specifically ours. Unless,
therefore, you wish your intellectual processes to be as hazy and
haphazard as those of mental shirkers and loafers, you must eschew, not
necessarily all slang, but all heedless, all habitual use of it. Now and
then a touch of slang, judiciously chosen, is effective; now and then it
fulfils a legitimate purpose of language. But normally you should express
yourself as befits one who has at his disposal the rich treasuries of the
dictionary instead of a mere stock of greasy counterfeit phrases.

EXERCISE - Slovenliness IV

Replace the following slang with acceptable English:

We pulled a new wrinkle.
He's an easy mark.
Oh, you're nutty.
Beat it.
I have all the inside dope.
You can't bamboozle me.
What a phiz the bloke has!
You're talking through your hat.
We had a long confab with the gink.
He's loony over that chicken.
The prof. told us to vamoose.
Take a squint at the girl with the specs.
Ain't it fierce the way they swipe umbrellas?
Goodnight, how she claws the ivory!
Nix on the rough stuff.
And there I got pinched by a cop for parking my Tin Lizzie.

As a precaution against tameness you should cultivate spontaneity and
daring. As a precaution against slovenliness you should cultivate
freshness and accuracy. But to display spontaneity, daring, freshness,
accuracy you must have or acquire a large stock, a wide range, of words.
Now this possession, like any other, brings with it temptation. If we have
words, we like to use them. Nor do we wait for an indulgence in this
luxury until we have consciously set to work to amass a vocabulary.

Verbosity is, in truth, the besetting linguistic sin. Most people are
lavish with words, as most people are lavish with money. This is not to
say that in the currency of language they are rich. But even if they lack
the means--and the desire--to be extravagant, they yet make their
purchases heedlessly or fail to count their linguistic change. The degree
of our thrift, not the amount of our income or resources, is what marks us
as being or not being verbal spendthrifts. The frugal manager buys his
ideas at exactly the purchase price. He does not expend a twenty-dollar
bill for a box of matches.

Have words by all means, the more of them the better, but use them
temperately, sparingly. Do not think that a passage to be admirable must
be studded with ostentatious terms. Consider the Gettysburg Address or the
Parable of the Prodigal Son. These convey their thought and feeling
perfectly, yet both are simple--exquisitely simple. They strike us indeed
as being inevitable--as if their phrasing could not have been other than
it is. They have, they are, finality. What could glittering phraseology
add to them? Nothing; it could only mar them. Yet Lincoln and the
Scriptural writers were not afraid to use big words when occasion
required. What they sought was to make their speech adequate without
carrying a superfluous syllable.

"The sun set" is more natural and effective than "The celestial orb that
blesses our terrestrial globe with its warm and luminous rays sank to its
nocturnal repose behind the western horizon." Great writers--the true
masters--have often held "fine writing" and pretentious speaking up to
ridicule. Thus Shakespeare has Kent, who has been rebuked for his
bluntness, indulge in a grandiloquent outburst:

  "Sir, in good sooth, in sincere verity,
  Under the allowance of your grand aspect,
  Whose influence, like the wreath of radiant fire
  On flickering Phoebus' front,--"

No wonder Kent is interrupted with a "What meanest by this?" Sometimes
great writers use ornate utterance for humorous effects. Thus Dickens
again and again has Mr. Micawber express a commonplace idea in sounding
terms which at length fail him, so that he must interject an "in short"
and summarize his meaning in a phrase amusing through its homely contrast.
But humor based on ponderous diction is too often wearisome. Better say
simply "He died," or colloquially "He kicked the bucket," than "He
propelled his pedal extremities with violence against the wooden pail
which is customarily employed in the transportation of the aquatic fluid."

EXERCISE - Wordiness I

Express these ideas in simpler language:

The temperature was excessive.
The most youthful of his offspring was not remarkable for personal
Henry Clay expressed a preference for being on the right side of public
questions to occupying the position of President of the United States of
He who passes at an accelerated pace may nevertheless be capable of
A masculine member of the human race was mounted on an equine quadruped.

But the number of the terms we employ, as well as their ostentatiousness,
must be considered. Most of us blunder around in the neighborhood of our
meaning instead of expressing it briefly and clearly. We throw a handful
of words at an idea when one word would suffice; we try to bring the idea
down with a shotgun instead of a rifle. Of course one means of correction
is that we should acquire accuracy, a quality already discussed. Another
is that we should practice condensation.

First, let us learn to omit the words which add nothing to the meaning.
Thus in the sentence "An important essential in cashing a check is that
you should indorse it on the back," several words or groups of words
needlessly repeat ideas which are expressed elsewhere. The sentence is as
complete in substance, and far terser in form, when it reads "An essential
in cashing a check is that you should indorse it."

Next, let us, when we may, reduce phrases and even clauses to a word. Thus
the clause at the beginning and the phrase at the close of the following
sentence constitute sheer verbiage: "Men who have let their temper get the
better of them are often in a mood to do harm to somebody." The sentence
tells us nothing that may not be told in five words: "Angry men are often

Finally, let us substitute phrases or clauses for unnecessary sentences.
The following series of independent assertions contains avoidable
repetitions: "One morning I was riding on the subway to my work. It was
always my custom to ride to my work on the subway. This morning I met
Harry Blake." The full thought may better be embodied in a single
sentence: "One morning, while I was, as usual, riding on the subway to my
work, I met Harry Blake."

By applying these instructions to any page at hand--one from your own
writing, one from a letter some friend has sent you, one from a book or
magazine--you will often be able to strike out many of the words without
at all impairing the meaning. Another means of acquiring succinct
expression is to practice the composition of telegrams and cable messages.
You will of course lessen the cost by eliminating every word that can
possibly be spared. On the other hand, you must bear it in mind that your
punctuation will not be transmitted, and that the recipient must be
absolutely safeguarded against reading together words meant to be
separated or separating words meant to be read together. That is, your
message must be both concise and unmistakably clear.

EXERCISE - Wordiness II

1. Condense the editorial (Appendix 1) by eliminating unnecessary words
and finding briefer equivalents for roundabout expressions.

2. Try to condense similarly the Parable of the Sower (Appendix 3) and the
Seven Ages of Man (Appendix 4). (The task will largely or altogether
baffle you, but will involve minute study of tersely written passages.)

3. Condense the following:

A man whose success in life was due solely to his own efforts rose in his
place and addressed the man who presided over the meeting.

A girl who sat in the seat behind me giggled in an irritating manner.

We heard the wild shriek of the locomotive. Any sound in that savage
region seemed more terrible than it would in civilized surroundings. So as
we listened to the shriek of the locomotive, it sounded terrible too.

I heard what kind of chauffeur he was. A former employer of his told me.
He was a chauffeur who speeded in reckless fashion because he was fond of
having all the excitement possible.

4. Condense the following into telegrams of ten words or less:

Arrived here in Toledo yesterday morning talked with the directors found
them not hostile to us but friendly.

Detectives report they think evidence now points to innocence of man
arrested and to former employee as the burglar.

5. The following telegrams are ambiguous. Clarify them.

Jane escaped illness I feared Charley better.

Buy oil if market falls sell cotton.

6. Base a telegraphic night letter of not more than fifty words
upon these circumstances:

(a) You have been sent to buy, if possible and as cheaply as possible, a
majority of the stock in a given company. You find that many of the
stockholders distrust or dislike the president and are willing to sell.
Some of these ask only $50 a share for their holdings; the owners of 100
shares want as much as $92; the average price asked is $76. By buying out
all the president's enemies, which you can now do beyond question, you
would secure a bare majority of the stock. But $92 a share seems to you
excessive; that is, you think that by working quietly among the
president's friends you can get 100 shares at $77 or thereabouts and thus
save approximately $1500. On the other hand, should your dealings with the
friends of the president give him premature warning, he might stop the
sales by these friends and himself begin buying from his enemies, and thus
make your purchase of a majority of the stock impossible. Is the $1500 you
would save worth the risk you would be obliged to take? You call for

(b) You are telegraphing a metropolitan paper the results of a
Congressional election. Philput, the Republican candidate, leads in the
cities, from which returns are now complete. Wilkins, the Democratic
candidate, leads in the country, from only certain districts of which--
those nearest the cities--returns have been heard. If the present
proportionate division of the rural vote is maintained for the total,
Philput will be elected by a plurality of three hundred votes. Philput
asserts that the proportions will hold. Wilkins points out, however, that
he is relatively stronger in the more remote districts and predicts that
he will have a plurality of seven hundred votes. Smallbridge, an
independent candidate, is apparently making a better race in the country
than in the city, but he is so weak in both places that the ballots cast
for him can scarcely affect the outcome unless the margin of victory is

7. Compress 6a and 6b each into a telegram of not more than ten words.

8. (Do not read this assignment until you have composed the night letters
and telegrams called for in 6 and 7.) Compare your first night letter in 6
and your first telegram in 7 with the versions given below. Decide where
you have surpassed these versions, where you have fallen short of them.

_Night letter:_ Two factions in company I can buy from enemies
president bare majority stock at average seventy-six but hundred of these
shares held at ninety-two I could probably get hundred quietly from
friends president about seventy-seven but president might detect move and
buy majority stock himself wire instructions. (Fifty words.)

_Telegram_: Wire whether buy safe or risk control saving fifteen
hundred. (Ten words.)

A final device for escaping wordiness you will have discovered for
yourself while composing telegrams and telegraphic night letters. It is to
pass over details not vital to your purpose. Of course you must have due
regard for circumstances; details needed for one purpose may be
superfluous for another. But all of us are familiar with the person who
loses her ideas in a rigmarole of prosaic and irrelevant facts. Such a
person is Shakespeare's scatter-brained Dame Quickly. On one occasion this
voluble woman is shrilly reproaching Sir John Falstaff for his
indebtedness to her. "What is the gross sum that I owe thee?" he inquires.
She might answer simply: "If thou wert an honest man, thyself and the
money too. Thou didst promise to marry me. Deny it if thou canst."
Instead, she plunges into a prolix recital of the circumstances of the
engagement, so that the all-important fact that the engagement exists has
no special emphasis in her welter of words. "If thou wert an honest man,"
she cries, "thyself and the money too. Thou didst swear to me upon a
parcel-gilt goblet, sitting in my Dolphin-chamber, at the round table, by
a sea-coal fire, upon Wednesday in Wheeson week, when the prince broke thy
head for liking his father to a singing-man of Windsor, thou didst swear
to me then, as I was washing thy wound, to marry me and make me my lady
thy wife. Canst thou deny it? Did not goodwife Keech, the butcher's wife,
come in then and call me gossip Quickly? coming in to borrow a mess of
vinegar; telling us she had a good dish of prawns; whereby thou didst
desire to eat some, whereby I told thee they were ill for a green wound?
And didst thou not, when she was gone down stairs, desire me to be no more
so familiarity with such poor people; saying that ere long they should
call me madam? And didst thou not kiss me and bid me fetch thee thirty
shillings? I put thee now to thy book-oath; deny it if thou canst."

EXERCISE - Wordiness III

1. Study the following paragraph, decide which ideas are important,
and strike out the details that merely clog the thought:

As I stepped into the room, I heard the clock ticking and that caused me
to look at it. It sits on the mantelpiece with some layers of paper under
one corner where the mantel is warped. When the papers slip out or we move
the clock a little as we're dusting, the ticking stops right away. Of
course the clock's not a new one at all, but it's an old one. It has been
in the family for many a long year, yes, from even before my father's
time. Let me see, it was bought by my grandfather. No, it couldn't have
been grandfather that bought it; it was his brother. Oh, yes, I remember
now; my mother told me all about it, and I'd forgotten what she said till
this minute. But really my grandfather's brother didn't exactly buy it. He
just traded for it. He gave two pigs and a saddle, that's what my mother
said. You see, he was afraid his hogs might take cholera and so he wanted
to get rid of them; and as for the saddle, he had sold his riding-horse
and he didn't have any more use for that. Well, it isn't a valuable clock,
like a grandfather clock or anything of that sort, though it is antique.
As I was saying, when I glanced at it, it read seven minutes to six. I
remember the time very well, for just then the factory whistle blew and I
remember saying to myself: "It's seven minutes slow today." You see, it's
old and we don't keep it oiled, and so it's always losing time. Hardly a
day passes but I set it up--sometimes twice a day, as for the matter of
that--and I usually go by the factory whistle too, though now and then I
go by Dwight's gold watch. Well, anyhow, that tells me what time it was.
I'm certain I can't be wrong.

2. Study, on the other hand, The Castaway (Appendix 5) for its judicious
use of details. Defoe in his stories is a supreme master of verisimilitude
(likeness to truth). As we read him, we cannot help believing that these
things actually happened. More than in anything else the secret of his
lifelikeness lies in his constant faithfulness to reality. He puts in the
little mishaps that would have befallen a man so situated, the things he
would have done, the difficulties he might have avoided had he exercised
forethought. Though Defoe had little insight into the complexities of
man's inner life, he has not been surpassed in his accumulations of
naturalistic outer details. These do not cumber his narrative; they
contribute to its purpose and add to its effectiveness. In this selection
(Appendix 5) observe how plausible are such homely details as Crusoe's
seeing no sign of his comrades "except three of their hats, one cap, and
two shoes that were not fellows"; as his difficulty in getting aboard the
ship again; and as his having his clothes washed away by the rising of the
tide. Find half a dozen other such incidents that You consider especially

We may pitch our talk or our writing in almost any I key we choose. Our
mood may be dreamy or eager or hilarious or grim or blustering or somber
or bantering or scornful or satirical or whatever we will. But once we
have established the tone, we should not--except sometimes for broadly
humorous effects--change it needlessly or without clear forewarning. If we
do, we create a one or the other of two obstacles, or both of them, for
whoever is trying to follow what we say. In the first place, we obscure
our meaning. For example, we have; been speaking ironically and suddenly
swerve into serious utterance; or we have been speaking seriously and then
incongruously adopt an ironic tone. How are our listeners, our readers to
take us? They are puzzled; they do not know. In the second place, we
offend--perhaps in insidious, indefinable fashion--the esthetic
proprieties; we violate the natural fitness of things. For example, we
have been speaking with colloquial freedom, sprinkling our discourse with
_shouldn't_ and _won't;_ suddenly we be come formal and say
_should not_ and will _not_. Our meaning is as obvious as
before, but the verbal harmony has been interrupted; our hearers or
readers are uneasily aware of a break in the unity of tone.

A speaker or writer is a host to verbal guests. When he invites them to
his assembly, he gives each the tacit assurance that it will not be
brought into fellowship with those which in one or another of a dozen
subtle ways will be uncongenial company for it. He must never be forgetful
of this unspoken promise. If he is to avoid a linguistic breach, he must
constantly have his wits about him; must study out his combinations
carefully, and use all his knowledge, all his tact. He will make due use
of spontaneous impulse; but that this may be wise and disciplined, he will
form the habit of curiosity about words, their stations, their savor,
their aptitudes, their limitations, their outspokenness, their reticences,
their affinities and antipathies. Thus when he has need of a phrase to
fill out a verbal dinner party, he will know which one to select.

Certain broad classifications of words are manifest even to the most
obtuse user of English. _Shady, behead_, and _lying_ are
"popular" words, while their synonyms _umbrageous_ decapitate,_
and _mendacious_ are "learned" words. _Flabbergasted_ and
_higgledy-piggledy_ are "colloquial," while _roseate_ and
_whilom_ are "literary." _Affidavit, allegro_, _lee shore_,
and _pinch hit_ are "technical," while _vamp_, _savvy, bum
hunch_, and _skiddoo_ are "slang." It would be disenchanting
indeed were extremes of this sort brought together. But offenses of a less
glaring kind are as hard to shut out as February cold from a heated house.
Unusual are the speeches or compositions, even the short ones, in which
every word is in keeping, is in perfect tune with the rest.

For the attainment of this ultimate verbal decorum we should have to
possess knowledge almost unbounded, together with unerring artistic
instinct. But diction of a kind only measurably inferior to this is
possible to us if we are in earnest. To attain it we must study the
difference between abstract and concrete terms, and let neither intrude
unadvisedly upon the presence or functions of the other; do the same by
literal and figurative terms and instruct ourselves in the nature and
significance of connotation.

Before considering these more detailed matters, however, we may pause for
a general exercise on verbal harmony.

EXERCISE - Discords

1. Study the editorial in Appendix 1 for unforewarned changes in mood and
assemblages of mutually uncongenial words. Rewrite the worst two
paragraphs to remove all blemishes of these kinds.

2. Compare Burke's speech (Appendix 2) with Defoe's narrative (Appendix 5)
for the difference in tone between them. Does each keep the tone it adopts
(that is, except for desirable changes)?

3. Note the changes in tone in the Seven Ages of Man (Appendix 4). Do the
changes in substance, make these changes in tone desirable?

4. In the following passages, make such changes and omissions as are
necessary to unify the tone:

How I loved to stroll, on those long Indian summer afternoons, into the
quiet meadows where the mild-breathed kine were grazing! An old cow that
switches her tail at flies and puts her foot in the bucket when you milk
her, I absolutely loathe. How I loved to hear the birds sing, to listen to
the fall of ripe autumnal apples!

It wasn't the girl yclept Sally. This girl was not so vivacious as Sally,
but she had a mug on her that was a lot less ugly to look at. Gee, when
she stood there in front of me with those mute, ineffable, sympathetic
eyes of hers, I was ready to throw a duck-fit.

  Old Grimes is dead, that dear old soul;
  We'll never see him more;
  He wore a great long overcoat,
  All buttoned down before.

Abstract terms convey ideas; concrete terms call up pictures. If we say
"Honesty is the best policy," we speak abstractly. Nobody can see or hear
or touch the thing _honesty_ or the thing _policy_; the
apprehension of them must be purely intellectual. But if we say "The
rat began to gnaw the rope," we speak concretely. _Rat_, _gnaw_,
and _rope_ are tangible, perceptible things; the words bring to us
visions of particular objects and actions.

Now when we engage in explanations and discussions of principles,
theories, broad social topics, and the like--when we expound, moralize, or
philosophize,--our subject matter is general. We approach our readers or
hearers on the thinking, the rational side of their natures. Our
phraseology is therefore normally abstract. But when, on the other hand,
we narrate an event or depict an appearance, our subject matter is
specific. We approach our readers or hearers on the sensory or emotional
side of their natures. Our phraseology is therefore normally concrete.

You should be able to express yourself according to either method. You
should be able to choose the words best suited to make people understand;
also to choose the words best suited to make people realize vividly and
feel. Now to some extent you will adopt the right method by intuition. But
if you do not reinforce your intuition with a careful study of words, you
will vacillate from one method to the other and strike crude discords of
phrasing. Of course if you switch methods intelligently and of purpose,
that is quite another matter. An abstract discussion may be enlivened by a
concrete illustration. A concrete narrative or portrayal may be given
weight and rationalized by generalization. Moreover many things lie on the
borderland between the two domains and may properly be attached to either.
Thus the abstraction is legitimate when you say or write: "A man wishes to
acquire the comforts and luxuries, as well as the necessaries, of life."
The concreteness is likewise legitimate when you say or write: "John Smith
wishes to earn cake as well as bread and butter."

In most instances general terms are the same as abstract, and specific the
same as concrete. Some subtle discriminations may, however, be made. Of
these the only one that need concern us here is that the wording of a
passage may not be abstract and yet be general. Suppose, for example, you
were telling the story of the prodigal son and should say: "He was very
hungry, and could; not obtain food anywhere. When he had come to his
senses, he thought, 'I should be better off at home.'" This language is
not abstract, but it is general rather than specific. When Jesus told the
story, he wished to put the situation as poignantly as possible and
therefore avoided both abstract and general terms: "And he would fain have
filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave
unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of
my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!"
Many a person who shuns abstractions and talks altogether of the concrete
things of life, yet traps out circumstance in general rather than specific
terms. To do this is always to sacrifice force.

EXERCISE - Abstract

1. Discuss as abstractly as possible such topics as those listed in
Activity 1 for EXERCISE - Discourse, or as the following:

Is there any such thing as luck?
Is the Golden Rule practicable in the modern business world?
Is modesty rather than self-assertion regarding his own merits and
abilities the better policy for an employee?
Are substantial, home-keeping girls or girls rather fast and frivolous the
more likely to obtain good husbands?
Is it desirable for a young man to take out life insurance?
Is self-education better than collegiate training?
Should one always tell the truth?

2. Discuss as concretely as possible the topics you have selected from 1.
Use illustrations drawn from life.

3. Restate in concrete terms such generalizations as the following:

Experience is the best teacher.
Self-preservation is the first law of nature.
To him who in the love of nature holds
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
A various language.
Necessity is the mother of invention.
The bravest are the tenderest.
Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.
Pride goeth before destruction.
The evil that men do lives after them.

4. Compare the abstract statement "Truths and high ethical principles are
received by various men in various ways" with the concrete presentation of
the same idea in Appendix 3. Which expression of the thought would be the
more easily understood by the average person? Why? Which would you
yourself remember the longer? Why?

5. Compare the statement "The second period of a human being's life is
that of his reluctant attendance at school" with Shakespeare's picture of
the schoolboy in Appendix 4.

6. Burke, near the close of his speech (Appendix 2), presents an idea,
first in general terms, and then in specific terms, thus: "No contrivance
can prevent the effect of...distance in weakening government. Seas roll,
and months pass, between the order and the execution, and the want of a
speedy explanation of a single point is enough to defeat a whole system."
Find elsewhere in Burke's speech and in the editorial (Appendix I) general
assertions which may be made more forceful by restatement in specific
terms, and supply these specific restatements.

7. State in your own words the general thought or teaching of the Parable
of the Prodigal Son. (_Luke_ 15: 11-24.)

8. Make the following statements more concrete:

In front of our house was a tree that at a certain season of the year
displayed highly colored foliage.

A celebrated orator said: "Give me liberty, or give me death!"

On the table were some viands that assailed my nostrils agreeably and
others that put into my mouth sensations of anticipated enjoyment.

From this window above the street I can hear a variety of noises by day
and a variety of different noises by night.

As he groped through the pitch-dark room he could feel many articles of

9. State in general terms the thought of the following sentences:

A burnt child dreads the fire.
A stitch in time saves nine.
A cat may look at a king.
A barking dog never bites.
If his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
If two men ride a horse, one must ride behind.
Stone walls do not a prison make.
A merry heart goes all the day.
Thrice is he armed that hath his quarrel just.
As the twig is bent, so the tree is inclined.

10. Describe a town as seen from a particular point of view, or at a
particular time of day, or under particular atmospheric conditions. Make
your description as concrete as possible.

11. Compare your description with this from Stevenson: "The town came down
the hill in a cascade of brown gables, bestridden by smooth white roofs,
and spangled here and there with lighted windows." Stevenson's sentence
contains twenty-five words. How many of them are "color" words? How many
"motion" words? How many of the first twenty-five words in your
description appeal to one or another of the five senses?

12. Narrate as vividly as possible an experience in your own life. Compare
what you have written with the account of Crusoe's escape to the island
(Appendix 5). Which narrative is the more concrete? How much?

<2. Literal vs. Figurative Terms>

Phraseology is literal when it says exactly what it means; is figurative
when it says one thing, but really means another. Thus "He fought bravely"
is literal; "He was a lion in the fight" is figurative. Literal
phraseology as a rule appeals to our scientific or understanding
faculties; figurative to our emotional faculties. Here again, as with
abstraction and concreteness, you should learn to express yourself by
either method.

Both have their advantages and their drawbacks. We all admire the man who
has observed, and can state, accurately. It is upon this belief of ours in
the literal that Defoe shrewdly traffics. (See Appendix 5.) He does not
stir us as some writers do, but he gains our implicit confidence. Dame
Quickly, on the contrary, makes egregious use of the literal. (See
paragraph above EXERCISE - Wordiness III above.) Her facts are accurate,
yes; but how strictly, how unsparingly accurate! And how many of them are
beside the point! She quite convinces us that the devotee of the literal
may be dull.

An advantage of the figurative also is that it may make meanings lucid.
Thus when Burke near the close of his discussion (Appendix 2) wishes to
make it clear that by a law of nature the authority of extensive empires
is slighter in its more remote territories, he has recourse to a figure of
speech: "In large bodies, the circulation of power must be less vigorous
at the extremities. Nature has said it." More often, however, the function
of the figurative is to drive home a thought or a mood of which a mere
statement would leave us unmoved--to make us _feel_ it. Thus Burke
said of the Americans "Their love of liberty, as with you, fixed and
attached on this specific point of taxing." He added: "Here they felt its
pulse, and as they found that beat they thought themselves sick or sound."
Had you been one of his Parliamentary hearers, would not that second
sentence have made more real and more important the colonial attitude to
taxation? The poets of course make frequent and noble use of the
figurative. This is how Coleridge tells us that the descent of a tropical
night is sudden:

  "The sun's rim dips; the stars rush out;
  At one stride comes the dark."

The words _rush out_ and _at one stride comes_ convert the stars
and the darkness into vast beings or at least vast personal forces; the
comparisons are so natural as to seem inevitable; we are transported to
the very scene and feel the overwhelming abruptness of the nightfall. But
if a figure of speech seems artificial, if it is strained or far-fetched
or merely decorative, it subtracts from the effectiveness of the passage.
Thus when Tennyson says:

  "When the breeze of a joyful dawn blew free
  In the silken sail of infancy."

we must stop and ponder before we perceive that what he means is "When I
was a happy child." The figure is like an exotic plant rather than a
natural outgrowth of the soil; it appears to us something thought up and
stuck on; it is a parasite rather than a helper.

Of course, as with abstraction and concreteness, you should develop
facility in gliding from literalness to figurativeness and back again. But
you are always to remember that your gymnastics are not to militate
against verbal concord. You must never set words scowling and growling at
each other through injudicious combinations like this: "She was five feet,
four and three-quarter inches high, had a small, round scar between her
nose and her left cheek-bone, and moved with the lissom and radiant grace
of a queen."

EXERCISE - Literal

1. Give the specifications for a house you intend to build.

2. Make a list of comparisons (as to a nest, a haven, a goal) to show what
such a house might mean in the life of a man. Expand as many of these
comparisons as you can, but do not carry the process to absurd lengths.
(In the figure of the nest you may mention the parent birds, their
activities, the nestlings; in the figure of the haven you may mention the
quiet, sheltered waters in contrast to the turbulent billows outside; in
the figure of the goal you may mention the struggle necessary to reach

3. Describe the looks of the house. Use as many figures of speech as you
can. If you can find no appropriate figures, at least make your words

4. Give a surveyor's or a tax assessor's or a conveyancer's description of
a piece of land. Then describe the land through figures of speech which
will vivify its outward appearance or its emotional significance to the

5. Observe that the Parable of the Sower (Appendix 3) is an extended
figure of speech. Is the main figure effective? Are its detailed
applications effective?

6. The Seven Ages of Man (Appendix 4) is also an extended figure of
speech. Does it, as Shakespeare intends, bring vividly to your
consciousness the course, motives, stages, evolution of a human being's
life? There are several subsidiary figures. Do these add force,
definiteness to the picture Shakespeare is drawing at that moment?

7. Observe from Appendix 3, Appendix 4, and the sentences listed in
Activity 9 for EXERCISE - Abstract above, that a thing meant to be
concrete is likely to be stated figuratively.

8. Examine The Castaway (Appendix 5) for its proportionate use of literal
and figurative elements. See Activity 2 of EXERCISE - Wordiness III above
for a statement of Defoe's purpose. Could he have effected this purpose so
well had he employed more figures of speech?

9. Examine Appendix 2 for its use of figures. Are the figures appropriate
to the subject matter? Are there enough of them?

10. Galvanize the thought of any sentence or paragraph in editorial
(Appendix 1) by the use of a figure of speech.

11. Summarize or illustrate your opinion on any of the topics listed in
Activity 1 for EXERCISE - Discourse, through the employment of figure of

12. Are these figures effective?

Man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.
The flower of our young manhood is scaling the ladder of success.

  Fair as a star, when only one
  Is shining in the sky.
  Silence, like a poultice, comes
  To heal the blows of sound.
                  In my head
  Many thoughts of trouble come,
  Like to flies upon a plum!

Let me tell you first about those barnacles that clog the wheels of
society by poisoning the springs of rectitude with their upas-like eye.

  The day is done, and the darkness
  Falls from the wings of night,
  As a feather is wafted downward
  From an eagle in his flight.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil.

  Life, like a dome of many-colored glass,
  Stains the white radiance of eternity.

Mountains stood out like pimples or lay like broken welts
across the habitable ground.

  Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
  That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
  And then is heard no more; it is a tale
  Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
  Signifying nothing.

I saw him in Russia, where the infantry of the snow and the cavalry of the
wild blast scattered his legions like winter's withered leaves.

13. Recast the following sentences to eliminate the clashing of literal
and figurative elements:

Life is like a rich treasure entrusted to us, and to sustain it we must
have three square meals a day.

She glanced at the mirror, but did not really see herself. She was trying
to puzzle out the right course, and could only see as through a glass

Arming himself with the sword of zeal and the buckler of integrity, he
wrote the letter.

He swept the floor every morning, and was a ray of sunshine in the office.
He also emptied the waste baskets and cleaned the cuspidors.

<3. Connotation>

The connotation of a word is the subtle implication, the emotional
association it carries--often quite apart from its dictionary definition.
Thus the words _house_ and _home_ in large measure overlap in
meaning, but emotionally they are not equivalents at all. You can say
_house_ without experiencing any sensation whatever, but if you utter
the word _home_ it will call back, however slightly, tender and
cherished recollections. _Bald heads_ and _gray hair_ are both
indicative of age; but you would pronounce the former in disparaging
allusion to elderly persons, and the latter with sentiments of veneration.
You would say, of a clodpole that he plays the _fiddle_, but of Fritz
Kreisler that he plays the _violin_. And just as you unconsciously
adapt words to feelings in these obvious instances, you must learn, on
peril of striking false notes verbally, to do so when distinctions are
less gross.

Moreover circumstance as well as sentiment may control the connotation of
a word. A word or phrase may have a double or triple connotation, and
depend upon vocal inflection, upon gesture, upon the words with which it
is linked, upon the experience of speaker or hearer, upon time, place, and
external fact, or upon other forces outside it for the sense in which it
is to be taken. You may be called "old dog" in an insulting manner, or
(especially if a slap on the shoulder accompanies the phrase) in an
affectionate manner. You may properly say, "Calhoun had logic on his
side"; add, however, the words "but his face was to the past," and you
spoil the sentence,--for _face_ gives a reflex connotation to
_side_, slight perhaps and momentary, but disconcerting. Think over
the funny stories you have heard. Many of them turn, you will find, on the
outcropping of new significance in a phrase because of its environment.
Thus the anecdote of the servant who had been instructed to summon the
visiting English nobleman by tapping on his bedroom door and inquiring,
"My lord, have you yet risen?" and who could only stammer, "My God! ain't
you up yet?" Or the anecdote of the minister who in a sermon on the
Parable of the Prodigal Son told how a young man living dissolutely in a
city had been compelled to send to the pawnbroker first his overcoat, next
his suit, next his silk shirt, and finally his very underclothing--"and
then," added the minister, "he came to himself." Only by unresting
vigilance can you evade verbal discords, if not of this magnitude, at
least of much frequency and stylistic harm.

EXERCISE - Connotation

1. Note the contrast in emotional suggestion that comes to you from
hearing the words:

"Sodium chloride" and "salt"
"A test-tube of H2O" and "a cup of cold water"
"A pair of brogans" and "a little empty shoe"
"Bump" and "collide"
"A brilliant fellow" and "a flashy fellow"
"Bungled it" and "did not succeed"
"Tumble" and "fall"
"Dawn" and "6 A.M."
"Licked" and "worsted"
"Fat" and "plump"
"Wept" and "blubbered"
"Cheek" and "self-assurance"
"Stinks" and "disagreeable odors"
"Steal" and "embezzle"
"Thievishness" and "kleptomania"
"Educated" and "highbrow"
"Job" and "Position"
"Told a lie" and "fell into verbal inexactitude"
"A drunkard" (a stranger) and "a drunkard" (your father).

2. Make a list of your own similar to that in Exercise 1.

3. Read the sentences listed in EXERCISE - Slovenliness III and IV. What
do these sentences suggest to you as to the social and mental
qualifications of the person who employs them?

4. Read the second paragraph of Appendix 2. What does it suggest to you as
to Burke's social and mental qualifications?

5. Suppose you were told that a passage of twenty-eight lines contains the
following expressions: "mewling and puking," "whining schoolboy,"
"satchel," "sighing like furnace," "round belly," "spectacles on nose,"
"shrunk shank," "sans [without] teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans
everything." Would you believe the passage is poetry?--that its total
effect is one of poetic elevation? Read the Seven Ages of Man (Appendix
4). _Is_ it poetry? How does Shakespeare reconcile the general poetic
tone with such expressions as those quoted?

6. What is wrong with the connotation of the following?

The servant told us that the young ladies were all in.
All my poor success is due to you.
He insisted on carrying a revolver, and so the college authorities fired
The carpenter too had his castles in Spain.
He rested his old bones by the wayside, and his gaunt dog stood sniffing
at them.
On the other hand, he had a white elephant to dispose of.
When he came to the forks of the road, he showed he was not on the square.
Body, for funeral purposes, must be sold at once. City Automobile Agency.

7. Can you express the following ideas in other words without sacrifice of
emotional suggestion? Try.

  The music, yearning like a god in pain.
    Alone, alone, all, all alone,
    Alone on a wide, wide sea!

  But O for the touch of a vanished hand,
  And the sound of a voice that is still!
    Old, unhappy, far-off things,
    And battles long ago.

  It was night in the lonesome October.
    How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
    In the icy air of night!
    While the stars, that oversprinkle
    All the heavens, seem to twinkle
    With a crystalline delight.

  The moan of doves in immemorial elms,
  And murmuring of innumerable bees.

  Ay, but to die, and go we know not where;
  To lie in cold obstruction and to rot.

  Merrily, merrily, shall I live now,
  Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.

  'Tis as easy now for the heart to be true
  As for grass to be green or skies to be blue,--
  'Tis the natural way of living.

                         We are such stuff
  As dreams are made of, and our little life
  Is rounded with a sleep.

8. With the most connotative words at your command describe the following:

Your first sweetheart
A solemn experience
A ludicrous experience
A terrifying experience
A mysterious experience
The circus parade you saw in your boyhood
A servant girl
A dude
An odd character you have known
The old homestead
Your boarding house
A scene suggesting the intense heat of a midsummer day
Night on the river
The rush for the subway car
The traffic policeman
Your boss
Anything listed in the first part of Activity 9 of EXERCISE - Discourse.



The more dangerous pitfalls for those who use words in combination--as all
of us do--have been pointed out. The best ways of avoiding these pitfalls
have also been indicated. But our work together has thus far been chiefly
negative. To be sure, many tasks assigned for your performance have been
constructive as well as precautionary; but _the end_ held ever before
you has been the avoidance of feeble or ridiculous diction. In the present
chapter we must take up those aspects of the mastery of words in
combination which are primarily positive.

Before coming to specific aspects and assignments, however, we shall do
well to consider certain large general purposes and methods.

First, what kind of vocabulary do we wish to acquire? A facile, readily
used one? An accurate one? Or one as nearly as may be comprehensive? The
three kinds do not necessarily coexist. The possession of one may even
hinder and retard the acquisition of another. Thus if we seek a ready
vocabulary, an accurate vocabulary may cause us to halt and hesitate for
words which shall correspond with the shadings of our thought and emotion,
and a wide vocabulary may embarrass us with the plenitude of our verbal

But _may_ is not _must_. Though the three kinds of vocabulary
may interfere with each other, there is no reason, except superficially,
why they should. Our purpose should be, therefore, to acquire not a single
kind but all three. We should be like the boy who, when asked whether he
would have a small slice of apple pie or a small slice of pumpkin pie,
replied resolutely, "Thank you, I will take a large piece of both."

That the assignments in this chapter may help you develop a vocabulary
which shall be promptly responsive to your needs, you should perform some
of them rapidly. Your thoughts and feelings regarding a topic may be
anything but clear, but you must not pause to clarify them. The words best
suited to the matter may not be instantly available, but you must not
tarry for accessions of language. Stumble, flounder if you must, yea,
rearrange your ideas even as you present them, but press resolutely ahead,
comforting yourself with the assurance that in the heat and stress of
circumstances a man rarely does his work precisely as he wishes. When you
have finished the discussion, repeat it immediately--and with no more
loitering than before. You will find that your ideas have shifted and
enlarged, and that more appropriate words have become available. Further
repetitions will assist you the more. But the goal you should set
yourself, as you proceed from topic to topic, is the attainment of the
power to be at your best in the first discussion. You may never reach this
goal, but at least you may approach it.

That the assignments in this chapter may assist you in making your
vocabulary accurate, you should perform some of them in another way. When
you have selected a topic, you should first of all think it through. In
doing this, arrange your ideas as consistently and logically as you can,
and test them with your reason. Then set them forth in language which
shall be lucid and exact. Tolerate no slipshod diction, no vaguely
rendered general meanings. Send every sentence, every word like a skilful
drop-kick--straight above the crossbar. When you have done your best with
the topic, lay it by for a space. Time is a great revealer of hidden
defects, and you must not regard your labors as ended until your
achievement is the maturest possible for you. If the quantity of what you
accomplish is meager, suffer no distress on that account. The desideratum
now is not quantity, but quality.

The assignments in this chapter will do less toward making your vocabulary
wide than toward making it facile and precise. To be sure, they will now
and then set you to hunting for words that are new. Better still, they
will give you a mastery over some of your outlying words--words known to
your eyes or ears but not to your tongue. But these advantages will be
somewhat incidental. Means for the systematic extension of your verbal
domain into regions as yet unexplored by you, are reserved for the later
chapters of this book.

<2. A Vocabulary for Speech or for Writing?>

In the second place, are we to develop a vocabulary for oral discourse or
a vocabulary for writing? It may be that our chief impediment or our chief
ambition lies in one field rather than in the other. Nevertheless we
should strive for a double mastery; we ought to speak well _and_
write well. Indeed the two powers so react upon each other that we ought
to cultivate both for the sake of either. True, some men, though inexpert
as writers, have made themselves proficient as speakers; or though
shambling and ineffective as speakers, have made themselves proficient as
writers. But this is not natural or normal. Moreover these men might have
gleaned more abundantly from their chosen field had they not shut it off
from the acres adjacent. Fences waste space and curtail harvests.

The assignments in this chapter are of such a nature that you may perform
them either orally or in writing. You should speak and write alternately,
sometimes on the same topic, sometimes on topics taken in rotation.

In your oral discussions you should perhaps absent yourself at first from
human auditors. A bedstead or a dresser will not make you self-conscious
or in any way distract your attention, and it will permit you to sit down
afterward and think out the degree of your failure or success. Ultimately,
of course, you must speak to human beings--in informal conversations at
the outset, in more ambitious ways later as occasion permits.

In your writing you may find it advantageous to make preliminary outlines
of what you wish to say. But above all, you must be willing to blot, to
revise, to take infinite pains. You should remember the old admonition
that easy reading is devilish hard writing.

These purposes and methods are general. We now come to the specific fields
in which we may with profit cultivate words in combination. Of these
fields there are four.

If you read a foreign language, whether laboriously or with ease, you
should make this power assist you to amass a good English vocabulary.
Take compositions or parts of compositions written in the foreign tongue,
and turn them into idiomatic English. How much you should translate
at a given time depends upon your leisure and your adeptness. Employ all
the methods--the spontaneous, the carefully perfected, the oral, the
written--heretofore explained in this chapter. In your final work on a
passage you should aim at a faultless rendition, and should spend time and
ransack the lexicons rather than come short of this ideal.

The habit of translation is an excellent habit to keep up. For the study
of an alien tongue not only improves your English, but has compensations
in itself.

EXERCISE - Translation

1. Translate from any accessible book in the foreign language you can

2. Subscribe for a period of at least two or three months for a newspaper
or magazine in that language, if it is a modern one. Translate as before,
but give most of your time to rapid oral translation for a real or
imaginary American hearer.

3. When you have completed your final written translation of a passage
from the foreign language, make yourself master of all the English words
you have not previously (1) known or (2) used, but have encountered in
your work of translation.

<2. Mastery through Paraphrasing>

It may be that you are not familiar with a foreign language. At any rate
you have some knowledge of English. Put this knowledge to use in
paraphrasing; for thus you will enrich your vocabulary and make it surer
and more flexible. The process of paraphrasing is simple, though the
actual work is not easy. You take passages written in English--the more of
them the better, and the more diversified the better--and both reproduce
their substance and incarnate their mood in words you yourself shall

You may have a passage before you and paraphrase it unit by unit. More
often, however, you should follow the plan adopted by Franklin when he
emulated Addison by rewriting the _Spectator Papers_. That is, you
should steep yourself in the thought and emotion of a piece of writing,
and then lay the piece aside until its wording has faded from your memory,
when you should reëmbody the substance in language that seems to you
natural and fitting. Much of the benefit will come from your comparing
your version, as Franklin did his, with the original. When you perceive
that you have fallen short, you should consider the respects wherein your
inferiority lies--and should make another attempt, and yet another, and
another. When you perceive that in any way you have surpassed the
original, you should feel a just pride in your achievement--and should
resolve that next time your cause for pride shall be greater still. Even
after you have desisted from formal paraphrasing, you should cling to the
habit, formed at this time, of observing any notable felicities in
whatever you read and of comparing them with the expression you yourself
would likely have employed.

EXERCISE - Paraphrasing

1. Paraphrase the editorial in Appendix 1. You should improve upon the
original. Keep trying until you do.

2. Paraphrase the second paragraph in Burke's speech (Appendix 2). Burke
lacked the cheap tricks of the ordinary orator, but his discussions were
based upon a comprehensive knowledge of facts, a sympathetic understanding
of human nature, a vast depth and range of thought, and a well-meditated
political philosophy. In short, he is a model for _elaborated_
discussions. Set forth the leading thought of this paragraph; you can give
it in fewer words than he employs. But try setting it forth with his full
accompaniments of reflection and information; you will be bewildered at
his crowding so much into such small compass.

3. Try to rival the pregnant conciseness of the Parable of the Sower
(Appendix 3).

4. Paraphrase in prose the Seven Ages of Man (Appendix 4). Catch if
possible the mood, the "atmosphere," of each of the pictures painted by
Shakespeare. Condense your paraphrase as much as you can.

5. In each of the preceding exercises compare your vocabulary with that of
the original as to size, precision, and the grace and ease with which
words are put together. Does the original employ terms unfamiliar to you?
If so, look up their meaning and make them yours; then observe, when you
next paraphrase the passage, whether your mastery of these terms has
improved your expression.

<3. Mastery through Discourse at First Hand>

Models have their use, but you can also work without models. It is
imperative that you should. You must learn to discuss, explain, analyze,
argue, narrate, and describe for yourself. Here again you should diversify
your materials to the utmost, not only that you may become well-rounded
and versatile in your ability to set forth ideas and feelings in words,
but also that your knowledge and your sensibility may receive stimulation.

It is feasible to begin by discussing or explaining. Most of the
intercourse conducted through language consists in either discussion or
explanation. Analysis, ordinarily, is almost ignored. Argument is indulged
in, and so is description (though less freely), but they are of the
bluntest and broadest. Narration--the recounting of incidents of everyday
existence--is, however, widely employed.

In your work of discussion or explanation you may seize upon any current
topic--industrial, social, political, or what not--that comes into your
mind. Or you may make a list of such topics, writing each on a separate
piece of paper; may jumble the slips in a hat; and may thus have always at
your elbow a collection of satisfactory themes from which you may take one
at random. Or you may invest in language of your own selection the
substance of an address or sermon you have heard, or give the burden of
some important conversation in which you have participated, or explain the
tenor of an article you have read. You should of course try to interest
your hearers, and above all, you should impart to what you say complete

In analyzing you should select as your topic a process fairly obscure, the
implications of a certain statement or argument, the results to be
expected from some action or policy that has been advocated, or the exact
matter at issue between two disputants. Any topic for discussion,
explanation, or argument may be treated analytically. Your analysis in its
final form should be so carefully considered that its soundness cannot be

In arguing you may take any subject under the sun, from baseball to
Bolshevism, for all of them are debated with vehemence. Any topic for
discussion or explanation becomes, when approached from some particular
angle, material for argument. Thus the initial topic in the exercise that
follows is "The aeroplane's future as a carrier of mail." You may convert
it into a question for debate by making it read: "The aeroplane is
destined to supplant the railroad as a carrier of mail," or "The aeroplane
is destined to be used increasingly as a carrier of transcontinental
mail." In arguing you may propose for ourself either of two objectives:
(1) to silence your opponent, (2) to refute, persuade, and win him over
fairly. The achievement of the first end calls for bluster and perhaps a
grim, barbaric strength; you must do as Johnson did according to
Goldsmith's famous dictum--if your pistol misses fire, you must knock your
adversary down with the butt end of it. This procedure, though inartistic
to be sure, is in some contingencies the only kind that will serve. But
you should cultivate procedure of a type more urbane. Let your very
reasonableness be the most potent weapon you wield. To this end you should
form the habit of looking for good points on both sides of a question. As
a still further precaution against contentiousness you should uphold the
two sides successively.

In narrating you should, as a rule, stick to simple occurrences, though
you may occasionally vary your work by summarizing the plot of a novel or
giving the gist and drift of big historical events. You should confine
yourself, in large part, to incidents in which you have been personally
involved, or which you yourself have witnessed, as mishaps, unexpected
encounters, bickerings, even rescues or riots. You should omit
non-essentials and make the happening itself live for your hearer; if you
can so interest him in it that he will not notice your manner of telling
it, your success is but the greater.

Finally, in describing you should deal for the most part with beings,
objects, and appearances familiar to you. Description is usually hard to
make vivid. This is because the objects and scenes are likely to be
immobile and (at least when told about) to lack distinctiveness. Try,
therefore, to lay hold of the peculiar quality of the thing described, and
use words suggestive of color and motion. Moreover be brief. Long
descriptions are sure to be wearisome.

EXERCISE - Discourse

1. Select topics from the following list for discussion or explanation:

The aeroplane's future as a carrier of mail
The commercial future of the aeroplane
A recent scientific (or mechanical or electrical) invention
A better type of newspaper--its contents and makeup
A better type of newspaper--how it can be secured
The connection between the advertising and news departments
  of a newspaper--the actual condition
The connection between the advertising and news departments
  of a newspaper--the ideal
Special features in a newspaper that are popular
A single standard for the sexes--is it possible?
A single standard for the sexes--how it can be attained (or approximated)
Should the divorce laws be made more stringent?
Should a divorced person be prohibited from remarrying?
What further marriage restrictions should be placed upon the
  physically or mentally unfit?
What further measures should be taken by the cities (states, nation) for
  the protection of motherhood?
Is the division of men into strongly contrasted groups as to wealth
  one of nature's necessities, or is it the result of a social and
  economic system?
Some shortcomings of the labor unions
Are the shortcomings of the labor unions accidental or inherent?
Some ways of bettering the condition of the working classes
How municipal (state, national) bureaus for finding employment
  for the laborer may become more serviceable
Wrongs committed by big business (or some branch of it)
Should a man's income above a stipulated amount be confiscated
  by the government?
Income taxes--what exemptions should be granted?
The right basis for business--competition or coöperation?
Are the courts equally just to labor and capital?
How can legal procedure be changed to enable individuals to secure just
  treatment from corporations without resorting to prolonged and expensive
Where our interests clash with those of Great Britain
How our relations with Great Britain may be further improved
How our relations with Japan may be further improved
How may closer commercial relations with other countries be promoted?
What to do about the railroads and railroad rates
A natural resource that should be conserved or restored
Do high tariffs breed international ill-will?
Should we have a high tariff at this juncture?
To what extent should osteopathy (chiropractic) be permitted
  (or protected) by law?
What is wrong with municipal government in my city
How woman suffrage affects local government
How to make rural life more attractive
The importance of the rotation of crops
The race problem as it affects my community
The class problem as it affects my community
The school-house as a social center
How to Americanize the alien elements in our population
To what extent, if at all, should foreign-born citizens of our
  country be encouraged to preserve their native traditions and culture?
Censorship of the moving picture
Educational possibilities of the moving picture
How to bring about improvement in the quality of the moving picture
The effect of the moving picture upon legitimate drama
A church that men will attend
How young men may be attracted to the churches
How far shall doctrine be insisted upon by the churches?
To what extent shall the church concern itself with social
  and economic problems?
To what extent, if at all, shall Sunday diversions be restricted?
The advantages of using the free public library
Can the cities give children in the slums better opportunities for
  physical (mental, moral) development?
Should all cities be required to establish zoölogical gardens,
  as well as schools, for the children?
How my city might improve its system of public parks
The most interesting thing about the work I am in
Opportunities in the work I am in
The qualities called for in the work I am in
The ideals of my associates
Something I have learned about life
Something I have learned about human nature
A book that has influenced me, and why
A person who has influenced me, and how
My favorite sport or recreation
Why baseball is so popular
What I could do for the people around me
What I should like for the people around me to do for me.

2. Discuss or explain the ideas listed in Exercise 3 for 'Abstract vs.
Concrete' in "Words in Combination: Some Pitfalls" above.

3. Analyze the debatable questions included in the two preceding exercises
or suggested by them. That is, find the issues in each question, and show
what each disputant must prove and what he must refute.

4. Analyze the results to be expected from the adoption of some policy or
course of action by:

A newspaper
A business firm
The city
The farmers
The producers in some business or industry
The consumers
The retail merchants of your city
Some group of reformers
Some social group
Those interested in a social activity, as dancing
Your neighbors

5. Analyze or explain:

The testing of seed grain
How to raise potatoes (any other vegetable)
How to utilize and apportion the space in your garden
How to keep an automobile in good shape
How to run an automobile (motor boat)
How to make a rabbit trap
How to lay out a camp
how to catch trout (bass, codfish, tuna fish, lobsters)
How to conduct a public meeting
How a bill is introduced and passed in a legislative body
How food is digested
How to extract oxygen from water
How a fish breathes
How gold is mined
How wireless messages are sent
How your favorite game is played
How to survey a tract of land
How stocks are bought and sold on margins
How public opinion is formed
How a man ought to form his opinions
The responsibility of individuals to society
The responsibility of society to the individual.

6. Argue one side or the other, or the two successively, of
queries contained or implied in Exercises 1 and 2.

7. Argue one side or the other, or the two successively, of queries listed
in Exercise 1 in EXERCISE - Abstract.

8. Give a narrative of:

The earning of your first dollar
How somebody met his match
An amusing incident
An anxious moment
A surprise
The touchdown
That fatal seventh inning
How you got the position
Why you missed the train
When you were lost
Your first trip on the railroad (a motor boat, a merry-go-round,
  snowshoes, a burro)
A mishap
How Jenkins skated
Your life until the present (a summary)
Something you have heard your father tell
What happened to your uncle
Your partner's (chum's) escapade
Meeting an old friend
Meeting a bore
A conversation you have overheard
When Myrtle eavesdropped
When the girls didn't know Algy was in the parlor
A public happening that interests you
An incident you have read in the papers
An incident from your favorite novel
Backward Ben at the party
Something that happened to you today.

9. Describe ...

For the mood or general "atmosphere":

Anything you deem suitable in Activity 8 in EXERCISE - Connotation.
An old, deserted house
Your birthplace as you saw it in manhood
The view from an eminence
A city as seen from a roof garden by night
Your mother's Bible
A barnyard scene
The lonely old negro at the supper table
A new immigrant gazing out upon the ocean he has crossed
The downtown section at closing hour
A scene of quietude
A scene of bustle and confusion
A richly colored scene
A scene of dejection
A scene of wild enthusiasm
A scene of dulness or stagnation.

With attention to homely detail:

The old living-room
My aunt's dresses
Barker's riding-horse
The business street of the village
A cabin in the mountains
The office of a man approaching bankruptcy
The Potters' backyard
The second-hand store
The ugliest man.

For general accuracy and vividness:

The organ-grinder
The signs of an approaching storm
The arrival of the train
Mail-time at the village post office
The crowd at the auction
The old fishing-boat
A country fair (or a circus)
The inside of a theater (or a church)
The funeral procession
The political rally
The choir.

<4. Mastery through Adapting Discourse to Audience>

For convenience, we have heretofore assumed that ideas and emotions,
together with such expression of them as shall be in itself adequate and
faithful, comprise the sole elements that have to be reckoned with in the
use of words in combination. But as you go out into life you will find
that these things, however complete they may seem, are not in practice
sufficient. Another factor--the human--must have its place in our
equation. You do not speak or write in a vacuum. Your object, your
ultimate object at least, in building up your vocabulary is to address men
and women; and among men and women the varieties of training, of stations,
of outlooks, of sentiments, of prejudices, of caprices are infinite. To
gain an unbiased hearing you must take persistent cognizance of flesh and

In adapting discourse to audience you must have a supple and attentive
mind and an impressionable and swiftly responsive temperament as well as a
wide, accurate, and flexible vocabulary. Unless you are a fool, a zealot,
or an incorrigible adventurer, you will not broach a subject at all to
which your hearers feel absolute indifference or hostility. Normally you
should pick a subject capable of interesting them. In presenting it you
should pay heed to both your matter and your manner. You should emphasize
for your listeners those aspects of the subject which they will most
respond to or most need to hear, whether or not the phases be such as you
would emphasize with other auditors. You should also speak in the fashion
you deem most effective with them, whether or not it be one to which your
own natural instincts prompt you.

Let us say you are discussing conditions in Europe. You must speak in one
way to the man who has traveled and in an entirely different way to the
man who has never gone abroad--in one way to the well-read man, in an
entirely different way to the ignoramus. Let us say you are discussing
urban life, urban problems. You must speak in one way to the man who lives
in the city, in another to the man who lives in the country. Let us say
you are discussing the labor problem. You must speak in one way to
employers, in another to employees, possibly in a third to men thrown out
of jobs, possibly in a fourth to the general public. Let us say you are
discussing education, or literature, or social tendencies, or mechanical
principles or processes, or some great enterprise or movement. You must
speak in one way to cultivated hearers and in another to men in the
street, and if you are a specialist addressing specialists, you will cut
the garment of your discourse to their particular measure.

The same principle holds regardless of whether you expound, analyze,
argue, recount, or describe. You must always keep a finger on the mental
or emotional pulse of those whom you address. But your problem varies
slightly with the form of discourse you adopt. In explanation, analysis,
and argument the chief barriers you encounter are likely to be those of
the mind; you must make due allowance for the intellectual limitations of
your auditors, though many who have capacity enough may for some cause or
other be unreceptive to ideas. In description you must reckon with the
imaginative faculty, with the possibility that your hearers cannot
visualize what you tell them--and you must make your words brief. In
narration you must vivify emotional torpor; but lest in your efforts to
inveigle boredom you yourself should induce it, you must have a wary eye
for signals of distress.

EXERCISE - Adapting

1. Explain to (a) a rich man, (b) a poor man the blessings of poverty.

2. Discuss before (a) farmers, (b) merchants the idea that farmers
(merchants) make a great deal of money.

3. Explain to (a) the initiate, (b) the uninitiate some piece of
mechanism, or some phase of a human activity or interest, which you know
at first hand and regarding which technical (or at least not generally
understood) terms are employed. (The exact subject depends, of course,
upon your own observation or experience; you are sure to be familiar
with something that most people know hazily, if at all. Bank clerk,
chess player, bridge player, stenographer, journalist, truck driver,
backwoods-man, mechanic--all have special knowledge of one kind or another
and can use the particular terms it calls for.)

4. Explain to (a) a supporter of the winning team, (b) a supporter of the
losing team why the baseball game came out as it did.

5. Discuss before (a) a Democratic, (b) a Republican audience your reasons
for voting the Democratic (Republican) ticket in the coming election.

6. Explain to (a) your own family, (b) the man who can lend you the money,
why you wish to mortgage your house (any piece of property).

7. Explain to the owner of an ill-conducted business why he should sell
it, and to a shrewd business man why he should buy it.

8. Discuss before (a) old men, (b) young men, (c) women the desirability
of men's giving up their seats in street cars to women. (Also modify the
question by requiring only young men to give up their seats, and then only
to old people of either sex, to sick people, or to people with children in
their arms.)

9. Explain the necessity of restricting immigration to (a) prospective
immigrants, (b) immigrants just granted admission to the country, (c)
persons just refused admission, (d) exploiters of cheap labor, (e)
ordinary citizens.

10. Discuss the taking out of a life insurance policy with (a) a man not
interested, (b) a man interested but uncertain what a policy is like, (c)
a man interested and informed but doubtful whether he can spare the money,
(d) the man's wife (his prospective beneficiary), whose desires will have
weight with him.

11. Discuss the necessity of a reduction in wages with (a) unscrupulous
employers, (b) kind-hearted employers, (c) the employees.

12. Advocate higher public school taxes before (a) men with children, (b)
men without children.

13. Advocate a further regulation of the speed of automobiles before (a)
automobile-owners, (b) non-owners.

14. Urge advocacy of some reform upon (a) a clergyman, (b) a candidate for

15. Combat before (a) advertisers, (b) a public audience, (c) a lawmaking
body, the defacement of landscapes by advertising billboards.

16. Describe life in the slums before (a) a rural audience, (b) charitable
persons, (c) rich people in the cities who know little of conditions among
the poor.

17. Describe the typical evening of a spendthrift in a city to (a) a poor
man, (b) a miser, (c) the spendthrift's mother, (d) his employer, (e) a
detective who suspects him of theft.

18. Describe the city of Washington (any other city) to (a) a countryman,
(b) a traveler who has not visited this particular city. (If it is
Washington you describe, describe it also for children in whom you wish to
inculcate patriotism.)

19. Give (a) a youngster, (b) an experienced angler an account of your
fishing trip.

20. Recount for (a) a baseball fan, (b) a girl who has never seen a game,
the occurrences of the second half of the ninth inning.

21. Describe a fight for (a) your friends, (b) a jury.

22. Narrate for (a) children, (b) an audience of adults some historical

23. Give (a) your partner, (b) a reporter an account of a business
transaction you have just completed.

24. Narrate an escapade for (a) your father, (b) your cronies in response
to a toast at a banquet with them.



Thus far we have studied words as grouped together into phrases,
sentences, paragraphs, whole compositions. We must now enter upon a new
phase of our efforts to extend our vocabulary. We must study words as
individual entities.

You may think the order of our study should be reversed. No great harm
would result if it were. The learning of individual words and the
combining of them into sentences are parallel rather than successive
processes. In our babyhood we do not accumulate a large stock of terms
before we frame phrases and clauses. And our attainment of the power of
continuous iteration does not check our inroads among individual words. We
do the two things simultaneously, each contributing to our success with
the other. There are plenty of analogies for this procedure. A good
baseball player, for instance, tirelessly studies both the minutiae of his
technique (as how to hold a bat, how to stand at the plate) and the big
combinations and possibilities of the game. A good musician keeps
unremitting command over every possible touch of each key and at the same
time seeks sweeping mastery over vast and complex harmonies. So we, if we
would have the obedience of our vocabularies, dare not lag into desultory
attention to either words when disjoined or words as potentially combined
into the larger units of thought and feeling.

We might therefore consider either the individuals first or the groups
first. But the majority of speakers and writers pay more heed to rough
general substance than to separate instruments and items. Hence we have
thought best to begin where most work is going on already--with words in

As you turn from the groups to the individuals, you must understand that
your labors will be onerous and detailed. You must not assume that by
nature all words are much alike, any more than you assume that all men are
much alike. Of course the similarities are many and striking, and the
fundamental fact is that a word is a word as a man is a man. But you will
be no adept in handling either the one or the other until your knowledge
goes much farther than this. Let us glance first at the human variations.
Each man has his own business, and conducts it in his own way--a way never
absolutely matched with that of any other mortal being. All this you may
see. But besides the man's visible employment, he may be connected in
devious fashions with a score of enterprises the public knows nothing
about. Furthermore he leads a private life (again not precisely
corresponding to that of any other), has his hobbies and aversions, is
stamped with a character, a temperament of his own. In short, though in
thousands of respects he is like his fellows, he has after all no human
counterpart; he is a distinct, individual self. To know him, to use him,
to count upon his service in whatsoever contingency it might bestead you,
you must deem him something more than a member of the great human family.
You must cultivate him personally, cultivate him without weariness or
stint, and undergo inconvenience in so doing.

Even so with a word. Commonplace enough it may seem. But it has its
peculiar characteristics, its activities undisclosed except to the
curious, its subtle inclinations, its repugnances, its latent
potentialities. There is no precise duplicate for it in all the wide
domain of language. To know it intimately and thoroughly, to be on
entirely free terms with it, to depend upon it just so far as dependence
is safe, to have a sure understanding of what it can do and what it
cannot, you must arduously cultivate it. Words, like people, yield
themselves to the worthy. They hunger for friendship--and lack the last
barrier of reserve which hedges all human communion. Thus, linguistically
speaking, you must search out the individuals. You must step aside from
your way for the sake of a new acquaintance; in conversations, in sermons,
in addresses, in letters, in journalistic columns, in standard literature
you must grasp the stranger by the hand and look him straight in the eye.
Nor must you treat cavalierly the words you know already. You must study
them afresh; you must learn them over and learn them better; you must come
to understand them, not only for what they are, but for what they will do.

What, then, is your first task? Somebody has laid down the injunction--
and, as always when anything is enjoined, others have given it currency--
that each day you should learn two new words. So be it,--but which two?
The first two in the dictionary, or hitherto left untouched in your
systematic conquest of the dictionary? The first two you hear spoken? The
first two that stare at you from casual, everyday print? The first two you
can ferret from some technical jargon, some special department of human
interest or endeavor? In any of these ways you may obey the behest of
these mentors. But are not such ways arbitrary, haphazard? And suppose,
after doing your daily stint, you should encounter a word it behooves you
to know. What then? Are you to sulk, to withhold yourself from further
exertion on the plea of a vocabulary-builder's eight-hour day?

To adopt any of the methods designated would be like resolving to invest
in city lots and then buying properties as you encountered them, with no
regard for expenditure, for value in general, or for special
serviceability to you. Surely such procedure would be unbusinesslike. If
you pay out good money, you meditate well whether that which you receive
for it shall compensate you. Likewise if you devote time and effort to
gaining ownership of words, you should exercise foresight in determining
whether they will yield you commensurate returns.

What, then, is the principle upon which, at the outset, you should
proceed? What better than to insure the possession of the words regarding
which you know this already, that you need them and should make them

The natural way, and the best, to begin is with an analysis of your own
vocabulary. You are of course aware that of the enormous number of words
contained in the dictionary relatively few are at your beck and bidding.
But probably you have made no attempt to ascertain the nature and extent
of your actual linguistic resources. You should make an inventory of the
stock on hand before sending in your order for additional goods.

You will speedily discover that your vocabulary embraces several distinct
classes of words. Of these the first consists of those words which you
have at your tongue's end--which you can summon without effort and use in
your daily speech.  They are old verbal friends. Numbered with them, to be
sure, there may be few with senses and connotations you are ignorant of--
friends of yours, let us say, with a reservation. Even these you may woo
with a little care into uncurbed fraternal abandon. With the exception of
these few, you know the words of the first class so well that without
thinking about it at all you may rely upon their giving you, the moment
you need them, their untempered, uttermost service. You need be at no
further pains about them. They are yours already.

A second class of words is made up of those you speak on occasions either
special or formal--occasions when you are trying, perhaps not to show off,
but at least to put your best linguistic foot foremost. Some of them have
a meaning you are not quite sure of; some of them seem too ostentatious
for workaday purposes; some of them you might have been using but somehow
have not. Words of this class are not your bosom friends. They are your
speaking acquaintance, or perhaps a little better than that. You must
convert them into friends, into prompt and staunch supporters in time of
need. That is to say, you must put them into class one. In bringing about
this change of footing, you yourself must make the advances. You must say,
Go to, I will bear them in mind as I would a person I wished to cultivate.
When occasion rises, you must introduce them into your talk. You will feel
a bit shy about it, for introductions are difficult to accomplish
gracefully; you will steal a furtive glance at your hearer perchance, and
another at the word itself, as you would when first labeling a man "my
friend Mr. Blank." But the embarrassment is momentary, and there is no
other way. Assume a friendship if you have it not, and presently the
friendship will be real. You must be steadfast in intention; for the words
that have held aloof from you are many, and to unloose all at once on a
single victim would well-nigh brand you criminal. But you will make sure
headway, and will be conscious besides that no other class of words in the
language will so well repay the mastering. For these are words you
_do_ use, and need to use more, and more freely--words your own
experience stamps as valuable, if not indeed vital, to you.

The third class of words is made up of those you do not speak at all, but
sometimes write. They are acquaintance one degree farther removed than
those of the second class. Your task is to bring them into class two and
thence into class one--that is, to introduce them into your more formal
speech, and from this gradually into your everyday speech.

The fourth class of words is made up of those you recognize when you hear
or read them, but yourself never employ. They are acquaintance of a very
distant kind. You nod to them, let us say, and they to you; but there the
intercourse ends. Obviously, they are not to be brought without
considerable effort into a position of tried and trusted friendship. And
shall we be absolutely honest?--some of them may not justify such
assiduous care as their complete subjugation would call for. But even
these you should make your feudal retainers. You should constrain them to
membership in class three, and at your discretion in class two.

Apart from the words in class four, you will not to this point have made
actual additions to your vocabulary. But you will have made your
vocabulary infinitely more serviceable. You will be like a man with a host
of friends where before, when his necessities were sorest, he found (along
with some friends) many distant and timid acquaintance.

Outside the bounds of your present vocabulary altogether are the words you
encounter but do not recognize, except (it may be) dimly and uncertainly.
Some counselors would have you look up all such words in a dictionary. But
the task would be irksome. Moreover those who prescribe it are loath to
perform it themselves. Your own candid judgment in the matter is the
safest guide. If the word is incidental rather than vital to the meaning
of the passage that contains it, and if it gives promise of but rarely
crossing your vision again, you should deign it no more than a civil
glance. Plenty of ways will be left you to expend time wisely in the
service of your vocabulary.

EXERCISE - Analysis

1. Make a list of the words in class two of your own vocabulary, and
similar lists for classes three and four. (To make a list for class one
would be but a waste of time.) Procure if you can for this purpose a
loose-leaf notebook, and in the several lists reserve a full page for each
letter of the alphabet as used initially. Do not scamp the lists, though
their proper preparation consume many days, many weeks. Try to make them
really exhaustive. Their value will be in proportion to their accuracy and

2. Con the words in each list carefully and repeatedly. Your task is to
transfer these words into a more intimate list--those in class four into
class three, those in three into two, those in two into one. You are then
to promote again the words in the lower classes, except that (if your
judgment so dictates) you may leave the new class three wholly or
partially intact. To carry out this exercise properly you must keep these
words in mind, make them part and parcel of your daily life. (For a
special device for bringing them under subjection, see the next exercise.)

3. To write a word down helps you to remember it. That is why the normal
way to transfer a word from class four into class two is to put it
temporarily into the intermediary class, three; you first _see_ or
_hear_ the word, next _write_ it, afterwards _speak_ it.
The mere writing down of your lists has probably done much to bring the
words written into the circuit of your memory, where you can more readily
lay hold of them. Also it has fortified your confidence in using them; for
to write a word out, letter by letter, makes you surer that you have its
right form. With many of your words you will likely have no more trouble;
they will be at hand, anxious for employment, and you may use them
according to your need. But some of your words will still stubbornly
withhold themselves from memory. Weed these out from your lists, make a
special list of them, copy it frequently, construct short sentences into
which the troublesome words fit. By dint of writing the words so often you
will soon make them more tractable.

4. Make a fifth list of words--those you hear or see printed, do not
understand the meaning of, but yet feel you should know. Obtain and
confirm a grasp of them by the successive processes used with words in the
preceding lists.

Another means of buttressing your command of your present vocabulary is to
define words you use or are familiar with.

Do not bewilder yourself with words (like _and, the_) which call for
ingenuity in handling somewhat technical terms, or with words (like
_thing, affair, condition_) which loosely cover a multitude of
meanings. (You may, however, concentrate your efforts upon some one
meaning of words in the latter group.) Select words with a fairly definite
signification, and express this as precisely as you can. You may
afterwards consult a dictionary for means of checking up on what you have
done. But in consulting it think only of idea, not of form. You are not
training yourself in dictionary definitions, but in the sharpness and
clarity of your understanding of meanings.

About the only rule to be laid down regarding the definition of verbs,
adjectives, and adverbs is that you must not define a word in terms of
itself. Thus if you define _grudgingly_ as "in a grudging manner,"
you do not dissipate your hearer's uncertainty as to what the word means.
If you define it as "unwillingly" or "in a manner that shows reluctance to
yield possession," you give your hearer a clear-cut idea in no wise
dependent upon his ability to understand the word that puzzled him in the
first place.

Normally, in defining a noun you should assign the thing named to a
general class, and to its special limits within that class; in other
words, you should designate its genus and species. You must take care to
differentiate the species from all others comprised within the genus.
You will, in most instances, first indicate the genus and then the
species, but at your convenience you may indicate the species first. Thus
if you affirm, "A cigar is smoking-tobacco in the form of a roll of
tobacco-leaves," you name the genus first and later the characteristics of
the species. You have given a satisfactory definition. If on the other
hand you affirm, "A cigar is a roll of tobacco-leaves meant for smoking,"
you first designate the species and then merely imply the genus. Again you
have given a satisfactory definition; for you have permitted no doubt that
the genus is smoking-tobacco, and have prescribed such limits for the
species as exclude tobacco intended for a pipe or a cigarette.

In defining nouns by the genus-and-species method, restrict the genus to
the narrowest possible bounds. You will thus save the need for exclusions
later. Had you in your first definition of a cigar begun by saying that it
is tobacco, rather than smoking-tobacco, you would have violated this
principle; and you would have had to amplify the rest of your definition
in order to exclude chewing-tobacco, snuff, and the like.

EXERCISE - Definition

1. Define words of your own choosing in accordance with the principles
laid down in the preceding section of the text.

2. Define the following adjectives, adverbs, and verbs:

Miserable      Rebuke       Wise
Angrily        Rapidly      Boundless
Swim           Paint        Whiten
Haughtily      Surly        Causelessly

3. So define the following nouns as to prevent any possible confusion with
the nouns following them in parentheses:

Wages (salary)          Ride (drive)
Planet (star)           Truck (automobile)
Watch (clock)           Reins (lines)
Jail (penitentiary)     Iron (steel)
Vegetable (fruit)       Timber (lumber)
Flower (weed)           Rope (string)
Hail (sleet, snow)      Stock (bond)
Newspaper (magazine)    Street car (railway coach)
Cloud (fog)             Revolver (rifle, pistol, etc.)
Mountain (hill)         Creek (river)
Letter (postal card)

4. While remembering that the following words are of broad signification
and mean different things to different people, define them according to
their meaning to you:

Gentleman               Courage
Honesty                 Beauty
Honor                   Good manners
Generosity              A good while
Charity                 A little distance
Modesty                 Long ago

So much for the words which are already yours, or which you can make yours
through your own unaided efforts. For convenience we have grouped with
them some words of a nature more baffling--words of which you know perhaps
but a single aspect rather than the totality, or upon which you can obtain
but a feeble and precarious grip. These slightly known words belong more
to the class now to be considered than to that just disposed of. For we
have now to deal with words over which you can establish no genuine
rulership unless you have outside help.

You must own a dictionary, have it by you, consult it carefully and often.
Do not select one for purchasing upon the basis of either mere bigness or
cheapness. If you do, you may make yourself the owner of an out-of-date
reprint from stereotyped plates. What to choose depends partly upon
personal preference, partly upon whether your need is for
comprehensiveness or compression.

If you are a scholar, _Murray's_ many-volumed _New English
Dictionary_ may be the publication for you; but if you are an ordinary
person, you will probably content yourself with something less expensive
and exhaustive. You will find the _Century Dictionary and
Cyclopedia_, in twelve volumes, or _Webster's New International
Dictionary_ an admirable compilation. The _New Standard
Dictionary_ will also prove useful. All in all, if you can afford it,
you should provide yourself with one or the other of these three large and
authoritative, but not too inclusive, works. Of the smaller lexicons
_Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Webster's Secondary School
Dictionary_, the _Practical Standard Dictionary_, and the _Desk
Standard Dictionary_ answer most purposes well.

A dictionary is not for show. You must learn to use it. What ordinarily
passes for use is in fact abuse. Wherein? Let us say that you turn to your
lexicon for the meaning of a word. Of the various definitions given, you
disregard all save the one which enables the word to make sense in its
present context, or which fits your preconception of what the word should
stand for. Having engaged in this solemn mummery, you mentally record the
fact that you have been squandering your time, and enter into a compact
with yourself that no more will you so do. At best you have tided over a
transitory need, or have verified a surmise. You have not truly
_learned_ the word, brought it into a vassal's relationship with you,
so fixed it in memory that henceforth, night or day, you can take it up
like a familiar tool.

This procedure is blundering, farcical, futile, incorrect. To suppose you
have learned a word by so cursory a glance at its resources is like
supposing you have learned a man through having had him render you some
temporary and trivial service, as lending you a match or telling you the
time of day. To acquaint yourself thoroughly with a word--or a man--
involves effort, application. You must go about the work seriously,

One secret of consulting a dictionary properly lies in finding the
primary, the original meaning of the word. You must go to the source. If
the word is of recent formation, and is native rather than naturalized
English, you have only to look through the definitions given. Such a word
will not cause you much trouble. But if the word is derived from primitive
English or from a foreign language, you must seek its origin, not in one
of the numbered subheads of the definition, but in an etymological record
you will perceive within brackets or parentheses. Here you will find the
Anglo-Saxon (Old English), Latin, Greek, French, German, Italian,
Scandinavian, or other word from which sprang the word you are studying,
and along with this authentic original you may find cognate words in other
languages. These you may examine if you care to observe their resemblance
to your word, but the examination is not necessary. It could teach you
only the earlier or other _forms_ of your word, whereas what you are
after is the original _meaning_. This too is set down within the
brackets; if your search is in earnest, you cannot possible miss it. And
having discovered this original meaning, you must get it in mind; it is
one of the really significant things about the word. Your next step is to
find the present import of the word. Look, therefore, through the modern
definitions. Of these there may be too many, with too delicate shadings in
thought between them, for you to keep all clearly in mind. In fact you
need not try. Consider them of course, but out of them seek mainly the
drift, the central meaning. After a little practice you will be able to
disengage it from the others.

You now know the original sense of the word and its central signification
today. The two may be identical; they may be widely different; but through
reflection or study of the entire definition you will establish some sort
of connection between them. When you have done this, you have mastered the
word. From the two meanings you can surmise the others, wherever and
whenever encountered; for the others are but outgrowths and applications
of them.

One warning will not be amiss. You must not suppose that the terms used in
defining a word are its absolute synonyms, or may be substituted for it
indiscriminately. You must develop a feeling for _the limits_ of the
word, so that you may perceive where its likeness to the other terms
leaves off and its unlikeness begins. Thus if one of the terms employed in
defining _command_ is _control_, you must not assume that the
two words are interchangeable; you must not say, for instance, that the
captain controlled his men to present arms.

Such, abstractly stated, is the way to look up a word in the dictionary.
Let us now take a concrete illustration. Starting with the word
_tension_, let us ascertain what we can about it in the _Century
Dictionary and Cyclopedia_. Our first quest is the original meaning.
For this we consult the bracketed matter. There we meet the French,
Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian kinsmen of the word, and learn that they
are traceable to a common ancestor, the Latin _tensio(n)_, which
comes from the Latin verb _tendere_. The meaning of _tensio(n)_
is given as "stretching," that of _tendere_ as "stretch," "extend."
Thus we know of the original word that in form it closely resembles the
modern word, and that in meaning it involves the idea of stretching.

What is the central meaning of the word today? To acquaint ourselves with
this we must run through the definitions listed. Here (in condensed form)
they are. (1) The act of stretching. (2) In _mechanics_, stress or
the force by which something is pulled. (3) In _physics_, a
constrained condition of the particles of bodies. (4) In _statical
electricity_, surface-density. (5) Mental strain, stress, or
application. (6) A strained state of any kind, as political or social. (7)
An attachment to a sewing-machine for regulating the strain of the thread.
Now of these definitions (2), (3), (4), and (7) are too highly specialized
to conduct us, of themselves, into the highway of the word's meaning. They
bear out, however, the evidence of (1), (5), and (6), which have as their
core the idea of stretching, or of the strain which stretching produces.

We must now lay the original meaning alongside the central meaning today,
in order to draw our conclusions. We perceive that the two meanings
correspond. Yet by prying into them we make out one marked difference
between them. The original meaning is literal, the modern largely
figurative. To be sure, the figure has been so long used that it is now
scarcely felt as a figure; its force and definiteness have departed.
Consequently we may speak of being on a tension without having in mind at
all a comparison of our nervous system with a stretched garment, or with
an outreaching arm, or with a tightly strung musical instrument, or with a
taut rope.

What, then, is the net result of our investigation? Simply this, that
_tension_ means stretching, and that the stretching may be conceived
either literally or figuratively. With these two facts in mind, we need
not (unless we are experts in mechanics, physics, statical electricity, or
the sewing-machine) go to the trouble of committing the special senses of
_tension_; for should occasion bid, we can--from our position at the
heart of the word--easily grasp their rough purport. And from other
persons than specialists no more would be required.

EXERCISE - Dictionary

For each of the following words find (a) the original meaning, (b) the
central meaning today. (Other words are given in the exercises at the end
of this chapter.)

Bias          Supersede     Sly
Aversion      Capital       Meerschaum
Extravagant   Travel        Alley
Concur        Travail       Fee
Attention     Apprehend     Superb
Magnanimity   Lewd          Adroit
Altruism      Instigation   Quite
Benevolence   Complexion    Urchin
Charity       Bishop        Thoroughfare
Unction       Starve        Naughty
Speed         Cunning       Moral
Success       Decent        Antic
Crafty        Handsome      Savage
Usury         Solemn        Uncouth
Costume       Parlor        Window
Presumption   Bombastic     Colleague
Petty         Vixen         Alderman
Queen         Doctor        Engage

To thread with minute fidelity the mazes of a word's former history is the
task of the linguistic scholar; our province is the practical and the
present-day. But words, like men, are largely what they are because of
what they have been; and to turn a gossip's eye upon their past is to
procure for ourselves, often, not only enlightenment but also
entertainment. This fact, though brought out in some part already,
deserves separate and fuller discussion.

In the first place, curiosity as to words' past experience enables us to
read with keener understanding the literature of preceding ages. Of course
we should not, even so, go farther back than about three centuries. To
read anything earlier than Shakespeare would require us to delve too
deeply into linguistic bygones. And to read Shakespeare himself requires
effort--but rewards it. Let us see how an insight into words will help us
to interpret the Seven Ages of Man (Appendix 4).

In line 2 of this passage appears the word _merely_. In Shakespeare's
time it frequently meant "altogether" or "that and nothing else." As here
used, it may be taken to mean this, or to have its modern meaning, or to
stand in meaning midway between the two and to be suggestive of both;
there is no way of determining precisely. In line 12 the word _pard_
means leopard. In line 18 _saws_ means "sayings" (compare the phrase
"an old saw"); _modern_ means "moderate," "commonplace";
_instances_ means what we mean by it today, "examples,"
"illustrations." (Line 18 as a whole gives us a vivid sense of the
justice's readiness to speak sapiently, after the manner of justices, and
to trot out his trite illustrations on the slightest provocation.) The
word _pantaloon_ in line 20 is interesting. The patron saint of
Venice was St. Pantaleon (the term is from Greek, means "all-lion," and
possibly refers to the lion of St. Mark's Cathedral). _Pantaloon_
came therefore to signify (1) a Venetian, (2) a garment worn by Venetians
and consisting of breeches and stockings in one. The second sense is
preserved, substantially, in our term _pantaloons_. The first sense
led to the use of the word (in the mouths of the Venetians' enemies) for
"buffoon" and then (in early Italian comedy) for "a lean and foolish old
man." It is this stock figure of the stage that Shakespeare evokes. In
line 22 _hose_ means the covering for a man's body from his waist to
his nether-stock. (Compare the present meaning: a covering for the feet
and the _lower_ part of the legs.) In line 27 _mere_ means
"absolute." In line 28 _sans_ means "without."

Of the words we have examined, only _sans_ is obsolete, though
_pard_, _saws_, and _pantaloon_ are perhaps not entirely
familiar. That is, only one word in the passage, so far as its outward
form goes, is completely alien to our knowledge. But how different the
matter stands when we consider meanings! The words are words of today, but
the meanings are the meanings of Shakespeare. We should be baffled and
misled as to the dramatist's thought if we had made no inquiries into the
vehicle therefor.

In the second place, to look beyond the present into the more remote
signification of words will put us on our guard against the reappearance
of submerged or half-forgotten meanings. We have seen that the word
_tension_ may be used without conscious connection with the idea of
stretching. But if we incautiously place the word in the wrong
environment, the idea will be resurrected to our undoing. We associate
_ardor_ with strong and eager desire. For ordinary purposes this
conception of the word suffices. But _ardor_ is one of the children
of fire; its primary sense is "burning" (compare _arson_). Therefore
to pronounce the three vocables "overflowing with ardor" is to mix figures
of speech absurdly. We should fall into a similar mistake if we said
"brilliant fluency," and into a mistake of another kind (that of tautology
or repetition of an idea) if we said "heart-felt cordiality," for
_cordiality_ means "feelings of the heart." _Appreciate_ means
"set a (due) value on." We may perhaps say "really appreciate," but
scrupulous writers and speakers do not say "appreciate very much." A
_humor_ (compare humid) was once a "moisture"; then one of the four
moistures or liquids that entered into the human constitution and by the
proportions of their admixture determined human temperament; next a man's
outstanding temperamental quality (the thing itself rather than the cause
of it); then oddity which people may laugh at; then the spirit of laughter
and good nature in general. Normally we do not connect the idea of
moisture with the word. We may even speak of "a dry humor." But we should
not say "now and then a dry humor crops out," for then too many buried
meanings lie in the same grave for the very dead to rest peacefully

Even apart from reading old literature and from having, when you use
words, no ghosts of their pristine selves rise up to damn you, you may
profit from a knowledge of how the meaning of a term has evolved. For
example, you will meet many tokens and reminders of the customs and
beliefs of our ancestors. Thus _coxcomb_ carries you back to the days
when every court was amused by a "fool" whose head was decked with a
cock's comb; _crestfallen_ takes you back to cockfighting; and
_lunatic_ ("moonstruck"), _disaster_ ("evil star"), and "thank
your lucky stars" plant you in the era of superstition when human fate was
governed by heavenly bodies.

Further, you will perceive the poetry of words. Thus to _wheedle is_
to wag the tail and to _patter_ is to hurry through one's prayers
(paternoster). What a picture of the frailty of men even in their holiness
flashes on us from that word _patter! Breakfast is_ the breaking of
the fast of the night. _Routine_ (the most humdrum of words) is
travel along a way already broken. _Goodby _is an abridged form of
"God be with you." _Dilapidated_ is fallen stone from stone.
_Daisy_ is "the day's eye," _nasturtium_ (from its spicy smell)
"the nose-twister," _dandelion_ "the tooth of the lion." _A
lord_ is a bread-guard.

You will perceive, moreover, that many a dignified word once involved the
same idea as some unassuming or even semi-disreputable word or expression
involves now. Thus there is little or no difference in figure between
understanding a thing and getting on to it; between averting something
(turning it aside) and sidetracking it; between excluding (shutting out)
and closing the door to; between degrading (putting down a step) and
taking down a notch; between accumulating (heaping up) and making one's
pile; between taking umbrage (the shadow) and being thrown in the shade;
between ejaculating and throwing out a remark; between being on a tension
and being highstrung; between being vapid and having lost steam; between
insinuating (winding in) and worming in; between investigating and
tracking; between instigating (goading on or into) and prodding up;
between being incensed (compare _incendiary_) and burning with
indignation; between recanting (unsinging) and singing another tune;
between ruminating (chewing) and smoking in one's pipe. Nor is there much
difference in figure between sarcasm (a tearing of the flesh) and taking
the hide off; between sinister (left-handed) and backhanded; between
preposterous (rear end foremost) and cart before the horse; between salary
(salt-money, an allowance for soldiers) and pin-money; between pedigree
(crane's foot, from the appearance of genealogical diagrams) and crowsfeet
(about the eyes); between either precocious (early cooked), apricot (early
cooked), crude (raw), or recrudescence (raw again) and half-baked. To
ponder is literally to weigh; to apprehend an idea is to take hold of it;
to deviate is to go out of one's way; to congregate is to flock together;
to assail or insult a man is to jump on him; to be precipitate is to go
head foremost; to be recalcitrant is to kick.

Again, you will perceive that many words once had more literal or more
definitely concrete meanings than they have now. To corrode is to gnaw
along with others, to differ is to carry apart, to refuse is to pour back.
Polite is polished, absurd is very deaf, egregious is taken from the
common herd, capricious is leaping about like a goat, cross (disagreeable)
is shaped like a cross, wrong is wrung (or twisted). Crisscross is
Christ's cross, attention is stretching toward, expression is pressed out,
dexterity is right-handedness, circumstances are things standing around,
an innuendo is nodding, a parlor is a room to talk in, a nostril is that
which pierces the nose (thrill means pierce), vinegar is sharp wine, a
stirrup is a rope to mount by, a pastor is a shepherd, a marshal is a
caretaker of horses, a constable is a stable attendant, a companion is a
sharer of one's bread.

On the other hand, you will find that many words were once more general in
import than they have since become. _Fond_ originally meant foolish,
then foolishly devoted, then (becoming more general again) devoted.
_Nostrum_ meant our own, then a medicine not known by other
physicians, then a quack remedy. _Shamefast_ meant confirmed in
modesty (shame); then through a confusion of _fast_ with
_faced_, a betrayal through the countenance of self-consciousness or
guilt. _Counterfeit_ meant a copy or a picture, then an unlawful
duplication, especially of a coin. _Lust_ meant pleasure of any sort,
then inordinate sexual pleasure or desire. _Virtue_ (to trace only a
few of its varied activities) meant manliness, then the quality or
attribute peculiar to true manhood (with the Romans this was valor), then
any admirable quality, then female chastity. _Pen_ meant a feather,
then a quill to write with, then an instrument for writing used in the
same way as a quill. A _groom_ meant a man, then a stableman (in
_bridegroom_, however, it preserves the old signification).
_Heathen_ (heath-dweller), _pagan_ (peasant), and _demon_
(a divinity) had in themselves no iniquitous savor until early Christians
formed their opinion of the people inaccessible to them and the spirits
incompatible with the unity of the Godhead. Words betokening future
happenings or involving judgment tend to take a special cast from the
fears and anxieties men feel when their fortune is affected or their
destiny controlled by external forces. Thus _omen_ (a prophetic
utterance or sign) and _portent_ (a stretching forward, a foreseeing,
a foretelling) might originally be either benign or baleful; but nowadays,
especially in the adjectival forms _ominous_ and _portentous_,
they wear a menacing hue. Similarly _criticism_, _censure_, and
_doom_, all of them signifying at first mere judgment, have come--the
first in popular, the other two in universal, usage--to stand for adverse
judgment. The old sense of _doom_ is perpetuated, however, in
_Doomsday_, which means the day on which we are all to be, not
necessarily sent to hell, but judged.

You will furthermore perceive that the exaggerated affirmations people are
always indulging in have led to the weakening of many a word. _Fret_
meant eat; formerly to say that a man was fretting was to use a vigorous
comparison--to have the man devoured with care. _Mortify_ meant to
kill, then killed with embarrassment, then embarrassed. _Qualm_ meant
death, but our qualms of conscience have degenerated into mere twinges.
Oaths are shorn of their might by overuse; _confound_, once a
tremendous malinvocation, may now fall from the lips of respectable young
ladies, and _fie_, in its time not a whit less dire, would be
scarcely out of place in even a cloister. Words designating immediacy come
to have no more strength than soup-meat seven times boiled.
_Presently_ meant in the present, _soon_ and _by and by_
meant forthwith. How they have lost their fundamental meaning will be
intelligible to you if you have in ordering something been told that it
would be delivered "right away," or in calling for a girl have been told
that she would be down "in a minute."

You will detect in words of another class a deterioration, not in force,
but in character; they have fallen into contemptuous or sinister usage.
Many words for skill or wisdom have been thus debased. _Cunning_
meant knowing, _artful_ meant well acquainted with one's art,
_crafty_ meant proficient in one's craft or calling, _wizard_
meant wise man. The present import of these words shows how men have
assumed that mental superiority must be yoked with moral dereliction or
diabolical aid. Words indicating the generality--indicating ordinary rank
or popular affiliations--have in many instances suffered the same decline.
_Trivial_ meant three ways; it was what might be heard at the
crossroads or on any route you chanced to be traveling, and its value was
accordingly slight. _Lewd_ meant belonging to the laity; it came to
mean ignorant, and then morally reprehensible. _Common_ may be used
to signify ill-bred; _vulgar_ may be and frequently is used to
signify indecent. _Sabotage_, from a French term meaning wooden shoe,
has come to be applied to the deliberate and systematic scamping of one's
work in order to injure one's employer. _Idiot_ (common soldier)
crystallizes the exasperated ill opinion of officers for privates.
(_Infantry_--an organization of military infants--has on the contrary
sloughed its reproach and now enshrines the dignity of lowliness.)
Somewhat akin to words of this type is _knave_, which first meant
boy, then servant, then rogue. Terms for agricultural classes seldom
remain flattering. Besides such epithets as _hayseed_ and
_clodhopper_, contemptuous in their very origin, _villain_ (farm
servant), _churl_ (farm laborer), and _boor_ (peasant) have all
gathered unto themselves opprobrium; _villain_ now involves a
scoundrelly spirit, _churl_ a contumelious manner, _boor_ a
bumptious ill-breeding; not one of these words is any longer confined in
its application to a particular social rank. Terms for womankind are soon
tainted. _Wench_ meant at first nothing worse than girl or daughter,
_quean_ than woman, _hussy_ than housewife; even _woman is_
generally felt to be half-slighting. Terms affirming unacquaintance with
sin, or abstention from it, tend to be quickly reft of what praise they
are fraught with; none of us likes to be saluted as _innocent,
guileless_, or _unsophisticated_, and to be dubbed _silly_ no
longer makes us feel blessed. Besides these and similar classes of words,
there are innumerable individual terms that have sadly lost caste. An
_imp_ was erstwhile a scion; it then became a boy, and then a
mischievous spirit. A _noise_ might once be music; it has ceased to
enjoy such possibilities. To live near a piano that is constantly banged
is to know how _noise_ as a synonym for music was outlawed.

A backward glance over the history of words repays you in showing you the
words for what they are, and in having them live out their lives before
you. Do you know what an _umpire_ is? He is a non (or num) peer, a
not equal man, an odd man--one therefore who can decide disputes. Do you
know what a _nickname_ is? It is an eke (also) name, a title bestowed
upon one in addition to his proper designation. Do you know what a
_fellow_, etymologically speaking, is? He is a fee-layer, a partner,
a man who lays his fee (property) alongside yours. Do you know that
_matinée_, though awarded to the afternoon, meant primarily a morning
entertainment and has traveled so far from its original sense that we call
an actual before-noon performance a morning matinée? Do you know the past
of such words as _bedlam_, _rival_, _parson_,
_sandwich_, _pocket handkerchief?_ _Bedlam_, a corruption
of _Bethlehem_, was a hospital for the insane in London; it came to
be a general term for great confusion or discord. _Rivals_ were
formerly dwellers--that is, neighboring dwellers--on the bank of a stream;
disputes over water-rights gave the word its present meaning. A
_person_ or _parson_, for the two were the same, was a mask
(literally, that through which the sound came); then an actor representing
a character in a play; then a representative of any sort; then the
representative of the church in a parish. A _sandwich_ was a
stratification of bread and meat by the Earl of Sandwich, who was so loath
to leave the gaming table that he saved time by having food brought him in
this form. A _kerchief_ was originally a cover for the head, and
indeed sundry amiable, old-fashioned grandmothers still use it for this
purpose. Afterward people carried it in their hands and called it a
_handkerchief_; and when they transferred it to the pocket, they
called it a _pocket handkerchief_ or pocket hand head-cover. A
scrutiny of such words should convince you that the reading of the
dictionary, instead of being the dull occupation it is almost proverbially
reputed to be, may become an occupation truly fascinating. For clustered
about the words recorded in the dictionary are inexhaustible riches of
knowledge and of interest for those who have eyes to see.


1. For each of the following words look up (a) the present meaning if you
do not know it, (b) the original meaning, (c) any other past meanings you
can find.

Exposition          Corn             Cattle
Influence           Sanguine         Turmoil
Sinecure            Waist            Shrew
Potential           Spaniel          Crazy
Character           Candidate        Indomitable
Infringe            Rascal           Amorphous
Expend              Thermometer      Charm
Rather              Tall             Stepchild
Wedlock             Ghostly          Haggard
Bridal              Pioneer          Pluck
Noon                Neighbor         Jimson weed
Courteous           Wanton           Rosemary
Cynical             Street           Plausible
Grocer              Husband          Allow
Worship             Gipsy            Insane
Encourage           Clerk            Disease
Astonish            Clergyman        Boulevard
Realize             Hectoring        Canary
Bombast             Primrose         Diamond
Benedict            Walnut           Abominate
Piazza              Holiday          Barbarous
Disgust             Heavy            Kind
Virtu               Nightmare        Devil
Gospel              Comfort          Whist
Mermaid             Pearl            Onion
Enthusiasm          Domino           Book
Fanatic             Grotesque        Cheat
Auction             Economy          Illegible
Quell               Cheap            Illegitimate
Sheriff             Excelsior        Emasculate
Danger              Dunce            Champion
Shibboleth          Calico           Adieu
Essay               Pontiff          Macadamize
Wages               Copy             Stentorian
Quarantine          Puny             Saturnine
Buxom               Caper            Derrick
Indifferent         Boycott          Mercurial
Gaudy               Countenance      Poniard
Majority            Camera           Chattel.

2. The following words are often used loosely today, some because their
original meaning is lost sight of, some because they are confused with
other words. Find for each word (a) what the meaning has been and (b) what
the correct meaning is now.

Nice               Awful             Atrocious
Grand              Horrible          Pitiful
Beastly            Transpire         Claim
Weird              Aggravate         Uncanny
Demean             Gorgeous          Elegant
Fine               Noisome           Mutual (in "a mutual friend")
Lovely             Cute              Stunning
Liable             Immense.

3. The following sentences from standard English literature illustrate the
use of words still extant and even familiar, in senses now largely or
wholly forgotten. The quotations from the Bible and Shakespeare (all the
Biblical quotations are from the King James Version) date back a little
more than three hundred years, those from Milton a little less than three
hundred years, and those from Gray and Coleridge, respectively, about a
hundred and seventy-five and a hundred and twenty-five years. Go carefully
enough into the past meanings of the italicized words to make sure you
grasp the author's thought.

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of
these is _charity_.(1 _Corinthians_ 13:13)

I _prevented_ the dawning of the morning. (_Psalms_ 119:147)

Our eyes _wait_ upon the Lord our God. (_Psalms_ 123:2)

The times of this ignorance God _winked_ at. (_Acts_ 17:30)

And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me; for I perceive that
_virtue_ is gone out of me. (_Luke_ 8:46)

To judge the _quick_ and the dead. (1 _Peter_ 4:5)

Be not wise in your own _conceits_. (_Romans_ 12:16)

In maiden meditation, _fancy_-free. (Shakespeare: _A Midsummer
Night's Dream_)

Is it so _nominated_ in the bond? (Shakespeare: _The Merchant
of Venice_)

Would I had met my _dearest_ foe in heaven. (Shakespeare:

The _extravagant_ and _erring_ spirit. (Said of a spirit
wandering from the bounds of purgatory. Shakespeare: _Hamlet_)

The _modesty_ of nature. (Shakespeare: _Hamlet_)

It is a nipping and an _eager_ air. (Shakespeare: _Hamlet_)

Is mortals' chiefest enemy. (Shakespeare: _Macbeth_)

Most _admired_ disorder. (Shakespeare: _Macbeth_)

Upon this _hint_ I spake. (From the account of the wooing of
Desdemona. Shakespeare: _Othello_)

This Lodovico is a _proper_ man. A very handsome man.
(Shakespeare: _Othello_)

Mice and rats and such small _deer_. (Shakespeare: _King Lear_)

This is no sound
That the earth _owes_. (Shakespeare: _The Tempest_)

Every shepherd _tells_ his _tale_. (Milton: _L'Allegro_)
Bring the _rathe_ primrose that forsaken dies. (_Rathe_ survives
only in the comparative form _rather_. Milton: _Lycidas_)

Can honor's voice _provoke_ the silent dust? (Gray: _Elegy_)

The _silly_ buckets on the deck. (Coleridge: _The Ancient

4. In technical usage or particular phrases a former sense of a word may
be embedded like a fossil. The italicized words in the following list
retain special senses of this kind. What do these words as thus used mean?
Can you add to the list?
To _wit_
Might and _main_
Time and _tide_
_Sad_ bread
A bank _teller_
To _tell_ one's _beads_
Aid and _abet_
_Meat_ and drink
Getting off _scot_-free
An _earnest_ of future favors
A _brave_ old hearthstone
_Confusion_ to the enemy!
Giving aid and _comfort_ to the enemy
Without _let_ or hindrance
A _let_ in tennis
Cut to _the quick_
_Neat_-foot oil
To _sound in_ tort (Legal phrase)
To bid one God_speed_
I had as _lief_ as not
The child _favors_ its parents
On _pain_ of death
Widow's _weeds_
I am _bound_ for the Promised Land
To _carry_ a girl to a party (Used only in the South)
To give a person so much _to boot_

5. Each of the subjoined phrases contradicts itself or repeats its idea
clumsily. The key to the difficulty lies in the italicized words. What is
their true meaning?

A weekly _journal_
_Ultimate_ end
Final _ultimatum_
_Final_ completion
Previous _preconceptions_
_Nauseating_ seasickness
_Join_ together
_Descend_ down
_Prefer_ better
_Argent_ silver
Completely _annihilate_
_Unanimously_ by all
Most _unique_ of all
The other _alternative_
_Endorse_ on the back
_Incredible_ to believe
A _criterion_ to go by
An _appetite_ to eat
_A panacea_ for all ills
_Popular_ with the people
_Biography_ of his life
_Autobiography_ of his own life
_Vitally_ alive
A new, _novel_, and ingenious explanation
_Mutual_ dislike for each other
_Omniscient_ knowledge of all subjects
A _material_ growth in mental power
_Peculiar_ faults of his own
Fly into an _ebullient_ passion
To _saturate_ oneself with gold and silver
Elected by _acclamation on_ a secret ballot.



Our investigation into the nature, qualities, and fortunes of single words
must now merge into a study of their family connections. We do not go far
into this new phase of our researches before we perceive that the career
of a word may be very complicated. Most people, if you asked them, would
tell you that an individual word is a causeless entity--a thing that was
never begotten and lacks power to propagate. They would deny the
possibility that its course through the world could be other than
colorless, humdrum. Now words thus immaculately conceived and fatefully
impotent, words that shamble thus listlessly through life, there are. But
many words are born in an entirely normal way; have a grubby boyhood, a
vigorous youth, and a sober maturity; marry, beget sons and daughters,
become old, enfeebled, even senile; and suffer neglect, if not death. In
their advanced age they are exempted by the discerning from enterprises
that call for a lusty agility, but are drafted into service by those to
whom all levies are alike. Indeed in their very prime of manhood their
vicissitudes are such as to make them seem human. Some rise in the world
some sink; some start along the road of grandeur or obliquity, and then
backslide or reform. Some are social climbers, and mingle in company where
verbal dress coats are worn; some are social degenerates, and consort with
the ragamuffins and guttersnipes of language. Some marry at their own
social level, some above them, some beneath; some go down in childless
bachelorhood or leave an unkempt and illegitimate progeny. And if you
trace their own lineage, you will find for some that it is but decent and
middle-class, for some that it is mongrelized and miscegenetic, for some
that it is proud, ancient, yea perhaps patriarchal.

It is contrary to nature for a word, as for a man, to live the life of a
hermit. Through external compulsion or internal characteristics a word has
contacts with its fellows. And its most intimate, most spontaneous
associations are normally with its own kindred.

In our work hitherto we have had nothing to say of verbal consanguinity.
But we have not wholly ignored its existence, for the very good reason
that we could not. For example, in the latter portions of Chapter IV we
proceeded on the hypothesis that at least some words have ancestors. Also
in the analysis of the dictionary definition of _tension_ we learned
that the word has, not only a Latin forebear, but French, Spanish,
Portuguese, and Italian kinsmen as well. One thing omitted from that
analysis would have revealed something further--namely, that the word has
its English kinfolks too. For the bracketed part of the dictionary
definition mentions two other English words, _tend_ and _tense_,
which from their origin involve the same idea as that of _tension_--
the idea of stretching.

Now words may be akin in either of two ways. They may be related in blood.
Or they may be related by marriage. Let us consider these two kinds of
connection more fully.

As an illustration of blood kinships enjoyed by a native English word take
the adjective _good_. We can easily call to mind other members of its
family: goodly, goodish, goody-goody, good-hearted, good-natured, good-
humored, good-tempered, goods, goodness, goodliness, gospel (good story),
goodby, goodwill, goodman, goodwife, good-for-nothing, good den (good
evening), the Good Book. The connection between these words is obvious.

Next consider a group of words that have been naturalized: scribe,
prescribe, ascribe, proscribe, transcribe, circumscribe, subscriber,
indescribable, scribble, script, scripture, postscript, conscript,
rescript, manuscript, nondescript, inscription, superscription,
description. It is clear that these words are each other's kith and kin in
blood, and that the strain or stock common to all is _scribe_ or (as
sometimes modified) _script_. What does this strain signify? The idea
of writing. The _scribes_ are a writing clan. Some of them, to be
sure, have strayed somewhat from the ancestral calling, for words are as
wilful--or as independent--as men. _Ascribe_, for example, does not
act like a member of the household of writers, whatever it may look like.
We should have to scrutinize it carefully or consult the record for it in
that verbal Who's Who, the dictionary, before we could understand how it
came by its scribal affiliations honestly. But once we begin to reflect or
to probe, we find we have not mistaken its identity. _Ascribe_ is the
offspring of _ad_ (to) and _scribo_ (write), both Latin terms.
It originally meant writing to a person's name or after it (that is,
imputing to the person by means of written words) some quality or
happening of which he was regarded as the embodiment, source, or cause.
Nowadays we may saddle the matter on him through oral rather than written
speech. That is, _ascribe_ has largely lost the writing traits. But
all the same it is manifestly of the writing blood.

The _scribes_ are of undivided racial stock, Latin. Consider now the
_manu_, or _man_, words which sprang from the Latin
_manus_, meaning "hand." Here are some of them: manual, manoeuver,
mandate, manacle, manicure, manciple, emancipate, manage, manner,
manipulate, manufacture, manumission, manuscript, amanuensis. These too
are children of the same father; they are brothers and sisters to each
other. But what shall we say of legerdemain (light, or sleight, of hand),
maintain, coup de main, and the like? They bear a resemblance to the
_man's_ and _manu's_, yet one that casual observers would not
notice. Is there kinship between the two sets of words? There is. But not
the full fraternal or sororal relation. The _mains_ are children of
_manus_ by a French marriage he contracted. With this French blood in
their veins, they are only half-brothers, half-sisters of the
_manu's_ and the _man's_.

Your examination of the family trees of words will be practical, rather
than highly scholastic, in nature. You need not track every word in the
dictionary to the den of its remote parentage. Nor need you bother your
head with the name of the distant ancestor. But in the case of the large
number of words that have a numerous kindred you should learn to detect
the inherited strain. You will then know that the word is the brother or
cousin of certain other words of your acquaintance, and this knowledge
will apprise you of qualities in it with which you should reckon. To this
extent only must you make yourself a student of verbal genealogy.


(Simple exercises in tracing blood relationships among words are given at
the end of the chapter. Therefore the exercises assigned here are of a
special character.)

1. Each of the following groups is made up of related words, but the
relationship is somewhat disguised. Consult the dictionary for each word,
and learn all you can as to (a) its source, (b) the influence (as passing
through an intermediate language) that gave it its present form, (c) the
course of its development into its present meaning.

Captain                 Cathedral         Governor
Capital                 Chaise            Gubernatorial
Decapitate              Chair
Chef                    Shay              Guardian
Chieftain                                 Ward
Cavalry                 Campaign          Guarantee
Chivalry                Champion          Warrant

Camera                  Inept             Incipient
Chamber                 Apt               Receive

Serrated                Inimical          Poor
Sierra                  Enemy             Pauper

Influence               Espionage         Work
Influenza               Spy               Wrought

2. The variety of sources for modern English is indicated by the following
list. Do not seek for blood kinsmen of these particular words, but think
of all the additional words you can that have come into English from
Indian, Spanish, French, any other language spoken today.

Alphabet (Greek)              Piano (Italian)
Folio (Latin)                 Car (Norman)
Boudoir (French)              Rush (German)
Binnacle (Portuguese)         Sky (Icelandic)
Anger (Old Norse)             Yacht (Dutch)
Isinglass (Low German)        Hussar (Hungarian)
Slogan (Celtic)               Samovar (Russian)
Polka (Polish)                Chess (Persian)
Shekel (Hebrew)               Tea (Chinese)
Algebra (Arabic)              Kimono (Japanese)
Puttee (Hindoo)               Tattoo (Tahitian)
Boomerang (Australian)        Voodoo (African)
Potato (Haytian)              Skunk (American Indian)
Guano (Peruvian)              Buncombe (American)
Renegade (Spanish)

That words marry and are given in marriage, is too generally overlooked.
Any student of a foreign language, German for instance, can recall the
thrill of discovery and the lift of reawakened hope that came to him when
first he suspected, aye perceived, the existence of verbal matrimony. For
weeks he had struggled with words that apparently were made up of
fortuitous collocations of letters. Then in some beatific moment these
huddles of letters took meaning; in instance after instance they
represented, not a word, but words--a linguistic household. Let them be
what they might--a harem, the domestic establishment of a Mormon, the
dwelling-place of verbal polygamists,--he could at last see order in their
relationships. To their morals he was indifferent, absorbed as he was in
his joy of understanding.

In English likewise are thousands of these verbal marriages. We may not be
aware of them; from our very familiarity with words we may overlook the
fact that in instances uncounted their oneness has been welded by a
linguistic minister or justice of the peace. But to read a single page or
harken for thirty seconds to oral discourse with our minds intent on such
states of wedlock is to convince ourselves that they abound. Consider this
list of everyday words: somebody, already, disease, vineyard, unskilled,
outlet, nevertheless, holiday, insane, resell, schoolboy, helpmate,
uphold, withstand, rainfall, deadlock, typewrite, football, motorman,
thoroughfare, snowflake, buttercup, landlord, overturn. Every term except
one yokes a verbal husband with his wife, and the one exception
(_nevertheless_) joins a uxorious man with two wives.

These marriages are of a simple kind. But the nuptial interlinkings
between families of words may be many and complicated. Thus there is a
family of _graph_ (or write) words: graphic, lithograph, cerograph,
cinematograph, stylograph, telegraph, multigraph, seismograph, dictograph,
monograph, holograph, logograph, digraph, autograph, paragraph,
stenographer, photographer, biographer, lexicographer, bibliography,
typography, pyrography, orthography, chirography, calligraphy,
cosmography, geography. There is also a family of _phone_ (or sound)
words: telephone, dictaphone, megaphone, audiphone, phonology, symphony,
antiphony, euphonious, cacophonous, phonetic spelling. It chances that
both families are of Greek extraction. Related to the _graphs_--their
cousins in fact--are the _grams_: telegram, radiogram, cryptogram,
anagram, monogram, diagram, logogram, program, epigram, kilogram,
ungrammatical. Now a representative of the _graphs_ married into the
_phone_ family, and we have graphophone. A representative of the
_phones_ married into the _graph_ family, and we have
phonograph. A representative of the _grams_ married into the
_phone_ family, and we have gramophone. A representative of the
_phones_ married into the _gram_ family, and we have phonogram.
Of such unions children may be born. For example, from the marriage of Mr.
Phone with Miss Graph were born phonography, phonographer, phonographist
(a rather frail child), phonographic, phonographical, and

Intermarriage between the _phones_ and the _graphs_ or
_grams_ is a wedding of equals. Some families of words, however, are
of inferior social standing to other families, and may seek but not hope
to be sought in marriage. Compare the _ex's_ with the _ports_.
An _ex_, as a preposition, belongs to a prolific family but not one
of established and unimpeachable dignity. Hence the _ex's_, though
they marry right and left, lead the other words to the altar and are never
led thither themselves. Witness exclude, excommunicate, excrescence,
excursion, exhale, exit, expel, expunge, expense, extirpate, extract; in
no instance does _ex_ fellow its connubial mate--it invariably
precedes. The _ports_, on the other hand, are the peers of anybody.
Some of them choose to remain single: port, porch, portal, portly, porter,
portage. Here and there one marries into another family: portfolio,
portmanteau, portable, port arms. More often, however, they are wooed than
themselves do the pleading: comport, purport, report, disport, transport,
passport, deportment, importance, opportunity, importunate, inopportune,
insupportable. From our knowledge of the two families, therefore, we
should surmise that if any marriage is to take place between them; an
_ex_ must be the suitor. The surmise would be sound. There is such a
term as _export_, but not as _portex_.

Now it is oftentimes possible to do business with a man without knowing
whether he is a man or a bridal couple. And so with a word. But the
knowledge of his domestic state and circumstances will not come amiss, and
it may prove invaluable. You may find that you can handle him to best
advantage through a sagacious use of the influence of his wife.

EXERCISE - Marriage

1. For each word in the lists of EXERCISE - Dictionary and Activity 1 for
EXERCISE - Past, determine (a) whether it is single or married; (b) if it
is married, whether the wedding is one between equals.

2. Make a list of the married words in the first three paragraphs of the
selection from Burke (Appendix 2). For each of these words determine the
exact nature and extent of the dowry brought by each of the contracting
parties to the wedding.

Hitherto in our study of verbal relationships we have usually started with
the family. Having strayed (as by good luck) into an assembly of kinsmen,
we have observed the common strain and the general characteristics, and
have then "placed" the individual with reference to these. But we do not
normally meet words, any more than we meet men, in the domestic circle. We
meet them and greet them hastily as they hurry through the tasks of the
day, with no other associates about them than such as chance or momentary
need may dictate. If we are to see anything of their family life, it must
be through effort we ourselves put forth. We must be inquisitive about
their conjugal and blood relationships.

How, then, starting with the individual word, can you come into a
knowledge of it, not in its public capacity, but in what is even more
important, its personal connections? You must form the habit of asking two
questions about it: (1) Is it married? (2) Of what family or families was
it born? If you can get an understanding answer to these two questions, an
answer that will tell you what its relations stand for as well as what
their name is, your inquiries will be anything but bootless.

Let us illustrate your procedure concretely. Suppose you read or hear the
word _conchology_. It is a somewhat unusual word, but see what you
can do with it yourself before calling on the dictionary to help you.
Observe the word closely, and you will obtain the answer to your first
question. _Conchology_ is no bachelor, no verbal old maid; it is a
married pair.

Your second and more difficult task awaits you; you must ascertain the
meaning of the family connections. With Mr. Conch you are on speaking
terms; you know him as one of the shells. But the utmost you can recall
about his wife is that she is one of a whole flock of _ologies_. What
significance does this relationship possess? You are uncertain. But do not
thumb the dictionary yet. Pass in mental review all the _ologies_ you
can assemble. Wait also for the others that through the unconscious
operations of memory will tardily straggle in. Be on the lookout for
_ologies_ as you read, as you listen. In time you will muster a
sizable company of them. And you will draw a conclusion as to the meaning
of the blood that flows through their veins. _Ology_ implies speech
or study. _Conchology_, then, must be the study of conches.

Your investigations thus far have done more than teach you the meaning of
the word you began with. They have brought you some of the by-products of
the study of verbal kinships. For you no longer pass the _ologies_ by
with face averted or bow timidly ventured. You have become so well
acquainted with them that even a new one, wherever encountered, would
flash upon you the face of a friend. But now your desires are whetted. You
wish to find out how much you _can_ learn. You at last consult the

Here a huge obstacle confronts you. The _ologies_, like the
_ports_ (above), are a haughty clan; they are the wooed, rather
than the wooing, members of most marital households that contain them. Now
the marriage licenses recorded in the dictionary are entered under the
name of the suitor, not of the person sought. Hence you labor under a
severe handicap as you take the census of the _ologies_. Let us
imagine the handicap the most severe possible. Let us suppose that no
_ology_ had ever been the suitor. Even so, you would not be entirely
baffled. For you could look up in the dictionary the _ologies_ you
your self had been able to recall. To what profit? First, you could verify
or correct your surmise as to what the _ological_ blood betokens.
Secondly, you could perhaps obtain cross-references to yet other
_ologies_ than those you remembered.

But you are not reduced to these extremities. The _ologies_, arrogant
as they are, sometimes are the applicants for matrimony, and the marriage
registry of the dictionary so indicates. To be sure, they do not, when
thus appearing at the beginning of words, take the form _ology_. They
take the form _log_. But you must be resourceful enough to keep after
your quarry in spite of the omission of a vowel or two. Also from some
lexicons you may obtain still further help. You may find _ology, logy,
logo_, or _log_ listed as a combining form, its meaning given, and
examples of its use in compounds cited.

By your zeal and persistence you have now brought together a goodly array
of the _ologies_--all or most, let us say, of the following:
conchology, biology, morphology, phrenology, physiology, osteology,
histology, zoology, entomology, bacteriology, ornithology, pathology,
psychology, cosmology, eschatology, demonology, mythology, theology,
astrology, archeology, geology, meteorology, mineralogy, chronology,
genealogy, ethnology, anthropology, criminology, technology, doxology,
anthology, trilogy, philology, etymology, terminology, neologism,
phraseology, tautology, analogy, eulogy, apology, apologue, eclogue,
monologue, dialogue, prologue, epilogue, decalogue, catalogue, travelogue,
logogram, logograph, logo-type, logarithms, logic, illogical. (Moreover
you may have perceived in some of these words the kinship which exists in
all for the _loquy_ group--see (1) Soliloquy below.) Of course you
will discard some items from this list as being too learned for your
purposes. But you will observe of the others that once you know the
meaning of _ology_, you are likely to know the whole word. Thus from
your study of _conchology_ you have mastered, not an individual term,
but a tribe.

In _conchology_ only one element, _ology_, was really dubious at
the outset. Let us take a word of which both elements give you pause.
Suppose your thought is arrested by the word _eugenics_. You perhaps
know the word as a whole, but not its components. For by looking at it and
thinking about it you decide that its state is married, that it comprises
the household of Mr. Eu and his wife, formerly Miss Gen. But you cannot
say offhand just what kind of person either Mr. Eu or the erstwhile Miss
Gen is likely to prove.

Have you met any of the _Eu's_ elsewhere? You think vaguely that you
have, but cannot lay claim to any real acquaintance. To the dictionary you
accordingly betake yourself. There you find that Mr. Eu is of a family
quite respectable but not prone to marriage. _Euphony, eupepsia,
euphemism, euthanasia_ are of his retiring kindred. The meaning of the
_eu_ blood, so the dictionary informs you, is well. The _gen_
blood, as you see exemplified in gentle, general, genital, engender,
carries with it the idea of begetting, of producing, of birth, or (by
extension) of kinship. _Eugenics_, then, is an alliance of well and
begotten (or born).

Your immediate purpose is fulfilled; but you resolve, let us say, to make
the acquaintance of more of the _gens_, whose number you have
perceived to be legion. You are duly introduced to the following: genus,
generic, genre, gender, genitive, genius, general, Gentile, gentle,
gentry, gentleman, genteel, generous, genuine, genial, congeniality,
congener, genital, congenital, engender, generation, progeny, progenitor,
genesis, genetics, eugenics, pathogenesis, biogenesis, ethnogeny,
palingenesis, unregenerate, degenerate, monogeny, indigenous, exogenous,
homogeneous, heterogeneous, genealogy, ingenuous, ingenious, ingenue,
engine, engineer, hygiene, hydrogen, oxygen, endogen, primogeniture,
philoprogeniture, miscegenation. Some of these are professional rather
than social; you decide not to leave your card at their doors. Others have
assumed a significance somewhat un_gen_-like, though the relationship
may be traced if you are not averse to trouble, Thus _engine_ in its
superficial aspects seems alien to the idea of born. But it is the child
of _ingenious_ (innate, inborn); _ingenious_ is the inborn power
to accomplish, and _engine_ is the result of the application of that
power. Whether you care to bother with such subtleties or not, enough
_gens_ are left to make the family one well worth your cultivation.

Thus by studying two words, _conchology_ and _eugenics_, you
have for the first time placed yourself on an intimate footing with three
verbal families--the _ologies_, the _eu's,_ and the _gens_.
Observe that though you studied the _ologies_ apart from the
_eu's_ and the _gens_, your knowledge--once you have acquired
it--cannot be kept pigeonholed, for the _ologies_ have intermarried
with both the other families. Hence you on meeting _eulogy_ can
exclaim: "How do you do, Mr. Eu? I am honored in making your acquaintance,
Mrs. Eu--I was about to call you by your maiden name; for I am a friend of
your sister, the Miss Ology who married Mr. Conch. And you too, Mr. Eu--I
cannot regard you as a stranger. I have looked in so often on the family
of your brother--the Euphony family, I mean. What a beautiful literary
household it is! Yet it has been neglected by the world-yea, even by the
people who write. Well, the loss is theirs who do the neglecting." And
_genealogy_ you can greet with an equal parade of family lore: "Don't
trouble to tell me who you are. I am hob and nob with your folks on both
sides of the family, and my word for it, the relationship is written all
over you. Mr. Gen, I envy you the pride you must feel in the prominence
given nowadays to the _eugenics_ household. And it must delight you,
Miss Ology-that-was, that connoisseurs are so keenly interested in
_conchology_. How are Grandfather Gen and Grandmother Ology? They
were keeping up remarkably the last time I saw them." Do you think words
will not respond to cordiality like this? They will work their flattered
heads off for you!

EXERCISE - Relationships

1. For each of the following words (a) determine what families are
intermarried, (b) ascertain the exact contribution to the household by
each family represented, and (c) make as complete a list as possible of
cognate words.

Reject     Oppose     Convent     Defer     Omit     Produce     Expel

2. Test the extent of the intermarriages among these words by successively
attaching each of the prefixes to each of the main (or key) syllables.
(Thus re-ject, re-fer, re-pel, etc.)

In tracing verbal kinships you must be prepared for slight variations in
the form of the same key-syllable. Consider these words: wise, wiseacre,
wisdom, wizard, witch, wit, unwitting, to wit, outwit, twit, witticism,
witness, evidence, providence, invidious, advice, vision, visit, vista,
visage, visualize, envisage, invisible, vis-à-vis, visor, revise,
supervise, improvise, proviso, provision, view, review, survey, vie, envy,
clairvoyance. Perhaps the last six should be disregarded as too
exceptional in form to be clearly recognized. And certainly some words, as
_prudence_ from _providentia_, are so metamorphosed that they
should be excluded from practical lists of this kind. But even in the
words left to us there are fairly marked divergences in appearance. Why?
Because the key-syllable has descended to us, not through one language,
but through several. As good verbal detectives we should be able to
penetrate the consequent disguises; for _wis, wiz, wit, vid, vic_,
and _vis_ all embody the idea of seeing or knowing.

On the other hand, you must take care not to be misled by a superficial
resemblance into thinking two unrelated key-syllables identical. Let us
consider two sets of words. The first, which is related to the _tain_
group (see  below), has a key-syllable that means holding:
tenant, tenement, tenure, tenet, tenor, tenable, tenacious, contents,
contentment, lieutenant, maintenance, sustenance, countenance,
appurtenance, detention, retentive, pertinacity, pertinent, continent,
abstinence, continuous, retinue. The second has a key-syllable that means
stretching: tend, tender, tendon, tendril, tendency, extend, subtend,
distend, pretend, contend, attendant, tense, tension, pretence, intense,
intensive, ostensible, tent, tenterhook, portent, attention, intention,
tenuous, attenuate, extenuate, antenna, tone, tonic, standard. The form of
the key-syllable for the first set of words is usually _ten, tent_,
or _tin_; that for the second _tend, tens, tent_, or _ten_.
You may therefore easily confuse the two groups until you have learned to
look past appearances into meanings. Thenceforth the holdings and the
stretchings will be distinct in your mind--will constitute two great
families, not one. Of course individual words may still puzzle you. You
will not perceive that _tender_, for example, belongs with the
stretchings until you go back to its primary idea of something stretched
thin, or that _tone_ has membership in that family until you connect
it with the sound which a stretched chord emits.


Each of the key-syllables given below is followed by (1) a list of fairly
familiar words that embody it, (2) a list of less familiar words that
embody it, (3) several sentences containing blank spaces, into each of
which you are ultimately to fit the appropriate word from the first list.
(The existence of the two lists will show you that learned words may have
commonplace kinfolks.)

First, however, you are to study each word in both lists for (1) its exact
meaning, (2) the influence of the key-syllable upon that meaning, (3) any
variation of the key-syllable from its ordinary form. (A few words have
been introduced to show how varied the forms may be and yet remain

Also, as an aid to your memory, you are to copy each list, underscoring
the key-syllable each time you encounter it.

(The lists are practical, not meticulously academic. In many instances
they contain words derived, not from a single original, but from cognates.
No list is exhaustive.)

 (carry on, do, drive): (1) agent, agitate, agile, act,
actor, actuate, exact, enact, reaction, counteract, transact, mitigate,
navigate, prodigal, assay, essay; (2) agenda, pedagogue, synagogue,
actuary, redact, castigate, litigation, exigency, ambiguous, variegated,
cogent, cogitate.

_Sentences_ (inflect forms if necessary; for example, use the past
tense, participle, or infinitive of a verb instead of its present tense):
It was ____ into law. The legislators had been ____ by honest motives, but
the popular ____ was immediate. The ____ of the mining company refused to
let us proceed with the ____. Nothing could ____ the offense. The father
was ____, the son ____. The student handed in his ____ at the ____ time
designated. Though ____ enough on land, he could not ____ a ship.
The ____ by missing his cue so ____ the manager that his good work
thereafter could not ____ the ill impression.

 (burn): (1 and 2 combined) burn, burnish,
brunette, brunt, bruin, brand, brandish, brandy, brown.

_Sentences_: He plucked a ____ from the ____. The ____ hair of
the ____ was so glossy it seemed ____. He ____ his sword and bore
the ____ of the conflict. After drinking so much ____ he saw snakes in his
imagination, he staggered off into the woods and met Old ____ in reality.

 (fall): (1) cadence, decadent, case, casual,
casualty, occasion, accident, incident, mischance, cheat; (2) casuistry,
coincide, occidental, deciduous.

_Sentences_: The period was a ____ one. He, gave but ____ attention
to the ____ of the music. On this ____ an ____ befell him. To the general
it was a mere ____ that his ____ were heavy. As a result of this ____ he
was accused of trying to ____ them.

 (go): (1) cede, recede, secede, concede,
intercede, procedure, precedent, succeed, exceed, success, recess,
concession, procession, intercession, abscess, ancestor, cease, decease;
(2) antecedent, precedence, cessation, accessory, predecessor.

_Sentences_: He ____ the existence of a ____ that justified
such ____. The delegate ____ his authority when he consented to ____ the
territory. He would not ____ from his position or ____ for mercy.
At ____ the pupils ____ in forming a ____. His ____ was suffering from
an ____ at the time the Southern states ____. His agony ____ only with
his ____.

 (take): (1) receive, deceive,
perceive, deceit, conceit, receipt, reception, perception, inception,
conception, interception, accept, except, precept, municipal, participate,
anticipate, capable, capture, captivate, case (chest, covering), casement,
incase, cash, cashier, chase, catch, prince, forceps, occupy;
(2) receptacle, recipient, incipient, precipitate, accipiter, capacious,

_Sentences_: Though she ____ the officers, she did not prevent
the ____ of the fugitive. He ____ that the man was very ____. The mayor
skilfully ____ the alderman and proposed that ____ bonds be issued. The
sight of the money ____ him and he quickly gave me a ____. He uttered
musty ____, which were not always given a friendly ____. From the ____ of
the movement he plotted to ____ the leadership in it. The ____ took part
in the ____, but failed to ____ any of the game.

 (cut, kill): (1) decide, suicide, homicide, concise,
precise, decisive, incision, scissors, chisel, cement; (2) patricide,
fratricide, infanticide, regicide, germicide, excision, circumcision,
incisors, cesura.

_Sentences_: He could not ____ whether to make the ____ with
a ____ or a pair of ____. There was ____ evidence that he was the ____.
In a few ____ sentences he explained why his friend could never have been
a ____. The prim old lady had very ____ manners of speech.

 (run): (1) current, currency, incur, concur,
occurrence, cursory, excursion, course, discourse, intercourse, recourse;
(2) curriculum, precursor, discursive, recurrent, concourse, courier,
succor, corridor.

_Sentences_: He ____ in the request that payment be made in ____.
The ____ was so strong that the ____ by steamer had to be abandoned. In
the ____ of his remarks he had ____ to various shifts and evasions. By his
____ with one faction, though it was but ____, he ____ the enmity of the
other. It was a disgraceful ____.

 (speak, say): (1) dedicate, vindicate, indication,
predicament, predict, addict, verdict, indict, dictionary, dictation,
jurisdiction, vindictive, contradiction, benediction, ditto, condition;
(2) abdicate, adjudicate, juridical, diction, dictum, dictator,
dictaphone, dictograph, edict, interdict, valedictory, malediction, ditty,
indite, ipse dixit, on dit.

_Sentences_: The man ____ to drugs was ____ for ____ treatment of his
wife, and the ____ were that the ____ would be against him. He said, on
the contrary, that his character would be ____. The attorney for the
defense ____ that the judge would rule that the matter did not lie within
his ____. This would leave the prosecution in a ____. But the prosecution
issued a strong ____ of this theory, and said ____ were favorable for
proving the man guilty.

 (lead): (1) induce, reduce, traduce, seduce, introduce,
reproduce, education, deduct, product, production, reduction, conduct,
conductor, abduct, subdue; (2) educe, adduce, superinduce, conducive,
ducat, duct, ductile, induction, aqueduct, viaduct, conduit, duke, duchy.

_Sentences_: We ____ the company to ____ the fare. They ____ ten
cents from the wages of each man, an average ____ of four per cent.
They ____ us when they say we have wilfully lessened ____. The highwaymen
____ the ____. If you have an ____, you can ____ an idea in other words.

 (wander): (1) error, erroneous, erratic, errand;
(2) errata, knight errant, arrant knave, aberration.

_Sentences_: That ____ fellow came on a special ____ to tell us we
had made an ____. And his statement was ____ at that!

 (make, do): (1) fact, factory,
faction, manufacture, satisfaction, suffice, sacrifice, office, difficult,
pacific, terrific, significant, fortification, magnificent, artificial,
beneficial, verify, simplify, stupefy, certify, dignify, glorify, falsify,
beautify, justify, infect, perfect, effect, affection, defective, feat,
defeat, feature, feasible, forfeit, surfeit, counterfeit, affair, fashion;
(2) factor, factotum, malefaction, benefaction, putrefaction, facile,
facsimile, faculty, certificate, edifice, efficacy, prolific, deficient,
proficient, artifice, artificer, beneficiary, versification, unification,
exemplification, deify, petrify, rectify, amplify, fructify, liquefy,
disaffect, refection, comfit, pontiff, ipso facto, de facto, ex post
facto, au fait, fait accompli.

_Sentences_: The opposing ____ by incredible ____ had found
it ____ to take over the ____ of the goods. By this ____ it ____ what
goodwill the owner of the ____ had for it, but it won the ____ of the
public. The owner, though seemingly ____ at first, soon ____ a scheme to
make the success of the enterprise more ____. By an ____ lowering of the
price of his own goods and by ____ that those of his rivals were ____,
he hoped to ____ the public mind with unjust suspicions. But all this did
not ____. In truth the ____ of it was the hastening of his own ____ and a
____ heightening of the public ____ toward his rivals. His directors,
seeing that his policy had failed to ____ itself, met in his ____ and
urged him to take a more ____ attitude.

 (bear, carry): (1) transfer, prefer, proffer, suffer, confer,
offer, referee, deference, inference, indifferent, ferry, fertile; (2)
referendum, Lucifer, circumference, vociferate, auriferous, coniferous,

_Sentences_: With real ____ to their wishes he ____ to ____ the
goods by  ____. The ____ of the sporting writers was that the ____
was ____ to his duties. After ____ apart, the farmers ____ the use of
their most ____ acres for this experiment. To be mortal is to ____.

 (trust, believe, have faith): (1) fidelity, confide,
confident, diffident, infidel, perfidious, bona fide, defiance, affiance;
(2) fiduciary, affidavit, fiancé, auto da fé, Santa Fé.

_Sentences_: He was ____ that the man was an ____. He had ____ in
a ____ rascal. He had been ____ for years and had proved his ____. Though
we are somewhat ____ in making it, you may be sure it is a ____ offer. His
attitude toward his father is one of gross ____.

 (walk, go): (1) grade, gradual, graduate, degrade,
digress, Congress, aggressive, progressive, degree; (2) gradation,
Centigrade, ingress, egress, transgression, retrogression, ingredient.

_Sentences_: His failure to ____ from college made him feel ____
especially as his cronies all received their ____. The engine lost
speed ____ as it climbed the long ____. I ____ to remark that some members
of ____ are more ____ than ____.

 (have, hold): (1) habit, habitation, inhabitant, exhibit,
prohibition, ability, debit, debt; (2) habituate, habiliment, habeas
corpus, cohabit, dishabille, inhibit.

_Sentences_: The ____ of the island ____ an ____ to live without
permanent ____. It was his ____ to glance first at the ____ side of his
ledger, as he was much worried about his  ____. Most women favor ____.

 (sound): (1) hale, hallow, Hallowe'en, heal,
health, unhealthy, healthful, holy, holiday, hollyhock, whole, wholesome;
(2) halibut, halidom.

_Sentences_: Though he lived in a ____ climate, he was ____. The food
was ____, the man ____ and hearty. He did not think of a ____ as ____. We
had ____ in our garden almost until ____. He wept at hearing the ____ name
of his mother. For a ____ month the wound refused to ____.

 (go): (1) exit, transit, transition, initial, initiative,
ambition, circuit, perishable; (2) itinerant, transitory, obituary,
sedition, circumambient.

_Sentences_: The ____ was broken. It was his ____ shipment of  ____
goods, and they suffered a good deal in ____. His ____ was to be regarded
as a man of great ____. His ____ was less effective than his entrance.

 (throw): (1) eject, reject, subject, project, objection,
injection, dejected, conjecture, jet, jetty; (2) abject, traject,
adjective, projectile, interjection, ejaculate, jetsam, jettison.

_Sentences_: With ____ mien he watched the waves lash the ____.
His scheme was ____ to much ridicule and then ____, and he himself
was ____ from the room. From a pipe that ____ from the corner of the
building came a ____ of dirty water. He could only ____ what their ____
was. The ____ brought immediate relief.

 (law, right): (1) judge, judicious, judicial,
prejudice, jurist, jurisdiction, just, justice, justify; (2) judicature,
adjudicate, juridical, jurisprudence, justiciary, de jure.

_Sentences_: The eminent ____ said the matter did not lie within
his ____. Though ____ in most matters, he admitted to ____ in this.
The ____ said he would comment in an unofficial rather than a ____ way.
She could not ____ her suspicions. He was not only ____ himself, but
devoted to ____.

 (join): (1) junction, juncture, injunction, disjunctive,
conjugal, adjust; (2) adjunct, conjunction, subjunctive, conjugate.

_Sentences_: A ____ force had entered their ____ relationships.
At this ____ he gave the ____ that disturbances should cease. The tramp
halted at the ____ to eat his lunch and ____ his knapsack.

 (swear): (1 and 2 combined) juror, jury, abjure, adjure,
conjurer, perjury.

_Sentences_: They ____ their loyalty. He ____ them to remember their
duty as ____. The ____ held the ____ guilty of ____.

 (read, choose, pick up): (1) elegant, illegible,
college, negligent, diligent, eligible, elect, select, intellect,
recollect, neglect, lecturer, collection, coil, cull; (2) legend, legion,
legacy, legate, delegate, sacrilegious, dialect, lectern, colleague,

_Sentences_: In ____ he listened to the ____ and took an occasional
note in an ____ hand. She ____ an ____ costume. They ____ the only man
who was ____. He did not ____ to take up the ____. He was ____ rather
than ____. Her mind was too ____ to ____ all the circumstances.

 (bind): (1 and 2 combined) ligament, ligature, obligation,
ally, alliance, allegiance, league, lien, liable, liaison, alloy.

_Sentences_: It was a pleasure that knew no ____. To belong to
the ____ carries ____. In studying anatomy you learn all about ____ and
____. The two nations were in ____. We may be sure of their ____. We will
take a ____ upon your property. As a ____ officer he was ____ for the
equipment which our ____ reported lost.

 (light): (1) lucid, translucent, luminous,
illuminate, luminary, luster, illustrate, illustrious; (2) lucent,
Lucifer, lucubration, elucidate, pellucid, relume, limn.

_Sentences_: The ____ author spoke very ____. He gave us a ____
explanation of a very abstruse subject. The material was ____ even to the
rays of the feeblest of the heavenly ____. He ____ his theory by the
following anecdote. This deed added ____ to his fame.

 (order): (1 and 2 combined) mandate, mandamus, mandatory,
demand, remand, countermand, commandment.

_Sentences_: The superior court issued a writ of ____. The case
was ____ to the lower court. His instructions were not discretionary,
but ____. At your ____ the ____ has been issued. The ____ promptly
____ the orders of the offending officer.

 (send): (1) permit, submit, commit, remit, transmit,
mission, missile, missionary, remiss, omission, commission, admission,
dismissal, promise, surmise, compromise, mass, message; (2) emit,
intermittent, missive, commissary, emissary, manumission, inadmissible,
premise, demise.

_Sentences_: The ____ could only ____ why so many of his people had
not attended ____. The ____ contained a ____ that no one would be held
____. The request was ____ that he would please ____. He ____ to his ____
without a protest. A ____ was appointed to investigate whether the
territory should be granted ____ as a state. His ____ was such as to ____
him to tarry if he chose.

 (move): (1) move, movement, removal, remote,
promote, promotion, motion, motive, emotion, commotion, motor, locomotive,
mob, mobilize, automobile, moment; (2) immovable, motivate, locomotor
ataxia, mobility, immobile, momentum.

_Sentences_: The next ____ was his, and his ____ was profound.
The ____ of the ____ from across the alley enabled the ____ to surge in a
threatening ____ toward the rear of the building. At this ____ the ____
was great. The officer whose ____ had seemed so ____ was now enabled
to ____ strong forces for the campaign. The ____ began a slow ____
forward. His exact ____ was not known.

 (suffer): (1) passion, passive, impassive, impassioned,
compassion, pathos, pathetic, impatient, apathy, sympathy, antipathy; (2)
passible, impassible, dispassionate, pathology, telepathy, hydropathy,
homeopathy, allopathy, osteopathy, neuropathic, pathogenesis.

_Sentences_: With an ____ countenance he spoke of the ____ of our
Lord. The ____ of the story moved her to ____. He allowed his ____ no
further expression than through that one ____ shrug. With a ____ smile he
settled back into dull ____. His plea was ____.

 (foot): (1) pedal, pedestrian, pedestal, expedite,
expediency, expedition, quadruped, impediment, biped, tripod, chiropodist,
octopus, pew; (2) centiped, pedicle, pedometer, velocipede,
sesquipedalian, antipodes, podium, polypod, polyp, Piedmont.

_Sentences_: A ____ suggested that we could ____ matters by each
mounting a ____. The loss of the ____ was a serious ____ to the rider of
the bicycle. The ____ had me place my foot on an artist's ____. The
purpose of this nautical ____ was to capture a live ____. The ____ of
having so large a ____ for the statue had not occurred to us. A ____
scarcely recognizable as human occupied my ____.

 (drive): (1) dispel, compel, propeller, repellent,
repulse, repulsive, impulse, compulsory, expulsion, appeal; (2) appellate,

_Sentences_: After the ____ of the attack the, mists along the
lowlands were ____. His manner was ____, even ____. The revolutions of the
____ soon ____ the boatmen to shove farther off. After his ____ he ____
for a rehearing of his case. The act was ____, but he felt an ____ toward
it anyhow.

 (hang, weigh): (1) pending, impending,
independent, pendulum, perpendicular, expenditure, pension, suspense,
expense, pensive, compensate, ponder, ponderous, preponderant, pansy,
poise, pound; (2) pendant, stipend, appendix, compendium, propensity,
recompense, indispensable, dispensation, dispensary, avoirdupois.

_Sentences_: The veterans felt great ____ while action regarding
their ____ was ____. We shall ____ you. An arm of it stood in a
position ____ to the ____ mass. He knew that fate was ____, and he watched
the ____ swing back and forth slowly. He gave a ____ argument in favor of
the ____ of the money. There is ____, that's for thoughts. Let us ____ the
question whether the ____ is needful. She was a woman of rare social ____.
Penny-wise, ____ foolish.

 (seek): (1 and 2 combined) petition, petulant, impetus,
impetuous, perpetuate, repeat, compete, competent, appetite, centripetal.

_Sentences_: A great ____ force keeps the planets circling about
the sun. The complaints of a ____ woman led him to ____ the prize. The
sexual ____ leads men to ____ the race. The ____ was pronounced upon ____
authority to be ill drawn up. With ____ wrath he ____ the assertion. The
____ became noticeably weaker.

 (fold): (1) ply, reply, imply, plight,
suppliant, explicit, implicit, implicate, supplicate, duplicate,
duplicity, complicate, complicity, accomplice, application, plait,
display, plot, employee, exploit, simple, supple; (2) pliant, pliable,
replica, explication, inexplicable, multiplication, deploy, triple,
quadruple, plexus, duplex.

_Sentences_: We ____ the thief's ____ with questions. He ____ that
others were ____ with him. The king ____ to the ____ that such ____ must
never be ____ in the realm thereafter. It would be a ____ matter to ____
the order. The manager had ____ confidence in his ____. She admired his
courage in this ____, perceived his ____ in the crime, and deplored his
participation in the ____. They ____ him for an ____ promise that mercy
would be shown. She was in a ____, for she had not had time to arrange her
hair in its usual broad ____. He was ____ of body. The ____ was refused.

 (place): (1) expose, compose, purpose, posture,
position, composure, impostor, postpone, post office, positive, deposit,
disposition, imposition, deponent, opponent, exponent, component;
(2) depose, impost, composite, apposite, repository, preposition,
interposition, juxtaposition, decomposition.

_Sentences_: The ____ said he would ____ the manner in which the
cashier had made away with the ____. The true ____ of the ____ was now
known, yet he retained his ____. For you to make yourself an ____ of these
wild theories is an ____ on your friends. The closing hour at the ____ is
____ thirty minutes on account of the rush of Christmas mail. He
was ____ that his ____ had ____ the letter. One of the ____ elements in
his ____ was gloom.

 (seize): (1) prize, apprise, surprise, comprise,
enterprise, imprison, comprehend, apprehension; (a) reprisal, misprision,
reprehend, prehensile, apprentice, impregnable, reprieve.

_Sentences_: He had no ____ as to what the ____ would ____.
His ____ was so great that he could scarcely ____ the fact that the ____
was his. The judge ____ them of the likelihood that they would be ____.

 (prove): (1 and 2 combined) probe, probation, probate,
probity, approbation, reprobate, improbable.

_Sentences_: The young ____ was placed on ____. The will was brought
into the ____ court. It is ____ that such ____ as his will win the ____ of

 (break): (1 and 2 combined) rupture, abrupt, interrupt,
disrupt, eruption, incorruptible, irruption, bankrupt, rout, route,

_Sentences_: The volcano was in ____. Though ____, he remained
 ____. The ____ of the barbarians ____ these reforms. The organization was
____ after having already been put to ____. The ____ he had chosen led to
a ____ in their relationships. It was ____ work.

 (seat): (1) sedulous, sedentary, supersede,
subside, preside, reside, residue, possess, assessment, session, seige;
(2) sediment, insidious, assiduous, subsidy, obsession, see (noun),

_Sentences_: The ____ was so small that he scarcely noticed he ____
it. The officer was ____ in making the ____ upon every tax-payer fair.
During the ____ Congress remained in ____. He ____ in the city and has a
____ occupation. When the officer who ____ is firm, such commotions will
quickly ____. He ____ the disgraced commander.

 (follow): (1) sequel, sequence, consequence,
subsequent, consecutive, execute, prosecute, persecute, sue, ensue,
suitor, suitable, pursuit, rescue, second; (2) obsequies, obsequious,
sequester, inconsequential, non sequitur, executor, suite.

_Sentences_: On the ____ day they continued the ____. In the ____
chapter of the ____ the heroine is ____. The ____ of events is hard to
follow. The ____ was that her brother began to ____ her ____. The district
attorney ____ six ____ offenders, but thought it useless to bring any ____
offender to trial. It was a ____ occasion.

 (cut, separate): (1 and 2 combined) shear,
sheer, shred, share, shard, scar, score, (sea)shore, shorn, shroud, shire,

_Sentences_: The ____ had on his face a ____ made by a ____ thrown at
him. In that ____ an old custom for every one to ____ in the ____ the
sheep. There was, instead of the usual ____ a cliff that rose from the
sea. All ____ as the freshman was, he had hardly a ____ of his former
dignity. The ____ was very one-sided. A ____ of mist was about him.

 (sign): (1) sign, signal, signify, signature, consign, design,
assign, designate, resignation, insignificant; (2) ensign, signatory,

_Sentences_: He ____ his approval of the ____. The disturbance
caused by his ____ was ____. He ____ no reason for ____ those particular
men. As he could not write his own ____, I ____ the document for him. It
was a ____ defeat.

 (loosen): (r) solve, resolve, dissolve, solution,
dissolute, resolute, absolute; (2) solvent, absolution, indissoluble,

_Sentences_: On account of his ____ course he had given his parents
many a problem to ____. He ____ the powder in a cupful of water and ____
to give it to the patient. This ____ of the difficulty did not win the
____ approval of his employer. The obstacles were many, but he was ____.

 (look): (1) spectator, spectacle, suspect,
aspect, prospect, expect, respectable, disrespect, inspection, speculate,
special, especial, species, specify, specimen, spice, suspicion,
conspicuous, despise, despite, spite; (2) specter, spectrum, spectroscope,
prospector, prospectus, introspection, retrospect, circumspectly,
conspectus, perspective, specie, specification, specious, despicable,
auspices, perspicacity, frontispiece, respite.

_Sentences_: His ____ was conducted in such a manner as to show the
utmost ____. In ____ she noticed an odor of ____. From his ____ you would
have taken him to be a ____ of wild animal. The ____ was better than we
had ____ it to be. Though you have no ____ fondness for children, you will
enjoy the ____ of them playing together. The ____ did not ____ what
underhand tactics some of the players were resorting to. In ____ of all
this, we made a ____ showing. The ____ is one you cannot ____.  ____ this
____ of matters, she did not ____ the cause of her ____, but let him ____
what it might be.

 (breathe, breath): (1 and 2 combined) spirit,
spiritual, perspire, transpire, respire, aspire, conspiracy, inspiration,
expiration, esprit de corps.

_Sentences_: At the ____ of a few days it ____ that a ____ had
actually been formed. The ____ of the division was such that every man
____ to meet the enemy forthwith. He was a man of much ____ and marked
powers of ____. As he lay there, he merely ____ and ____; he had no
thought whatsoever of things ____.

 (stand): (1) stand, stage, statue, stall,
stationary, state, reinstate, station, forestall, instant, instance,
distance, constant, withstand, understand, circumstance, estate,
establish, substance, obstacle, obstinate, destiny, destination,
destitute, substitute, superstition, desist, persist, resist, insist,
assist, exist, consistent, stead, rest, restore, restaurant, contrast; (2)
stature, statute, stadium, stability, instable, static, statistics,
ecstasy, stamen, stamina, standard, stanza, stanchion, capstan, extant,
constabulary, apostate, transubstantiation, status quo, armistice,
solstice, interstice, institute, restitution, constituent, subsistence,
pre-existence, presto.

_Sentences_: The ____ of the motion was that the student who had been
expelled should be ____. He ____ in his ____ resolution to go on the ____.
She could not ____ the pleas of ____ people. He ____ her to alight at the
____. In an ____ you shall ____ what the ____ was that drove me to
tempt ____ thus. We had gone but a little ____ when I perceived by the
hungry working of his jaws that his ____ was the ____ in the next block.
No ____ could cause him to ____. She was ____ in a ____ at the bazaar.

 (place): (1 and 2 combined) stead, steadfast, instead,
homestead, farmstead, roadstead, bestead.

_Sentences:_ ____ of resting in a harbor, the ships were tossed about
in an open ____. Little did it ____ him to cling to the old ____. A ____
nestled by the highway. To be known as  ____ now stood him in good ____.

 (bind): (1) district, restrict, strictly,
stringent, strain, restrain, constrain; (2) stricture, constriction, boa
constrictor, astringent, strait, stress.

_Sentences_: We ____ them by means of ____ regulations. He ____ them
to this course by his mere example. He attended ____ to his duties. You
should not ____ your pleasures in this way. The ____ of long effort was
telling on him.

 (touch): (1) tact, contact, intact,
intangible, attain, taint, stain, tinge, contingent, integrity, entire,
tint; (2) tactile, tactual, tangent, distain, attaint, attainder, integer,
disintegrate, contagion, contaminate, contiguous.

_Sentences_: His appointment is ____ upon his removing this ____ from
his name. His ____ is such that no ____ with evil could leave any ____
upon him. The contents were ____. With ____ he hopes to ____ the ____
approval of his auditors. It was a dark ____. The reason is ____.

 (cut): (1 and 2 combined) detail, curtail, entail, retail,
tailor, tally.

_Sentences_: He held the property in ____. He kept the reckoning
straight by means of ____ cut in a shingle. He resolved to ____ expenses
by visiting the ____ less often. We need not go into ____. The profit lies
in the difference between wholesale and ____ prices.

 (hold--for related _ten_ group see above under Two
Admonitions): (1 and 2 combined) detain, abstain, contain, obtain,
maintain, entertain, pertain, appertain, sustain, retain.

_Sentences_: Village life and things ____ thereto I shall willingly
____ from. I ____ that precepts of this kind in no sense ____ to public
morals. If the gentleman can ____ the consent of his second, the chair
will ____ the motion as he restates it. Though your forces may ____ heavy
losses, they must ____ their position and ____ the enemy.

 (end, bound): (1 and 2 combined) term, terminus,
terminal, terminate, determine, indeterminate, interminable, exterminate.

_Sentences_: At the ____ of the railroad stands a beautiful ____
station. The manner in which we may ____ the agreement remains ____.
He ____ that rather than yield he would make the negotiations ____. During
the second ____ they ____ all the rodents about the school.

 (twist): (1) torture, tortoise, retort, contort, distortion,
extortionate, torch, (apple) tart, truss, nasturtium; (2) tort, tortuous,
torsion, Dry Tortugas.

_Sentences_: By the light of the ____ he saw a ____ fowl by the
fireside and a ____ in the cupboard. The ____ of his countenance was due
to the ____ he was undergoing. ____ his face into a very knowing look, he
____ that a man with a ____ in his buttonhole and ____ shell glasses on
his nose had leered at the girls as he passed.

 (draw): (1) tract, tractor, intractable, abstracted,
retract, protract, detract, distract, attractive, contractor, trace,
trail, train, trait, portray, retreat; (2) traction, tractate, distraught,
extraction, subtraction.

_Sentences_: In an ____ manner he drove the ____ across a large ____
of ground. He ____ his gaze at the ____ girl. The ____ was now willing to
____ his statement that in the house as it stood there was no ____ of
departure from the specifications. Down the weary ____ of the pioneer
dashes the palatial modern ____. To be ____ was one of his ____. The
artist ____ her as in a ____ state. The ____ of his forces ____ but little
from his fame.

 (come): (1) convene, convenient, avenue, revenue,
prevent, event, inventor, adventure, convention, circumvent; (2) venire,
venue, parvenu, advent, adventitious, convent, preventive, eventuate,

_Sentences_: The legislature ____ in order to pass a measure
regarding the public ____. At the ____ the wily old politician was able to
____ his enemies. The ____ saw no means of ____ this infringement of his
patent right. In that ____ we are likely to have an ____. Through the
long, shaded ____ they strolled together.

 (turn): (1) avert, divert, convert, invert, pervert,
advertize, inadvertent, verse, aversion, adverse, adversity, adversary,
version, anniversary, versatile, divers, diversity, conversation,
perverse, universe, university, traverse, subversive, divorce;
(2) vertebra, vertigo, controvert, revert, averse, versus, versification,
animadversion, vice versa, controversy, tergiversation, obverse,
transverse, reversion, vortex.

_Sentences_: Though he carried a large ____ of goods, he was ____ to
____ them. He had ____ forgotten that it was his wedding ____. The ____
was on ____ subjects. They ____ a broad area where nothing had been done
to ____ the danger that threatened them. With ____ stubbornness he held to
his ____ of the story. He held that the reading of ____ is ____ of
masculine qualities. His professors at the ____ soon ____ him to new
social and economic theories. Her husband was such a ____ creature that
she resolved to secure a ____. Americans are the most ____ people in the
____. The anecdote ____ his ____ himself. Her answer not only was ____,
it revealed her ____. He had undergone grave ____ in his time.

 (conquer): (1 and 2 combined) evince, convince,
province, invincible, evict, convict, conviction, victorious.

_Sentences_: He was ____ that the campaign against the rebels in
the ____ could not be ____. He ____ a lively interest in my theory that
the fugitive could not be ____. He felt an ____ repugnance to ____ the
man, and this in spite of his ____ that the man was guilty.

 (call, voice): (1) vocal, vocation, advocate,
irrevocable, vociferous, provoke, revoke, evoke, convoke;
(2) vocable, vocabulary, avocation, equivocal, invoke, avouch, vouchsafe.

_Sentences_: He was a ____   ____ of the measure, but no sooner was
the order issued than he wished it ____. In ____ the assembly he ____ the
enthusiasm of his followers. That he should give ____ utterance to this
thought ____ me; but the words, once spoken, were ____.

 (roll, turn): (1) involve, devolve, revolver,
evolution, revolutionary, revolt, voluble, volume, vault; (2) circumvolve,
convolution, convolvulus.

_Sentences_: It ____ upon me to put down the ____. In this ____ the
heroine is ____ and the hero handy with a ____. He was ____ in a ____
uprising. He had laid the papers away in a ____. The ____ of civilization
is a tedious story.


Copy both sections (the first consists of fairly familiar terms, the
second of less familiar terms) of each of the following word-groups.
Find the key-syllable, underscore it in each word, observe any
modifications in its form. Decide for yourself what its meaning is; then
verify or correct your conclusion by reference to the dictionary. Study
the influence of the key-syllable upon the meaning of each separate word;
find the word's original signification, its present signification. Add to
each word-group as many cognate words as you can (1) think of for
yourself, (2) find in the dictionary by looking under the key-syllable.
Fill the blanks in the sentences after each word-group with terms chosen
from the first section of words in that group.

(1) Animosity, unanimous, magnanimity;
(2) animate, animadvert, equanimity.

_Sentences_: It was the ____ opinion that to so noble a foe ____
should be shown. The spiteful man continued to display his ____.

(1) Annual, annuity, anniversary, perennial, centennial, solemn;
(2) superannuate, biennial, millennium.

_Sentences_: The amateur gardener made the ____ discovery that the
plant was a ____. The ____ celebration of the great man's birth took a
____ and imposing form in our city. By a happy coincidence the increase in
his ____ came on wedding ____.

(1) Audit, auditor, auditorium, audience, inaudible, obey;
(2) aurist, auricular, auscultation.

_Sentences_: His voice may not have been ____, but it certainly did
not fill the ____. Not one ____ in all that vast ____ but was willing to
____ his slightest suggestion. He was not willing that they should ____
his accounts.

(1) Automatic, automobile, autocrat, autobiography;
(2) autograph, autonomy.

_Sentences_: The ____ dictated to his secretary the third chapter
of his ____. The habit of changing gear properly in an ____ becomes
almost ____.

(1) Cant, descant, incantation, chant, enchant, chanticleer, accent,
(2) canto, canticle, cantata, recant, chantry, chanson, precentor.

_Sentences_: He ____ upon this topic in a queer, foreign ____.
Such utterances are mere sanctimonious ____; I had rather listen to the
____ of a voodoo conjurer. The little girl from the city was ____ with the
crowing of ____. The ____ of the choir somehow gave him the ____ to try

(1) Cent, per cent, century, centennial;
(2) centenary, centime, centurion, centimeter, centigrade.

_Sentences_: For nearly a ____ this family has been living on a small
____ of its income. I wouldn't give a ____ for ____ honors; I want my
reward now.

(1) Chronic, chronological, chronicle;
(2) chronometer, synchronize, anachronism.

_Sentences_: It is a ____ record of changing activities and ____
ills. This page is a ____ of athletic news.

(1) Corps, corpse, corporal, corpulent, corporation, incorporate;
(2) corpus, habeas corpus, corporeal, corpuscle, Corpus Christi.

_Sentences_: The ____ gentleman said he did not believe in ____
punishment. The hospital ____ carried the ____ into the office of a great
____. He resolved to ____ this idea into the reforms he was introducing.

(1 and 2 combined) Creed, credulous, credential, credit, accredit,
discredit, incredible.

_Sentences_: He was not so ____ as to suppose that his ____ would be
accepted and his statements ____ without some investigation. It is to his
____ that he refused to be bound by his former religious ____. That such
____ has been heaped upon him is ____.

(1) Crescent, increase, decrease, concrete, recruit, accrue, crew;
(2) crescendo, excrescence, accretion, increment.

_Sentences_: The ____ now had ____ evidence that military life was
not altogether pleasant. In the olden days on the sea deaths from scurvy
might bring about a dangerous ____ in the size of the ____. His courage
____ with the profits that ____ to him. The ____ moon rode in the sky.

(1) Cure, secure, procure, sinecure, curious, inaccurate;
(2) curate, curator.

_Sentences_: Occupying the position for a while will ____ of the
notion that it is a ____. He was ____ to know so a bookkeeper had managed
to ____ so high a salary. He ____ the equipment required.

(1 and 2 combined) Indignity, indignation, undignified, condign, deign,

_Sentences_: We must not be too ____ about visiting ____ punishment
upon those responsible for this ____. He did not ____ to express his ____.
It was an ____ act.

(1) Durable, endure, during, duration, obdurate;
(2) durance, duress, indurate, perdurable.

_Sentences_:  ____ the whole interview she remained  ____. It is a
____ cloth; it will ____ all sorts of weather. The session was one of
prolonged ____.

(1) Finite, infinite, define, definite, confine, final, in fine,
(2) definitive, infinitesimal.

_Sentences_: One cannot ____ the ____. He ____ himself to purely ____
topics.  ____ it was a ____ offer and the ____ one he expected to make.
The bridge is still ____.

(1) Flexibility, inflexible, deflect, inflection, reflection, reflex;
(2) circumflex, genuflection.

_Sentences_: The ____ influence of this act was great. I did not like
the ____ of his voice. After some ____ he decided to remain ____. He was
not to be ____ from his purpose. I could but admire the ____ of her tones.

(1) Fluent, affluent, influence, influenza, superfluous, fluid, influx,
flush (rush of water), fluctuate;
(2) confluent, mellifluous, flux, reflux, effluvium, flume.

_Sentences_: When you ____ the basin, an ____ of water fills it
again. He is an ____ man and a ____ writer. When I had ____, the doctor
gave me a disgusting ____ to drink. The wind must have an ____ in making
the waves ____ as they do. Any more would be ____.

(1) Fort, forte, effort, comfort, fortitude, fortify, fortress;
(2) aqua fortis, pianoforte.

_Sentences_: The defenders of the ____ held out with great ____.
Though a ____ or two stood at important passes, the border was not really
____. His ____ was not public speaking. It was only by an ____ that he
could ____ them.

(1) Fraction, infraction, fracture, fragility, fragment, suffrage, frail,
(2) diffract, refractory, frangible.

_Sentences_: It was in the course of his ____ of the rules that he
suffered the ____ of his collar-bone. He told the committee of ladies that
he was as fond of ____ as of ____. It is hardly a proof of ____ that he is
so willing to ____ upon the rights of others. The ____ scaffolding bent
and swung as he trod it.

(1 and 2 combined) Fugitive, fugue, refuge, subterfuge, centrifugal.

_Sentences_: Closing his eyes as if to listen better to the ____ was
a little ____ of his. The upward movement of the missile was arrested by
the ____ attraction of the earth. The ____ took ____ in an abandoned barn.

(1) Refund, confound, foundry, confuse, suffuse, profuse, refuse, diffuse;
(2) fusion, effusion, transfuse.

_Sentences_: With ____ cheeks and ____ utterance he made a ____
apology. The amount we lost through the defective work at your ____ should
be ____ to us. Such a blow might ____ but not ____ him. He ____ the

(1) Belligerent, gesture, suggest, congested, digestion, register, jest;
(2) gerund, congeries.

_Sentences_: As he stopped before the cash ____ he gave a ____ which
showed that his ____ was none too good. His look was ____, but he lightly
made a ____. Amid the ____ traffic she stopped to ____ that pink would be
more becoming than lavender.

(1) Relate, translate, legislate, elation, dilated, dilatory;
(2) collate, correlate, prelate, oblation, superlative, ablative.

_Sentences_: With ____ eyes he ____ the passage for me. The ____ was
very ____ in agreeing upon the measure to be passed. He ____ the story
with pride and ____.

(1) Locate, locality, locomotive, dislocate;
(2) locale, allocate, collocation.

_Sentences_: In trying to ____ the mine as near the fissure as
possible he fell and ____ his hip. It was only ____ in that entire ____.

(1) Soliloquy, loquacious, loquacity, colloquial, eloquent, obloquy,
circumlocution, elocution;
(2) magniloquent, grandiloquent, ventriloquism, interlocutor, locutory,
allocution. (For related _log_ and _Ology_ words see above under
Prying Into a Word's Relationships.)

_Sentences_:  ____ always, he indulged at this time in a great deal
of ____. Though it was mere ____, yet there was something ____ about it.
Amid all this ____ he managed to rid himself of a good deal of ____
regarding Standish. Hamlet's ____ on suicide is a famous passage.

(1) Allude, elude, delude, ludicrous, illusory, collusion;
(2) prelude, postlude, interlude.

_Sentences_: Such evidence is ____, and belief in it is ____.
He ____ to a possible ____ between them. The more credulous ones he ____,
and the skeptical he manages to ____.

(1) Metrical, thermometer, barometer, pedometer, diametrically, geometry;
(2) millimeter, chronometer, hydrometer, trigonometry, pentameter.

_Sentences_: He was careful to consult both the ____ and the ____.
He always wore a ____ on these trips. The two were ____ opposed to each
other. The poet has great ____ skill.  ____ is an exact science.

(1) Monotone, monotonous, monoplane, monopoly, monocle, monarchy,
monogram, monomania;
(2) monosyllable, monochrome, monogamy, monorail, monograph, monolith,
monody, monologue, monad, monastery, monk.

_Sentences_: His eye held a ____, his gold ring bore a ____ seal,
and his voice was a stilted ____. One thing I hate about a ____ is the
____ reference to everything as his majesty's. He had a ____ of the trade
in his town. He is suffering, not from madness, but from ____.

(1) Mortal, immortality, mortify, postmortem, mortgage, morgue;
(2) mortmain, moribund, À la mort.

_Sentences_: After a hasty ____ examination, the body was taken to
the ____. She was ____ at this reminder of the ____ on her father's
property. The ____ shall put on ____.

(1 and 2 combined) Mutual, mutation, permutation, commute, transmute,
immutable, moult.

_Sentences_: As he ____ that morning he reflected upon the ____ and
combinations of fortune. We suffer the ____ of this worldly life, but
ourselves are not ____. God's love is ____, and our love for each other
should be ____. Birds when they ____ are weakened in body and depressed in

(1) Native, prenatal, innate, nature, unnatural, naturalize, nation,
pregnant, puny;
(2) denatured, nativity, cognate, agnate, nascent, renascence, née.

_Sentences_: It was some ____ influence, he thought, that gave him
his ____ physique. It was a ____ reply, but its heartlessness was ____.
He was not ____ to the country, but ____.  ____ in his ____ was the love
of his own ____.

(1) Note, notion, notable, notice, notorious, cognizant, incognito,
recognize, noble, ignoble, ennoble, ignore, ignorance, ignoramus,
reconnoiter, quaint, acquaintance;
(2) notary, notation, connotation, cognition, prognosticate,
reconnaissance, connoisseur.

_Sentences_: In complete ____ of the enemy's position, he decided
that he would ____ it. ____ himself, he was ____ of what was going on
about him. You must ____ the conduct of such an ____. His ____ with this
____ gentleman ____ him. He ____ but would not ____ this ____ fellow.
The ____ is a ____ one. He could but ____ how ____ his brother had become.

(1) Panacea, panoply, panorama, pantomime, pan-American, pandemonium;
(2) pantheist, pantheon.

_Sentences_: Arrayed in all the ____ of savages, they acted the scene
out in ____. From this point the ____ of the country-side unrolled itself
before him. It is no ____ for human ills; any supposition that it is will
lead to ____. It is a ____ movement.

(1) Peter, petrify, petrol, stormy petrel, petroleum, saltpeter, pier;
(2) petrology, parsley, samphire.

_Sentences_: As he walked along the ____, he observed the flight of
the ____. The English name for gasoline is ____.  ____ is used in the
manufacture of gunpowder. He was almost ____ at hearing of this enormous
stock of ____. The crowing of the cock caused ____ to weep bitterly.

(1 and 2 combined) Petty, petite, petit jury, petit larceny, petticoat,

_Sentences_: Charged with ____, he was tried by the ____. The
contemptible ____ hid behind the ____ of his wife. She was a winsome
maiden, dainty and ____. It is a ____ fault.

(1 and 2 combined) Philosophy, philanthropy, Philadelphia, bibliophile,

_Sentences_: His ____ was generous, but his ____ was not profound.
That queer old ____ hangs to the library like a caterpillar. It was the
love of humankind that caused Penn to name the city ____. Most Americans
are not ____.

(1 and 2 combined) Cosmopolitan, metropolitan, politics, policy, police.

_Sentences_: Those who engage in ____ lack, as a rule, a ____
outlook. It is merely ____ intolerance of towns and villages. The ____ of
the mayor was to increase the ____ force.

(1 and 2 combined) Potential, potency, potentate, impotent, omnipotent,

_Sentences_: So far from being ____, we possess a ____ difficult to
estimate. The ____ sent an ambassador ____. A ____ solution of the problem
is this. ____ God.

(1) Impute, compute, dispute, ill repute, reputation, disreputable;
(2) putative, indisputable.

_Sentences_: She could not ____ the cost. There was some ____ as to
the cause of his ____. Let them ____ to me what motives they will. Though
somewhat ____, he was extremely
solicitous about his ____.

(1) Abrogate, arrogate, interrogate, arrogant, derogatory, prerogative;
(2) surrogate, rogation, prorogue.

_Sentences_: In an ____ manner he ____ these ____ to himself. To ____
authority is to give opportunity for remarks ____ to one's reputation. He
skilfully ____ the witness.

(1) Salmon, sally, assail, assault, insult, consult, result, exultation,
(2) salient, salacious, resilient.

_Sentences_: After the ____ the firing was ____. The defenders ____
out and ____ us, but the ____ of this effort only added to our ____. We
sat there watching the ____ leap over the waterfall and ____ about our
arrangements for taking them. To accept the remark as an ____ is to
acknowledge the speaker as an equal.

(1) Science, conscience, unconscious, prescience, omniscience, nice;
(2) sciolist, adscititious, plebiscite.

_Sentences_: By his ____ understanding of the issues he was able to
gain a reputation for ____. We thought he possessed ____, but he seemed
____ of his erudition. Except under the sharp necessities of ____, he was
ruled by a ____ thoroughly tender.

(1) Sect, section, non-sectarian, dissect, insect, intersection, sickle,
vivisection, segment;
(2) bisect, trisect, insection, sector, secant.

_Sentences_: He stood at the ____ of the roads, leaning on the shank
of a sharp ____. The foreman of the ____ gang is a member of our ____. The
boy was ____ an ____ with a butcher knife he had previously used to cut
for himself a large ____ of the Sunday cake. It is a ____ movement. He
defended the ____ of animals.

(1) Sense, consent, assent, resent, sentimental, dissension, sensation,
sensibility, sentence, scent, nonsense;
(2) sentient, consensus, presentiment.

_Sentences_: A woman of her ____ would shrink from a ____ of this
sort. He ____ in a single, crisp ____. To be ____ is to be guilty of ____.
He had the good ____ to ____ to this course. He ____ such ____ and the
causes that produced them. A hound hunts by ____.

(1) Despond, respond, correspond, corespondent, sponsor;
(2) sponsion, spouse, espouse.

_Sentences_: She ____ that her husband had been ____ with the ____.
The ____ of the movement could as yet see no reason to ____.

(1 and 2 combined) Structure, instructor, construct, obstruct, instrument,
destructive, misconstrue.

_Sentences_: The student ____ the intentions of his ____. He resolved
to ____ every effort to complete the ____. The ____ was one that might
easily be turned to ____ work. They ____ a grandstand overlooking the

(1) Terrace, territory, subterranean, inter, terrier;
(2) terrene, tureen, terrestrial, terra cotta, Mediterranean, terra firma,

_Sentences_: The ____ was tearing a great hole in the ____ in order
to ____ a bone. He found rich ____ deposits. The discoverers laid claim to
the entire ____.

(1) Thesis, parenthesis, antithesis, anathema, theme, epithet, treasure;
(2) hypothesis, synthesis, metathesis.

_Sentences_: To set two ideas in ____ to each other makes both more
vivid. By way of ____ he informed me that the subject was ____ to his
father. On this ____ he can summon a host of picturesque ____. The ____ is
one you will find it hard to establish. He was seeking Captain Kidd's
buried ____.

(1 and 2 combined) Tumor, tumidity, tumult, tumulus, contumacy.

_Sentences_: The ____ of his joints was due to rheumatism. His ____
led to a ____ of opposition. So excited was he at the discovery of the
____ that he did not permit the ____ on his hand to restrain him from
beginning the excavation.

(1 and 2 combined) Turbid, disturb, perturbation, turbulence, trouble,

_Sentences_: His ____ manner gave no hint of the ____ within him. The
____ sweep of the stream caused her not the slightest ____. Do not ____
yourself with the thought that you are putting me to any ____.

(1 and 2 combined) Pervade, invade, evasion, vade mecum.

_Sentences_: He promised that there would be no ____ of payments.
Byron's _Childe Harold_ was my ____ during my travels in Switzerland
and Italy. The fragrance of heliotrope ____ the room. You must not ____ my
privacy like this.

(1) Avail, prevail, prevalent, equivalent, valiant, validity, invalid,
invalidate; (2) valetudinarian, valediction, valence.

_Sentences_: The ____ of the agreement has been thoroughly
established. Our cause is just, and must ____. It is ____ to admitting
that the terms are now ____. It was a ____ act and ____ the concessions
previously wrested from us. The ____ impression is that mere ingenuity
will not ____.

(1) Virtue, virile, virgin, virtually; (2) virago, virtuoso, triumvir.

_Sentences_: It was ____ a new arrangement. It is ____ soil. To
be ____ and daring is every boy's dream. ____ is its own reward.

(1) Revive, survival, convivial, vivid, vivify, vivacious, vivisection;
(2) vive (le roi), qui vive, bon vivant, tableau vivant.

_Sentences_: He has a ____ manner, a ____ spirit. The ____ of the
opposition to the ____ of animals is very marked. You cannot ____ a dead
cause or scarcely ____ memories of it. The ____ coloring of her cheeks was
a sure sign of health, or of skill.


Find the key-syllable (in a few instances the key-syllables) of each of
the following words. How does it affect the meaning of the word? Does it
appear, perhaps in disguised form, in any of the words immediately
preceding or following? Can you bring to mind other words that embody it?

Innovation       Commonwealth     Welfare        Wayfarer
Adjournment      Rival            Derivation     Arrive
Denunciation     Denomination     Ignominy       Synonym
Patronymic       Parliament       Dormitory      Demented
Presumptuous     Indent           Dandelion      Trident
Indenture        Contemporary     Disseminate    Annoy
Odium            Desolate         Impugn         Efflorescent
Arbor vitae      Consider         Constellation  Disaster
Suburb           Address          Dirigible      Dirge
Indirectly       Desperate        Inoperative    Benevolent
Voluntary        Offend           Enumerate      Dilapidate
Request          Exquisite        Exonerate      Approximate
Insinuate        Resurgence       Insurrection   Rapture
Exasperate       Complacent       Dimension      Commensurate
Preclude         Cloister         Turnpike       Travesty
Atone            Incarnate        Charnal        Etiquette
Rejuvenate       Eradicate        Quiet          Requiem
Acquiesce        Ambidextrous     Inoculate      Divulge
Proper           Appropriate      Omnivorous     Voracious
Devour           Escritoire       Mordant        Remorse
Miser            Hilarious        Exhilarate     Rudiment
Erudite          Mark             Marquis        Libel
Libretto         Vague            Vagabond       Extravagant
Souse            Saucer           Oyster         Ostracize


With a few exceptions like the Hale-heal group above under Verbal
Families, most verbal families of straight English or of Germanic-
Scandinavian-English descent are easily recognizable as families. Witness
the _Good_ family and the _Stead_ family. The families in which
kinship may be overlooked are likely to be of Latin or Greek ancestry,
though perhaps with a subsequent infusion of blood from some other foreign
language, as French. Hitherto our approach to verbal families has been
through the descendants, or through that quality in their blood which
holds them together. But we shall also profit from knowing something of
the founders of these families--from having some acquaintance with them as
individuals. Below (in separate lists) the more prominent of Latin and of
Greek progenitors are named, their meaning is given, and two or three of
their living representatives (not always direct descendants) are
designated. Starred [*] words are those whose progeny has not been in good
part assembled in the preceding pages; for these words you should assemble
all the living representatives you can. (Inflectional forms are given only
where they are needed for tracing English derivatives.)

_Latin word          Meaning         English representatives_

 Ago, actum            do, rouse       agile, transact
*Alius                 other           alias, inalienable
*Alter                 other           alteration, adultery
*Altus                 high            altitude, exalt
*Ambulo                walk            perambulator, preamble
*Amicus                friend          amicable, enemy
*Amo, amatum           love            inamorata, amateur, inimical
*Anima                 life            animal, inanimate
 Animus                mind            animosity, unanimous
 Annus                 year            annuity, biennial
*Aqua                  water           aquarium, aqueduct
 Audio, auditum        hear            audience, audit
*Bellum                war             rebel, belligerent
*Bene                  well            benefit, benevolence
*Bonus                 good            bonanza, bona fide
*Brevis                short           abbreviate, unabridged
 Cado, casum           fall            cadence, casual
 Caedo, cecidi, caesum cut, kill       suicide, incision
 Cano, cantum          sing            recant, chanticleer
 Capio, captum         take, hold      capacious, incipient
*Caput, capitis        head            cape (Cape Cod), decapitate,
                                         chapter, biceps
 Cedo, cessum          go              concede, accessory
 Centum                hundred         per cent, centigrade
*Civis                 citizen         civic, uncivilized
*Clamo                 shout           acclaim, declamation
*Claudo, clausum       close, shut     conclude, recluse, cloister, sluice
 Cognosco (see _Nosco_)
*Coquo, coxi, coctum   cook            decoction, precocious
*Cor, cordis           heart           core, discord, courage
 Corpus                body            corpse, incorporate
 Credo, credituin      believe         creed, discreditable
 Cresco, cretum        grow            crescendo, concrete, accrue
*Crux, crucis          cross           crucifix, excruciating
 Cura                  care            curate, sinecure
 Curro, cursum         run             occur, concourse
*Derigo, directum      direct          dirge, dirigible, address
*Dexter                right, right hand  ambidextrous, dexterity
 Dico                  speak, say      abdicate, verdict
*Dies                  day             diary, quotidian
 Dignus                worthy, fitting  dignity, condign
 Do, datum             give            condone, data
*Doceo, doctum         teach           document, doctor
*Dominus               lord            dominion, danger
*Domus                 house           domicile, majordomo
*Dormio                sleep           dormant, dormouse
 Duco                  lead            traduce, deduction
*Duo                   two             dubious, duet
 Durus                 hard            durable, obdurate
 Eo, itum              go              exit, initial
 Error, erratum        wander          erroneous, aberration
 Facio, feci, factum   make, do        manufacture, affect, sufficient,
 Fero, latum           carry           transfer, relate
 Fido                  trust, believe  confide, perfidious
 Finis                 end             confine, infinity
 Flecto, flexum        bend            reflection, inflexible
 Fluo, fluxum          flow            influence, reflux
 Fortis                strong          fortress, comfort
 Frango, fractum       break           infringe, refraction
*Frater                brother         fraternity, fratricide
 Fugio, fugitum        flee            centrifugal, fugitive
 Fundo, fusum          pour            refund, profuse, fusion
 Gero, gestum          carry           belligerent, gesture, digestion
 Gradior, gressus      walk            degrade, progress
*Gratia               favor, pleasure, ingratiate, congratulate,
                         good-will        disgrace
*Grex, gregis          flock           segregate, egregious
 Habeo, habitum        have, hold      habituate, prohibit
 Itum (see Eo)
 Jacio, jeci, jactum   throw, hurl     reject, interjection
 Jungo, junctum        join            conjugal, enjoin, juncture
 Juro                  swear           abjure, perjury
 Jus, juris            law, right      justice, jurisprudence
 Judex (from jusdico)  judge           judgment, prejudice
*Juvenis               young           rejuvenate, juvenilia
 Latum (see Fero)
*Laudo, laudatum       praise          allow, laudatory
 Lego, lectum          read, choose    elegant, lecture, dialect
*Lex, legis            law             privilege, illegitimate,
*Liber                 book            libel, library
*Liber                 free            liberty, deliberate
 Ligo                  bind            obligation, allegiance, alliance
*Linquo, lictum        leave           delinquent, relict, derelict
*Litera                letter          illiterate, obliterate
 Locus                 place           collocation, dislocate
 Loquor, locutus       speak           soliloquy, elocution
 Ludo, lusum           play            prelude, illusory
/Lux, lucis            light\          lucid, luminary
\Lumen, luminis             /
*Magnus                great           magnate, magnificent
*Malus                 bad, evil       malaria, malnutrition
 Mando                 order           mandatory, commandment
 Manus                 hand            manual, manufacture
*Mare                  sea             maritime, submarine
*Mater                 mother          maternal, alma mater
*Medius                middle          mediocre, intermediate
*Mens                  mind            mental, demented
*Miror                 wonder          mirror, admirable
 Mitto, missum         send            commit, emissary
*Mordeo, morsum        bite            mordant, morsel, remorse
 Mors, mortis          death           mortal, mortify
 Moveo, motum          move            remove, locomotive
*Multus                many            multiform, multiplex
 Muto, mutatum         change          transmute, immutable, moult
 Nascor, natus         be born         renascence, cognate
*Nihil                 nothing         nihilism, annihilate
*Nomen, nominis        name            denomination, renown
*Norma                 rule            abnormal, enormous
/Nosco, notum cognosco      \
\  cognitum            know /          notation, incognito
*Novus                 new             novelty, renovate
*Nuntio                announce        denounce, renunciation
*Opus, operis          work            magnum opus, inoperative
*Pater                 father          patrician, patrimony
 Patior, passus        suffer          impatient, passion
 Pello, pulsum         drive           propeller, repulse
 Pendeo, pensum        hang            pendulum, appendix
 Pendo, pensum         weigh           compendium, expense
 Pes, pedis            foot            expedite, biped
 Peto                  seek            impetus, compete
*Plaudo, plausum       clap, applaud   explode, plausible
*Plecto, plexum        braid           perplex, complexion
*Pleo, pletum          fill            complement, expletive
*Plus, pluris          more            surplus, plural
 Plico, plicatum       fold            reply, implicate
 Pono, positum         place           opponent, deposit
 Porto                 carry           report, porter
 Potens, potentis      powerful        impotent, potential
 Prendo, prehensum     seize           comprehend, apprise
*Primus, primatis      first           primary, primate
 Probo, probatum       prove           improbable, reprobate
*Pugno                 fight           impugn, repugnant
 Puto                  think           impute, disreputable
*Quaero, quaesitum     seek            require, inquest, exquisite
*Rapio, raptum         seize           enraptured, surreptitious
*Rego, rectum          rule, lead      region, erect
*Rideo, risum          laugh           deride, risible
 Rogo, rogatum         ask             prorogue, abrogate
 Rumpo, ruptum         break           disrupt, eruption
 Salio, saltum         leap            salient, insult
*Sanguis               blood           sang froid, ensanguined
 Scio, scitum          know            prescience, plebiscite
 Scribo, scriptum      write           prescribe, manuscript, escritoire
 Seco, sectum          cut             secant, dissect
 Sedeo, sessum         sit             supersede, obsession
 Sentio, sensum        feel            presentiment, consensus
 Sequor, secutus       follow          sequence, persecute, ensue
 Signum                sign            insignia, designate
*Solus                 alone           solitude, desolate
 Solvo, solutum        loosen          solvent, dissolute
*Somnus                sleep           somnambulist, insomnia
*Sono                  sound           consonant, resonance
*Sors, sortis          lot             sort, assortment
 Specio, spectum       look            despicable, suspect
 Spiro, spiratum       breathe         perspire, conspiracy
*Spondeo, sponsum      promise         respond, espouse
 Sto, steti, statum    stand           constant, establish
 Sisto, stiti, statum  cause to stand  consistent, superstition
 Stringo, strictum     bind            stringent, restrict
 Struo, structum       build           construe, destruction
 Tango, tactum         touch           intangible, tact
 Tempus, temporis      time            temporize, contemporary
 Tendo, tensum         stretch         distend, intense
 Teneo, tentuin        hold            tenure, detention
*Tendo                 try             tentative, attempt
 Terminus              end, boundary   terminal, exterminate
 Terra                 earth           territory, inter
 Torqueo, tortum       twist           distort, tortuous
 Traho, tractum        draw            extract, subtraction
 Tumeo, tumidum        swell           tumor, contumacy
 Turba                 tumult, crowd   turbulent, disturb
*Unus                  one             unify, triune, onion
*Urbs                  city            urbane, suburban
 Vado, vasum           go              pervade, invasion
 Valeo, validum        be strong       prevail, invalid
 Venio, ventum         come            intervene, adventure
 Verto, versum         turn            divert, adverse
*Verus                 true            verdict, veracity
*Via                   way             obviate, impervious, trivial
 Video, visum          see             provide, revise
 Vinco, victum         conquer         province, convict
 Vir                   man             triumvir, virtue
 Vivo, victum          live            vivacious, vivisect
 Voco, vocatum         call            revoke, avocation
*Volo                  wish            malevolent, voluntary
 Volvo, volutum        turn            revolver, evolution
 Vox                   voice           equivocal, vociferate


_Prefix   Meaning                English embodiments_

*A, ab      from, away             avert, abnegation, abstract
*Ad         to                     adduce, adjacent, affect, accede
*Ante       before                 antediluvian, anteroom
*Bi         two                    biped, bicycle
*Circum     around                 circumambient, circumference
*Cum, com,  with, together         combine, consort, coadjutor
  con, co
*Contra     against                contradict, contrast
*De         from, negative         deplete, decry, demerit, declaim
              down, intensive
*Di, dis    asunder, away from,    divert, disbelief
*E, ex      from, out of           evict, excavate
*Extra      beyond                 extraordinary, extravagant
*In         in, into, not          innate, instil, insignificant
*Inter      among, between         intercollegiate, interchange
*Intro,     into, within           introduce, intramural
*Non        negative               nonage, nondescript
*Ob         against, before
              (facing), toward     obloquy, obstacle, offer
*Per        through, extremely     persecute, perfervid, pursue,
                                        pilgrim, pellucid
*Post       after                  postpone, postscript
*Pre        before                 prepay, preoccupy
*Pro        before                 proceed, proffer
*Re         back, again            return, resound
*Retro      back, backward         retroactive, retrospective
*Se         apart, aside           seclude, secession
*Semi       half                   semiannual, semicivilized
*Sub        under, less than,      subscribe, suffer, subnormal,
              inferior               subcommittee
*Super      above, extremely       superfluous, supercritical, soprano
*Trans      across, through        transfer, transparent
*Ultra      beyond, extremely      ultramundane, ultraconservative

    (Scientific terms in English are largely derived from the Greek)

_Greek word     Meaning            English representatives_

*Aner, andros,    man, stamen        androgynous, philander,
   anthropos                           philanthropy
*Archos           chief, primitive   archaic, architect
*Astron           star               asterisk, disaster
 Autos            self               autograph, automatic, authentic
*Barvs            heavy              baritone, barites
*Biblos           book               Bible, bibliomania
*Bios             life               biology, autobiography, amphibious
*Cheir            hand               chiropody, chirurgical, surgeon
*Chilioi          a thousand         kilogram, kilowatt
*Chroma           color              chromo, achromatic
 Chronos           time              chronic, anachronism
*Cosmos           world, order       cosmopolitan, microcosm
*Crypto           hide               cryptogam, cryptology
*Cyclos           wheel, circle      encyclopedia, cyclone
*Deca             ten                decasyllable, decalogue
*Demos            people             democracy, epidemic
*Derma            skin               epidermis, taxidermist
*Dis, di          twice, doubly      dichromatic, digraph
*Didonai, dosis   give               dose, apodosis, anecdote
*Dynamis          power              dynamite, dynasty
*Eidos            form, thing seen   idol, kaleidoscope, anthropoid
*Ethnos           race, nation       ethnic, ethnology
 Eu               well               euphemism, eulogy
*Gamos            marriage           cryptogam, bigamy
*Ge               earth              geography, geometry
 Genos            family, race       gentle, engender
 Gramma           writing            monogram, grammar
 Grapho           write              telegraph, lithograph
*Haima            blood              hematite, hemorrhage, anemia
*Heteros          other              heterodox, heterogeneous
*Homos            same               homonym, homeopathy
*Hydor            water              hydraulics, hydrophobia, hydrant
*Isos             equal              isosceles, isotherm
*Lithos           stone              monolith, chrysolite
 Logos            word, study        theology, dialogue
 Metron           measure            barometer, diameter
*Micros           small              microscope, microbe
 Monos            one, alone         monoplane, monotone
*Morphe           form               metamorphosis, amorphous
*Neos             new, young         neolithic, neophyte
*Neuron           nerve              neuralgia, neurotic
 Nomos            law, science,      astronomy, gastronomy, economy
*Onoma            name               anonymous, patronymic
*Opsis            view, sight        synopsis, thanatopsis, optician
*Orthos           right              orthopedic, orthodox
*Osteon           bone               osteopathy, periosteum
*Pais, paidos     child              paideutics, pedagogue,
 Pas, pan         all                diapason, panacea, pantheism
 Pathos           suffering          allopathy, pathology
 Petros           rock               petroleum, saltpeter
*Phaino           show, be visible   diaphanous, phenomenon,
                                         epiphany, fantastic
 Philos           loving             bibliophile, Philadelphia
*Phobos           fear               hydrophobia, Anglophobe
 Phone            sound              telephone, symphony
*Phos             light              phosphorous, photograph
*Physis           nature             physiognomy, physiology
*Plasma           form               cataplasm, protoplasm
*Pneuma           air, breath        pneumatic, pneumonia
 Polis            city               policy, metropolitan
*Polys            many               polyandry, polychrome,
 Pous, pados      foot               octopus, chiropodist
*Protos           first              protoplasm, prototype
*Pseudes          false              pseudonym, pseudo-classic
*Psyche           breath, soul,      psychology, psychopathy
*Pyr              fire               pyrography, pyrotechnics
*Scopos           watcher            scope, microscope
*Sophia           wisdom             philosophy, sophomore
*Techne           art                technicality, architect
*Tele             far, far off       telepathy, telescope
{*Temno           cut             }
{*Tomos           that which is   }  epitome, anatomy, tome
{                     cut off     }
*Theos            god                theosophy, pantheism
*Therme           heat               isotherm, thermodynamics
{Tithenai         place           }  epithet, hypothesis,
{Thesis           a placing,      }    anathema
{                   arrangement   }
*Treis            three              trichord, trigonometry
*Zoon             animal             zoology, protozoa, zodiac


_Prefix       Meaning              English embodiments_

*A, an          no, not              aseptic, anarchy
*Amphi          about, around,       ambidextrous, amphitheater
 (Latin ambi)     both
*Ana            up, again            anatomy, Anabaptist
*Anti           against, opposite    antidote, antiphonal, antagonist
*Cata           down                 catalepsy, cataclysm
*Dia            through, across      diameter, dialogue
*Epi            upon                 epidemic, epithet, epode, ephemeral
*Hyper          over, extremely      hypercritical, hyperbola
*Hypo           under, in smaller    hypodermic, hypophosphate
*Meta           after, over          metaphysics, metaphor
*Para           beside               paraphrase, paraphernalia
*Peri           around, about        periscope, peristyle
*Pro            before               proboscis, prophet
*Syn            together, with       synthesis, synopsis, sympathy



Our first task in this volume was the study of words in combination. Our
second was the study of individual words in two of their aspects--first,
as they are seen in isolation, next as they are seen in verbal families.
Now our third task confronts us. It is the study of words as they are
associated, not in actual blood kinship, but in meaning.

Such an association in meaning may involve only two words (pairs) or
larger groups. In this chapter we shall confine ourselves to the study of

Of the relationship between pairs there are three types. In the first the
words are hostile to each other. In the second they may easily be confused
with each other. In the third they are parallel with each other. We shall
examine the three types successively.

But we must make an explanation first. Although we shall, in this and the
following chapters, have frequent occasion to give the meanings of
individual words, we shall give them without regard to dictionary methods.
We shall not attempt formal, water-tight, or exhaustive definitions; our
purpose is to convey, in the simplest and most human manner possible,
brief general explanations of what the words stand for.

Pairs of the first type are made up of words by nature opposite to each
other, or else thought of as opposite because they are so often
contrasted. Here is a familiar, everyday list:

east, west       straight, crooked       myself, others
large, small     pretty, ugly            major, minor
laugh, cry       walk, ride              light, darkness
top, bottom      hard, soft              friend, enemy
sweet, sour      clean, dirty            temporal, spiritual
meat, drink      merry, sad              means, extremes
land, water      private, public         Jew, Gentile
man, woman       noisy, quiet            independent, dependent
old, new         general, particular     sublime, ridiculous
age, youth       wholesale, retail       give, receive
sick, well       savage, civilized       pride, humility
brain, brawn     wealth, poverty         constructive, destructive
soul, body       positive, negative

None of these words needs explaining. If you think of one of them, you
will think of its opposite; at least its opposite will be lurking in the
back of your mind. As proof of this fact you have only to glance at the
following list, from which the second member of each pair is omitted:

hot--         black--       boy--        in--
off--         over--        love--       wrong--
strong--      wet--         first--      day--
long--        fast--        good--       hope--
least--       asleep--      buy--        left--
alive--       winter--      war--        succeed--
creditor--    fat--         internal--   wise--

Many words of a more difficult kind are thus pitted against each other,
and we learn them, not singly, but in pairs. At least we should. As good
verbal hunters we should be alert to the chance of killing two birds with
one stone.

_Allopath_ and _homeopath_, for example, are difficult
opposites. We know of the existence of the two classes of medical
practitioners; we know that they use different methods; but beyond this
our knowledge is likely to be hazy. Let us set out, then, to _learn_
the two words. The best way is to learn them together. _Allopathy_
means other suffering, _homeopathy_ like suffering. An allopath uses
remedies which create within the patient a condition that squarely
conflicts with the further progress of the disease. A homeopath prescribes
medicines (in small doses) which produce within the patient the same
condition that the disease would produce; he "beats the disease to it," so
to speak--takes the job himself and leaves the disease nothing to do. The
allopath travels around a race-track in the opposite direction from the
disease, and thwarts it through a head-on collision. The homeopath travels
around the race-track in the same direction as the disease, and thwarts it
by pulling at the reins. If we consider the two words together and get
these ideas in mind, we shall have no further trouble with allopaths and
homeopaths--except, perhaps, when they have rendered their services and
presented their bills.

_Objective_ and _subjective_ are also a troublesome pair. A
thing is objective if it is an actual object or being, if it exists in
itself rather than in our surmises. A thing is subjective if it is the
creature of a state of mind, if it has its existence in the thought or
imagination of some person or other. Thus if I meet a bear in the wilds,
that bear is objective; whatever may be the state of my thoughts, _he is
there_--and it would be to my advantage to reckon with this fact. But
if a child who is sent off to bed alone says there is a bear in the room,
the bear is subjective; it is not a living monster that will devour
anybody, but a creature called into the mind of the child through dread.

EXERCISE - Opposites

Study the following words in pairs. Consult the dictionary for actual
meanings. Then test your knowledge by embodying each word of each pair in
a sentence, or in an illustration like those of the race-track and the
bear in the preceding paragraphs.

superior, inferior           concord, discord
export, import               domestic, foreign
fact, fiction                prose, poetry
verbal, oral                 literal, figurative
predecessor, successor       genuine, artificial
positive, negative           practical, theoretical
optimism, pessimism          finite, infinite
longitude, latitude          evolution, revolution
oriental, occidental         pathos, bathos
sacred, profane              military, civil
clergy, laity                capital, labor
ingress, egress              element, compound
horizontal, perpendicular    competition, coöperation
predestination, freewill     universal, particular
extrinsic, intrinsic         inflation, deflation
dorsal, ventral              acid, alkali
synonym, antonym             prologue, epilogue
nadir, zenith                amateur, connoisseur
anterior, posterior          stoic, epicure
ordinal, cardinal            centripetal, centrifugal
stalagmite, stalactite       orthodox, heterodox
homogeneous, heterogeneous   monogamy, polygamy
induction, deduction         egoism, altruism
Unitarian, Trinitarian       concentric, eccentric
herbivorous, carnivorous     deciduous, perennial
esoteric, exoteric           endogen, exogen
vertebrate, invertebrate     catalectic, acatalectic

Pairs of the second type are made up of words which are often confused by
careless writers and speakers, and which should be accurately

Sometimes the words are actually akin to each other. _Continuous-
continual_ and _enormity-enormousness_ are examples. Sometimes
they merely look or sound much alike. _Mean-demean_ and _affect-
effect_ are examples. Sometimes the things they designate are more or
less related, so that the ideas behind the words rather than the words
themselves are responsible for the confusion. _Contagious-infectious_
and _knowledge-wisdom_ are examples. Let us distinguish between the
two members of each of the pairs named.

A thing is _continuous_ if it suffers no interruption whatever,
_continual_ if it is broken at regular intervals but as regularly
renewed. Thus "a continuous stretch of forest"; "the continual drip of
water from the eaves."

_Enormity_ pertains to the moral and sometimes the social,
_enormousness_ to the physical. Thus "the enormity of the crime,"
"the enormity of this social offense"; "the enormousness of prehistoric

_Demean_ is often used reproachfully because of its supposed relation
to _mean_. But it has nothing to do with _mean_. The word with
which to connect it is _demeanor_ (conduct). Thus "We observed how he
demeaned himself" implies no adverse criticism of either the man or his
deportment. Both may be debased to be sure, but they may be exemplary.

To _affect_ means to feign or to have an influence upon, to
_effect_ to bring to pass. Thus "He affects a fondness for classical
music," "The little orphan's story affected those who heard it"; "We
effected a compromise." _Affect_ is never properly used as a noun.
_Effect_ as a noun means result, consequence, or practical operation.
Thus "The shot took instant effect"; "He put this idea into effect."

A disease is _contagious_ when the only way to catch it is through
direct contact with a person already having it, or through contact with
articles such a person has used. A disease is _infectious_ when it is
presumably caused, not by contact with a person, but through widespread
general conditions, as of climate or sanitation.

Our _knowledge_ is our acquaintance with a fact, or the sum total of
our information. Our _wisdom_ is our intellectual and spiritual
discernment, to which our knowledge is one of the contributors.
_Knowledge_ comprises the materials; _wisdom_ the ability to use
them to practical advantage and to worthy or noble purpose.
_Knowledge_ is mental possession; _wisdom_ is mental and moral

EXERCISE - Confused

1. Consult the dictionary for the distinction between the members of each
of the following pairs. In each blank of the illustrative sentences insert
the word appropriate in meaning.

 ____ to receive knowledge. ____ to impart

 He ____ from laughter.  He steadfastly ____ from
evil courses.

 Though he always displayed ____, he did not
carry it to the point of ____.

 I shall ____ most of the suggestions, but must ____
the one made by Mr. Wheeler.

. When the package was ____ at the local post
office, Bayard refused to ____ it.

. The dull ____ of his head. A sharp ____ below
shoulder-blade. I have known the ____ of cold hands.  "My heart ____, and
a drowsy numbness ____ My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk."

.  With firmness and ____ he set about reconciling the
factions. Her ____ enabled her to perceive that something was amiss.

. The magnetized iron filings ____. The cold iron
____ to the boy's tongue.

. The ____ of the heated particles to each other
was instantaneous. Amid these trials their ____ to the cause was unshaken.

. His ____ to the room was forced. He obtained
____ into a fraternal order.

. When he ____ that he had a weapon, he practically
____ that he had slain the man.

. He was ____ to going. Their answer was ____.

. In this emergency he sought ____. He asked my ____
as to the best place to hang the picture.

.  To let these mishaps ____ you is to ____ your

. It is an ____ to suppose that I made any ____
to you.

. It was more than a possible ____; it was an
unmistakable ____.

. Though we call him a(n) ____, he is in skill by no
means the ____ you might think him.

. You are unintentionally ____. These words are
deliberately ____.

. Since we ____ the enemy to advance, would it
not be wise to ____ him?

. He was handsome in ____. The ____ of the sky
was ominous.

. "Lovers and madmen have such seething
brains, Such shaping fantasies, that ____ More than cool reason ever

. The ____ of the worshipers. The ____ of the

. The ____ who was decorating the walls called to an
____ who was mixing mortar.

. We easily made the ____ of the slope, and from
the summit witnessed the balloon ____.

 He gave his ____ when I proposed that we wait for
the others to complete the ____ to this point.

 I ____ it to you as a fault rather than ____ it to
you as an honor.

 It was an informal ____. The ____ considered
the matters it had been called to discuss.

 When told that the measure would advance his
interests, he ____; but he would not ____ to it.

 The injury was slight, but he ____ it with
unsparing malice. "____, O Lord, thy slaughtered saints."

 The lawyer, besides his regular ____, had the
collecting of birds' eggs as his ____.

 Though not ____ of the seriousness of his malady,
he was ____ of the pain it caused him.

 Darrell added the ____ of the coins, but not
even they brought about the ____ he sought between assets and obligations.

 Though ____ socially, he was not what you would
term a ____ man.

 His ____ in this time of trial was exemplary.
She praised the ____ of the children at the party.

 He possibly had ____, but not an active ____.

 Her social manner was ____. The ____ influence
of sunlight.

 ____ his personal friends, many people he had not
even met stood ____ his sickbed.

 At this threat the face of the heroine ____. With a
pail of cheap paint he ____ the dingy wall.

 After telling his parishioners to be mindful
of their ____, the clergyman pronounced the ____.

 Daily attacks on exposed redoubts marked the
progress of the ____. The fleet lay there in silent ____ of the port.

 The incident proved that his ____ was not founded
in real ____.

 When you come, ____ the official documents with you.
____ me the scales you will find in the granary yonder.

 A man with ____ shoulders stood in the  ____, open

 After they had solemnly ____ their comrade, they ____
the treasure. They also ____ their comrade's dog.

2. Consult the dictionary for the distinction between the members of each
of the following pairs. Determine whether the words are correctly used in
the illustrative sentences. (Some are; some are not.)

 Can I stay at home this afternoon, papa? Because of the
floods, the train beyond doubt may not get through.

 His character among them was very good. A
man's reputation can never be taken from him.

 Your conduct is peevish; it is childishly so.
Her innocence was childlike.

 He was always citing snatches of Tennyson. We might
quote Hamlet's soliloquy on suicide as an example of Shakespeare's ability
to go to the heart of deep questions.

 He claimed that Jefferson was our third President.
He asserted that bears sleep through the winter.

 At the masquerade ball we each wore special
clothing. The mariner who had swum from the wreck to the desert shore had
not a shred of costume.

 Comfort after labor. The case of owning a home.

 Petty commercial transactions. A mercantile

 This pavilion was the common play-house for the
children of the neighborhood. Ward and Aker held this property as their
mutual possession.

 This addition is the complement of our
quota. He paid his dancing partner a compliment.

 His downrightness is the complement of his
uprightness. As a supplement to his wages he received an occasional bonus.

 He put in the completing touches. He had finished
the task.

 His composure was not to be shaken. After
this inner tumult came equanimity.

 Numbers of such magnitude are
scarcely comprehensible. That men by the million should die for a cause is
a thing not really comprehensive.

 Who does not feel within him a compulsion
to help the weak? It was through obligation, through having slave-drivers
stand over them, that these wretched folk built the pyramids.

 I congratulated my friend on his
appointment to the commission. I also felicitated the stranger on his

 Three consecutive convictions proved the
ability of the prosecuting attorney. The quiet passing of successive
summer days.

 Its size was insignificant, even
contemptible. He won the prize by a contemptuous trick.

 The investigator was surprised to find
the tradition of such long continuation. We waited impatiently for the
continuance of the story in the next issue.

 I am more and more amazed at the perfection of
man's corporal frame. His corporeal vigor was unusual.

 A man may correct many of his false judgments on
current affairs by studying history. The mistake is ours; it shall be

 The cozy fit of a garment. A snug place by the fire.

 We crawled forward at dawn to surprise their
outposts. In his humility he fairly crept on the earth.

 I do not doubt it; it is entirely credible.
The success of the antidote seemed scarcely creditable.

 Though he is the official and credited
ambassador, his assertions are not accredited.

 I cured the dog's wounds. The physician declared he
could heal leprosy.

 "A custom more honor'd in the breach than the
observance." Is it your custom to watch the clock while you eat? The habit
in that region was to rise at cockcrow.

 A decided battle. A decisive fault in manners.

 We still await a definite edition of this
author's works. His answer was so definitive that we no longer doubted
what he meant.

 Clive added India to the British demesne.
The king went riding through his personal domain.

 The German mark has deprecated in value. He
depreciated the praise they were lavishing upon him.

 They tied themselves together with a rope in
order to make their dissent safer. The dissent to a lower plane of
conversation was what he most desired.

 The discovery of the wireless telegraph is
Marconi's chief claim to remembrance. The invention of a water passage
between Tierra del Fuego and the mainland was the work of Magellan.

 He could not discriminate individuals at
that distance. Any man can distinguish right from wrong.

 His course was entirely generous and
disinterested. Most visitors to art galleries have an uninterested manner.

 This disposal of the matter is
authoritative, final. His disposition of his forces was well-considered.

 Though the colonists were dissatisfied
for the moment, they could hardly be called discontented.

 The distinct quality of his character was
aggressiveness. There were four separate and distinctive calls.

 An affected, dramatic manner. A truly
theatrical situation.

 A dry plain. An arid place to sleep in.

 The man stood dumb with surprise. Always be kind to
mute animals.

 Our joy is durable. Oak is a lasting wood.

3. Consult the dictionary for the distinction between the members
of each of the following pairs. Frame sentences to illustrate
the correct use of the words. (Some of the words in this list,
as well as some in other parts of the chapter, are considered in
larger groups in the chapters following.)

earth, world                efficiency, efficacy
egoism, egotism             eldest, oldest
elemental, elementary       elude, evade
emigrate, immigrate         enough, sufficient
envy, jealousy              equable, equitable
equal, equivalent           essential, necessary
esteem, respect             euphemism, euphuism
evidence, proof             exact, precise
exchange, interchange       excuse, pardon
exempt, immune              expect, suppose
expedite, facilitate

facsimile, copy             familiar, intimate
fancy, imagination          farther, further
feeling, sentiment          feminine, effeminate
fervent, fervid             fewer, less
fluid, liquid               first (or last) two, two first (or last)
food, feed                  foreign, alien
force, strength             forgive, pardon

gayety, cheerfulness        genius, talent
gentle, tame                genuine, authentic
glance, glimpse             grateful, thankful
grieve, mourn

hanged, hung                happen, transpire
happiness, pleasure         healthy, healthful
hear, listen                heathen, pagan
honorable, honorary         horrible, horrid
human, humane

illegible, unreadable       image, effigy
imaginary, imaginative      impending, approaching
imperious, imperial         imply, infer
in, into                    inability, disability
ingenious, ingenuous        intelligent, intellectual
insinuation, innuendo       instinct, intuition
involve, implicate          irony, sarcasm
irretrievable, irreparable

judicious, judicial         just, equitable
justify, warrant

lack, want                  languor, lassitude
later, latter               lawful, legal
lax, slack                  leave, let
lend, loan                  liable, likely
libel, slander              lie, lay
like, love                  linger, loiter
look, see                   loose, lose
luxurious, luxuriant

majority, plurality         marine, maritime
martial, military           moderate, temperate
mood, humor                 moral, ethical
moral, religious            mutual, reciprocal
myth, legend

natal, native               nautical, naval
near, close                 necessaries, necessities
needy, needful              noted, notorious
novice, tyro

observance, observation     observe, perceive
obsolete, archaic           omnipresent, ubiquitous
on, upon                    oppose, resist
opposite, contrary          oppress, depress

palliate, extenuate         passionate, impassioned
pathos, pity                patron, customer
peculiar, unusual           perspicuity, perspicacity
permeate, pervade           permit, allow
perseverance, persistence   pertain, appertain
pictorial, picturesque      pitiable, pitiful
pity, sympathy              pleasant, pleasing
politician, statesman       practicable, practical
precipitous, precipitate    precision, preciseness
prejudice, bias             prelude, overture
pride, vanity               principal, principle
process, procedure          procure, secure
professor, teacher          progress, progression
propitious, auspicious      proposal, proposition
tradition, legend           truth, veracity

quiet, quiescent

raise, rear                 raise, rise
ransom, redeem              rare, scarce
reason, understanding       reasonable, rational
recollect, remember         regal, royal
reliable, trustworthy       requirement, requisite
restive, restless           reverse, inverse
ride, drive                 rime (or rhyme), rhythm

sacred, holy                salutation, salute
scanty, sparse              scholar, student
science, art                scrupulous, conscientious
serf, slave                 shift, expedient
sick, ill                   silent, taciturn
sit, set                    skilled, skilful
slender, slim               smart, clever
sociable, social            solicitude, anxiety
stay, stop                  stimulus, stimulation
strut, swagger              suppress, repress

termination, terminus       theory, hypothesis
tolerate, permit            torment, torture
tradition, legend           truth, veracity

unbelief, disbelief         unique, unusual

varied, various             variety, diversity
venal, venial               vengeance, revenge
verse, stanza               vindictive, revengeful
visit, visitation           visitant, visitor

wander, stray               warn, caution
will, volition              wit, humor
witness, see                womanish, womanlike
worth, value


Pairs of the third type are made up of words parallel in meaning. This
class somewhat overlaps the second; many terms that are frequently
confused are parallels, and parallelism is of course a cause of confusion.

Parallels are words that show likeness in meaning. Likeness, not sameness.
Yet at one time actual sameness may have existed, and in many instances
did. Nowadays this sameness has been lost, and the words have become
differentiated. As a rule they still are closely related in thought;
sometimes, however, the divergence between them is wide.

Why did words having the same meaning find lodgment in the language in the
first place? The law of linguistic economy forbids any such happening, and
only through sheer good fortune did English come to possess duplications.
The original Anglo-Saxon did not contain them. But the Roman Catholic
clergy brought to England the language of religion and of scholarship,
Latin. Later the Normans, whose speech as a branch of French was an
offshoot of Latin, came to the island as conquerors. For a time,
therefore, three languages existed side by side in the country--Anglo-
Saxon among the common folk, Latin among the clergy, and Norman-French at
the court and among the nobility. The coalescing of the three (or of the
two if we count Latin in its direct and indirect contributions as one) was
inevitable. But other (mostly cognate) languages also had a part in the
speech that was ultimately evolved. The Anglo-Saxon element was augmented
by words from Dutch, Scandinavian, and the

Germanic tongues in general; and Latin was reinforced by Greek. Thus to
imply, as is sometimes done, that modern English is simply a blend of
Anglo-Saxon and Latin elements is misleading. _Native_ and
_classic_ are the better terms to use, provided both are used
broadly. _Native_ must include not only Anglo-Saxon but the other
Germanic elements as well, and _classic_ must include French and
Greek as well as Latin.

The welding of these languages made available two--in some instances more
than two--words for a single object or idea. What became of these
duplicates? Sometimes one of the words was dropped as needless.
Oftentimes, however, both were retained--with such modifications in
meaning that thereafter they designated, not the same object or idea, but
different forms or aspects of it. Thus they became parallels, and the new
language waxed rich with discriminations which neither of the component
tongues had possessed.

Scott in _Ivanhoe_ gives the basis upon which the unification of the
languages proceeded. The jester Wamba in conversation with the swineherd
Gurth explains how the Anglo-Saxon term took on the homelier, rougher,
more workaday uses and left the more refined and fastidious uses for the
Norman-French. A domestic animal, says Wamba, was cared for by the
conquered people, and in consequence bore while living a "good Saxon"
name--swine, ox, or calf; but it was served at the tables of the
conquerors, and therefore when ready for consumption bore a "good
Norman-French" name--pork, beef, or veal. "When the brute [a sow] lives,
and is in charge of a Saxon slave, she goes by her Saxon name; but becomes
Norman and is called pork, when she is carried into the castle hall to
feast among the nobles.... He [a calf] is Saxon when he requires tendance,
and takes a Norman name [Monsieur de Veau] when he becomes matter of

Let us see how Scott's contention fares if we extend his list of terms
relative to animal life. As throughout the rest of this chapter, with the
single and necessary exception of List B, the first word in each pair is
native, the second classic:

sheep, mutton          deer, venison        horse, equine
cow, bovine            bull, taurine        sheep, ovine
wolf, lupine           hog, porcine         bear, ursine
fox, vulpine           cat, feline          dog, canine
fish, piscatorial      mouse, vermin        rat, rodent
mankind, humanity      man, masculine       woman, feminine
childish, infantile    boyish, puerile

A glance at this list will show that, at least as regards animal life, the
native word is likely to be the more familiar and unpretentious. But we
must not leap to the conclusion that, taking the language as a whole, the
simple, easy word is sure to be native, the abstruse word classic. In the
following list one word in each pair is simpler, oftentimes much simpler,
than the other; yet both are of classic origin. (In some instances the two
are doublets; that is, they spring from the same stem.)

boil, effervesce          plenty, abundance       force, coerce
clear, transparent        sound, reverberate      echo, reverberate
toil, labor               false, perfidious       prove, verify
join, unite               join, annex             try, endeavor
carry, convey             save, preserve          save, rescue
safe, secure              poor, pauper            poor, penurious
poor, impecunious         native, indigenous      strange, extraneous
excuse, palliate          excusable, venial       cannon, ordnance
corpse, cadaverous        parish, parochial       fool, stultify
fool, idiot               rule, govern            governor, gubernatorial
wages, salary             nice, exquisite         haughty, arrogant
letter, epistle           pursue, prosecute       use, utility
use, utilize              rival, competitor       male, masculine
female, feminine          beauty, esthetics       beauty, pulchritude
beautify, embellish       poison, venom           vote, franchise
vote, suffrage            taste, gust             tasteful, gustatory
tasteless, insipid        flower, floral          count, compute
cowardly, pusillanimous   tent, pavilion          money, finance
monetary, pecuniary       trace, vestige          face, countenance
turn, revolve             bottle, vial            grease, lubricant
oily, unctuous            revive, resuscitate     faultless, impeccable
scourge, flagellate       power, puissance        barber, tonsorial
bishop, episcopal         carry, portable         fruitful, prolific
punish, punitive          scar, cicatrix          hostile, inimical
choice, option            cry, vociferate         ease, facility
peaceful, pacific         beast, animal           chasten, castigate
round, rotunda            imprison, incarcerate   bowels, viscera
boil, ebullient           city, municipal         color, chromatics
nervous, neurotic         pleasing, delectable    accidental, fortuitous
change, mutation          lazy, indolent          fragrance, aroma
pay, compensate           face, physiognomy       joy, rapture
charitable, eleemosynary  blame, blaspheme        priest, presbyter
coy, quiet                prudent, provident      pupil, disciple
story, narrative          pause, interval         despise, abhor
doctor, physician         fate, destiny           country, rustic
aged, senile              increase, increment     gentle, genteel
clear, apparent           eagle, aquiline         motion, momentum
nourishment, nutrition    pure, unadulterated     closeness, proximity
number, notation          ancestors, progenitors  confirm, corroborate
convert, proselyte        benediction, benison    treasury, thesaurus
egotism, megalomania

Sometimes the native word is less familiar than the classic:

seethe, boil          loam, soil          fare, travel
abide, remain         bestow, present     bestow, deposit
din, noise            quern, mill         learner, scholar
shamefaced, modest    hue, color          tarnish, stain
ween, expect          leech, physician    shield, protect
steadfast, firm       withstand, resist   straightway, immediately
dwelling, residence   heft, gravity       delve, excavate
forthright, direct    tidings, report     bower, chamber
rune, letter          borough, city       baleful, destructive
gainsay, contradict   cleave, divide      hearten, encourage
hoard, treasure

Again, the native word is sometimes less emphatic than the classic:

fly, soar             old, venerable         flood, cataclysm
steep, precipitous    wonder, astonishment   speed, velocity
sparkle, scintillate  stir, commotion        stir, agitate
strike, collide       learned, erudite       small, diminutive
scare, terrify        burn, combustion       fire, conflagration
fall, collapse        uproot, eradicate      skin, excoriate
hate, abominate       work, labor            bright, brilliant
hungry, famished      eat, devour            twisted, contorted
thin, emaciated       sad, lugubrious        mirth, hilarity

Despite these exceptions, the native word is in general better known
and more crudely powerful than the classic. Thus of the pair
_sweat-perspiration, sweat_ is the plain-spoken, everyday member,
_perspiration_ the polite, even learned member. The man of limited
vocabulary says _sweat_; even the sophisticated person, unless there
is occasion to soften effects, finds _sweat_ the more natural term.
No one would say that a horse perspires. No one would say that human
beings must eat their bread in the perspiration of their faces. But
_sweat_ is a word of connotation too vigorous (though honest withal)
for us to use the term in the drawing room. A questionable woman in _The
Vicar of Wakefield_ betrays her lack of breeding by the remark that she
is in a muck of sweat.

The native word, besides being in itself simpler and starker than the
classic, makes stronger appeal to our feelings and affections. In nearly
every instance the objects and relationships that have woven themselves
into the very texture of our lives are designated by native terms. Even if
they are not so designated solely, they are so designated in their more
cherished aspects. We warm more to the native _fatherly_ than to the
classic _paternal_. We have a deeper sentiment for the native
_home_ than for the classic _residence_.

That the native is the more downright term may be seen from the following
words. (These pairs are of course merely illustrative. With them might be
grouped a few special pairs, like _devilish-diabolical_ and
_church_-_ecclesiastical_, of which the first members are
classic in origin but of such early naturalization into English that they
may be regarded as native.)

belly, stomach           belly, abdomen       navel, umbilicus
suck, nurse              naked, nude          murder, homicide
dead, deceased           dead, defunct        dying, moribund
lust, salacity           lewd, libidinous     read, peruse
lie, prevaricate         hearty, cordial      following, subsequent
crowd, multitude         chew, masticate      food, pabulum
eat, regale              meal, repast         meal, refection
thrift, economy          sleepy, soporific    slumberous, somnolent
live, reside             rot, putrefy         swelling, protuberant
soak, saturate           soak, absorb         stinking, malodorous
spit, saliva             spit, expectorate    thievishness, kleptomania
belch, eructate          sticky, adhesive     house, domicile
eye, optic               walker, pedestrian   talkative, loquacious
talkative, garrulous     wisdom, sapience     bodily, corporeal
name, appellation        finger, digit        show, ostentation
nearness, propinquity    wash, lave           handwriting, chirography
waves, undulations       shady, umbrageous    fat, corpulent
muddy, turbid            widow, relict        horseback, equestrian
weight, avoirdupois      blush, erubescence

The word of classic origin in many instances survives only or mainly in
the form of an adjective; as a noun (or other part of speech) it has
completely or largely disappeared. This fact may be observed in lists
already given, particularly List A. It may also be observed in the
following words:

moon, lunar               star, stellar         star, sidereal
sun, solar                earth, terrestrial    world, mundane
heaven, celestial         hell, infernal        earthquake, seismic
ear, aural                head, capital         hand, manual
foot, pedal               breast, pectoral      heart, cardial
hip, sciatic              tail, caudal          throat, guttural
lung, pulmonary           bone, osseous         hair, hirsute
tearful, lachrymose       early, primitive      sweet, dulcet,
sweet, saccharine         young, juvenile       bloody, sanguinary
deadly, mortal            red, florid           bank, riparian
hard, arduous             wound, vulnerable     written, graphic
spotless, immaculate      sell, mercenary       son, filial
salt, saline              meal, farinaceous     wood, ligneous
wood, sylvan              cloud, nebulous       glass, vitreous
milk, lacteal             water, aquatic        stone, lapidary
gold, aureous             silver, argent        iron, ferric
honey, mellifluous        loving, amatory       loving, erotic
loving, amiable           wedded, hymeneal      plow, arable
priestly, sacerdotal      arrow, sagittal       wholesome, salubrious
warlike, bellicose        timely, temporary     fiery, igneous
ring, annular             soap, saponaceous     nestling, nidulant
snore, stertorous         window, fenestral     twilight, crepuscular
soot, fuliginous          hunter, venatorial

The fact that English is a double-barreled language, and that of parallel
terms one is likely to be native and the other classic, is interesting in
itself. Our lists of parallels, however, though (with the exception of
List B) they are arranged to bring out this duality of origin, have other
and more vital uses as material for exercises. For after all it matters
little whether we know where a word comes from, provided we know
thoroughly the meaning and implications of the word itself. The lists
already given and those to follow show the more important words actually
yoked as parallels. Your task must be to ascertain the differences in
import between the words thus joined.

EXERCISE - Parallels

Study the discriminations between the members of the following pairs. At
each blank in the illustrative sentences insert the appropriate word.

 _Brotherly_ is used of actual blood
kinship, or indicates close feeling, deep affection, or religious love.
_Fraternal_ is used less personally and intimately; it normally
betokens that the relations are at least in part formal (as relations
within societies). "The sight of the button on the stranger's lapel caused
Wilkes to give him the cabalistic sign and ask his ____ assistance."
"Though the children of different parents, we bear for each other a true
____ devotion." "Because we both are newspaper men I feel a ____ interest
in him."

 _Daily_, the popular word, is often used
loosely. We may say that we eat three meals daily without implying that we
have never gone dinnerless. _Diurnal_, the scientific term, is used
exactly, whether applying to the period of daylight or to the whole
twenty-four hours. A diurnal flower closes at night; a diurnal motion is
precisely coincident with the astronomical day. In poetry, however,
_diurnal_ is often used for _daily_. "Give us this day our ____
bread." "The ____ rotation of the earth on its axis is the cause of our
day and night." "Fred and I went for our ____ ramble through the hills."

 Which is the more popular word? Let us see. Would the
man in the street be more likely to use one than the other? Which one?
Does this answer our question? Another question: Which word is the more
inclusive in meaning? Again, let us see. A blacksmith is beating iron;
does the iron grow cold or frigid? Which term, then, approaches the closer
in meaning to the idea of mere coolness? On the other hand, may that same
term represent a temperature far beyond mere coolness? Would you speak of
a morning as bitterly cold or bitterly frigid? Now think of the term you
have not been using. _Can_ it convey as wide meanings, or is it
limited in range? Does the word _frigid_ carry for you a geographical
suggestion (to the frigid zone)? Do you yourself use the term? If so, do
you use it chiefly (perhaps entirely) in connection with human temperament
or demeanor? Is _cold_ used thus figuratively also? Which is the more
often thus used? "I suffer from ____ hands and feet." "The slopes of Mont
Blanc are ____ with eternal snow." "He did not warm to the idea at all.
His inclinations are absolutely ____."

. _Manly_ implies possession of traits or
qualities a man should possess; it may be used of immature persons.
_Virile_ implies maturity and robust masculinity; it is also used of
the power to procreate. "A ____ lad." "A ____ reply." "____ energy."
"____ and aggressive." "____ forbearance,"

. _Inner_ is somewhat within, or more within
than something else is; it is also used in figurative and spiritual
senses. _Internal_ is entirely within. "The ____ organs of the human
body." "The ____ layer of the rind." "The injury was ____."
"The ____ nature of man." "The ____ meaning of the occurrence."

. "He was five feet, eleven inches in height."
Can you substitute _altitude_? Is _altitude_ used of persons?
"At an altitude of eleven feet from the ground." Would _height_ be
more natural? Does _altitude_ betoken great height? If so, does
Hamlet speak jestingly when he greets the player, "Your ladyship is nearer
heaven than when I saw you last, by the altitude of a chopine?" What of
the sentence: "The altitude of Galveston was not sufficient to protect it
from the tidal wave"? Does the magnitude or importance of the object
(Galveston) compensate for its lack of elevation and thus justify
_altitude_? Could _height_ be substituted? If so, would the
words _above sea-level_ have to follow it? Does this fact give you a
further clue as to the distinction between the two words? You are
comparing the elevation of two peaks, both plainly visible; you measure
them merely by your eye. Do you say "This exceeds the other in height" or
"This exceeds the other in altitude"? Suppose the peaks are so distant
from each other that the two are not visible simultaneously, and suppose
you are speaking from a knowledge of the scientific measurements. Do you
say "This exceeds the other in height" or "This exceeds the other in

. _Talk_ may be one-sided and empty.
_Conversation_ requires that at least two shall participate, and it
is not spoken of as empty, though it may be trivial. "Our ____ was
somewhat desultory." "Thought is less general than ____."
"His ____ was so lively that I had no chance to interrupt"
"That is meaningless ____."

. All of us have heard physicians call
commonplace ailments by extraordinary names. When homesickness reaches the
stage where a physician is or might be called in, it becomes nostalgia.
The latter term suggests morbid or chronic suffering. A healthy boy away
from home for the first time is homesick. An exile who has wasted himself
with pining for his native land is nostalgic. "His ____ was more than
____; it had so preyed upon his thoughts that it had grown into ____."

Rise, ascend. _Rise_ is the more general term, but it expresses less
than _ascend_ in degree or stateliness. "He had foretold to them that
he would ____ into heaven." "Do not ____ from your seat." "The diver
slowly ____ to the surface." "The travelers ____ the mountain."

. _Sell_ is the more dignified word socially, but
may express greater moral degradation. _Vend_ is used of the petty
(as that which can be carried about in a wagon), and may suggest the
pettily dishonest. "That man would ____ his country." "We shall ____ a
million dollars' worth of goods." "The hucksters ____ their wares."

Study the discriminations between the members of the following pairs.
Determine whether the words are correctly used in the illustrative
sentences. (Some are; some are not.)

. _Friendly_ denotes goodwill positive in
quality though perhaps limited in degree; we may be friendly to friends,
enemies, or strangers. _Amicable_ is negative, denoting absence of
open discord: it is used of those persons between whom some connection
already exists. "The newcomer has an amicable manner." "Both sides were
cautious, but at last they reached a friendly settlement." "I have only
amicable feelings for an enemy who is thus merciful." "The two met, if not
in a friendly, at least in an amicable way."

. Both words imply an act of the will; but
_willing_ adds positive good-nature, desire, or enthusiasm, whereas
_voluntary_ conveys little or nothing of the emotional attitude.
_Voluntary_ is often thought of in contrast with _mechanical_.
"They made willing submission." "They rendered whole-hearted and voluntary
service." "Though torn by desire to return to his mother, he willingly
continued his journey away from her." "The sneeze was unwilling."

 _Greedy_ denotes excessiveness (usually
habitual) of appetite or, in its figurative uses, of desire; it nearly
always carries the idea of selfishness. _Voracious_ denotes intense
hunger or the hasty and prolonged consumption of great quantities of food;
it may indicate, not habitual selfishness, but the stress of
circumstances. "Nobody else I know is so greedy as he." "The young poet
was voracious of praise." "Trench, though a capital fellow, was so hungry
that he ate voraciously."

 _Offspring_ is likely to be used when our
thought is chiefly on the children, _progeny_ when our thought is
chiefly on the parents. _Offspring_ may be used of one or many;
_progeny_ is used in collective reference to many. "He was third
among the progeny who won distinction." "They are the progeny of very rich
parents." "Clayton left his offspring well provided for."

 _Ghost_ is the narrower term. It never
expresses, as _spirit_ does, the idea of soul or of animating mood or
purpose. With reference to incorporeal beings, it denotes (except in the
phrase "the Holy Ghost") the reappearance of the dead in disembodied form.
_Spirit_ may denote a variety of incorporeal beings--among them
angels, fairies (devoid of moral nature), and personalities returned from
the grave and manifested--seldom visibly--through spiritualistic tappings
and the like. "The superstitious natives thought the spirit of their chief
walked in the graveyard." "The ghost of the ancestors survives in the
descendants." "I can call spirits from the vasty deep."

 Nowadays the chief difference between the two terms is
that _foe_ is the more used in poetry, _enemy_ in prose.
But _foe_ tends to express the more personal and implacable
hostility. We do not think of foes as bearing any friendship for each
other; enemies may, or they may be enemies in public affairs but downright
friends in their private relations. A man is hardly spoken of as being his
own foe, but he may be his own enemy. "For the moment we found ourselves
foes." "Suspicion is an enemy to content." "I paid a tribute to my friend,
who was the dominant personality among the enemy."

 _Truth_ has to do with the accuracy of the
statement, of the facts; _veracity_ with the intention of the person
to say nothing false. "I cannot vouch for the veracity of the story, but I
can for the truth of the teller." "Though he is not a man of veracity, I
believe he is now speaking the truth." "Veracity, crushed to earth, will
rise again."

. _Break_ is the broader term. It need not
refer clearly to the operation or result of external force, nor need it
embody the idea that this force is brought against a hard substance. In
these respects it differs from _fracture_, as also in the fact that
it may designate a mere interruption. Furthermore it has figurative uses,
whereas _fracture_ is narrowly literal. "There was a fracture in the
chain of mountains." "The break in his voice was distinct." "The fracture
of the bones of his wrist incapacitated him." "The fracture of the rope."

. To _hug_ is to clasp violently or
enthusiastically, and perhaps ludicrously. To _embrace_ is to clasp
in a more dignified, perhaps even in a formal, way; the term also means to
include, to comprise. "This topic embraces the other." "Did you see that
ardent bumpkin embracing his sweetheart?" "Her sister gave her a graceful
but none too cordial hug." "The wounded bear hugged the hunter

. The two terms overlap; but there is a fairly
strong tendency to use _shorten_ for reduction in length, and
_abridge_ for reduction in quantity or mass. Both words are used
figuratively as well as literally. "The tyrant shortened the privileges of
his subjects." "We shortened the rope." "The teacher abridged the
recitation." "The report of the committee appears in abridged form in
Volume 2 of our records."

With the help of the dictionary discriminate between the members of the
following pairs. Determine whether the words are correctly used in the
illustrative sentences. (Some are; some are not.)

. "He delivered a fiery address." "The
underbrush was dry and fiery." "Your disposition is too inflammable."

. "The fat man had grown attenuated."
"Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look." "The hot metal was then drawn
into an attenuated wire." "Only a lean line of our soldiers faced the
dense masses of the enemy."

. "The scene was quiet and domestic." "It is
home-like, inexpressibly dear." "To Waltham, heartsick from his
wanderings, the room in all its arrangements was thoroughly domestic."

. "We must be vigilant if we would maintain our
liberty." "He was wakeful, even watchful, though not from set purpose."
"He was vigilant for evidences of friendship."

. "It is a big, barn-like building." "Spare yonder
sacred edifice." "This is the most imposing building I ever saw."

. "I poked a stick into the aperture which the
crawfish had made." "Through the aperture of the partly open door I gazed
out on the street." "The hole of the hornet's nest was black with the
emerging and angry insects."

. "Two hundred students graduated this year
from the college of farming." "For long years he had devoted himself to
the homely, grinding tasks of agriculture." "I have looked rather
carefully into the theories of farming."

. "He obtained some repose even while standing." "We
wished for a moment's rest from our exertions." "Worn out, he was
compelled to seek repose." "Lincoln's face in repose was very melancholy."

. "The man was so injured he could do nothing for himself;
I had to aid him." "Help, help!" "Aid us, O God, in our sore distress."
"The little fellow could not quite get the bundle to his shoulder; a
passerby helped him."

. "By refraining from comment he hid his connection
with the affair." "Wild creatures hide themselves by means of their
protective coloring." "The frost on the panes conceals the landscape from
you." "Do not hide your misdeeds from your mother."

In the following list only the native member of each pair is given.
Determine what the classic member is, and frame sentences to illustrate
the correct use of the two words. (Make a conscientious effort to find the
classic member by means of its parallelism with the native. If, and after,
you definitely fail in any instance to find it, obtain a clue to it
through study of the words in List G. Every pair in that list is clearly
suggestive of one or more pairs in this list.)

nightly,--        motherly,--
breadth,--        buy,--
hot,--            fall,--
thought,--        sleeplessness,--
fatherly,--       yearly,--
outer,--          depth,--
womanly,--        speech,--

Discriminate between the members of each of the following pairs, and frame
sentences to illustrate the correct use of the two words.

freedom, liberty            well, cistern
freedom, independence       give, donate
free, acquit                happen, occur
door, portal                lessen, abate
begin, commence             lessen, diminish
behead, decapitate          forefathers, ancestors
belief, credence            friend, acquaintance
belief, credulity           lead, conduct
swear, vow                  end, finish
curse, imprecate            end, complete
curse, anathema             end, terminate
die, expire                 warn, admonish
die, perish                 warn, caution
die, succumb                rich, affluent
lively, vivacious           wealthy, opulent
walk, ambulate              help, assistance
leave, depart               help, succor
leave, abandon              answer, reply
go with, accompany          find out, ascertain
go before, precede          take, appropriate
hasten, accelerate          shrewd, astute
quicken, accelerate         breathe, respire
speed, celerity             busy, industrious
hatred, animadversion       growing, crescent
fearful, timorous           grow, increase

Cover with a piece of paper the classic (right-hand) members of the
following pairs, and if possible ascertain what they are by studying the
native members. Frame sentences to illustrate the correct use of both
words in each pair.

neighborhood,   vicinity             hang,      impend
hang,           suspend              rash,      impetuous
flood,          inundation           drunk,     intoxicated
harmful,        injurious            tool,      instrument
mind,           intellect            mad,       insane
birth,          nativity             sail,      navigate
sailor,         mariner              ship,      vessel
lying,          mendacious           upright,   erect
early,          premature            upright,   vertical
first,          primary              shake,     vibrate
raise,          elevate              swing,     oscillate
lift,           elevate              leaves,    foliage
greet,          salute               beg,       importune
choose,         select               beggar,    mendicant
choose,         elect                smell,     odor
same,           identical            sink,      submerge
name,           nominate             dip,       immerse
follow,         pursue               room,      apartment
follow,         succeed              see,       perceive
teach,          instruct             see,       inspect
teach,          inculcate            sight,     visibility
teacher,        pedagogue            sight,     vision
tiresome,       tedious              sight,     spectacle
empty,          vacant               glasses,   spectacles
farewell,       valediction

Cover with a piece of paper the native (left-hand) members of the
following pairs, and if possible ascertain what they are by studying the
classic members. Frame sentences to illustrate the correct use of both
words in each pair.

skin,         cuticle              thunder,          fulminate
skin,         integument           sleep-walking,    somnambulism
hide,         epidermis            bird,             ornithology
fleshly,      carnal               bird,             aviary
hearer,       auditor              bee,              apiary
snake,        serpent              bending,          flexible
heap,         aggregation          wrinkle,          corrugation
laugh,        cachinnation         slow,             dilatory
laughable,    risible              lime,             calcimine
fear,         trepidation          coal,             lignite
live,         exist                man,              anthropology
bridal,       nuptial              winter,           hibernate
wed,          marry                gap,              hiatus
husband/wife, spouse               right,            ethical
shore,        littoral             showy,            ostentatious
forswear,     perjure              spelling,         orthography
steal,        peculate             time,             chronology
steal,        embezzle             handbook,         manual
lockjaw,      tetanus              hole,             cavity
mistake,      error                dig,              excavate
mistake,      erratum              boil,             tumor
wink,         nictation            tickle,           titillate
blessing,     benediction          dry,              desiccated
wet,          humid                warm,             tepid
flirt,        coquet               forgetfulness,    oblivion
fiddle,       violin               sky,              firmament
sky,          empyrean             flatter,          compliment
flee,         abscond              flight,           fugitive
forbid,       prohibit             hinder,           impede
hold,         contain

For each of the following pairs frame a sentence which shall contain one
of the members. Can the other member be substituted without affecting the
meaning of the sentence? Read the discrimination of _Height-altitude_
in EXERCISE - Parallels. Ask yourself similar questions to bring out the
distinction between the two words you are considering.

threat, menace                    call, summon
talk, commune                     cleanse, purify
short, terse                      short, concise
better, ameliorate                lie, recline
new, novel                        straight, parallel
lawful, legitimate                law, litigation
law, jurisprudence                flash, coruscate
late, tardy                       watch, chronometer
foretell, prognosticate           king, emperor
winding, sinuous                  hint, insinuate
burn, incinerate                  fire, incendiarism
bind, constrict                   crab, crustacean
fowls, poultry                    lean, incline
flat, level                       flat, vapid
sharpness, acerbity               sharpness, acrimony
shepherd, pastor                  word, vocable
choke, suffocate                  stifle, suffocate
clothes, raiment                  witness, spectator
beat, pulsate                     mournful, melancholy
beginning, incipient              drink, imbibe
light, illuminate                 hall, corridor
stair, escalator                  anger, indignation
fight, combat                     sleight-of-hand, prestidigitation
build, construct                  tree, arbor
ask, interrogate                  wench, virgin
frisk, caper                      fill, replenish
water, irrigate                   silly, foolish
coming, advent                    feeling, sentiment
old, antiquated                   forerunner, precursor
sew, embroider                    unload, exonerate
grave, sepulcher                  readable, legible
tell, narrate                     kiss, osculate
nose, proboscis                   striking, percussion
green, verdant                    stroke, concussion
grass, verdure                    bowman, archer
drive, propel                     greed, avarice
book, volume                      stingy, parsimonious
warrior, belligerent              bath, ablution
owner, proprietor                 wrong, incorrect
bow, obeisance                    top, summit
kneel, genuflection               food, nutrition
work, occupation                  seize, apprehend
shut, close                       field, agrarian

Turn back to Lists A, B, C, D, E, and F. Discriminate between the members
of each pair contained in these lists. Frame sentences to illustrate the
correct use of the words.



In considering pairs we have, without using the word, been studying
synonyms. For most pairs are synonyms (or in some instances antonyms) that
hunt in couples. We must now deal with synonyms, and incidentally
antonyms, as they associate themselves in larger groups.

A vocabulary is impoverished. Why? Nine times in ten, because of a
disregard of synonyms. Listen to the talk of the average person. Whatever
is pleasing is _fine_ or _nice_ or _all to the good_;
whatever is displeasing is _bum_ or _awful_ or _a fright_.
Life is reflected, not as noble and complex, but as mean and meager. Out
of such stereotyped utterance only the general idea emerges. The precise
meaning is lazily or incompetently left to the hearer to imagine. The
precise meaning? There is none. A person who does not take the trouble to
speak clearly has not taken the trouble to think clearly.

But the master of synonyms expresses, instead of general, hazy,
commonplace conceptions, the subtlest shadings of thought and feeling. He
has so trained himself that he selects, it may be unconsciously, from a
throng of possible words. One word may be strong, another weak. One may be
broad, another narrow. One may present an alternative in meanings, another
permit no liberty of choice. One may be suggestive, another literal or
colorless. One may penetrate to the core of the idea, another strike only
in the environs. With these possibilities the master of synonyms reckons.
He must have the right word. He chooses it, not at haphazard, but in
conformity with a definite purpose.

For synonyms are not words that have the same meaning. They are words that
have similar meanings. They may be compared to circles that overlap but do
not coincide. Each embraces a common area, but each embraces also an area
peculiar to itself. Though many words cluster about a given idea, rarely
if ever are even two of these words entirely equivalent to each other. In
scope, in suggestion, in emotional nuance, in special usage, or what not,
is sure to lurk some denial of perfect correspondence. And of synonyms, so
of antonyms. Antonyms are words opposite in meaning; but the opposition,
for the same reasons as the likeness, is seldom or never absolute.

In your study of synonyms you will find most of the dictionaries
previously named of great help. You may also profitably consult the
following books of synonyms (heavy, scholastic works not suited for
ordinary use are omitted):

Edith B. Ordway: _Synonyms and Antonyms_. A compact, practical
volume, with antonyms (in italics for contrast) immediately following

Louis A. Flemming: _Putnam's Word Book_. A book of the ordinarily
used synonyms of words, with antonyms after some of them, and with lists
of associated words wherever these are likely to be useful.

Samuel Fallows: _100,000 Synonyms and Antonyms_. A handy little
volume, with useful lists of various kinds in appendices.

Richard Soule: _Dictionary of English Synonyms_ [revised and enlarged
by George H. Howison]. A much larger and more expensive book than the
others, and less practical for ordinary use, but fuller in treatment of
material, with words of more than one meaning carefully divided into their
various senses.

George Crabb: _English Synonyms_. A standard volume for over 100
years. Has close distinctions, but is somewhat scholarly for ordinary use.
Revised edition of 1917, omitting illustrative quotations from literature,
not so good as editions before that date.

James C. Fernald: _English Synonyms, Antonyms, and Prepositions_.
A pleasing book to read, with much information about the use of words and
their shades of meaning (with exercises), also with proper prepositions to
follow words. Material taken from the _Standard Dictionary_.

Peter Mark Roget: _Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases_. Issued in
many editions and revisions. Words grouped under general ideas. An
excellent book for serious and laborious study, but not for quick use.

The best principle for the extension of one's mastery of synonyms is the
principle already used over and over in this book--that of proceeding from
the known to the unknown. It is the fundamental principle, indeed, of any
kind of successful learning. We should build on what we have, fit each new
piece of material into the structure already erected. But normally it is
our ill fortune to learn through chance rather than through system. We
perceive elucidation here, draw an inference there. These isolated
fragments of knowledge may mislead rather than inform us.

The principle of proceeding from the known to the unknown may be applied
to synonyms in various ways. Two of these--the two of most importance--we
must consider here.

First, you should reckon with your personal, demonstrated needs. Just as
you have already analyzed your working vocabulary for its general limits
and shortcomings, so should you analyze it with particular reference to
your poverty in synonyms. Watch your actual speech; make a list of the
words--nouns, verbs, and adjectives particularly--that you employ again
and again. Make each of these words the starting-point for a linguistic
exploring expedition. First, write the word down. Then under it write all
the synonyms that come forthwith to your mind. These constitute your
present available stock; in speaking or writing you could, if you kept
yourself mentally alert, summon them on the moment. But the list, as you
know, is not exhaustive. Draw a line under it and subjoin such synonyms as
come to you after reflection. These constitute a second stock, not
instantaneously available, yet to be tagged as among your resources. Next
add a list of the synonyms you find through research, through a ransacking
of dictionaries and books of synonyms. This third stock, but dimly
familiar if familiar at all, is in no practical sense yours. And indeed
some of the words are too abstruse, learned, or technical for you to
burden your memory with them. But many--most--are worth acquiring. By
writing down the words of these three classes you have done something to
stamp them upon your memory as associates. You must now make it your
business to bring them into use. Never call upon them for volunteers, but
like a wise commander summon the individual that can rightly perform a
particular service. Thus will your speech, perhaps vague and indolent now,
become exact, discriminating, competent, vital.

In the second place, you should obtain specific and detailed command of
general ideas. Not of out-of-the-way ideas. But of the great basic ideas
that are the common possession of all mankind. For through these basic
ideas is the most natural and profitable approach to the study of
synonyms. Each of them is represented by a generic word. So elementary are
idea and word alike that a person cannot have the one in mind without
having the other ready and a-quiver on his tongue. Every person is master
of both. But it is unsafe to predicate the person's acquaintance with the
shades and phases of the idea, or with the corresponding discriminations
in language. He may not know them at all, he may know them partially, he
may know them through and through. Let us suppose him ignorant of them but
determined to learn. His progress, both in the thought and in the
language, will be from the general to the specific. His acquaintance with
the idea in the large he will gradually extend to an acquaintance with it
in detail, and his command of the broad term for it he will little by
little supplement with definite terms for its phases. An illustration will
make this clear.

We are aware that the world is made up of various classes and conditions
of men. How did we learn this? Let us go back to the time when our minds
were a blank, when we were babes and sucklings, when we had not perceived
that men exist, much less that mankind is infinitely complex. A baby comes
slowly to understand that all objects in the universe are divisible into
two classes, human and non-human, and that a member of the former may be
separated from the others and regarded as an individual. It has reached
the initial stage of its knowledge on the subject; it has the basic idea,
that of the individual human being. As soon as it can speak, it acquires a
designating term--not of course the sophisticated _human being_, but
the simpler _man_. It uses this word in the generic sense, to
indicate _any_ member of the human race; for as yet it knows nothing
and cares nothing about differences in species. With increasing
enlightenment, however, it discerns five species, and distinguishes among
them by swelling this branch of its vocabulary to five words: man (in the
sense of adult male), woman, boy, girl, baby. (To be sure, it may chance
to have acquired a specific term, as _boy_ or _baby_, before the
generic term _man_; but if so, it has attached this term to some
particular individual, as the grocer's boy or itself, rather than to the
individuals of a species. Its understanding of the species as a species
comes after its understanding of the genus.) As time passes, it divides
mankind into yet further species by sundry other methods: according to
occupation, for example, as doctors, chauffeurs, gardeners; to race or
color, as white men; negroes, Malays, Chinese; to disposition, as heroes,
gift-givers, teasers, talkers; and so on. It perceives moreover that
species are made up of sub-species. Thus instead of lumping all boys
together it begins to distinguish them as big boys, little boys,
middle-sized boys, boys in long trousers, boys in short trousers, barefoot
boys, schoolboys, poor boys, rich boys, sick boys, well boys, friends,
enemies, bullies, and what not. It even divides the sub-species. Thus it
classifies schoolboys as bright boys, dullards, workers, shirkers,
teachers' favorites, scapegoats, athletes, note-throwers, truant-players,
and the like. And of these classes it may make yet further sub-divisions,
or at least it may separate them into the individuals that compose them.
In fine, with its growing powers and experience, it abandons its old
conception that all persons are practically alike, and follows human
nature through the countless ramifications of man's status, temperament,
activities, or fate. And it augments its vocabulary to keep pace, roughly
at least, with its expanding ideas. In thought and terminology alike its
growth is from genus to species.

So it is with all our ideas and with all our words to cap them. We radiate
from an ascertained center into new areas of knowledge; we proceed from
the broad, fundamental, generic to the precise, discriminatory, specific.
Upon this natural law are based the exercises in this chapter and the two
to follow. The starting-point is always a word representative of an
elementary idea--a word and an idea which everybody knows; the advance is
into the unknown or the unused, at any rate into the particular. Now
fundamental ideas are not very numerous, and these exercises include the
commoner ones. Such a method of studying synonyms must therefore yield
large and tangible results.

One matter, however, should be explained. Most books of synonyms start
with a word and list all the terms in any way related to it. The idea of
the compilers is that the more they give the student the more they help
him. But oftentimes by giving more than is strictly pertinent they
actually hinder and confuse him. They may do this in various ways, of
which two must be mentioned. First, they follow an idea too far afield.
Thus in listing the synonyms of _love_ they include such terms as
_kindness_ and _lenity_, words only through stretched usage
connected with _love_. Secondly, they trace, not one meaning of a
word, but two or more unrelated meanings when the word chances to possess
them. Thus in listing the synonyms of _cry_ they include both the
idea of weeping and the idea of calling or screaming. What are the results
of these methods? The student finds a clutter where he expects
rationalized order; he finds he must exclude many words which lie in the
borders and fringes of the meaning. Moreover he finds mere chance
associations mingled with marked kinships. In both cases he finds dulled

This book offers synonyms that are apropos and definite rather than
comprehensive. Starting with a basic idea, it finds the generic term; it
then disregards dim and distant relationships, confines itself rigorously
to one of perhaps two or three legitimate senses, and refuses to consider
the peculiar twists and devious ways of subsidiary words when they wander
from the idea it is tracing. It thus deliberately blinds itself to much
that is interesting. But this partial blindness enables it to concentrate
attention upon the matter actually under study, to give sharper
distinctions and surer guidance.


After three introductory groups (dealing with thoroughly concrete ideas
and words) the synonyms in this exercise are arranged alphabetically
according to the first word in each group.

This first word is generic. It is immediately followed by a list of its
synonyms. These are then informally discriminated or else (in a few
instances) questions are asked about them. Perhaps a few less closely
related synonyms are then listed for you to discriminate in a similar way.
Finally, illustrative sentences are given. Each blank in these you are to
fill with the word that conveys the meaning exactly. (To prevent monotony
and inattention, the number of illustrative sentences varies. You may have
to use a particular word more than once, and another word not at all.)

Any one may be said to _walk_ who moves along on foot with moderate
speed. He _plods_ if he walks slowly and heavily, and perhaps
monotonously or spiritlessly as well. He _trudges_ if he walks
toilsomely and wearily, as though his feet were heavy. He _treads_ if
his walk is suggestive of a certain lightness and caution--if, for
instance, he seems half-uncertain whether to proceed and sets one foot
down carefully before the other. He _strides_ if he takes long steps,
especially in a firm, pompous, or lofty manner. He _stalks_ if there
is a certain stiffness or haughtiness in his walking. He _struts_ if
he walks with a proud or affectedly dignified gait, especially if he also
raises his feet high. He _tramps_ if he goes for a long walk, as for
pleasure or enjoyment out-of-doors. He _marches_ if he walks in a
measured, ordered way, especially in company with others. He _paces_
if he engages in a measured, continuous walk, as from nervousness,
impatience, or anger. He _toddles_ if his steps are short, uneven,
and unsteady, like those of a child. He _waddles_ if his movement is
ungainly, with a duck-like swaying from side to side. He _shuffles_
if he drags his feet with a scraping noise. He _minces_ if he takes
short steps in a prim, precise, or affectedly nice manner. He
_strolls_ or _saunters_ if he goes along in an easy, aimless, or
idle fashion. He _rambles_ if he wanders about, with no definite aim
or toward no definite goal. He _meanders_ if he proceeds slowly and
perhaps listlessly in an ever-changing course, as if he were following the
windings of the crooked Phrygian river, Meander. He _promenades_ if
he walks in a public place, as for pleasure or display. He _prowls_
if he moves about softly and stealthily, as in search of prey or booty. He
_hobbles_ if he jerks along unevenly, as from a stiff or crippled
condition of body. He _limps_ if he walks lamely. He
_perambulates_ when he walks through, perhaps for observation or
inspection. _(Perambulates is_ of course a learned word.)

_Assignment for further discrimination_: .

_Sentences_: They ____ down the lane in the moonlight. Rip Van
Winkle loved to ____ about the mountains. "The plowman homeward ____ his
weary way." The old man ____ down the street with his cane. The excavators
____ about the ruins in search of relics. He ____ about the room, almost
bursting with importance. The nervous man ____ up and down the station
platform. They ____ along the beach at the sea resort. The baby learned to
____ when it was eleven months old. The two of them ____ about the field
all day hunting rabbits. A ghost, so they tell me, ____ about the
haunted house at midnight. He carefully ____ the plank that spans the
abyss. The baby ____ toward us with outstretched arms. The Chinaman ____
out of the back room of the laundry in his carpet slippers. They caught
glimpses of gaunt wolves ____ about their campfire. He was terrified when
the giant ____ into the room. The fat lady ____ down the aisle of the
street car. The sick man will ____ a few steps each day until he is
stronger. A turkey cock ____ about the barnyard. A boy with a rag tied
around his toe ____ painfully down the street. They reported to the police
that a man had been ____ about the place. She held her skirts daintily and
____ along as if she were walking on eggs. The lovers ____ along the banks
of the stream. He ____ through the hall like a conqueror. The children
wore themselves out by ____ through the snow to school. We ____ through
the meadows, often stooping to pick flowers as we went. The soldiers ____
into camp at nightfall.

What differences in human nature, conditions, and disposition are revealed
by laughter! If a person gives audible expression to mirth, gayety, or
good-humor, the simplest word to apply to what he does is _laugh_.
But suppose a girl, with slight or insufficient provocation, engages in
silly or foolish though perhaps involuntary laughter. We should say she
_giggles_. Suppose a youngster is amused at an inappropriate moment
and but partly suppresses his laughter; or suppose he wilfully permits the
breaking forth of just enough laughter to indicate disrespect. He
_snickers_. Suppose a person gives a little, light laugh; or more
especially, suppose a crowd gives such an one as the result of slight,
simultaneous amusement. Our word now is _titters_. Suppose we laugh
low or gently or to ourselves. We _chuckle_. Suppose some one laughs
loudly, boisterously, even coarsely, in a manner befitting a lumber camp
rather than a drawing room. That person _guffaws_. Suppose a man
engages in explosive and immoderate laughter. He _cachinnates_.

_Assignment for further discrimination_: .

_Second assignment_: Name all the words you can that designate
inaudible laughter (for example, ).

_Sentences_: The rough fellow ____ in the lecturer's face. "If you
prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not ____?" He kept ____
at the thought of the surprise he would give them. "The swain mistrustless
of his smutted face, While secret laughter ____ round the place." The
ill-bred fellow was ____ with strident, violent, irritating sounds. "The
little dog ____ to see such sport." The audience ____ when the speaker's
glasses began to slip from his nose. The girl kept ____ in a way that
embarrassed us both. The small boy ____ when the preacher's notes
fluttered out of the Bible to the floor. The rude fellows ____ at this
evidence of my discomfiture. He ____ very kindly and told me not to feel
any regrets. The little maids tried to be polite, but ____ irrepressibly.

A person simply directs his eyes to see. He _looks_. But eyes may
speak, we are told, and since this person undergoes many changes of mood
and purpose, we shall let his eyes tell us all they will about his
different manners of looking. At first he but looks momentarily (as from
lack of time) or casually (as from lack of interest). He _glances_.
Soon he makes a business of looking, and fastens his eyes for a long time
on something he admires or wonders at. He _gazes_. Presently he looks
with a blank, perhaps a rude, expression and with eyes opened widely; he
may be for the moment overcome with incomprehension, surprise, or fright,
or perhaps he wishes to be insolent. He _stares_. Now he is looking
narrowly or closely at something that he sees with difficulty. He
_peers_. The next moment he looks over something with care or with an
encompassing sweep of vision. He _scans_ it. His interest thoroughly
enlisted, he looks at it carefully point by point to see that it is right
in each detail. He _scrutinizes_ it. He then alters his mood, and
looks with scornful or malignant satisfaction upon something he has
conquered or has power over. He _gloats_. Anger, perhaps fierceness,
takes possession of him, and he looks with piercing eyes. He
_glares_. Threat mingles with anger, and in all likelihood he looks
scowlingly or frowningly. He _glowers_. An added expression of
sullenness or gloom comes into his look. He _lowers_. He throws off
his dark spirit and looks slyly and playfully, let us say through a small
opening. He _peeks_. Playfulness gives place to curiosity; he looks
quickly and furtively, perhaps through some tiny aperture, and probably at
something he has no business to see. He _peeps_. The while he looks
his mouth falls open, as from stupidity or wonder. He _gapes_. He
looks at something a long time to study it. He _cons_ or
_pores_. His study is not of the thing itself; it is meditation or
reverie. He _pores_. A member of the opposite sex is present; he
looks at her with the effort of a flirt to attract attention to himself,
or less scrupulous, he directs toward her amorous or inviting glances. He

_Assignment for further discrimination_: .

_Sentences:_ The inspecting officer ____ the men's equipment. The
student ____ his lessons carefully. At this unexpected proposal Dobbett
merely ____. Jimmie ____ at the fellow who had kicked the pup. The
inquisitive maid ____ into all the the closets. He ____ over his fallen
adversary. The bookkeeper ____ over his ledger. In the darkened hallway he
____ at the notices on the bulletin board. "The poet's eye, in a fine
frenzy rolling, Doth ____ from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven."
From the way her father ____ the foolish, young man should have known it
was time to go. He ____ long and lovingly upon the scenes he was leaving.
The newcomer ____ insolently at his host and ____ the young ladies.

_Abandon_ denotes absolute giving up, as from force of circumstances
or shirking of responsibility. _Desert_ refers to leaving or quitting
in violation of obligation, duty, or oath. _Forsake_, which may
involve no culpability, usually implies a breaking off of intimate
association or attachment.

_Sentences_: The sailor ____ his ship. Necessity compelled him to
____ his friends in a time of sore trouble. They hated to ____ their old
haunts. A brave man never ____ hope. An unscrupulous man will ____ his
principles when it is to his advantage. "When my father and my mother ____
me, then the Lord will take me up." We ____ our attempt to save the ship.

To _abase_ is to bring down so that the victim feels himself lowered
in estate or external condition. To _debase_ is to produce a marked
decline in actual worth or in moral quality. To _degrade_ is to lower
in rank or status. To _humble_ is to lower in dignity or self-esteem,
or as used reflexively, to restrain one's own pride; the word often
implies that the person has been over-proud or arrogant. To
_humiliate_ is to deprive of self-esteem or to bring into ignominy.
To _disgrace_ is to bring actual shame upon.

_Sentences_: They ____ the guilty officer from captain to lieutenant.
A man should ____ himself before God. He had so ____ himself that I no
longer expected good of him. His detection at cheating had ____ him before
the students. By successive overlords they had been ____ into a condition
of serfdom. The aristocratic old lady was ____ by her loss of social
position. The conversion of so much bullion into money had ____ the

An interesting thing about the _answer_ group is that the generic
term has a somewhat strong rival in _reply_, itself fairly inclusive.
We must therefore discriminate rather fully between _answer_ and
_reply_. The former is a return in words to a question, a
communication, or an argument. The latter suggests a more or less formal
answer, as one carefully prepared or intelligently thought out. We might
give an _answer_ offhand, but are less likely to give a _reply_
so. We may give any kind of _answer_ to a question, but if we give a
_reply_, the implication is that we have answered it definitely,
perhaps satisfactorily. On the other hand, in controversial matters we
may, though we by no means always do, imply a more conclusive meeting of
objections through _answer_ than through _reply_. A
_response_ is an expected answer, one in harmony with the question or
assertion, or in some way carrying the thought farther. A _rejoinder_
is a quick reply to something controversial or calling forth opposition.
A _retort_ is a short, sharp reply, such as turns back censure or
derision, or as springs from anger. A _repartee_ is an immediate and
witty reply, perhaps to a remark of similar character which it is intended
to surpass in cleverness.

_Sentences_: The detailed ____ to our letter should reach us within a
week. The plays of Oscar Wilde abound in brilliant ____. The speaker's
____ to the heckler was incisive and scathing. My ____ to that third
question in the examination in history was incorrect. The congregation
read the ____ in unison. You have enumerated objections to my course; here
is their ____. "This is no ____, thou unfeeling man. To excuse the current
of thy cruelty." There was silence throughout the chamber as the old
statesman rose to make his ____. To the tenderfoot's remark the guide
mumbled an indifferent ____. Our appeal for the sufferers elicited but a
poor ____.

From the general tree of asking grow many branches, different in size, in
the direction they take, in the shades of meaning they cast. What can we
learn from a rapid scrutiny of each? That to _inquire_ is to ask for
specific information. That to _question_ is to keep asking in order
to obtain detailed or reluctantly given information. That to
_interrogate_ is to question formally, systematically, or thoroughly.
That to _interpellate_ is to question as of unchallenged right, as in
a deliberative body. That to _query_ is to bring a thing into
question because of doubt as to its correctness or truth. That to
_quiz_is to question closely and persistently, as from
meddlesomeness, opposition, or curiosity. That to _catechize is_ to
question in a minute, perhaps impertinent, manner in order to ascertain
one's secrets or the amount of his knowledge or information. That to
_request_ is to ask formally and politely. That to _beg_ is to
ask for deferentially or humbly, especially on the ground of pity. That to
_solicit_ is to ask with urgency. That to _entreat_ is to ask
with strong desire and moving appeal. That to _beseech_ is to ask
earnestly as a boon or favor. That to _crave_ is to ask humbly and
abjectly, as though unworthy of receiving. That to _implore_ is to
ask with fervor and intense earnestness. That to _supplicate_ is to
ask with urgent or even desperate appeal. (Both _implore_ and
_supplicate_ imply humility, as of a prayer to a superior being.)
That to _importune_ is to ask for persistently, even wearyingly. That
to _petition_ is to ask a superior, usually in writing, for some
favor, grant, or right.

_Assignment for further discrimination_: .

_Sentences_: The leader of the minority ____ the upholders of the
measure sharply as to a secret understanding. I ____ you to keep your
promise. I shall ____ that solution for the present. The colonists ____
Great Britain for a redress of grievances. She ____ the governor to grant
her husband a pardon. A child is naturally inquisitive and ____ many
questions. I ____ you to show mercy. On bended knees he ____ God's
forgiveness. "I'm stopp'd by all the fools I meet And ____ in every
street." The policeman ____ the suspect closely. The prosecuting attorney
____ the witness. We are ____ funds to aid the famine-stricken people of
India. He ____ me about your health. You should ____ at the office about
the lost package. She ____ your presence at the party. Every one resents
being ____. I ____ you to care for the child after I am gone. A fool
can ____ questions a wise man can't answer. She annoyed them by constantly
____ them for favors. The reporter ____ into the causes of the riot. "____
and it shall be given you." I ____ your pardon, though I well know I do
not deserve it. The man ____ me to give him some money for food.

If you consume or injure something by bringing it in contact with fire or
heat, you _burn_ it. If you do not consume it but burn it
superficially so as to change the texture or color of its surface, you
_scorch_ it. If you burn off ends or projections of it, you
_singe_ it. If you burn its surface to dryness or hardness, you
_sear_ it. If you dry or shrivel it with heat, you _parch_ it.
If through heat you reduce it to a state of charcoal, or cinders, you
_char_ it. If you burn it to ashes, you _incinerate_ it. (This
word is learned and but little used in ordinary discourse.) If you burn a
dead body to ashes, you _cremate_ it. If you burn or sear anything
with a hot iron or a corrosive substance, you _cauterize_ it.

_Sentences:_ The hired girl ____ the cloth in ironing it. By getting
too close to the fire he ____ the nap of his flannels. The doctor at once
____ the wound. The cook had picked the chicken and now ____ its down over
the coals. I used to ____ grains of field corn on the cookstove, while my
mother prepared dinner. Shelley's body was ____ on a funeral pyre. The
lecturer spoke of the time when the whole earth might be ____. The earth
was ____ and all growing things were ____ by the intense summer heat.

From much of the talk that we hear nowadays it might be supposed that the
earnest devotion of one's self to a task is a thing that has disappeared
from the earth. But a good many people are exhibiting this very devotion.
Let us see in what different degrees. The man who actively applies himself
to something, whether temporarily or habitually, is _busy_. The man
who makes continued application to work a principle or habit of life, is
_industrious_. The man who applies himself aggressively to the
accomplishment of some specific undertaking or pursuit, is
_diligent_. The man who quietly and determinedly sticks to a task
until it is accomplished, no matter what its difficulties or length, is
_assiduous_. The man who makes steady and painstaking application to
whatever he is about, is _sedulous_.

_Sentences_: Early in life he acquired ____ habits. By patient and
____ study you may overcome those defects of your early education. "How
doth the ____ little bee improve each shining hour." The manager gave such
____ attention to details that he made few mistakes. He is ____ at
present. Oh, yes, he is always ____. "Nowher so ____ a man has he ther
has, And yet he seemed ____ than he was."

Words descriptive of brief utterance are, in nearly every instance, in
their origin figurative. The brevity is brought out by comparison with
something that is noticeably short or small. Let us examine the words of
our list for their figurative qualities. A _concise_ statement is one
that is _cut down_ until a great deal is said in a few words. A
_terse_ statement is _rubbed off_, rid of unessentials.
A _succinct_ statement has its important thoughts _bound_ into
small compass, as by a girdle. A _compendious_ statement _weighs
together_ the various thoughts and aspects of a subject; it shows by
means of a few effective words just what these amount to, gives a summary
of them. A _compact_ statement has its units of thought _fastened
together_ into firmness of structure; its brevity is well-knit. A
_sententious_ statement gives _feelings_ or opinions_ in a
strikingly pointed or axiomatic way, so that they can be easily grasped
and remembered; if _sententious_ is unfavorably used, the statement
may be filled with paraded platitudes. A _pithy_ statement gives the
very _pith_, the heart of a matter; it is sometimes slightly quaint,
always effective and arresting. A _laconic_ statement is made in the
manner of _the Spartans_, who hated talk and used as few words as
possible. A _curt_ statement is _made short_; its abruptness is
oftentimes more or less rude.

_Sentences_: "A tale should be judicious, clear, ____. The language
plain, and incidents well link'd." "Charles Lamb made the most ____
criticism of Spenser when he called him the poet's poet." With a ____
disdainful answer she turned away. The sermon was filled with ____
sayings. By omitting all irrelevant details, he made his statement of the
case ____. It requires great skill to give a ____ statement of what such a
treatise contains. A proverb is a ____ statement of a truth.

Men are as mindful of rank and pretension in their terms for the cessation
of life as in their choice of tombstones for the departed. _Death_ is
the great, democratic, unspoilable word. It is not too good for a clown or
too poor for an emperor. _Decease_ is a more formal word. Its
employment is often legal--the death proves to be of sufficient importance
for the law (and the lawyers) to take notice. _Demise_, however, is
outwardly the most resplendent term of all. It implies that the victim cut
a wide swath even in death. It is used of an illustrious person, as a
king, who transmits his title to an heir. Ordinary people cannot afford a
_demise_. If the term is applied to their shuffling off of this
mortal coil, the use is euphemistic and likely to be stilted.

_Sentences_: "The crown at the moment of ____ must descend to the
next heir." "____ is a fearful thing." "In their ____ they were not
divided." At the ____ of his father he inherited the estate. "Each shall
take His chamber in the silent halls of ____." "Many a time I have been
half in love with easeful ____."

_Early_ is the simple word for that which was in, or toward, the
beginning. That is _primitive_ which has the old-fashioned or simple
qualities characteristic of the beginning. That is _primeval_ which
is of the first or earliest ages. That is _primordial_ which is first
in origin, formation, or development. That is _primal_ which is first
or original. (The word is poetic.) That is _pristine_ which has not
been corrupted from its original state.

_Assignment for further discrimination_: 

_Sentences:_ It was a hardy mountain folk that preserved the ____
virtues. The ____ history of mankind is shrouded in uncertainty. "This is
the forest ____." "It hath the ____ eldest curse upon 't, A brother's
murder." "A ____ leaf is that which is immediately developed from the
cotyledon." As the explorers penetrated farther into the country, they
beheld all the ____ beauties of nature. Some countries still use the ____
method of plowing with a stick.

We hear some one say that he reads faces. How? Through long study of them
and what they indicate. The human race as a whole has been reading faces
through the centuries. It has felt such need to label certain recurring
aspects of them that it has invented the designating terms. Of these terms
the simple, inclusive one is of course _face_ itself. If, however, we
are thinking of the face as its look or expression reveals thoughts,
emotions, or state of mind, our term is _countenance_. If we are
thinking of it as distinguished or individualized by the contour, lines,
etc., we speak of the _features_. If we are thinking of its external
appearance or aspect, we call it the _visage_. If, finally, we are
thinking of it as indicative of mind, disposition, or fundamental
character, we say _physiognomy._

_Assignment for further discrimination_: .

_Sentences_: His grotesque ____ reminded one of a gargoyle. It is
said that the ____ of persons living constantly together tend to become
alike. "Behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling ____." The teacher
told the students to wash their ____ every morning. "A ____ more in sorrow
than in anger." The firm but kind ____ of the old statesman shone happily
at this ovation. "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then ____ to
____." She turned an eager ____ up to me as she spoke. One's ____ is
moulded by one's thoughts. Cosmetics injure the ____. His clear-cut ____
impressed his employer.

_Financial_ is usually applied to money matters of considerable size
or moment. _Monetary_ applies to money, coin, or currency as such.
_Pecuniary_ refers to practical matters in which money is involved,
though not usually in large amounts. _Fiscal_ refers especially to
the time when money, receipts, and accounts are balanced or reckoned.

_Sentences:_ A ____ reward has been offered. We gave the unfortunate
man ____ assistance. The ____ system of the country was sound. It was
Hamilton who more than any one else shaped the ____ policies of the new
government. Experts audit the company's accounts at the end of the ____
year. The ____ interests of the country were behind the bill.

To _flee_ is to run away from what one would avoid, as danger,
arrest, or the like. To _abscond_ is to steal off secretly and hide
one's self, as from some disgraceful reason or to avoid arrest. To
_decamp_ is to leave suddenly in great haste to get away; the word is
often used humorously.

_Sentences_: They went to have their money refunded, but the swindler
had ____. The bank teller ____ after having squandered most of the
deposits. Yes, we were in proximity to a polecat, and without further
parley we ____. "Resist the devil, and he will ____ from you." William
Wallace, when pursued by the English, ____ into the Highlands.

_Foretell_ is the general word for stating or perceiving beforehand
that which will happen. _Predict_ implies foretelling based on
well-founded or precise knowledge. _Prophesy_ often implies
supernatural inspiration to foretell correctly. The word is especially so
used in connection with the Scriptures; but in the Scriptures themselves
it frequently expresses insight and admonition without the element of
foretelling. _Forecast_ involves a marked degree of conjecture.
_Presage_ usually means to give as a presentiment or warning.
_Forebode_ expresses an uncertain foreknowledge of vague impending
evil. _Portend_ indicates the likelihood that something will befall
which is threatening or evil in its consequences. _Augur_ means
foretelling from omens. _Prognosticate_ means foretelling through the
study of signs or symptoms.

_Sentences_: "For we know in part, and we ____ in part." (Insert
in the blank, successively, the terms just distinguished. In each instance
how is the meaning affected? Do any of the terms fail to make sense at
all? Which term do you think the right one? Bearing in mind the
distinctions we have made, frame sentences of your own to embody the

_Get_, the general term, may be used of whatever one comes by
whatsoever means to possess, experience, or realize. To _acquire_ is
to get into more or less permanent possession, either by some gradual
process or by one's determined efforts. To _obtain_ is to get
something desired by means of deliberate effort or request. To
_procure_ is to get by definitely planned effort something which, in
most instances, is of a temporary nature or the possession of which is
temporary. To _attain_ is to get through striving that which one has
set as a goal or end of his desire or ambition. To _gain_ is to get
that which is advantageous. To _win_ is to get as the result of
successful competition or the overcoming of opposition. To _earn_ is
to get as a deserved reward for one's efforts or exertions.

_Sentences_: With such wages as those, he can barely ____ a living.
He ____ a pardon by appealing to the governor. The speaker ____ his point
by forcing his opponent to admit that the figures were misleading. By
buying in June I can ____ a good overcoat at half price. Did you ____ only
seven thousand dollars for your house? Walpole believed in ____ one's
ends in the surest and easiest way possible. It is illegal to ____ money
through false pretences. A junior ____ the prize in the oratorical
contest. Kirk ____ his advancement by taking a personal interest in the
firm's welfare. The painter ____ a foreign accent while he was studying in
Paris. He ____ their gratitude by loyally serving them. It was through
sacrifices that he ____ an education.


We _give_ that which we transfer from our own to another's possession
or ownership, usually without compensation. We _bestow_ that which we
give gratuitously, or of which the recipient stands in especial need. We
_grant_ that which has been requested by one dependent upon us or
inferior to us, and which we give with some formality. From a position of
superiority we _confer_ as a favor or honor that which we might
withhold or deny. We _present_ that which is of importance or value
and which we give ceremoniously.

_Assignment for further discrimination_: .

_Sentences_: William the Conqueror ____ English estates upon his
followers. The rich man ____ his wonderful art collection to the museum.
My application for a leave of absence has been ____. The ticket agent ____
us complete information. Every year he ____ alms upon the poor in that
neighborhood. The school board may ____ an increase in the salaries of
teachers. Many merchants ____ premiums with the articles they sell. The
college ____ an honorary degree upon the distinguished visitor. The
Pilgrims ____ thanks to God for their preservation. "Not what we ____, but
what we share."


What did John Wesley mean by saying, "Though I am always in _haste_,
I am never in a _hurry_"? Does Lord Chesterfield's saying "Whoever is
in a _hurry_ shows that the thing he is about is too big for him"
help explain the distinction? Explain the distinction (taking _speed_
in the modern sense) in the saying "The more _haste_, ever the worse
_speed_." "The tidings were borne with the usual _celerity_ of
evil news." Give the well-known saying in four simple words that express
the same idea. Which of the two statements is the more forceful? Which is
the more literary? Why did Prescott use the former in his _Ferdinand and
Isabella_? "_Despatch_," says Lord Chesterfield, "is the soul of
business." What does _despatch_ suggest about getting work done that
_haste_ or _speed_ does not? In which way would you prefer for
your employee to go about his task--with _haste_, with _speed_,
or with _despatch_? "With wingéd _expedition_, Swift as the
lightning glance, he executes His errand on the wicked." Why is it that
this use of _expedition_ in Milton's lines is apt? Would
_despatch_ have served as well? If not, why not?


To _hate_ involves deep or passionate dislike, sometimes bred of
ill-will. To _detest_ involves an intense, vehement, or deep-seated
antipathy. To _abhor_ involves utter repugnance or aversion, with an
impulse to recoil. To _loathe_ involves disgust because of physical
or moral offensiveness. To _abominate_ involves strong moral
aversion, as of that which is odious or wicked. To _despise_ is to
dislike and look down upon as inferior.

_Sentences_: When he had explained his fell purpose, I could only
____ him. Who would not ____ a slimy creature like Uriah Heep? It is
natural for us to ____ our enemies. She ____ greasy  food. There suddenly
in my pathway was the venomous reptile, darting out its tongue; oh, I ____
snakes! A wholesome nature must ____ such principles as these. A child
____ to kiss and make up. The pampered young millionaire ____ those who
are simply honest and kind. These daily practices of her associates she

(With this group contrast the _Disease_ group below.)

The words of this group are assuredly blessed. Every one of them has to do
with the giving, promotion, or preservation of health. But health is of
various kinds, and therefore the words apply differently. _Healthful_
is the most inclusive of them; it means that the thing it refers to is
full of health for us. _Wholesome_ also is a very broad term; what is
wholesome is good for us physically, mentally, or morally. _Salutary_
is confined to that which affects for good our moral (including civic and
social) welfare, especially if it counteracts evil influences or
propensities. _Salubrious_ is confined to the physical; it is used
almost solely of healthful air or climate. _Sanitary_ and
_hygienic_ apply to physical well-being as promoted by the
eradication of the causes for sickness, disease, or the like;
_sanitary_, however, is used of measures and conditions affecting
people in general, whereas _hygienic_ connects itself with personal

_Assignment for further discrimination_: The word _healthy_ is
often confused with _healthful_. You have already discriminated
between these two terms, but you should renew your knowledge of the
distinction between them.

_Sentences_: Colorado is noted for its ____ air. He offered the young
people some ____ advice. A person should brush his teeth every day for
____ reasons. In spite of its horrors, the French Revolution has had a
____  effect upon civilization. Damp, low places do not have a ____
climate. Cities in the middle ages were not ____. His is a very ____ way
of life. My doctor recommends buttermilk as ____.


He knew that it was a ____ responsibility. (Insert the four words in the
blank space in turn, and analyze the differences in meaning thus


He made a ____ donation to the endowment fund. (Insert the four words in
the blank space in turn, and analyze the differences in meaning.)


"A man's a man for a' that," sang the poet. So he is, but not all the
adjectives allusive to his state are equally complimentary.
_Masculine_ betokens the qualities and characteristics belonging to
men. _Male_ designates sex and is used of animals as well as human
beings. _Manly_ (used of boys as well as men) implies the possession
of qualities worthy of a man, as strength, courage, sincerity, honesty,
independence, or even tenderness. _Manlike_ refers to qualities,
attributes, or foibles characteristically masculine. _Manful_
suggests the valor, prowess, or resolution properly belonging to men.
_Mannish_ (a derogatory word) indicates superficial or affected
qualities of manhood, especially when inappropriately possessed by a
woman. _Virile_ applies to the sturdy and intrepid qualities of
mature manhood.

_Sentences_: The Chinese especially prize ____ children. He was a
____ little fellow. She walked with a ____ stride. With ____ courage he
faced the crisis. It was a ____ defense of an unpopular cause. ____
strength is the complement of female grace. The old sailor still retained
the rugged and ____ strength of a man much younger. With ____ bluntness
he told her what he thought. Such gentleness is not weak; it is ____. He
made a ____ struggle against odds. "His ____ brow Consents to death, but
conquers agony." Now isn't that assumption of omniscience ____?


A _name_ is the word or words by which a person or thing is called or
known. If the name be descriptive or characterizing, even though in a
fanciful way, it is an _appellation_. If it particularizes an
individual through reference to distinctive quality or nature, perhaps
without employing any word the individual is usually known by, it is a
_designation_. If it specifies a class, especially a religious sect
or a kind of coin, it is a _denomination_. If it is an official or
honorary description of rank, office, place within a profession, or the
like, it is a _title_. If it is assumed, as to conceal identity, it
is an _alias_.

_Assignment for further discrimination_: .

_Sentences_: Yes, it is a five-dollar gold piece, though one doesn't
often see a coin of that ____ nowadays. The Little Corporal is the ____
applied to Napoleon by his soldiers. The eldest son of the king of England
bears the ____ of the Prince of Wales. The government issues stamps in
various ____. "That loafer" was his contemptuous ____ of the man who could
not find work. "Duke" is the highest ____ of nobility in England. The
crook was known to the police under many ____. At the battle of Bull Run
Jackson received the ____ "Stonewall." "What's in a[n] ____? that which we
call a rose By any other ____ would smell as sweet." The head of the
American government bears the ____ of President. The Mist of Spring was
the little Indian maiden's ____. His ____ was Thornberg.


We reserve the right to judge for ourselves when told that something--
especially a joke--is "the very latest." So may we likewise discriminate
among degrees of age. _Old_ is applied to a person or thing that has
existed for a long time or that existed in the distant past. The word may
suggest a familiarity or sentiment not found in _ancient_, which is
used of that which lived or happened in the remote past, or has come down
from it. _Olden_ applies almost wholly to time long past.
_Antique_ is the term for that which has come down from ancient times
or is made in imitation of the style of ancient times, whereas
_antiquated_ is the term for that which has gone out of style or
fashion. _Archaic_ and _obsolete_ refer to words, customs, or
the like, the former to such as savor of an earlier period though they are
not yet completely out of use, the latter to such as have passed out of
use altogether. _Immemorial_ implies that a thing is so old that it
is beyond the time of memory or record. _Elderly_ is applied to
persons who are between middle age and old age. _Aged_ is used of one
who has lived for an unusually long time. _Hoary_ refers to age as
revealed by white hair. _Venerable_ suggests the reverence to be paid
to the dignity, goodness, or wisdom of old age. _Decrepit_ conveys a
sense of the physical infirmities and weakness which attend old age;
_senile_ of the lessening powers of both body and mind that result
from old age. _Superannuated_ is applied to a person who on account
of old age has been declared incapable of continuing his activities.

_Sentences_: He liked to read romances of the ____ days. Dana records
that he once saw a man so ____ that he had to raise his eyelids with his
fingers. Many writers use ____ words to give quaintness to their work. He
liked to sit around in his ____ clothes. "The moping owl does to the moon
complain Of such as, wandering near her secret bower, Molest her ____
solitary reign." Some of these ____ sequoia trees were old before the
white man discovered this continent. They are building the church in the
____ Roman style of architecture. "Be not ... the last to lay the ____
aside." Many of Chaucer's words, being ____, cannot possibly be understood
without a glossary. Most churches now have funds for ____ ministers. A man
is as ____ as he feels; a woman is as ____ as she looks. The ____ old man
could scarcely hobble across the room. What better proof that he is ____
do you ask than that he babbles constantly about what happened when he was
young? "I am a very foolish fond ____ man, Fourscore and upward." They
revered the ____ locks of the old hero. At sixty a man is considered a[n]
____ person. That the earth is flat is a[n] ____ idea. The young warriors
listened respectfully to the ____ chief's advice. They unearthed a[n] ____
vase. "____ wood best to burn, ____ wine to drink, ____ friends to trust,
and ____ authors to read." His favorite study was ____ history. "Grow ____
along with me." "The most ____ heavens, through thee, are fresh and


Most men are willing to receive what is due them. They might even be
persuaded to receive a bit more. Why should they not be as scrupulous to
receive what they are entitled to in the medium of language as of money?
Sometimes they are. Offering to _pay_ some people instead of to
_compensate_ them is like offering a tip to the wrong person. Why?
Because there is a social implication in _compensate_ which is not
contained in _pay_. To _pay_ is simply to give what is due, as
in wages (or even salary), price, or the like. To _compensate_ is to
make suitable return for service rendered. Does _compensate_ not
sound the more soothing? But save in exceptional circumstances the
downrightness of _pay_ has no hint of vulgarity. To _recompense_
is to make a return, especially if it is not monetary, for work, pains,
trouble, losses, or suffering; or some quality or blessing (as affection
or happiness) may be said to recompense one. To _remunerate_ is to
disburse a large amount to a person, or to give it to him as a reward, or
otherwise to make him a return in a matter of importance. To
_requite_ is to put a just value upon one's work, deeds, or merit and
to make payment strictly in accordance with his deserts. To
_reimburse_ is to make good what some one has spent for you. To
_indemnify_ is to secure some one against loss or to make restitution
for damages he has sustained.

_Assignment for further discrimination_: .

_Sentences_: Let us ____ him for his efforts in our behalf.
Let us ____ their kindness with kindness, their cruelty with cruelty.
To ____ them adequately for such patriotic sacrifices is of course
impossible. The government demanded that it be ____ for the injury to its
citizens. I shall ____ you for all sums expended. He ____ the bill by a
check. The success of her children ____ a mother for her sacrifices for
them. Wages are ____ to laborers; salaries are ____ to judges.


Most persons feel in their hearts that their claims and merits are
superior to those of other people. But they do not like for you, in
describing them, to imply that their self-appraisal is too high.
"Comparisons are odious," and therefore in comparing their fancied with
their real selves you must choose your terms carefully. Of the words that
suggest an exaggerated estimate of one's merits or privileges the
broadest, as well as the least offensive, is _proud_. In fact this
word need not carry the idea of exaggeration. A proud man may but hold
himself in justifiable esteem, or wish to measure up to the demands of his
station or to the expectations of others. On the other hand, he may
overvalue his attainments, possessions, connections, etc. To say that the
man is _arrogant_ means that he combines with pride a contempt for
others, that he claims for himself greater attention, consideration, or
respect than he is entitled to. To say that he is _presumptuous_
makes him an inferior (or at least not a superior) who claims privileges
or takes liberties improperly. To say that he is _haughty_ means that
he assumes a disdainful superiority to others, especially through fancied
or actual advantage over them in birth or social position. To say that he
is _supercilious_ means that he maintains toward others an attitude
of lofty indifference or sneering contempt. To say that he is
_insolent_ means that he is purposely and perhaps coarsely
disrespectful toward others, especially toward his superiors. To say that
he is _insulting_ means that he gives or offers personal affront,
probably in scornful or disdainful speech.

_Assignment for further discrimination_: .

_Sentences_: He was ____ in replying to the questions. She paid no
attention to his words, but kept looking at him with a[n] ____ smile. He
was ____ in acting as if he were their equal. The hot-tempered fellow
answered this ____ remark with a blow. She resented his presuming to speak
to her, and turned away in a[n] ____ manner. The servant was ____ to her
mistress. Are you not very ____ of your family connections? The old man
was so ____ that he expected people to raise their hats to him and not to
sit down till he gave permission.


To _punish_ a person is to inflict pain or penalty upon him as a
retribution for wrong-doing. There may be, usually is, no intention to
improve the offender. To _chastise_ him is to inflict deserved
corporal punishment upon him for corrective purposes. To _chasten_
him is to afflict him with trouble for his reformation or spiritual
betterment. The word is normally employed in connection with such
affliction from God.

_Assignment for further discrimination_: .

_Sentences_: "Hearing oftentimes The still, sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power To ____ and subdue." Ichabod
Crane freely used his ferule in ____ his pupils. "Whom the Lord loveth he
____." A naughty child should be ____.


"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a
rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." Substitute _wealthy_ for
_rich_. Is the meaning exactly the same? Is Goldsmith's description
of the village preacher--"passing rich with forty pounds a year"--as
effective if _wealthy_ is substituted? What is the difference between
_riches_ and _wealth_? Which implies the greater degree of
possession, which the more permanence and stability? Which word suggests
the more personal relationship with money? Which word the more definitely
denotes money or its immediate equivalent? Why do we say "get-rich-quick
schemes" rather than "get-wealthy-quick schemes"? What besides the
possession of wealth does _affluent_ suggest? Could we say that a
rich miser lives in affluence? If not, why not? A poor clerk who has ten
dollars to spend as he pleases may feel affluent. A rich banker may be a
man of affluence in his town. What power does this suggest that he has
besides the possession of a great deal of money? Explain all that Swift
implies by the word _opulence_ in the quotation "There in full
opulence a banker dwelt, Who all the joys and pangs of riches felt." If
you substitute _affluence_, what different impression do you get?


"The _rural_ inhabitants of a country." Are the people being spoken
of favorably, unfavorably, or neutrally? How would the meaning be affected
if they were called _rustic_ inhabitants? Would you ordinarily speak
of the _rural_ or the _rustic_ population to distinguish it from
the urban? Would you speak of _rural_ or _rustic_ activities?
_rural_ or _rustic_ manners? When the two adjectives may be
employed, is one of them unflattering? Is a _rustic_ bridge something
to be ashamed of? a _rustic_ chair? a _rustic_ gate? What, then,
is the degree of reproach that attaches to each of the two adjectives? the
degree of commendation? Wherein do _pastoral_ scenes differ from
_rural_? _pastoral_ amusements from _rustic_? Can you trace
a connection between the _pastor_ of a church and a _pastoral_
life? Do you often hear the word _bucolic_? In what mood is it
oftenest uttered? Which of the four adjectives best fits into Goldsmith's
dignified lament: "And ____ mirth and manners are no more"?

(This group may be contrasted with the _Talkative_ group, below.)

We pass through a crowded room and notice that some of its occupants are
not adding their voices to the chatter. We resolve to study these
unspeaking persons. Some of them merely have nothing to say, or are timid
or preoccupied; or it may be they deliberately have set themselves not to
talk. These are _silent_. Some plainly desire not to talk, it may be
in general or it may be upon some particular topic; they may (but need
not) regard themselves as superior to their associates, or for some other
reason let aloofness or coldness creep into their manner. These are
_reserved_. Others withhold information that persons about them are,
or would be, interested in. These are _uncommunicative_. Others
maintain their own counsel; they neglect opportunities to reveal their
thoughts, plans, and the like. These are _reticent_. Others are
disinclined--and habitually, we perceive--to talking. These are

_Sentences_: The ____ prisoner evaded all questions. He was as ____
as nature itself; he never gave his views upon any subject. He was ____
about the firm's affairs, especially toward persons who seemed
inquisitive. We knew there had been a love affair in his life, but he was
____ on the subject. She sat ____ throughout the discussion. If to be ____
is golden, Lucas should have been a billionaire.


You hear a "concord of sweet sounds," not instrumental but vocal, and wish
to tell me so. You say that some person _sings_. Then you recall that
I am something of an expert in music, and you cast about for the word that
shall state specifically the kind of singing that is being done. Does the
person sing solemnly in a more or less uniform tone? You tell me that he
_chants_. Does he sing gladly, spontaneously, high-spiritedly, as if
his heart were pouring over with joy? You say that he _carols_. Does
he sing with vibratory notes and little runs, as in bird-music? You say
that he _warbles_. Does he sing loudly and freely? You say that he
_trolls_. Does he sing with peculiar modulations from the regular
into a falsetto voice? You say that he _yodels_. Does he sing a
simple, perhaps tender, song in a low tone (as a lullaby to an infant)?
You say that he _croons_. Does he sing with his lips closed? You say
that he _hums_. Does he utter the short, perhaps sharp, notes of
certain birds and insects? You say that he _chirps_ or

_Assignment for further discrimination_: .

_Sentences_: A cricket ____ in the grass outside the door. He
abstractedly gazed out of the window and ____ a few strains of an old
song. Listen, they are ____ the Te Deum. "And ____ still dost soar, and
soaring ever ____." A strange, uncanny blending of false and true notes it
is when the Swiss mountaineers are ____. Negroes, as a race, love to
____. As she soothes the child to sleep she ____ a "rock-a-bye-baby."


_Suave_ implies agreeable persuasiveness or smooth urbanity.
_Bland_ suggests a soothing or coaxing kindness of manner, one that
is sometimes lacking in sincerity. _Unctuous_ implies excessive
smoothness, as though one's manner were oiled. The word carries a decided
suggestion of hypocrisy. _Fulsome_ suggests such gross flattery as to
be annoying or cloying. _Smug_ suggests an effeminate
self-satisfaction, usually not justified by merit or achievement.

_Assignment for further discrimination_: .

_Sentences_: He thought his answer exceedingly brilliant and settled
back into his chair with ____ complacency. "____ the smile that like a
wrinkling wind On glassy water drove his cheek in lines." They were
irritated by his ____ praise. Although he disliked them, he greeted them
with ____ cordiality. "A bankrupt, a prodigal, ... that used to come so
____ upon the mart; let him look to his bond." ____ as a diplomat.

(This group may be contrasted with the _Silent_ group, above.)

A little while ago you were in a crowded room and made a study of the
persons disposed to silence. But your study was carried on under
difficulties, for many of those about you showed a tendency to copious or
excessive speech. One woman entered readily into conversation with you and
convinced you that her natural disposition was to converse a great deal.
She was _talkative_. From her you escaped to a man who soon proved
that he talked too much and could run on with an incessant flow of words,
perhaps employing many of them where a few would have sufficed. He was
_loquacious_. The two of you were joined by an old gentleman who
forthwith began to talk wordily, tediously, continuously, with needless
repetitions and in tiresome detail; you suspected that he had suffered a
mental decline from age, and that he might be excessively fond, in season
and out of season, of talking about himself and his opinions. He was
_garrulous_. You broke away from these two and fell into the hands of
a much more agreeable interlocutor. He talked with a ready, easy command
of words, so that his discourse _flowed_ smoothly. He was
_fluent_. He introduced you to a lady whose speech possessed
smoothness and ease in too great degree; it fairly _rolled_ along, as
a hoop does downhill. The lady was _voluble_. Into your triangular
group broke a newcomer whose speech had in it a flippant, or at least a
superficially clever, fluency. He was _glib_. Leaving these three to
fight (or talk) it out as best they might, you grabbed your hat and
hurried outside for a fresh whiff of air.

_Assignment for further discrimination_: .

_Sentences_: The insurance agent was so ____ a talker that I was
soothed into sleepiness by his voice. The ____ old man could talk forever
about the happenings of his boyhood. Through ____ descriptions of life in
the city the dapper summer boarder entranced the simple country girl. I
met a ____ fellow on the train, and we had a long conversation. She was so
____ that I spent half the afternoon with her and learned nothing.


_Weak_ is the general word for that which is deficient in strength.
_Debilitated_ is used of physical weakness, in most instances brought
on by excesses and abuses. _Feeble_ denotes decided or extreme
weakness, which may excite pity or contempt. _Infirm_ is applied to a
person whose weakness or feebleness is due to age. _Decrepit_ is used
in reference to a person broken down or worn out by infirmities, age, or
sickness. _Impotent_ implies such loss or lack of strength or
vitality as to render ineffective or helpless.

_Assignment for further discrimination_: .

_Sentences_: "Here I stand, your slave, A poor, ____, weak, and
despis'd old man." A[n] ____ old man shuffled along with the aid of a
cane. Though still in his youth, he was ____ from intemperance and fast
living. A fellow who does that has a[n] ____ mind. He staggered about
trying to strike his opponent, but rage and his wound rendered him for the
time ____. The grasp of the old man was so ____ that the cup trembled in
his hand. "Like rich hangings in a homely house, So was his will in his
old ____ body." After his long illness he was as ____ as a child. He made
but a[n] ____ attempt to defend himself.

. (Compare the distinction between _knowledge_
and _wisdom_ under Words Often Confused above.)

_Wise_ implies sound and discriminating judgment, resulting from
either learning or experience. _Learned_ denotes the past acquisition
of much information through study. _Erudite_ means characterized by
extensive or profound knowledge. _Sagacious_ implies far-sighted
judgment and intuitive discernment, especially in practical matters.
_Sapient_ is now of infrequent use except as applied ironically or
playfully to one having or professing wisdom. _Sage_ implies deep
wisdom that comes from age or experience. _Judicious_ denotes sound
judgment or careful discretion in weighing a matter with reference to its
merits or its consequences. _Prudent_ conveys a sense of cautious
foresight in judging the future and planning for it upon the basis of the
circumstances at hand. _Provident_ suggests practical foresight and
careful economy in preparing for future needs. _Discreet_ denotes
care or painstakingness in doing or saying the right thing at the right
time, and the avoidance thereby of errors or unpleasant results.

_Sentences_: Against the time when his children would be going to
college he had been ____. "Most ____ judge!" The ____ old warrior could
not be deceived by any such ruse. "Be ye therefore as ____ as serpents,
and harmless as doves." The ____ advice of his elders was wasted on him.
The course was ____, not rash. He was ____ in avoiding all reference to
the subject. "Type of the ____, who soar but never roam, True to the
kindred points of heaven and home." Even by those scholars, those
specialists, he was deemed ____. How ____ the young man is! "Where
ignorance is bliss, 'Tis folly to be ____." Is it ____ to spend money thus
lavishly? He considered the matter well and gave a most ____ answer. To
spend every cent of one's income is surely not to be ____.


All of us, at times anyhow, get out of as much work as we can. We even use
the word _work_ and its synonyms loosely and indolently. Perhaps this
is a literary aspect of the labor problem. If, however, we can shake off
our sluggishness and exert ourselves in discriminating our terms, we shall
use _work_ as a general word for effort, physical or mental, to some
purposive end; _labor_ for hard, physical work; _toil_ for
wearying or exhaustive work; and _drudgery_ for tedious, monotonous,
or distasteful work, especially of a low or menial kind.

_Sentences_: It required the ____ of thousands of men to complete the
tunnel. To be condemned to the galleys meant a life of unending ____. The
man who enjoys his ____ will succeed. Twenty years of incessant ____ had
extinguished in him every spark of ambition. He was weary after the
____ of the day. All ____ and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Through the
heart-breaking ____ of thousands the pyramids were built to commemorate a
few. He was sentenced to hard ____.



You have now seen enough of the method of discriminating synonyms to take
more of the responsibility for such work upon yourself. In this chapter,
therefore, the plan followed in Exercise A is abandoned and no
discriminations are supplied you.


For some of the generic words in Exercise A you will find antonyms in
Exercise C. Here is a list:

In Exercise A: walk, laugh, busy, hate, masculine, old

In Exercise C: run, cry, idle, love, feminine, young.

Now each of the generic terms in C is followed by a list of its synonyms.
But for the six generic terms just given let us see how many synonyms you
can find for yourself. Simply study each word in turn, think of all the
synonyms for it you can summon, strike out those you consider far-fetched.
Then compare your list with the list under the antonym in Exercise A; if
possible, improve your list by means of this comparison. Finally, compare
your revised list with the list in Exercise C.

In Exercise C are two generic terms that carry the same idea (but not in
the same part of speech) as generic terms in Exercise A. They are as

In Exercise A: sing, death

In Exercise C: song, die.

Take _song_ and _die_. First, find all the satisfactory synonyms
you can for yourself. Then if possible improve your list by studying the
list under the corresponding word in Exercise A. Finally, compare your
revised list with the one in Exercise C.


After three introductory groups (dealing with thoroughly concrete ideas
and words) the synonyms in this exercise are arranged alphabetically
according to the first word in each group.

Discriminate the words in each group, and fill each blank in the
illustrative sentences with the word that conveys the meaning exactly.


_Sentences_: The intruder he ____ in the early dawn-light might have
been man or beast; he could not have ____ one from the other. After a long
search I ____ on the map the name of the town. The teacher ____ the
throwing of the paper wad, but thought best not to ____ it. "He that hath
eyes to ____, let him ____." I ____ the encounter. "I hope to ____ my
Pilot face to face When I have crossed the bar." "When my eyes turn to
____ for the last time the sun in heaven." I sat by the flower and ____
the bee plunder it. The scrawl on the paper was meaningless, but at length
by close attention he ____ secret writing. "Your young men shall ____
visions, and your old men shall dream dreams." He had ____ human nature
manifesting itself under various conditions.


_Sentences_: With the jawbone of an ass Samson ____ a thousand of his
enemies. It was his duty as sheriff to ____ the criminal, and the method
decreed by the state was that he should ____ him. Previously the method of
carrying out a sentence of death had been to ____ the criminal. On our
left wing we lost one man in ten: thus our lines were literally ____ On
our right wing, where we advanced to the attack in the open, our men were
simply ____. After the garrison had laid down its arms the Indians ____
men, women, and children. "I would not ____ thy soul." During the French
Revolution many of the nobility were ____. In the country late fall is the
time to ____ hogs. Thinking that his accomplice was no longer of use, he
quietly ____ him. The anarchist who had ____ the governor was taken by a
mob and ____.


_Sentences_: Since he had not exerted himself beforehand, his state
was one of ____ rather than one of ____. The sultry heat of the day put
him into a ____. "Not poppy, nor mandragora, Nor all the ____ syrops of
the world, Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet ____ Which thou
ow[n]edst yesterday." Light and pleasant be thy ____. "And still she slept
an azure-lidded ____." From the ____ induced by his injury the physicians
were unable to arouse him. "Oh ____! it is a gentle thing, Beloved from
pole to pole!" "The poppied warmth of ____ oppress'd Her soothéd limbs,
and soul fatigued away." In Spanish-speaking South American countries
every one expects to take his ____. He lay down under the tree for a short
____ and had just fallen into a preliminary ____ when the picnic party
arrived. "Macheth does murder ____, the innocent ____, ____ that knits up
the ravel'd sleave of care."


_Sentences_: A declaration of war would of course ____ the treaty.
The legislature has the right to ____ old laws as well as to enact new
ones. Because they left his grounds littered with paper, he ____ their
privilege of holding picnics there. The king ____ the decree that the
conspirators should be exiled. Slavery was ____ by the Emancipation
Proclamation. The emperor ____ many of the ancient rights of the people.
They ____ the mortgage when he paid the money. The violation of these
provisions has ____ the contract. It was an ill day for France when the
Edict of Nantes was ____ by Louis XIV. The Supreme Court ____ the decision
of the lower tribunal. The Mormons have officially ____ polygamy. The
codicil ____ some of the earlier provisions in his will.


_Sentences_: He ____ himself from all blame. The king ____ them from
their allegiance. The teacher ____ the student who had been suspected of
theft. The father confessor ____ the penitent. The jury ____ the man on
the first ballot.

 (This group may be compared with the _Fear group_,

_Sentences:_ One child was to ____ to speak to the strangers; the
other too ____ to do anything but squall. "If Caesar hide himself, shall
they not whisper 'Lo, Caesar is ____'?" Any one might have been ____ by
this noise in a room said to be haunted; and for my part, I stood ____.

_Sentences:_ The judge ____ the severity of the punishment. They
collected funds to ____ the sufferings of the poor. He could not ____ the
wrath of the angry man. Shall we try to ____ their fears by telling them
the accident may have been less calamitous than they have heard? A mustard
plaster ____ the pain. The grief of the mother was ____ by the presence of
her child. This experience had by no means ____ his temper.

_Sentences:_ Visitors are not ____ to see the king. The over-running
of yard by the neighbors' chickens is a nuisance I shall not ____.  "____
little children to come unto me." The use of bicycles and velocipedes
on the pavement, though not ____ by the city, is good-naturedly ____ by
most of the citizens. She ____ her children to play in the street.

_Sentences:_ I ____ my failure to poor judgment. He ____ sinister
motives for their actions. So many ideal characteristics have been ____ to
Washington that it is difficult to think of him as a man.

_Sentences:_ An elephant is  ____ in its movements. Some ____
countrymen hung around the circus entrance. He was tall and ____; he
seemed to be a mere prop on which clothes were hung. Isn't that man ____
in his carriage? The fingers of the ball-players might as well have been
thumbs, so ____ were they from the cold. Girls throw a ball in a[n] ____


_Sentences_: Fletcher taught people to ____ their food well. The
mouse ____ the cheese, but the trap did not spring. A horse ____ his bits.
When I ____ into the apple, I found that it was sour. The rat ____ a hole
through the board.

. (After
discriminating these terms for yourself, see the treatment of _break,
fracture_ under  above under Parallels.)

_Sentences_: "____ my timbers!" the old salt exclaimed. The anaconda
is an immense serpent that wraps itself about its victim and ____ it.
The child blew the soap bubble wider and wider till it ____. "You
may ____, you may ____ the vase if you will." Looking closely at the eggs,
she perceived that one of them was ____. With a board the thoughtless
child ____ the anthill. During a violent fit of coughing he ____ a blood
vessel. The thick cloud was ____ and the sunshine streamed through.


_Sentences_: A mouse must be ____ lest it be caught in a trap. He had
learned to be ____ in advancing his radical opinions. The man was a Scot
and therefore ____. With a ____ movement I opened the door to investigate
the strange noise. He was ____ in checking up the accounts. Be extremely
____ in your behavior, for they are watching to criticize you.


_Sentences_: The king ____ them safe conduct through the country. He
would not ____ to touch the money that had been gained dishonestly. His
____ manner irritated them. The master ____ to hear the complaints of the

. (With this
group contrast the _Fear_ group, below.)

_Sentences_: It seemed they must be driven from their works but they
held to them with the utmost ____. He had the ____ to fight an aggressive
battle, but not the ____ to stand for long days upon the defensive; less
still did he have the ____ to disregard unjust criticism. The silent ____
of the women who bide at home surpasses the ____ the warriors who engage
in battle. He had the dashing ____ of a cavalry officer.

. (With this group
contrast the _Kind_ group, below.)

_Sentences_: "But with the whiff and wind of his ____ sword
The unnerved father falls." "Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are,
That bide the pelting of this ____ storm." The ____ fellow could cause
suffering to a child without the least tinge of remorse. Such conduct is
unheard of in civilized communities; it is ____, it is ____. "I must be
____ only to be kind."


_Sentences_: "____ no more, woeful shepherds; ____ no more."
The woman covered her face with her hands and ____, while the children
____. He ____ a forced regret at the death of his uncle, and asked that
the will be read, "Rachel ____ for her children." "Rejoice with them that
do rejoice, and ____ with them that ____." "I could lie down like a tired
child And ____ away this life of care Which I have borne and yet must
bear." "An infant ____ in the night." "What's Hecuba to him or he
to Hecuba That he should ____ for her?" I was disgusted at the sight of
that overgrown boy standing in the corner ____. "You think I'll ____; No,
I'll not ____: I have full cause of ____, but this heart Shall break into
a hundred thousand flaws Or ere I'll ____."

_Sentences_: "I'll ____ around your heart with my razor, And shoot
you with my shotgun too." "O Hamlet! thou hast ____ my heart in twain." By
the pressure of his hands he could ____ an apple. With his new hatchet
George began ____ at the cherry tree. He carelessly ____ off a branch or
two. The horses were ____ the rank grass. An old form of punishment was to
____ the nose of the offender. The nobleman ordered the groom to ____ the
tails of the carriage horses. You should ____ your meadows in the summer
and ____ your grapevines in the late fall or early winter. "Do you," asked
the barber, "wish your hair ____ or ____?" ____ to the line. It is painful
to see Dodwell trying to ____ a turkey. In geometry we learned to ____
angles, in biology to ____ cats. The bad man in the West ____ his gunstock
each time he shot a tenderfoot. Betty, will you ____ this cucumber?
"'Mark's way,' said Mark, and ____ him thro' the brain."


_Sentences_: He has a ____ disease. The spirit of Virgil guided Dante
through the ____ shades. Cyanide of potassium is a ____ poison. He struck
a ____ blow.


_Sentences_: Napoleon ____ his enemies in many battles, but he was
not able to ____ them. The new governor general ____ the uprising. He was
____ in the election. Caesar ____ many countries and made them swear
allegiance to Rome. "Who ____ by force Hath ____ but half his foe." The
militia ____ the rioters.


_Sentences_: He produced evidence to ____ the charge. They could not
____ the facts we presented. It is difficult to ____ those who are
spreading these rumors, yet all right-minded people think the rumors
false. "I put thee now to thy book-oath; ____ it if thou canst." Either
admit or ____ the truth of this allegation. Such a law ____ the first
principles of justice.

_Sentences_: All the ferocious wild animals are gradually being
____. As weeds from a field, so is it difficult to ____ all the faults
from man's nature. But how shall we ____ the cause of this disease? Fire
____ the bank. The wrecking crew ____ the building. She tried to ____ the
terrible scene from her memory. "____ all that's made To a green thought
in a green shade." The cyclone ____ the church. The Spanish Inquisition
tried to ____ heresy. "____ out the written troubles of the brain."
The army was not only defeated; it was ____. "A bold peasantry, their
country's pride. When once ____, can never be supplied."

_Sentences_: All men are mortal and must ____. "As wax melteth before
the fire, so let the wicked ____ at the presence of God." "I still had
hopes, my long vexations past, Here to return, and ____ at home at last."
The late ____ Mr. Brown left all his property to his family. "Cowards ____
many times before their deaths." "The poor beetle, that we tread upon, In
corporal sufferance finds a pang as great As when a giant giant ____."
"Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not ____
from the earth." "Thus on Maeander's flowery margin lies Th' ____ swan,
and as be sings he dies." Over a thousand people ____ in the fire at the
theater. "To ____, to sleep; to sleep: perchance to dream." He ____ to a
lingering disease. "Aye, but to ____, and go we know not where; To lie in
cold obstruction and to rot." "Wind my thread of life up higher, Up,
through angels' hands of fire! I aspire while I ____."

_Sentences_: He ____ his head under the hydrant. The Baptists ____ at
baptism. She ____ the cloth into the dye. The sophomores ____ the freshmen
into the icy water of the lake. Paul Jones could not ____ the enemy's
ship; he therefore resolved to board it. The wreck lay ____ in forty
fathoms of water. Uncle Tom ____ overboard to rescue the child. When the
gun is discharged, the loon does not rise from the water; it ____ Lewis
became badly strangled when the other boys ____ him.

 (With this group
contrast the _healthful_ group.)

_Sentences_: He was suffering the ____ of age. Cancer is still in
many instances an incurable ____ The ____ of the lady ended as soon as the
maid told her the callers had gone away. It was an old ____ of the
tonsils, but this time the child's ____ was slight. "To help me through
this long ____, my life."

_Sentences_: The king discovered many ____ schemes among those who
pretended to be his loyal supporters. England's enemies have long called
her "____ Albion." They were afraid the Indian guide would betray them by
some ____ action. "O you beast! O ____ coward! O dishonest wretch!" He was
____ to his adopted country. "Bloody, bawdy villain! Remorseless, ____,
lecherous, kindless villain! O! vengeance!"

_Sentences_: An officer ____ the orders with despatch. He ____ a
mighty name for himself. "If it were ____ when 'tis ____ then 'twere well
It were ____ quickly." Constant efforts will ____ miracles. The student
____ the problems quickly. The doctor hopes his new treatment will ____ a
cure. "God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to ____." He persevered
till he ____ his purpose. He always ____ more than was expected of him.

_Sentences_: The spy concealed his identity by wearing the ____ of a
monk. The soldiers wore blue ____. She was an excellent horsewoman, and
rode in a fashionable ____. "No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an
old ____." Millions of men left farms and factories and shops to don the
____ of war. The invitation specified that the men should wear evening
____. The store specialized in women's wearing ____. A person should wear
warm ____ in winter. The king appeared in his royal ____. He always wore
expensive ____. The bishop entered in his clerical ____. "The ____ oft
proclaims the man." The theatrical ____ was full of spangles. One's ____
should never be conspicuous.

_Sentences_: "She who, as they voyaged, ____ With Tristram that
spiced magic draught." Plants ____ moisture through their roots. "A little
learning is a dang'rous thing; ____ deep, or taste not the Pierian
spring." He ____ down the liquor in a couple of huge draughts. On the fan
was a picture of Japanese maidens daintily ____ tea. "____ to me only with
thine eyes." His red nose betrayed the fact that he constantly ____.

_Sentences_: They ____ payment to the last cent. The police ____ a
confession from the prisoner by intimidating him. This terrible suffering
____ our sympathy. His resolve to begin again after his failure ____ their
admiration. "But lend it rather to thine enemy; Who if he break, thou
mayst with better face ____ the penalty." They ____ all the information
they could by questioning the child.

_Sentences_: The annoying little raids ____ the enemy. Such
conclusive proof of his lies completely ____ him. His sudden proposal ____
her. He stood ____ in the presence of the king. The traveler was ____ by
the many turns in the road. She was ____ by the delay in having dinner
ready. She was ____ by her husband's ill manners. The possibility that her
daughter might have been in the accident ____ her. I was ____ at being so
cleverly outwitted.

_Sentences_: We should ____ even those who do us wrong. "Father, ____
them; for they know not what they do." I trust you will ____ my being
late. Ignorance ____ no one before the law. The governor ____ the convict.
He thought it better to ____ the offense than to try to punish it.

_Sentences_: The minister ____ the doctrine of predestination.
The tribesman ____ his chief's words for us. He ____ his meaning by giving
clear examples. Joseph was called upon to ____ Pharaoh's dream. Can you
____ the reason for your absence? Various scholars have ____ the passage

_Sentences_: "There live not three good men unhanged in England, and
one of them is ____ and grows old." A[n] ____ rosy-faced child walking
beside a girl just pleasantly ____ came past the garden. The ____ lady was
talking with a[n] ____, ill-conditioned man. "So ____, blithe, and
debonair." "He's ____ and scant of breath." The ruffian was a[n] ____
fellow. They were ____ in varying degrees: one was ____, one ____, and one
downright ____.

 (With this group compare the _Afraid_ group, above,
and contrast the _Courage_ group, also above.)

_Sentences_: "Like one, that on a lonesome road Doth walk in ____ and
____." "His scepter shows the force of temporal power, The attribute to
awe and majesty, Wherein doth sit the ____ and ____ of kings." ____
changed to ____ when we perceived the corpse. Washington felt some ____ as
to the loyalty of Charles Lee, but was amazed to find his force retreating
in ____, indeed almost in a[n] ____.

_Sentences_: She possessed every ____ charm. He gave a[n] ____ start
of curiosity. The pistil is considered the ____ organ of a flower. It was
once not thought ____ for a woman to ride astride a horse. He inherited
the throne through the ____ line. Patience is one of the greatest of ____
virtues. The hired girl in her finery minced along with a[n] ____ step.
Some people consider it ____ to wear a wrist watch. Her ____ heart was
touched at the sight. It is ____ to jump at the sight of a mouse.

_Sentences_: "A darkling plain Swept with confused alarms of ____ and
flight." The ____ upon Fort Sumter was the direct cause of the Civil War.
The ____ between our forces and theirs was brief and trivial; it was only
a cavalry ____. There is an excellent account of a knightly ____ in
_Ivanhoe_. We repelled their general ____; then ourselves advanced;
the ____ of our lines with theirs soon resulted in an inextricable ____.
A chance ____ of small forces at Gettysburg brought on a terrible ____.
There had long been ____ between the two factions within the party.
Angered by what had begun as a playful ____, one of the men challenged the
other to ____.

_Sentences_: It is the lot of every one to endure many sorrows in
this ____ life. They saw for a short while a[n] ____ comet. The ____
glories of dawn had merged into the sordid realities of daytime. The
remark made but a[n] ____ impression upon him. The ____ moments sped away.
"Art is long, and time is ____." Joy is ____. Much of the popular
literature of the day is ____ in character.

_Sentences_: It was a[n] ____ excuse. It was a pleasure to meet a
person so simple and ____. He was ____ to say that he did not like the
arrangement. "Who, mindful of the unhonored dead, Dost in these lines
their ____ tale relate." "The Moor is of a free and ____ nature." He gave
them his ____ opinion.

_Sentences_: The schemers were themselves ____. He was ____ by the
many contradictory clues. Circumstances ____ all his plans to get rich.
The parents ____ the attempt of the couple to elope. The guard ____ the
prisoner's attempt to escape. He was ____ at every turn. They put forth a
statement to ____ the influence of their opponents' propaganda. By
slipping away during the night, Washington ____ the enemy. The politician
by his shrewdness ____ the attempt to discredit him.

_Sentences_: "The milkmaid singeth ____." "And all went ____ as a
marriage bell." "How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel
of peace, and bring ____ tidings of good things." A ____ Lothario. "So
buxom, ____, and debonair." As ____ as a fawn. He kept smiling, for he was
in ____ mood. "You are sad Because you are not ____; and 'twere as easy
For you to laugh and leap, and say you are ____, Because you are not sad."
He longed for the ____ life of a ____ English squire.

_Sentences_: ____ makes perfect. The immigrants kept up many of the
____ of their native land. "God fulfils himself in many ways, Lest one
good ____ should corrupt the world." It was his ____ to walk among the
ruins. An old ____ permits a man to kiss a girl who is standing under
mistletoe. ____ establishes many peculiar idioms in a language. He
acquired the ____ of smoking. "It is a ____. More honor'd in the breach
than the observance." De Quincey was a victim of the opium ____. "Age
cannot wither her, nor ____ stale Her infinite variety." "'Tis not his
____ to be the hindmost man."

_Sentences_: The merchant ____ about his financial losses. "Life's
but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and  ____ his hour upon
the stage, And then is heard no more." The children never lost an
opportunity to ____ the teacher. The other pupils ____ him because he was
the teacher's favorite. The newcomer was ____ by their frequent questions.
Don't ____ the child by holding the grapes beyond its reach. "He was met
even now As mad as the ____ sea." Ah, but I am ____ by doubts and fears.
"The moping owl does to the moon complain Of such as, wand'ring near her
secret bower, ____ her ancient, solitary reign." The child ____ because
the rain kept it indoors. When the joke was discovered, they almost ____
the life out of him. I was ____ at their discovering my predicament. "You
may as well forbid the mountain pines To wag their high tops, and to make
no noise When they are ____ with the gusts of heaven."

_Sentences_: Baggage ____ the progress of an army. It is the purpose
of modern medicine to ____ disease. The accumulations of dust and grease
____ the machine. "My tears must stop, for every drop ____ needle and
thread." By acknowledging his fault he hoped to ____ criticism. Though
before she had been unable to ____ her tears, she could now scarcely ____
a yawn. A fallen tree ____ his further progress. The horse was ____ with a
heavy burden, and the unsure footing of the trail further ____ the
ascent. His jealous colleagues ____ his plans in every way they could.

_Sentences_:  The explorers, having eaten all the provisions they had
carried with them, hurried back to their ____. The battering-ram at last
made a[n] ____ in the walls. The ____ in the log had been caused by the
intense heat. He tore off the check along the line of the ____. The ____
in the earth gradually deepened and narrowed into a[n] ____. Pyramus and
Thisbe made love to each other through a[n] ____ in a wall. "Once more
unto the ____, dear friends, once more." The ____ in the mountain ranges
of Virginia influenced strategy during the Civil War. Several ____ in the
toe of one of his shoes apprised me that he had a sore foot. The supposed
____ in the rock turned out to be a[n] ____ that led into a dark but
spacious ____. He suffered a[n] ____ of one of his tires near the place
where the laborers were making the ____. It was a gun of very large ____.
The ____ in the percolator was made by a flatiron aimed at Mr. Wiggins'

_Sentences_:  "He also that is ____ in his work is brother to him
that is a great waster." "The ____ singer of an empty day." Mighty, ____
forces lie locked up in nature, waiting for man to release them. He was
a[n] ____, good-for-nothing fellow whose whole business in life was to
keep out of work. "For Satan finds some mischief still For ____ hands to
do." He was too ____ to do his work well. "The ____ yawning drone." His
steps were so ____ one would almost think he was not moving. "As ____ as a
painted ship Upon a painted ocean." "I talk of dreams, Which are the
children of an ____ brain, Begot of nothing but vain fantasy."

_Sentences_:  Without public schools most children would be  ____;
without missionaries many barbarous tribes would remain ____. Andrew
Jackson was ____ that peace had been declared when he fought the battle of
New Orleans. Even the wisest men are ____ upon some subjects. "Lo, the
poor Indian, whose ____ mind Sees God in clouds or hears Him in the wind!"
The mountain whites, though often totally ____, are nevertheless a shrewd
folk. "Their name, their years, spelt by th' ____ muse, The place of fame
and elegy supply." The percentage of ____ persons is constantly decreasing
in America.

_Sentences:_ He ____ the bucket of water over. The vessel ____ to the
stern and began to sink. The ship ____ to larboard. He ____ the top of the
picture away from the wall. The sprinter ____ forward and touched the tips
of his fingers against the ground. The gable ____ sharply. The hill ____
gently. The cowboy had ____ his hat fetchingly.

_Sentences:_ The people protested the expenditure of money for a
Congressional ____ to investigate the Philippine Islands. Each Sunday
there is a[n] ____ at half fare between the two cities. He conducted a
party on a summer ____ through Europe. Last summer I took a[n] ____ to the
Yellowstone National Park. It was a long ____ from Philadelphia to Boston
by stage coach. They hurriedly arranged for a[n] ____ to the woods.
Magellan was the first man to make a[n] ____ around the globe. The
scientific body organized a[n] ____ to explore the polar regions.
Thousands of Mohammedans make an annual ____ to Mecca.

 (With this
group compare the _Cruel_ group, above.)

_Sentences:_  The weather was ____. She was as ____ as a queen. "Thou
dost wear The Godhead's most ____ grace." Cowper was too ____ to tread
upon a worm needlessly. A judge in sentencing a convicted man may be as
____ as circumstances and the law allow. ____ neutrality. "Blessed are the
____." "She was so ____ and so pitous She wolde wepe if that she sawe a
mous Caught in a trappe." "____ hearts are more than coronets."

_Sentences_: Between the two young people had grown a[n] ____ which
now ripened into ____. "The course of true ____ never did run smooth." The
mad ____ of Mark Antony for Cleopatra was the cause of his downfall. She
had only a[n] ____ for him, but he an unqualified ____ for her. "Man's
____ is of his life a thing apart; 'Tis woman's whole existence." He shows
a marked ____ for the companionship of women. My ____ for the tart was
enhanced by my ____ for the girl who baked it. That boy shows a[n] ____
for horses, and a positive ____ for dogs.

_Sentences_: He had reached the ____ of endurance. In writing, leave
a wide ____ on the left side of the page. "Borrowing dulls the ____ of
husbandry." "The extravagant and erring spirit hies To his ____." Within
the ____ of reason. He stood on the ____ of ruin. The rock at the ____ of
the cañon is called the ____ rock. I was on the ____ of doing a very
indiscreet thing. "The undiscover'd country from whose ____ No traveler
returns." Fill your glasses to the ____.

_Sentences_: "However old a ____ union, it still garners some
sweetness." A court of ____ relations. "Contented toil, and hospitable
care, And kind ____ tenderness are there." "To the ____ bower I led her,
blushing like the morn." She finally decided that he had no ____
intentions. "And hears the unexpressive ____ song In the lest kingdoms
meek of joy and love."

_Sentences_: He gave his life to literary ____. My brother found ____
as a tutor in a rich family. Colleges are trying to direct their students
into the ____ they are best fitted for. Andrew Johnson was a tailor by
____. Medicine is a very ancient ____. The shoemaker was very skilled at
his ____. After losing his hand he could no longer engage in his ____ as
telegrapher. The grocer carries on only a wholesale ____. He considered
his ____ to the ministry a sacred duty. "Sir, 'tis my ____ to be plain."
Do you find collecting coins a pleasant ____?


_Sentences_: We ____ our hunger when we reached the inn. In olden
times men tried to ____ the offended gods by offering human sacrifices.
They ____ the angry man by promising to hear his grievances immediately.
The premier thought he could ____ this particular faction by offering its
leader a seat in the cabinet. "Chiron ____ his cruel mind With art, and
taught his warlike hands to wind The silver strings of his melodious
lyre." A friendly word will usually ____ one's enemies.


_Sentences_: One ____ in his success was his courage. She was
studying the ____ of the pie; he the chances of getting another ____. Is
it ____ and ____ alike? "I live not in myself, but I become ____ of that
around me." "Act well your ____; there all the honor lies." He owned a[n]
____ of land near the city limits; a speculator bought a[n] ____ of this
and divided it into city lots. "I am a[n] ____ of all that I have met."
The purchaser, having only a[n] ____ of this sum in ready money, offered
to pay in ____.


_Sentences_: Give the manager his ____, the workmen their ____. "The
laborer is worthy of his ____." He received his weekly ____ from the
parsimonious old man. The ____ for enrolment is ten dollars. "This is ____
and ____, not revenge."


_Sentences_: He was ____ enough, but not definitely ____. "So ____
that he ne'er ____." Though he had never lived in a city, much less in the
circle of royalty, his manners were ____, even ____. Your desire to please
is shown in your ____ greeting. "Damn with faint praise, assent with ____
leer, And without sneering teach the rest to sneer."

_Sentences:_ It was only a little ____ between lovers. The ____
between the partners was over the right of the senior to make contracts
for the firm; it grew into an angry ____. It was a long-drawn political
____. At the meeting of our committee the chairman and one of the members
had a sharp ____ over a point of order. A[n] ____ in some minor matters
led to a[n] ____ in their friendship. "Thrice is he armed that hath his
____ just" Those chattering, choleric fellows are always engaged in ____;
last night they on meeting had a[n] ____ which brought on a long-drawn
____, and when their friends joined in, there was a noisy ____. I have
seen all sorts of ____, from a trivial childish ____ to a grim ____ of

_Sentences:_ Let the Lord be ____. "As some tall cliff that ____ its
awful form." Because of this success his reputation was ____. The horse
____ when the machine began to ____ the huge block of stone by means of a
crane. "I will ____ up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my
help." The load was too heavy for him to carry; in fact he just managed to
____ it into the wagon.

_Sentences:_ The defense ____ objection to the first of these points.
The refugee was willing to ____ his right to resist extradition. The
teacher ____ her position at the end of the year. The king ____ when the
people rose in revolt. He ____ his command of the army. Do you ____ your
claim in this mine? The bankrupt ____ his property to the receiver to help
pay his debts.


_Sentences_: He ____ the statement. Thereupon Henry Esmond ____ his
allegiance to the House of Stuart. It is a serious matter for a government
to ____ its debts. Did the heretic ____? Do you ____ the devil and all his
works? "The wounded gladiator ____ all fighting, but soon forgetting his
former wounds resumes his arms." He had broken his solemn oath; he was


_Sentences_: "He ____ their wanderings but relieved their pain."
"Many a time and oft In the Rialto you have ____ me About my moneys and my
usances." They ____ the man who had taken the savings of the poor, and
____ him against such schemes thereafter. The general ____ his

(With this group compare the _Steal_ group, below.)

_Sentences_: Every boy has his period of wanting to be a ____.
_Treasure Island is_ one of the best ____ stories ever written.
The ____ lurks in dark passageways and steals upon his victim. The fierce
followers of Achilles were called ____. The men sent out by the army as
____ seemed to the people of the countryside more like ____. The fearless
____ had soon gathered about him a band of ____. Robin Hood was no ____ of
poor folk. The outcast became a ____ among the mountaineers of northern
Italy. Every, boy likes to read of the bold ____ who sailed the Spanish
Main. Union plans were often upset by daring Confederate ____, such as
Stuart, Morgan, and Forrest.


_Sentences_: Swift horsemen ____ the country in search of the
fugitive. Wherever they came, the inhabitants ____ for shelter. "The dish
____ away with the spoon." For his horse to ____ made difficult riding, to
____ made comfortable riding, to ____ made exhilarating riding. "He may
____ that readeth it." The old sailing-boat ____ before the wind. "Haste
me to know't, that I, with wings as swift As meditation or the thoughts of
love, May ____ to my revenge." The rats ____ across the floor. "He who
fights and ____ away May live to fight another day."

. (With this group
compare the _Speak_ and _Talk_ groups, below.)

_Sentences_: It was something I merely ____ in passing; I would not
____ to it. I could not ____ in court, and therefore had to ____ before a
notary. The scientist ____ that a seismograph will infallibly record
earthquakes. He solemnly ____ that he would not ____ exemption from the


_Sentences_: The gorgeous parade ____ the boy. "____, ____, little
star." He was witty that night; he fairly ____ At this compliment the old
lady ____. "Now fades the ____ landscape on the sight." A rocket ____ in
the darkness. She ____ her elderly wooer a look of defiance; then her eyes
softened and ____ with amusement. "All that ____ is not gold." "How far
that little candle throws his beams! So ____ a good deed in a naughty
world.". The old man ____ into sudden anger.


_Sentences_: A newspaper must be careful not to ____ any one. Too
many supposedly religious people ____ their fellow believers. I do not
____ your motives. He ____ the character of everybody who chances to
possess one.


_Sentences_: The ____ of the flowers in the vase mingled with the
____ of boiling cabbage in the kitchen. The ____ of spring is on the
meadows. So keen was the hound's sense of ____ that he quickly picked up
the ____ again. Any smoker likes the  ____ of a good cigar. The ____ of
the handkerchief was delicate. Though it was a disagreeable ____, I should
hardly call it a[n] ____. The ____ of spices told him that his mother was
baking his favorite cake, and he also detected the ____ of coffee. The
____ of the ocean was in the air. He sniffed the ____ of frying bacon.


_Sentences_: "They learn in suffering what they teach in ____."
The mother crooned a[n] ____ to her babe. The Highland girl sang a moving
old ____ worshipers sang a[n] ____ of praise. Charles Wesley wrote many
____. As I approached the cathedral, I could hear the ____ of lark's
outside and the ____ of the choir within. "Our sweetest ____ are those
that tell of saddest thought." "A[n] ____ for her the doubly dead in that
she died so young."

(With this group compare the _Say_ group, above, and the _Talk_
group, below.)

_Sentences_: "His virtues Will ____ like angels trumpet-tongu'd
against The deep damnation of his taking-off." "Here, under leave of
Brutus and the rest, ... Come I to ____ in Caesar's funeral." "Ay me! what
act, That ____ so loud and ____ in the index?" "Hadst thou thy wits and
didst ____ revenge, It could not move thus." "Thou canst not ____ of that
thou dost not feel." "Nay, if thou'lt mouth, I' ____ as well as thou."
While the politician ____ in the senate chamber upon theoretical ills, the
agitator outside ____ the mob about actual ones. "For murder, though it
have no tongue, will ____ With most miraculous organ."


_Sentences_: Large sums were ____ in rebuilding the devastated
regions of France. ____ your money, but do not ____ it. One should not
____ more than one earns. The king ____ great sums upon his favorites. The
political boss ____ the money among his henchmen. "The younger son ...
____ his substance with riotous living."


_Sentences_: A ____ in the crystal. The ____ of Cain. A life free
from ____. "Thou turn'st mine eyes into my very soul; And there I see such
black and grained ____ As will not leave their tinct." From the standpoint
of theatrical effectiveness _A ____ in the 'Scutcheon_ is one of the
best of Browning's plays. An eruption of the skin made a yellow ____ on
his right hand. Dragging my sleeve across the fresh ink had made a ____
upon the page. The ____ of foam by the roadside proved that his horse had
been going fast. The ____ at the end of his fingers told me he was a
cigarette-smoker. On the left foreleg of the horse was a slight ____.

_Sentences_: The Israelites ____ in Egypt. He ____ to chat with us,
but could not ____ overnight. I ____ in a wretched tavern. "I can ____, I
can ____ but a night." "I did love the Moor to ____ with him." "He that
shall come will come, and will not ____." "I will ____ in the house of the
Lord forever." "If ye ____ in me, and my words ____ in you, ye shall ask
what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." "I would rather be a
doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to ____ in the tents of
wickedness." The guests ____ in the cheerful drawing-room.

. (With this group, which excludes the idea of violence, compare
the _Robber_ group, above.)

_Sentences:_ I am of raid that our son ____ the purse from the
gentleman. No one knows how long the cashier has been ____ the funds of
the bank. To take our money on such unsound security is to ____ us. He
slyly ____ a handkerchief or two. This paragraph is clearly ____. "Thou
shalt not ____." Many government employees seem to think that to ____ is
their privilege and prerogative. The crown jewels have been ____, She ____
a number of petty articles. A well-known detective story by Poe is called
_The ____ Letter._ "Who ____ my purse ____ trash.... But he that ____
from me my good name Robs me of that which not enriches him, And makes me
poor indeed." "A cut-purse of the empire and the rule, That from a shelf
the precious diadem ____, And put it in his pocket!"

_Sentences_: ____ him into the middle of next week. He ____ and ____
the poor beast unmercifully. "As of some one gently ____, ____ at my
chamber door." "Unto him that ____ thee on the one cheek offer also the
other." "Bid them come forth and hear me, Or at their chamber door I'll
____ the drum Till it cry sleep to death." "One whom I will ____ into
clamorous whining." "____ for your altars and your fires!" By means of
heavy stones the squaws ____ the corn into meal.

_Sentences_: "Between us and our hame [home], Where sits our ____,
____ dame, Gathering her brows like gathering storm, Nursing her wrath to
keep it warm." A ____ old bachelor. A ____ Scotchman. He hated all men; he
was truly ____. He sat ____ and silent all day; by nightfall he was truly

 (With this group compare the _Say_ and _Speak_
groups, above.)

_Sentences_: It was a queer assembly, and from it arose a queer
medley of sounds: the baby was ____, the old crone ____, the gossip ____,
the embarrassed young man ____, the child ____ the tale-bearer ____, the
hostess ____ with the most distinguished guest, and the trickster ____
with his intended victim. "Blest with each talent and each art to please,
And born to write, ____, and live with ease." "I wonder that you will
still be ____ Signor Benedick; nobody marks you."

_Sentences_: The explosion of the shell ____ his flesh. The tailor
____ the garment along the seam. I'll ____ this paper into bits. Those
savages would ____ you limb from limb. She ____ her dress on a nail. The
cogs caught his hand and ____ it. How could such reproaches fail to ____
my feelings?

_Sentences_: Suddenly he ____ the glittering coins away. Goliath
learned to his cost that David could ____ a stone. The explosion of the
gunpowder ____ the bullet from the gun. "____ down your cups of Samian
wine!" The children amused themselves by ____ the ball back and forth. He
____ himself dejectedly into a seat. The thief ____ a glance beside him.
The mischievous boy ____ a stone through the window. They ____ some of the
cargo overboard to lighten the boat. The eager fisherman ____ the fly for
the trout. The untidy fellow ____ the towel in a corner.

 (This group limits the
field of the _Punish_ group in Exercise A, and extends the list of

_Sentences_: The drunken driver ____ the excited horses. The zealot
was accustomed to ____ himself. The ruler bade that the Christians be
____. The teacher ____ the small children gently, but he unsparingly ____
the big ones. "My father hath ____ you with whips, but I will ____ you
with scorpions." The bully was always ____ men smaller than himself till
one of them turned on him and ____ him thoroughly.

_Sentences:_ "I am fled From this ____ world, with ____ worms to
dwell." A[n] ____ assault. "The ____ prize itself Buys out the law." It
was, though not a[n] ____ act, a most ____ one. "There the ____ cease from
troubling; and there the weary be at rest."

_Sentences:_ The plan had all the faults of ____ judgment. Many great
authors have written books of ____ fiction. The bird, which was still
____, was of course unable to fly. "Such sights as ____ poets dream On
summer eves by haunted stream." He was in that ____ stage of development
when one is neither a boy nor a man. "I was so ____, I loved him so, I had
No mother, God forgot me, and I fell." He made a[n] ____ attempt to
impress them with his importance. "Bacchus ever fair, and ever ____."
A red necktie gave him a more ____ appearance. The self-satisfied air of
a[n] ____ youth is often trying to his elders.


In this exercise each group of synonyms is followed by quotations from
authoritative writers in which the words are discriminatingly employed.
Find the meaning of each italicized word in these quotations, and
differentiate the word accurately from the others in that group.
Substitute for it other words from the group, and observe precisely how
the meaning is affected.

(So many of the quotations are from poetry that these will be printed as
verse rather than, as in the preceding exercises, in continuous lines like

  A moral, sensible, and well-bred man
  Will not _affront_ me,--and no other can.
    An old _affront_ will stir the heart
    Through years of rankling pain.

The way to procure _insults_ is to submit to them. A man meets
with no more respect than he exacts.

It is often better not to see an _insult_ than to avenge it.

Even a hare, the weakest of animals, may _insult_ a dead lion.

To a native of rank, arrest was not merely a restraint, but a foul
personal _indignity_.


  His honor rooted in _dishonor_ stood,
  And faith unfaithful kept him falsely true.

It is hard to say which of the two we ought most to lament,--the unhappy
man who sinks under the sense of his _dishonor_, or him who survives

  Could he with reason murmur at his case
  Himself sole author of his own _disgrace_?

Whatever _disgrace_ we may have deserved, it is almost always in our
power to re-establish our character.

  When in _disgrace_ with fortune and men's eyes
  I all alone beweep my outcast state.

Their generals have been received with honor after their defeat; yours
with _ignominy_ after conquest.

Wilful perpetuations of unworthy actions brand with most indelible
characters of _infamy_ the name and memory to posterity.

And when his long public life, so singularly chequered with good and evil,
with glory and _obloquy_, bad at length closed forever, it was to
Daylesford that he retired to die.

Great _opprobrium_ has been thrown on her name.


  Let _fame_, that all hunt after in their lives,
  Live register'd upon our brazen tombs.

Men have a solicitude about _fame_; and the greater share
they have of it, the more afraid they are of losing it.

  _Fame_ is no plant that grows on mortal soil,
  .    .    .   .   .   .   .   .
  But lives and spreads aloft by those pure eyes
  And perfect witness of all-judging Jove;
  As he pronounces lastly on each deed,
  Of so much _fame_ in heaven expect thy meed.

  When faith is lost, when _honor_ dies,
  The man is dead.

  Act well your part; there all the _honor_ lies.

The Athenians erected a large statue of Aesop, and placed him, though a
slave, on a lasting pedestal, to show that the way to _honor_ lies
open indifferently to all.

  I could not love thee, dear, so much,
  Loved I not _honor_ more.

That nation is worthless which does not joyfully stake everything on her

  By heaven methinks it were an easy leap
  To pluck bright _honor_ from the pale-fac'd moon.

That merit which gives greatness and _renown_ diffuses its influence
to a wide compass, but acts weakly on every single breast.

  Speak no more of his _renown_,
  Lay your earthly fancies down,
  And in the vast cathedral leave him,
  God accept him, Christ receive him.

The young warrior did not fly; but met death as he went forward in his
strength. Happy are they who dies in youth, when their _renown_ is

  The paths of _glory_ lead but to the grave.

_Glory_ long has made the sages smile; 'tis something, nothing,
words, illusion, wind.

  Not once or twice in our rough island-story
  The path of duty was the way to _glory_.

He was a charming fellow, clever, urbane, free-handed, with all that
fortunate quality in his appearance which is known as _distinction._

Never get a _reputation_ for a small perfection if you are trying for
_fame_ in a loftier area.

One may be better than his _reputation_ or his conduct, but never
better than his principles.

  I see my _reputation_ is at stake
  My _fame_ is shrewdly gor'd.

CASSIO. _Reputation, reputation, reputation!_ O! I have lost my
reputation. I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is
bestial. My reputation, Iago, my reputation!
IAGO. As I am an honest man, I thought you had received some bodily wound.

You have a good _repute_ for gentleness and wisdom.
_Celebrity_ sells dearly what we think she gives.

   Kings climb to _eminence_
   Over men's graves.

_Notoriety_ is short-lived; _fame_ is lasting.


The _hatred_ we bear our enemies injures their happiness less than
our own.

_Hate_ is like fire; it makes even light rubbish deadly.

He generously forgot all feeling of _animosity_, and determined to go
in person to his succor.

              That thereby he may gather
  The ground of your _ill-will_, and so remove it.

No place is so propitious to the formation either of close friendships or
of deadly _enmities_ as an Indiaman.

There need be no _hostility_ between evolutionist and theologian.

  Shall we be thus afflicted in his wreaks,
  His fits, his frenzy, and his _bitterness?_

  Speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate,
  Nor set down aught in _malice_.

Every obstacle which partisan _malevolence_ could create he has had
to encounter.

His flight is occasioned rather by the _malignity_ of his countrymen
than by the enmity of the Egyptians.

  Where the soul sours, and gradual _rancor_ grows,
  Imbitter'd more from peevish day to day.

Peace in their mouthes, and all _rancor_ and vengeance in their
hartes [hearts].

  For them the gracious Duncan have I murder'd;
  Put _rancors_ in the vessel of my peace
  Only for them.

Her _resentment_ against the king seems not to have abated.

Mrs. W. was in high _dudgeon_; her heels clattered on the red-tiled
floor, and she whisked about the house like a parched pea upon a

  If I can catch him once upon the hip,
  I will feed fat the ancient _grudge_ I bear him.

Men of this character pursue a _grudge_ unceasingly, and never forget
or forgive.

  And since you ne'er provoked their _spite_,
  Depend upon't their judgment's right.

. (With this group compare the
_matrimonial_ group in Exercise C, above.)

_Marriages_ are made in heaven.

Hasty _marriage_ seldom proveth well.

A man finds himself seven years older the day after his _marriage_.

  Let me not to the _marriage_ of true minds
  Admit impediments.

_Marriage_ is the best state for man in general; and every man is a
worse man in proportion as he is unfit for the married state.

_Matrimony_--the high sea for which no compass has yet been invented.

_Wedlock's_ a lane where there is no turning.

  What is _wedlock_ forced, but a hell,
  An age of discord and continual strife?


  Teach me to feel another's woe,
  To hide the fault I see;
  That _mercy_ I to others show,
  That _mercy_ show to me.

  The quality of _mercy_ is not strain'd,
  It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
  Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless'd;
  It blesseth him that gives and him that takes;
       *       *       *       *       *
  And earthly power doth then show likest God's
  When _mercy_ seasons justice.

_Clemency_ is the surest proof of a true monarch.

_Lenity_ will operate with greater force, in some instances, than

All the fellows tried to persuade the Master to greater _leniency_,
but in vain.

It will be necessary that this acceptance should be followed up by
measures of the utmost _lenience_.

There is however a limit at which _forbearance_ ceases to be a


  Careless their merits or their faults to scan,
  His _pity_ gave ere charity began.

For _pity_ melts the mind to love.

For _pitee_ renneth [runneth] soon in gentle herte [heart].

Our _sympathy_ is cold to the relation of distant misery.

Man may dismiss _compassion_ from his heart, but God will never.

It is unworthy a religious man to view an irreligious one either with
alarm or aversion; or with any other feeling than regret, and hope, and
brotherly _commiseration_.

Their congratulations and their _condolences_ are equally words of


  Is there for honest _poverty_
  That hings [hangs] his head, and a' that?

Not to be able to bear _poverty_ is a shameful thing, but not to know
how to chase it away by work is a more shameful thing yet.

  Stitch! stitch! stitch!
  In _poverty_, hunger, and dirt,
  And still with a voice of dolorous pitch,
  Would that its tone could reach the Rich,
  She sang this "Song of the Shirt!"

_Poverty_ is dishonorable, not in itself, but when it is a proof of
laziness, intemperance, luxury, and carelessness; whereas in a person that
is temperate, industrious, just and valiant, and who uses all his virtues
for the public good, it shows a great and lofty mind.

  _Want_ is a bitter and hateful good,
  Because its virtues are not understood;
  Yet many things, impossible to thought,
  Have been by _need_ to full perfection brought.

Hundreds would never have known _want_ if they had not first known

  O! reason not the _need_; our basest beggars
  Are in the poorest thing superfluous:
  Allow not nature more than nature needs,
  Man's life is cheap as beast's.

The Christian inhabitants of Thessaly would be reduced to

It is the care of a very great part of mankind to conceal their
_indigence_ from the rest.

  Chill _penury_ repress'd their noble rage,
  And froze the genial current of the soul.

Chill _penury_ weighs down the heart itself; and though it sometimes
be endured with calmness, it is but the calmness of despair.

  Where _penury_ is felt the thought is chain'd,
  And sweet colloquial pleasures are but few.


_Regrets_ over the past should chasten the future.

He acknowledged his disloyalty to the king with expressions of great

  Through no disturbance of my soul,
  Or strong _compunction_ in me wrought,
  I supplicate for thy control.

God speaks to our hearts through the voice of _remorse_.

To err is human; but _contrition_ felt for the crime distinguishes
the virtuous from the wicked.

Christian _penitence_ is something more than a thought or an emotion
or a tear; it is action.

_Repentance_ must be something more than mere _remorse_ for
sins; it comprehends a change of nature befitting heaven.


  For fools are _stubborn_ in their way,
  As coins are harden'd by th' allay;
  And _obstinacy's_ ne'er so stiff
  As when 'tis in a wrong belief.

They may also laugh at their _pertinacious_ and incurable obstinacy.

He who is _intractable_, he whom nothing can persuade, may boast
himself invincible.

  There is a law in each well-order'd nation
  To curb those raging appetites that are
  Most disobedient and _refractory_.

He then dissolved Parliament, and sent its most _refractory_ members
to the Tower.

If he were _contumacious_, he might be excommunicated, or, in other
words, be deprived of all civil rights and imprisoned for life.


The following list of synonyms is given for the convenience of those who
wish additional material with which to work. This is a selected list and
makes no pretense to completeness. It is suggested that you discriminate
the words within each of the following groups, and use each word
accurately in a sentence of your own making.

Abettor, accessory, accomplice, confederate, conspirator.
Acknowledge, admit, confess, own, avow.
Active, agile, nimble, brisk, sprightly, spry, bustling.
Advise, counsel, admonish, caution, warn.
Affecting, moving, touching, pathetic.
Agnostic, skeptic, infidel, unbeliever, disbeliever.
Amuse, entertain, divert.
Announce, proclaim, promulgate, report, advertise, publish, bruit, blazon,
trumpet, herald.
Antipathy, aversion, repugnance, disgust, loathing.
Artifice, ruse, trick, dodge, manoeuver, wile, stratagem, subterfuge,
Ascend, mount, climb, scale.
Associate, colleague, partner, helper, collaborator, coadjutor, companion,
helpmate, mate, team-mate, comrade, chum, crony, consort, accomplice,
Attach, affix, annex, append, subjoin.
Attack, assail, assault, invade, beset, besiege, bombard, cannonade,

Begin, commence, inaugurate, initiate, institute, originate, start, found.
Belief, faith, persuasion, conviction, tenet, creed.
Belittle, decry, depreciate, disparage.
Bind, secure, fetter, shackle, gyve.
Bit, jot, mite, particle, grain, atom, speck, mote, whit, iota, tittle,
Bluff, blunt, outspoken, downright, brusk, curt, crusty.
Boast, brag, vaunt, vapor, gasconade.
Body, corpse, remains, relics, carcass, cadaver, corpus.
Bombastic, sophomoric, turgid, tumid, grandiose, grandiloquent,
Boorish, churlish, loutish, clownish, rustic, ill-bred.
Booty, plunder, loot, spoil.
Brittle, frangible, friable, fragile, crisp.
Building, edifice, structure, house.

Call, clamor, roar, scream, shout, shriek, vociferate, yell, halloo,
Calm, still, motionless, tranquil, serene, placid.
Care, concern, solicitude, anxiety.
Celebrate, commemorate, observe.
Charm, amulet, talisman.
Charm, enchant, fascinate, captivate, enrapture, bewitch, infatuate,
Cheat, defraud, swindle, dupe.
Choke, strangle, suffocate, stifle, throttle.
Choose, pick, select, cull, elect.
Coax, wheedle, cajole, tweedle, persuade, inveigle.
Color, hue, shade, tint, tinge, tincture.
Combine, unite, consolidate, merge, amalgamate, weld, incorporate,
Comfort, console, solace.
Complain, grumble, growl, murmur, repine, whine, croak.
Confirmed, habitual, inveterate, chronic.
Connect, join, link, couple, attach, unite.
Continual, continuous, unceasing, incessant, endless, uninterrupted,
unremitting, constant, perpetual, perennial.
Contract, agreement, bargain, compact, covenant, stipulation.
Copy, duplicate, counterpart, likeness, reproduction, replica, facsimile.
Corrupt, depraved, perverted, vitiated.
Costly, expensive, dear.
Coterie, clique, cabal, circle, set, faction, party.
Critical, judicial, impartial, carping, caviling, captious, censorious.
Crooked, awry, askew.
Cross, fretful, peevish, petulant, pettish, irritable, irascible, angry.
Crowd, throng, horde, host, mass, multitude, press, jam, concourse.
Curious, inquisitive, prying, meddlesome.

Dainty, delicate, exquisite, choice, rare.
Danger, peril, jeopardy, hazard, risk.
Darken, obscure, bedim, obfuscate.
Dead, lifeless, inanimate, deceased, defunct, extinct.
Decay, decompose, putrefy, rot, spoil.
Deceit, deception, double-dealing, duplicity, chicanery, guile, treachery.
Deceptive, deceitful, misleading, fallacious, fraudulent.
Decorate, adorn, ornament, embellish, deck, bedeck, garnish, bedizen,
Decorous, demure, sedate, sober, staid, prim, proper.
Deface, disfigure, mar, mutilate.
Defect, fault, imperfection, disfigurement, blemish, flaw.
Delay, defer, postpone, procrastinate.
Demoralize, deprave, debase, corrupt, vitiate.
Deportment, demeanor, bearing, port, mien.
Deprive, divest, dispossess, strip, despoil.
Despise, contemn, scorn, disdain.
Despondency, despair, desperation.
Detach, separate, sunder, sever, disconnect, disjoin, disunite.
Determined, persistent, dogged.
Devout, religious, pious, godly, saintly.
Difficulty, hindrance, obstacle, impediment, encumbrance, handicap.
Difficulty, predicament, perplexity, plight, quandary, dilemma, strait.
Dirty, filthy, foul, nasty, squalid.
Discernment, perception, penetration, insight, acumen.
Disgraceful, dishonorable, shameful, disreputable, ignominious,
opprobrious, scandalous, infamous.
Disgusting, sickening, repulsive, revolting, loathsome, repugnant,
abhorrent, noisome, fulsome.
Dispel, disperse, dissipate, scatter.
Dissatisfied, discontented, displeased, malcontent, disgruntled.
Divide, distribute, apportion, allot, allocate, partition.
Doctrine, dogma, tenet, precept.
Dream, reverie, vision, fantasy.
Drip, dribble, trickle.
Drunk, drunken, intoxicated, inebriated.
Dry, arid, parched, desiccated.

Eat, bolt, gulp, gorge, devour.
Encroach, infringe, intrench, trench, intrude, invade, trespass.
End, conclude, terminate, finish, discontinue, close.
Enemy, foe, adversary, opponent, antagonist, rival.
Enough, adequate, sufficient.
Entice, inveigle, allure, lure, decoy, seduce.
Erase, expunge, cancel, efface, obliterate.
Error, mistake, blunder, slip.
Estimate, value, appreciate.
Eternal, everlasting, endless, deathless, imperishable, immortal.
Examination, inquiry, inquisition, investigation, inspection,
scrutiny, research, review, audit, inquest, autopsy.
Example, sample, specimen, instance.
Exceed, excel, surpass, transcend, outdo.
Expand, dilate, distend, inflate.
Expel, banish, exile, proscribe, ostracize.
Experiment, trial, test.
Explicit, exact, precise, definite.

Faculty, gift, endowment, aptitude, attribute, talent, predilection, bent.
Failing, shortcoming, defect, fault, foible, infirmity.
Famous, renowned, celebrated, noted, distinguished, eminent, illustrious.
Fashion, mode, style, vogue, rage, fad.
Fast, rapid, swift, quick, fleet, speedy, hasty, celeritous, expeditious,
Fasten, tie, hitch, moor, tether.
Fate, destiny, lot, doom.
Fawn, truckle, cringe, crouch.
Feign, pretend, dissemble, simulate, counterfeit, affect, assume.
Fiendish, devilish, diabolical, demoniacal, demonic, satanic.
Fertile, fecund, fruitful, prolific.
Fit, suitable, appropriate, proper.
Flame, blaze, flare, glare, glow.
Flat, level, even, plane, smooth, horizontal.
Flatter, blandish, beguile, compliment, praise.
Flexible, pliable, pliant, supple, limber, lithe, lissom.
Flit, flutter, flicker, hover.
Flock, herd, bevy, covey, drove, pack, brood, litter, school.
Flow, pour, stream, gush, spout.
Follow, pursue, chase.
Follower, adherent, disciple, partisan, henchman.
Fond, loving, doting, devoted, amorous, enamored.
Force, strength, power, energy, vigor, might, potency, cogency, efficacy.
Force, compulsion, coercion, constraint, restraint.
Free, liberate, emancipate, manumit, release, disengage, disentangle,
disembarrass, disencumber, extricate.
Freshen, refresh, revive, renovate, renew.
Friendly, amicable, companionable, hearty, cordial, neighborly, sociable,
genial, complaisant, affable.
Frighten, affright, alarm, terrify, terrorize, dismay, appal, daunt,
Frown, scowl, glower, lower.
Frugal, sparing, saving, economical, chary, thrifty, provident,

Game, play, amusement, pastime, diversion, fun, sport, entertainment.
Gather, accumulate, amass, collect, levy, muster, hoard.
Ghost, spirit, specter, phantom, apparition, shade, phantasm.
Gift, present, donation, grant, gratuity, bequest, boon, bounty, largess,
fee, bribe.
Grand, magnificent, gorgeous, splendid, superb, sublime.
Greet, hail, salute, address, accost.
Grief, sorrow, distress, affliction, trouble, tribulation, woe.
Grieve, lament, mourn, bemoan, bewail, deplore, rue.
Guard, defend, protect, shield, shelter, screen, preserve.

Habitation, abode, dwelling, residence, domicile, home.
Harmful, injurious, detrimental, pernicious, deleterious, baneful,
Have, possess, own, hold.
Headstrong, wayward, wilful, perverse, froward.
Help (noun), aid, assistance, succor.
Help (verb), assist, aid, succor, abet, second, support, befriend.
Hesitate, falter, vacillate, waver.
Hide, conceal, secrete.
High, tall, lofty, elevated, towering.
Hint, intimate, insinuate.
Hopeful, expectant, sanguine, optimistic, confident.
Hopeless, despairing, disconsolate, desperate.
Holy, sacred, hallowed, sanctified, consecrated, godly, pious, saintly,

Impolite, discourteous, inurbane, uncivil, rude, disrespectful, pert,
saucy, impertinent, impudent, insolent.
Importance, consequence, moment.
Impostor, pretender, charlatan, masquerader, mountebank, deceiver,
humbug, cheat, quack, shyster, empiric.
Imprison, incarcerate, immure.
Improper, indecent, indecorous, unseemly, unbecoming, indelicate.
Impure, tainted, contaminated, polluted, defiled, vitiated.
Inborn, innate, inbred, congenital.
Incite, instigate, stimulate, impel, arouse, goad, spur, promote.
Inclose, surround, encircle, circumscribe, encompass.
Increase, grow, enlarge, magnify, amplify, swell, augment.
Indecent, indelicate, immodest, shameless, ribald, lewd, lustful,
lascivious, libidinous, obscene.
Insane, demented, deranged, crazy, mad.
Insanity, dementia, derangement, craziness, madness, lunacy, mania,
frenzy, hallucination.
Insipid, tasteless, flat, vapid.
Intention, intent, purpose, plan, design, aim, object, end.
Interpose, intervene, intercede, interfere, mediate.
Irreligious, ungodly, impious, godless, sacrilegious, blasphemous,
Irritate, exasperate, nettle, incense.

Join, connect, unite, couple, combine, link, annex, append.

Kindle, ignite, inflame, rouse.

Lack, want, need, deficiency, dearth, paucity, scarcity, deficit.
Lame, crippled, halt, deformed, maimed, disabled.
Large, great, big, huge, immense, colossal, gigantic, extensive, vast,
massive, unwieldy, bulky.
Laughable, comical, comic, farcical, ludicrous, ridiculous, funny, droll.
Lead, guide, conduct, escort, convoy.
Lengthen, prolong, protract, extend.
Lessen, decrease, diminish, reduce, abate, curtail, moderate, mitigate,
Lie (noun), untruth, falsehood, falsity, fiction, fabrication, mendacity,
canard, fib, story.
Lie (verb), prevaricate, falsify, equivocate, quibble, shuffle, dodge,
fence, fib.
Likeness, resemblance, similitude, similarity, semblance, analogy.
Limp, flaccid, flabby, flimsy.
List, roll, catalogue, register, roster, schedule, inventory.
Loud, resonant, clarion, stentorian, sonorous.
Low, base, abject, servile, slavish, menial.
Loyal, faithful, true, constant, staunch, unwavering, steadfast.
Lurk, skulk, slink, sneak, prowl.

Make, create, frame, fashion, mold, shape, form, forge, fabricate, invent,
construct, manufacture, concoct.
Manifest, plain, obvious, clear, apparent, patent, evident, perceptible,
noticeable, open, overt, palpable, tangible, indubitable, unmistakable.
Many, various, numerous, divers, manifold, multitudinous, myriad,
countless, innumerable.
Meaning, significance, signification, import, purport.
Meet, encounter, collide, confront, converge.
Meeting, assembly, assemblage, congregation, convention, conference,
concourse, gathering, mustering.
Melt, thaw, fuse, dissolve, liquefy.
Memory, remembrance, recollection, reminiscence, retrospection.
Misrepresent, misinterpret, falsify, distort, warp.
Mix, compound, amalgamate, weld, combine, blend, concoct.
Model, pattern, prototype, criterion, standard, exemplar, paragon,
archetype, ideal.
Motive, incentive, inducement, desire, purpose.
Move, actuate, impel, prompt, incite.

Near, nigh, close, neighboring, adjacent, contiguous.
Neat, tidy, orderly, spruce, trim, prim.
Needful, necessary, requisite, essential, indispensable.
Negligence, neglect, inattention, inattentiveness, inadvertence,
remissness, oversight.
New, novel, fresh, recent, modern, late, innovative, unprecedented.
Nice, fastidious, dainty, finical, squeamish.
Noisy, clamorous, boisterous, hilarious, turbulent, riotous, obstreperous,
uproarious, vociferous, blatant, brawling.
Noticeable, prominent, conspicuous, salient, signal.

Order (noun), command, mandate, behest, injunction, decree.
Order (verb), command, enjoin, direct, instruct.
Oversight, supervision, direction, superintendence, surveillance.

Pale, pallid, wan, colorless, blanched, ghastly, ashen, cadaverous.
Patience, forbearance, resignation, longsuffering.
Penetrate, pierce, perforate.
Place, office, post, position, situation, appointment.
Plan, design, project, scheme, plot.
Playful, mischievous, roguish, prankish, sportive, arch.
Plentiful, plenteous, abundant, bounteous, copious, profuse, exuberant,
Plunder, rifle, loot, sack, pillage, devastate, despoil.
Pretty, beautiful, comely, handsome, fair.
Profitable, remunerative, lucrative, gainful.
Prompt, punctual, ready, expeditious.
Pull, draw, drag, haul, tug, tow.
Push, shove, thrust.
Puzzle, perplex, mystify, bewilder.

Queer, odd, curious, quaint, ridiculous, singular, unique, bizarre,
fantastic, grotesque.

Rash, incautious, reckless, foolhardy, adventurous, venturous,
Rebellion, insurrection, revolt, mutiny, riot, revolution, sedition.
Recover, regain, retrieve, recoup, rally, recuperate.
Reflect, deliberate, ponder, muse, meditate, ruminate.
Relate, recount, recite, narrate, tell.
Replace, supersede, supplant, succeed.
Repulsive, unsightly, loathsome, hideous, grewsome.
Requital, retaliation, reprisal, revenge, vengeance, retribution.
Responsible, answerable, accountable, amenable, liable.
Reveal, disclose, divulge, manifest, show, betray.
Reverence, veneration, awe, adoration, worship.
Ridicule, deride, mock, taunt, flout, twit, tease.
Ripe, mature, mellow.
Rise, arise, mount, ascend.
Rogue, knave, rascal, miscreant, scamp, sharper, villain.
Round, circular, rotund, spherical, globular, orbicular.
Rub, polish, burnish, furbish, scour.

Sad, grave, sober, moody, doleful, downcast, dreary, woeful, somber,
unhappy, woebegone, mournful, depressed, despondent, gloomy, melancholy,
heavy-spirited, sorrowful, dismal, dejected, disconsolate, miserable,
Satiate, sate, surfeit, cloy, glut, gorge.
Scoff, jeer, gibe, fleer, sneer, mock, taunt.
Secret, covert, surreptitious, furtive, clandestine, underhand, stealthy.
Seep, ooze, infiltrate, percolate, transude, exude.
Sell, barter, vend, trade.
Shape, form, figure, outline, conformation, configuration, contour,
Share, partake, participate, divide.
Sharp, keen, acute, cutting, trenchant, incisive.
Shore, coast, littoral, beach, strand, bank.
Shorten, abridge, abbreviate, curtail, truncate, syncopate.
Show (noun), display, ostentation, parade, pomp, splurge.
Show, exhibit, display, expose, manifest, evince.
Shrink, flinch, wince, blench, quail.
Shun, avoid, eschew.
Shy, bashful, diffident, modest, coy, timid, shrinking.
Sign, omen, auspice, portent, prognostic, augury, foretoken, adumbration,
presage, indication.
Simple, innocent, artless, unsophisticated, naive.
Skilful, skilled, expert, adept, apt, proficient, adroit, dexterous, deft,
clever, ingenious.
Skin, hide, pelt, fell.
Sleepy, drowsy, slumberous, somnolent, sluggish, torpid, dull, lethargic.
Slovenly, slatternly, dowdy, frowsy, blowzy.
Sly, crafty, cunning, subtle, wily, artful, politic, designing.
Smile, smirk, grin.
Solitary, lonely, lone, lonesome, desolate, deserted, uninhabited.
Sour, acid, tart, acrid, acidulous, acetose, acerbitous, astringent.
Speech, discourse, oration, address, sermon, declamation, dissertation,
exhortation, disquisition, harangue, diatribe, tirade, screed, philippic,
invective, rhapsody, plea.
Spruce, natty, dapper, smart, chic.
Stale, musty, frowzy, mildewed, fetid, rancid, rank.
Steep, precipitous, abrupt.
Stingy, close, miserly, niggardly, parsimonious, penurious, sordid,
Storm, tempest, whirlwind, hurricane, tornado, cyclone, typhoon
Straight, perpendicular, vertical, plumb, erect, upright.
Strange, singular, peculiar, odd, queer, quaint, outlandish.
Strong, stout, robust, sturdy, stalwart, powerful.
Stupid, dull, obtuse, stolid, doltish, sluggish, brainless, bovine.
Succeed, prosper, thrive, flourish, triumph.
Succession, sequence, series.
Supernatural, preternatural, superhuman, miraculous.
Suppose, surmise, conjecture, presume, imagine, fancy, guess, think,
Surprise, astonish, amaze, astound.
Swearing, cursing, profanity, blasphemy, execration, imprecation.

Teach, instruct, educate, train, discipline, drill, inculcate, instil,
Thoughtful, contemplative, meditative, reflective, pensive, wistful.
Tire, weary, fatigue, exhaust, jade, fag.
Tool, implement, instrument, utensil.
Trifle, dally, dawdle, potter.
Try, endeavor, essay, attempt.
Trust, confidence, reliance, assurance, faith.
Turn, revolve, rotate, spin, whirl, gyrate.

Ugly, homely, uncomely, hideous.
Unwilling, reluctant, disinclined, loath, averse.

Watchful, vigilant, alert.
Wave (noun), billow, breaker, swell, ripple, undulation.
Wave (verb), brandish, flourish, flaunt, wigwag.
Weariness, languor, lassitude, enervation, exhaustion.
Wearisome, tiresome, irksome, tedious, humdrum.
Wet (adjective), humid, moist, damp, dank, sodden, soggy.
Wet (verb), moisten, dampen, soak, imbrue, saturate, drench
Whim, caprice, vagary, fancy, freak, whimsey, crotchet.
Wind, breeze, gust, blast, flaw, gale, squall, flurry.
Wind, coil, twist, twine, wreathe.
Winding, tortuous, serpentine, sinuous, meandering.
Wonderful, marvelous, phenomenal, miraculous.
Workman, laborer, artisan, artificer, mechanic, craftsman.
Write, inscribe, scribble, scrawl, scratch.

Yearn, long, hanker, pine, crave.


Write three synonyms for each of the following words. Discriminate the
three, and embody each of them in a sentence.

Accomplish   Conduct (noun)  Humble         Scream
Agree        Conspicuous     Indifferent    Shrewd
Anger        Cringe          Misfortune     Shudder
Attempt      Difficult       Obey           Skill
Big          Disconnect      Object (noun)  Soft
Brute        Erratic         Object (verb)  Splash
Business     Flash           Obligation     Success
Careless     Fragrant        Occupied       Sweet
Climb        Gain            Oppose         Trick
Collect      Generous        Persist        Wash
Commanding   Grim            Revise         Worship
Compel       Groan           Room


Supply eight or ten intervening words between each of the following pairs.
Arrange the intervening words in an ascending scale.

Dark, bright              Wet, dry
Savage, civilized         Beautiful, ugly
Friend, enemy             Hope, despair
Wise, foolish             Love, hate
Enormous, minute          Admirable, abominable
Curse, bless              Pride, humility



In Chapter VII you made a study of printed distinctions between synonyms.
In Chapter VIII you were given lists of synonyms and made the distinctions
yourself. Near the close of Chapter VIII you were given words and
discovered for yourself what their synonyms are. This third stage might
seem to reveal to you the full joys and benefits of your researches in
this subject. Certainly to find a new word for an old one is an
exhilarating sort of mental travel. And to find a new word which expresses
exactly what an old one expressed but approximately is a real acquisition
in living. But you are not yet a perfectly trained hunter of synonyms.
Some miscellaneous tasks remain; they will involve hard work and call your
utmost powers into play.

Of these tasks the most important is connected with the hint already given
that many words, especially if they be generic words, have two or more
entirely different meanings. Let us first establish this fact, and
afterwards see what bearing it has on our study of synonyms.

My friend says, "I hope you will have a good day." Does he mean an
enjoyable one in general? a profitable or lucrative one, in case I have
business in hand? a successful one, if I am selling stocks or buying a
house? Possibly he means a sunshiny day if I intend to play golf, a snowy
day if I plan to go hunting, a rainy day if my crops are drying up. The
ideas here are varied, even contradictory, enough; yet _good_ may be
used of every one of them. _Good_ is in truth so general a term that
we must know the attendant circumstances if we are to attach to it a
signification even approximately accurate. This does not at all imply that
_good is_ a term we may brand as useless. It implies merely that when
our meaning is specific we must set _good_ aside (unless
circumstances make its sense unmistakable) in favor of a specific word.

_Things is_ another very general term. In "Let us wash up the things"
it likely means dishes or clothes. In "Hang your things in the closet" it
likely means clothes. In "Put the things in the tool-box" it likely means
tools. In "Put the things in the sewing-basket" it likely means thread,
needles, and scissors. In "The trenches are swarming with these things" it
likely means cooties. A more accurate word is usually desirable. Yet we
may see the value of the generality in the saying "A place for everything,
and everything in its place."

_Good_ and _things_ are not alone in having multitudinous
meanings. There are in the language numerous many-sided words. These words
should be studied carefully. True, they are not always employed in
ambiguous ways. For example, _right_ in the sense of correct is
seldom likely to be mistaken for _right_ in the sense of not-left,
but a reader or hearer may frequently mistake it for _right_ in the
sense of just or of honorable. In the use of such words, therefore, we
cannot become too discriminating.


This exercise concerns itself with common words that have more than one
meaning. Make your procedure as follows. First, look up the word itself.
Under it you will find a number of defining words. Then look up each of
these in turn, until you have the requisite number and kind of synonyms.
(The word is sure to have more synonyms than are called for.) You will
have to use your dictionary tirelessly.

 Find three synonyms for _bare_ as applied to the body;
three for it as applied to a room.

 Give three other words that might be used instead of
_bear_ in the sentence "The pillar bears a heavy weight"; three in
the sentence "He bore a heavy load on his back"; three in the sentence "He
bore the punishment that was unjustly meted out to him"; three in the
sentence "He bore a grudge against his neighbor"; two in the sentence "The
field did not bear a crop last year."

 Give ten synonyms for _bold_ as applied to a warrior;
ten as applied to a young girl. Observe that the synonyms in the first
list are favorable in import and suggest the idea of bravery, whereas
those in the second list are unfavorable and suggest the idea of
brazenness. How do you account for this fact? Can you think of
circumstances in which a young girl might be so placed that the favorable
synonyms might be applied to her?

 Give as many words as you can, at least twelve, that can be
used instead of _bright_ as applied to a light, a diamond, a wet
pavement, or a live coal. Give three words for _bright_ as applied to
a child of unusual intelligence; two as applied to an occasion that
promises to turn out well; two as applied to a career that has been
signally successful.

 Give five synonyms for clear as applied to water: ten as
applied to a fact or a statement; three as applied to the sky or
atmosphere; three as applied to the voice; two as applied to a passageway
or a view; three as applied to one's judgment or thinking.

 Give three words that could be substituted for _close_
as applied to the atmosphere in a room; four as applied to a person who is
uninclined to talk about a matter; three as applied to something not far
off; four as applied to a friend; five as applied to a person who is
reluctant to spend money; five as applied to a translation; five as
applied to attention or endeavor.

 Substitute in turn four words for _discharge_ in
the sentence "The judge discharged the prisoner"; two in the sentence "The
foreman discharged the workman"; two in the sentence "The hunter
discharged the gun"; three in the sentence "The sore discharged pus"; two
in the sentence "My neighbor discharged the debt"; two in the sentence "He
discharged his duty."

. Name three words besides dull_ that could be applied to
a blade or a point; five to a person with slow intellect; three to
indifference toward others; two to a color; three to a day that is not
cheerful; five to talk or discourse that is not interesting.

. Substitute five words for _fair_ in the sentence "He
gave a fair judgment in the case"; three in the sentence "The son made a
fair showing in his studies"; four in the sentence "She had a fair face";
two in the sentence "Her complexion was fair"; three in the sentence "Let
no shame ever fall upon your fair name."

. Find two words that you can substitute for _false_ as
applied to a signature, to a report or a piece of news, to jewels or
money, to a friend.

. Name two words I might substitute for _fast_ in the
sentence "Drive the stake until it is fast in the ground"; three in the
sentence "He made a fast trip for the doctor"; six in the sentence "By
leading a fast life he soon squandered his inheritance."

. Substitute four words for _firm_ in the sentence "I made
the board firm by nailing it to the wall"; three in the sentence "The
water froze into a firm mass"; five in the sentence "He was firm in his
determination to proceed."

. Instead of _flat_ use in turn four other words in the
sentence "This is a flat piece of ground"; five in the sentence "It was as
flat a story as ever wearied company"; three in the sentence "The cook
having forgotten the salt, the soup was flat"; four in the sentence "I am
surprised by your flat refusal."

. _Free_ may be applied to a person not subject to a tax
or a disease, to a person who has been released from confinement or
restraint, to a person who is not reserved or formal in his relations to
others, to a person who is willing to give. Out of your own resources
substitute as many words as you can for _free_ in each of these
sentences. Now look up _free_ in a dictionary or book of synonyms.
What proportion of its synonyms were you able to think up unaided?

. Give three synonyms for _great_ as applied to size, to
number, to a man widely known for notable achievement, to an error or
crime, to price.

. Give six synonyms for _hard_ as applied to a rock; six
as applied to a task or burden; six as applied to a problem or situation;
ten as applied to one's treatment of others.

. Give three words that can be applied instead of _harsh_
to a sound; three that can be applied instead of _harsh_ to the
voice; five that can be applied to one's treatment of others; five that
can be applied to one's disposition or nature.

. Substitute five words for _just_ in the sentence "You
are just in your dealings with others"; three in the sentence "A just
punishment was meted out to him"; three in the sentence "They made a just
division of the property"; two in the sentence "He had a just claim to the

. Give six words that can be substituted for _plain_, as
applied to a fact or statement; four as applied to the decorations of a
room; two as applied to the countenance; four as applied to a surface;
three as applied to a statement or reply.

. Give five words that can be used instead of _poor_ as
applied to a person who is without money or resources; ten as applied to a
person lacking in flesh; three as applied to clothing that is worn out;
five as applied to land that will bear only small crops or no crops at
all; two as applied to an occasion that does not promise to turn out well.

. Give six words that could be used instead of _quick_
as applied to a train or a horse in travel; six as applied to the
movements of a person about a room or to his actions in the performance of
his work; four to a disposition or temper that is easily irritated.

. Give five synonyms for _serious_ as applied to one's
countenance or expression; three as applied to a problem or undertaking;
two as applied to a disease or to sickness.

. Give two synonyms for _sharp_ as applied to a blade or
a point; six as applied to a pain or to grief; four as applied to a remark
or reply; ten as applied to one's mind or intellect; three as applied to
temper or disposition; three as applied to an embankment; three as applied
to the seasoning of food; three as applied to a cry or scream.

. Give six synonyms for _stiff_ as applied to an iron
rod; three as applied to an adversary; six as applied to one's manner or
bearing; two as applied to one's style of writing or speaking.

. Give three synonyms for _strong_ as applied to a
person in regard to his health; ten as applied to him in regard to his
muscularity of physique; four as applied to a fortress; three as applied
to a plea or assertion; three as applied to an argument or reason; three
as applied to determination; two as applied to liquor; three as applied to
a light; two as applied to corrective measures; two as applied to an odor.

. Give five synonyms for vain as applied to a man who
overvalues himself or his accomplishments; six as applied to an attempt
that comes to nothing; three as applied to hopes that have little chance
of fulfilment.

. Substitute five synonyms for _weak_ in the sentence "I
was very weak after my illness"; four in the sentence "The fortress was
especially weak on the side toward the plain"; three in the sentence "He
made a weak attempt to defend his actions"; three in the sentence "Many of
these arguments are weak"; three in the sentence "Hamlet is usually
interpreted as being weak of will"; three in the sentence "The liquor was
so weak it had no taste"; three in the sentence "The lace was weak and
soon tore."

. Give two words instead of _wild_ as applied to animals;
two as applied to land; three as applied to people who have not been
civilized; three as applied to a storm, an uncontrolled temper, or a mob;
three as applied to a scheme that has no basis in reason or practicality.


In Exercise H you started with ideas and objects, and had to find words of
a given meaning that could be applied to them. In this exercise you start
with the words, and must find the ideas and objects.

. To what is _base_ applied when inferior, cheap,
worthless could be used as its synonyms? To what is it applied when
debased, impure, spurious, alloyed, counterfeit could be used? When mean,
despicable, contemptible, shameful, disgraceful, dishonorable,
discreditable, scandalous, infamous, villainous, low-minded could be used?
When ignoble, servile, slavish, groveling, menial could be used? When
plebeian, obscure, untitled, vulgar, lowly, nameless, humble, unknown
could be used?

. Can you properly contrast mortal with immortal existence?
mortal with porcine existence? Is porcine existence also mortal? Is mortal
existence also porcine? What adjective pertaining to mankind forms a true
contrast to _porcine_? What is a synonym for _mortal_ in its
broad sense? in its narrow sense?

. To what is _severe_ applied when harsh, stern,
rigorous, drastic, austere, hard could be substituted for it? When plain,
unembellished, unadorned, chaste could be substituted? When acute,
violent, extreme, intense, sharp, distressing, afflictive could be
substituted? When keen, cutting, biting, stinging, caustic, critical,
trenchant could be substituted?


Reread the discussion of _good_ and _things_ in Many-sided
Words. Then for each of the words listed below collect or compose twenty
or more sentences in which the word is used. As largely as possible, take
them from actual experience. In doing this you must listen to the use of
the word in everyday talk. After you have made your list of sentences as
varied and extensive as you can, try to substitute synonyms that will
express the idea more accurately. Note whether a knowledge of the
attendant circumstances is necessary to an understanding of the original
word, to an understanding of the word substituted for it.

Bad       Fine       Matter       Affair
Nice      Common     Case         Boost


Analyze each of the words given below into its various uses or
applications. Then for it in each of these applications assemble as many
synonyms as you can unaided. Finally, have recourse to a dictionary or
book of synonyms for the further extension of your lists.

(By way of illustration, let us take the word _quiet_. Through
meditation and analysis we discover that it may be applied (a) to water or
any liquid not in motion, (b) to a place that is without sound, (c) to a
place shut off from activity or bustle, (d) to a person who is not
demonstrative or forward in manner. We then think of all the words we can
that can be substituted for it in each of these uses. No matter how
incompletely or unsatisfactorily we feel we are performing this task, we
must not give it over until we have found every word we can summon. Then
we turn to a dictionary or book of synonyms. Thus for _quiet_ we
shall assemble such synonyms as (a) calm, still, motionless, placid,
tranquil, serene, smooth, unruffled, undisturbed, pacific, stagnant;
(b) silent, still, noiseless, mute, hushed, voiceless; (c) secluded,
sequestered, solitary, isolated, unfrequented, unvisited, peaceful,
untrodden, retired; (d) demure, sedate, staid, reserved, meek, gentle,
retiring, unobtrusive, modest, unassuming, timid, shrinking, shy.)

Barren       Keep                Pure         Solid
Certain      Liberal             Rare         Sorry
Cold         Light (adjective)   Rich         Spread
Cool         Light (noun)        Right        Straight
Deep         Long                Rude         Still
Dry          Low                 Short        Sure
Easy         Mean                Simple       Thick
Foul         Narrow              Slow         Thin
Full         New                 Small        Tender
Gentle       Obscure             Smooth       True
Grand        Odd                 Sober        Warm
Heavy        Particular          Soft         Yield

One of the most interesting things to watch in the study of words is their
development from a literal to a figurative application. The first man who
broke away from the confines of the literal meaning of a word and applied
the word to something that only in a figurative sense had qualities
analogous to the original meaning, was creating poetry. He was making an
imaginative flight comparable in daring to the Wright brothers' first
aeronautic flight. But as the word was used over and over in this
figurative way the imaginative flight became more and more commonplace. At
last it ceased to be imaginative at all; through frequent repetition it
had settled into the matter of course. A glance back at the _Concise_
group above will show you that with time the comparison which was once the
basis and the life of the figurative use of words is dulled, obscured,
even lost.

As a further enforcement of this fact, let us analyze the word
_rough_. In its literal application, it may designate any surface
that has ridges, projections, or inequalities and is therefore uneven,
jagged, rugged, scraggy, or scabrous. Now frequently a man's face or head
is rough because unshaved or uncombed; also the fur of an animal is rough.
Hence the term could be used for unkempt, disheveled, shaggy, hairy,
coarse, bristly. "The child ran its hand over its father's rough cheek"
and "The bear had a rough coat" are sentences that even the most
unimaginative mind can understand. We speak of rough timber because its
surface has not been planed or made smooth. We speak of a rough diamond
because it is unpolished, uncut. Note that all these uses are literal,
that in each instance some unevenness of surface is referred to.

But man, urged on by the desire to say what he means with more novelty,
strikingness, or force, applied the word to ideas that have no surfaces to
be uneven. He imagined what these ideas would be like if they had
surfaces. Of course in putting these conceptions into language he was
creating figures of speech, some of them startlingly apt, some of them
merely far-fetched. He said a man had a _rough_ voice, as though the
voice were like a cactus in its prickly irregularities. By _rough_ he
meant what his fellows meant when they spoke of the voice as harsh,
grating, jarring, discordant, inharmonious, strident, raucous, or
unmusical. Going farther, that early poet said the weather was
_rough_. He thought of clement weather as being smooth and even, but
of inclement, severe, stormy, tempestuous, or violent weather as being
full of projections to rend and harass one. Thus an everyday use of the
term today was once wrenched and immoderate speech. Possibly the first man
who heard of rough weather was puzzled for a moment, then amused or
delighted as he caught the figure. It did not require great originality to
think of a crowd as _rough_ in its movements. But our poet applied
the idea to an individual. To him a rude, uncivil, impolite, ungracious,
uncourteous, unpolished, uncouth, boorish, blunt, bluff, gruff, brusk, or
burly person was as the unplaned lumber or the unpolished gem; and we
imitative moderns still call such a man _rough_. But we do not think
of the man as covered with projections that need to be taken off, unless
forsooth we receive _rough_ treatment at his hands. And note how far
we have journeyed from the original idea of the word when we say "I gave
the report a _rough_ glance," meaning cursory, hasty, superficial, or
incomplete consideration.

Many very simple words, including several of those already treated in this
chapter, are two-sided in that they are both literal and figurative.


Trace each of the following words from its literal to its figurative
applications, giving synonyms for each of its uses.

Open        Bright      Stiff       Hard
Low         Cool        Sharp       Flat
Keen        Strong      Dull        Raw
Small       Odd         Warm        Deep

Thus far in this chapter we have been considering many-sided words. We
must now turn to a certain class of facts and ideas that deserve better
understanding and closer analysis than we usually accord them.

These facts and ideas are supposed to be matters of common knowledge. And
in their broad scope and purport they are. Because acquaintance with them
is taken for granted it behooves us to know them. Yet they are in reality
complicated, and when we attempt to deal with them in detail, our
assurance forsakes us. All of us have our "blind sides" intellectually--
quake to have certain areas of discussion entered, because we foresee that
we must sit idly by without power to make sensible comment. Unto as many
as possible of these blind sides of ourselves we should pronounce the
blessed words, "Let there be light." We have therefore to consider certain
matters and topics which are supposed to belong to the common currency of
social information, but with which our familiarity is less thoroughgoing
than it should be.

What are these facts and topics? Take for illustration the subject of
aeronautics. Suppose we have but the vaguest conception of the part played
or likely to be played by aircraft in war, commerce, and pleasure. Suppose
we are not aware that some craft are made to float and others to be driven
by propellers. Suppose such terms as Zeppelin, blimp, monoplane, biplane,
hydroplane, dirigible have no definite import for us. Does not our
knowledge fall short of that expected of well-informed men in this present

Or take military terms. Everybody uses them--clergymen, pacifists,
clubmen, social reformers, novelists, tramps, brick-layers, Big-Stickers.
We cannot escape them if we would. We ourselves use them. But do we use
them with precise and masterly understanding? You call one civilian
colonel and another major; which have you paid the higher compliment? You
are uncertain whether a given officer is a colonel or a major, and you
wish to address him in such fashion as will least offend his sensitiveness
as to rank and nomenclature; which title--colonel or major--is the less
perilous? You are told that a major has command of a battalion; does that
tell you anything about him? You are told that he has command of a
squadron, of a brigade, of a platoon; do these changes in circumstances
have any import for you? If not, you have too faltering a grasp upon
military facts and terminology.

The best remedy for such shortcomings is to be insatiably curious on all
subjects. This of course is the ideal; nobody ever fully attains it.
Nevertheless Exercise M will set you to groping into certain broad matters
relevant to ordinary needs. Thereafter, if your purpose be strong enough,
you will carry the same methods there acquired into other fields of

You may object that all this is as much mental as linguistic--that what is
proposed will result in as large accessions of general information as of
vocabulary. Let this be admitted. Deficiencies of language are often,
perhaps almost invariably, linked with deficiencies of knowledge.
To repair the one we must at the same time repair the other. This may seem
a hard saying to those who seek, or would impart, mere glibness of phrase
without regard for the substance--who worship "words, words, words"
without thought of "the matter." There is such a thing as froth of
utterance, but who has respect therefor or is deceived thereby? Speech
that is not informed is like a house without a foundation. You should not
desire to possess it. Abroad in this world of ours already are too many
people who darken counsel by words without knowledge.


A second lieutenant is the commissioned officer of lowest grade in the
United States army. Name all the grades from second lieutenant to the
grade that is highest.

An admiral is the officer of highest grade in the United States navy. Name
all the grades down to that which is lowest.

Name as many as possible of the different ranks of the clergy in the Roman
Catholic Church, in the Church of England.

Give ascendingly the five titles in the British nobility.

Name the different kinds of vehicles.

Name the different kinds of schools.

Name all the different kinds of boats and ships (both ancient and modern)
you can think of.

Give the nautical term for the right side of a ship, for the left side of
a ship, for the front, for the rear, for the forward portion, for the rear

Name the various kinds of bodies of water (oceans, rivers, lagoons, etc.)

Give all the terms of relationship of persons, both by blood and by
marriage. What relation to you is your grandfather's brother? your
cousin's daughter?

Name all the bones of the human head.

Give the names of the different parts of a typical flower.

Name as many elements as you can. What is the number usually given? What
was the last element discovered, and by whom?

Name the elements of which water is composed. Name the principal elements
in the composition of the air.

Make as long a list as possible (up to thirty) of words that appeal to the
sense of sight (especially color words and motion words), to the sense of
hearing, of smell, of taste, of touch.

Find words descriptive of various expressions in the human face.

Name all the terms you can associated with law, with medicine, with

Name the planets, the signs of the zodiac, as many constellations as you

Name the seven colors of the spectrum, and for each name give all the
synonyms you can. What are the primary colors? the secondary colors?

Give the various races into which mankind has been divided, and the color
of each.

Name every kind of tree you can think of, every kind of flower, every kind
of animal, every kind of bird.



You have already mastered many words, but a glance at any page of the
dictionary will convince you that you have not mastered all. Nor will you,
ever. Their number is too great, and too many of them are abstrusely

Nevertheless there remain many words that you should bring into your
vocabulary. Most of them are not extremely usual; on the other hand they
are not so unusual that you would encounter them but once in a lifetime.
The majority of them are familiar to you, perhaps; that is, you will have
a general feeling that you have seen them before. But this is not enough.
Do you know exactly what they mean? Can you, when the occasion comes, use
them?-use them promptly and well? This is the test.

Many of the words are absolutely new so far as this book is concerned.
They have not been discussed or attached to any list. Many are not
entirely new. They have appeared, but not received such emphasis that they
are sure to stand fast in your memory. Or some cognate form of them may
have been mastered, yet they themselves may remain unknown. Thus you may
know _commendation_ but not _commendatory, credulous_ but not
_incredulity, invalid_ but not _invalidate_ or
_invalidity_. One of the best of all ways to extend your vocabulary
is to make each word of your acquaintance introduce you to its immediate
kinsmen, those grouped with it on the same page of the dictionary.

This chapter puts you on your mettle. Hitherto you have been given
instructions as to the way to proceed, Now you must shift for yourself.
The words, to be sure, are corraled for you. But you must tame them and
break them, in order that on them you may ride the ranges of human
intercourse. If you have not yet learned how to subdue them to your will
and use, it would be futile to tell you how. You have been put in the way
of mastering words. The task that henceforth confronts you is your own.
You must have at it unaided.

It is true that, in the exercise that follows, specific help is given you
on a limited number of the words. But this help is only toward discovering
the words for yourself before you have seen them in a list. And for most
of the words not even this meager assistance is given.

EXERCISE - Supplementary

Each of the following groups of words is preceded by sentences in which
blanks should be filled by words from that group. But do your best to fill
these blanks properly before you consult the group at all. You must learn
to think of, or think up, the right word instead of having it pointed out
to you.

These benefits were not inherent in the course he had taken; they were
purely ____. Anything which existed before Noah's flood is called ____.
His left hand, which had ceased, to grow during his childhood, was now
withered from its long ____. Certain books once belonging to the Bible
have been discarded by the Protestants as ____. When Shakespeare makes
Hector quote Aristotle, who lived long after the siege of Troy, he is
guilty of an ____. Whatever causes the lips to pucker, as alum or a green
persimmon, is spoken of as ____.

Abash, abbreviate, abduct, aberrant, aberration, abeyance, abhorrent,
abject, abjure, aboriginal, abortive, abrade, abrasion, abrogate,
absolution, abstemious, abstention, abstruse, accelerate, accentuate,
acceptation, accessary, accession, accessory, acclamation, acclivity,
accolade, accomplice, accost, acerbity, acetic, achromatic, acidulous,
acme, acolyte, acoustics, acquiescence, acquisitive, acrimonious, acumen,
adage, adamantine, addict, adduce, adhesive, adipose, adjudicate,
adolescence, adulation, adulterate, advent, adventitious, aerial,
affability, affidavit, affiliate, affinity, agglomerate, agglutinate,
aggrandizement, agnostic, alignment, aliment, allegorical, alleviate,
altercation, altruistic, amalgamate, amatory, ambiguity, ambrosial,
ameliorate, amenable, amenity, amity, amnesty, amulet, anachronism,
analytical, anathema, anatomy, animadversion, annotate, anomalous,
anonymous, antediluvian, anterior, anthology, anthropology, antinomy,
antiquarianism, antiseptic, aphorism, apocryphal, aplomb, apostasy,
apparatus, apparition, appellate, appertain, appetency, apposite,
approbation, appurtenance, aquatic, aqueous, aquiline, arbitrary, archaic,
arduous, aromatic, arrear, articulate, ascetic, asperity, asphyxiate,
asseverate, assiduity, assimilate, astringent, astute, atrophy, attenuate,
auditory, augury, auscultation, austerity, authenticate, authenticity,
auxiliary, avidity.

The man wished to fight; he was in ____ mood. There is only a handful of
these things; yes, a mere ____. Slight mishaps like these lead to quips
and mutual ____. His conduct is odd, grotesque, ____.

Baccalaureate, badinage, bagatelle, baleful, ballast, banality, baneful,
beatitude, bellicose, belligerent, benefaction, beneficent, benison,
betide, bibulous, bigotry, bizarre, bombastic, burlesque.

This effect was not obtained all at once; it was ____. These subjects
belong to the same general field of knowledge as those; the two sets
are ____. He is a skilled judge of art, a ____. The Southern states were
unwilling to remain in the Union; they could be kept only by ____. Monks
take upon themselves the vow of ____. No, this animal does not live on
vegetation; it is a ____ animal.

Cacophonous, cadaverous, cadence, callow, calumny, capillary, captious,
cardinal, carnal, carnivorous, castigate, cataclysm, catastrophe,
category, causality, cavernous, celebrity, celibacy, censorious, ceramics,
cerebration, certitude, cessation, charlatan, chimerical, chronology,
circuitous, circumlocution, citation, clandestine, clarify, clemency,
coadjutor, coagulate, coalesce, coercion, cogency, cognizant, cohesion,
coincidence, collusion, colossal, comatose, combustible, commendatory,
commensurate, commiserate, communal, compatibility, compendium,
complaisant, comport, composite, compulsive, compulsory, computation,
concatenate, concentric, concessive, concomitant, condign, condiment,
condolence, confiscatory, confute, congeal, congenital, conglomerate,
congruity, connivance, connoisseur, connubial, consensus, consistence,
consort, constriction, construe, contentious, context, contiguity,
contiguous, contingent, contortion, contravene, contumacious, contumacy,
contumelious, convergent, conversant, convivial, correlate, corrigible,
corroborate, corrosive, cosmic, covenant, crass, credence, crescent,
criterion, critique, crucial, crucible, cryptic, crystalline, culmination,
culpable, cumulative, cupidity, cursive, cursory, cutaneous, cynosure.

His course was not prescribed for him by superiors; his powers were ____.
The suppression of these anarchistic tendencies has required ____
measures. She was just entering society, and was proving herself a popular
____. Yes, this tree loses its leaves every year; it is a ____ tree. He
pretends that his ____ are sound, because he can read the stars.

Debilitate, debonair, debutante, decadence, decapitate, deciduous,
declivity, decompose, decorous, dedicatory, deduction, deferential,
deficiency, deglutition, dehiscence, delectable, delete, deleterious,
delineate, deliquescent, demarcation, demimonde, demoniac, denizen,
denouement, deprecate, depreciate, derelict, derogatory, despicable,
desuetude, desultory, deteriorate, diacritical, diagnosis, diaphanous,
diatribe, didactic, diffusive, dilatory, dilettante, dipsomania,
dirigible, discommode, discretionary, discursive, disintegrate, disparity,
dispensable, disseminate, dissimulation, dissonant, distain, divagation,
divination, divulge, dolor, dorsal, drastic, dubiety, duress, dynamic.

These facts do not circulate except among a limited group of people; they
are therefore ____. The departure of the children of Israel from Egypt was
a general ____. His philosophy, instead of conforming to a single system,
was ____. Lamb wrote admirable letters; he has a delightful ____ style.
The period at which our days and nights are of equal length is the ____

Ebullient, ecclesiastical, echelon, eclectic, ecstatic, edict, eerie,
effervescent, efficacious, effrontery, effulgence, effusion, egregious,
eleemosynary, elicit, elite, elucidate, embellish, embryonic, emendation,
emissary, emission, emollient, empiric, empyreal, emulous, encomium,
endue, enervate, enfilade, enigmatic, ennui, enunciate, environ, epicure,
epigram, episode, epistolary, epitome, equestrian, equilibrium,
equinoctial, equity, equivocate, eradicate, erosion, erotic, erudition,
eruptive, eschew, esoteric, espousal, estrange, ethereal, eulogistic,
euphonious, evanescent, evangelical, evict, exacerbate, excerpt,
excommunicate, excoriate, excruciate, execrable, exegesis, exemplary,
exhalation, exhilarate, exigency, exodus, exonerate, exorbitant, exotic,
expectorate, expeditious, explicable, explicit, expunge, extant,
extemporaneous, extrinsic.

He deceives himself by this argument, for the argument is utterly ____.
No complicated action can be planned in absolute detail; much must depend
on ____ circumstance.

Fabricate, fabulous, facetious, factitious, fallacious, fallible,
fastidious, fatuous, feasible, feculence, fecundity, felicitous,
felonious, fetid, feudal, fiducial, filament, filtrate, finesse, flaccid,
flagitious, floriculture, florid, fluctuate, foible, forfeiture,
fortuitous, fractious, franchise, frangible, frontal, froward, furtive.

The advice was both unasked and unwelcome; it was purely ____. Throughout
the World War the ____ of Germany over the other Central European powers
was unquestioned. Buffaloes naturally go together in herds; they are ____.

Galaxy, galleon, garrulity, gesticulate, gormand, granivorous,
grandiloquent, gravamen, gratuitous, gregarious, habitue, hallucination,
harbinger, hardihood, heckle, hectic, hedonist, hegemony, heinous,
herbivorous, heretic, hermaphrodite, heterodox, heterogeneous, hibernate.
histrionic, hoidenism, homiletics, homogeneous, hydraulic, hypothesis.

We cannot understand God's ways; they are ____. Nor need we expect to
change them; they are ____. If an animal has no backbone, it is ____. A
boy so confirmed in his faults that we cannot correct them is ____.

Idiosyncrasy, illicit, immaculate, immanent, imminent, immobile, immure,
immutable, impalpable, impeccable, impecunious, imperturbable, impervious,
implacable, implicit, impolitic, imponderable, importunate, imprecation,
impromptu, improvise, imputation, inadvertent, inamorata, inanity,
incarcerate, inchoate, incidence, incision, incongruent, inconsequential,
incontinent, incorporeal, incorrigible, incredulity, incumbent,
indecorous, indigenous, indigent, indite, indomitable, ineluctable,
inexorable, inexplicable, inferential, infinitesimal, infinitude,
infraction, infusion, inhibit, innocuous, innuendo, inopportune,
insatiable, inscrutable, insidious, inspissated, insulate, intangible,
integral, integument, interdict, internecine, intractable, intransigent,
intrinsic, inure, invalidate, inveigh, inveigle, invertebrate, invidious,
irrefragable, irrefutable, irrelevant, irreparable, irrevocable, iterate.

He overpraised people; he was always engaged in extravagant ____ of
somebody or other. The small man who has written a book becomes
pretentious at once and regards himself as one of the ____. Thatcher is
always engaged in lawsuits; he is the most ____ man I ever saw.

Jocose, jocund, jurisprudence, juxtaposition, kaleidoscopic, labyrinth,
lacerate, lackadaisical, lacrimal, laity, lambent, lampoon, largess,
lascivious, laudable, laudation, lavation, legionary, lethargic,
licentious, lineal, lingual, literati, litigious, loquacity, lubricity,
lucent, lucre, lucubration, lugubrious.

Those soldiers are fighting, not for principle, but for pay; they are
____. Iron that is not heated cannot be hammered into shape; it is not

Machination, macrocosm, magisterial, magniloquent, maladroit, malfeasance,
malignity, malleable, mandate, matutinal, medieval, mephitic, mercenary,
mercurial, meretricious, metamorphose, meticulous, microcosm,
misanthropic, misogyny, misprision, mitigate, monitor, mortuary,
mundane, mutable.

It is a government by the few; therefore an ____. All the men of influence
in the state give offices to their kinsmen; the system is one of ____.
Yes, grandfather is eighty years old today; he has become an ____.

Nebulous, nefarious, negation, neophyte, nepotism, neurotic, noisome,
nomenclature, nonchalant, non sequitur, nucleus, nugatory, obdurate,
objurgation, obligatory, obloquy, obsequious, obsession, obsolete,
obstreperous, obtrusive, obtuse, obverse, obviate, occult, octogenarian,
officious, olfactory, oleaginous, oligarchy, ominous, onomatopceia,
opacity, opaque, opprobrious, oracular, orthodox, oscillate, osculate,
ostensible, ostentation, ostracize, outré, ovation, overture.

In England the eldest son inherits the title and the estate, but Americans
do not take to a system of ____. You are always putting off until tomorrow
what you could do today; do you think it pays to ____ thus? An ambassador
whose powers are unlimited is called an ambassador ____. Beasts or men
that are given to plundering are ____.

Pabulum, pageantry, paginate, palatial, palliate, palpable, panacea,
panegyric, panorama, paradoxical, paramount, parasite, parochial,
paroxysm, parsimonious, parturition, patois, patriarchal, patrician,
patrimony, peccadillo, pecuniary, pedantic, pellucid, pendulous,
penultimate, penurious, peregrination, perfunctory, peripatetic,
periphery, persiflage, perspicacious, perspicuity, pertinacious,
pharmaceutic, phenomenal, phlegmatic, phraseology, pictorial, piquant,
pique, plagiarize, platitudinous, platonic, plebeian, plenipotentiary,
plethora, pneumatic, poignant, polity, poltroon, polyglot, pontifical,
portentous, posterior, posthumous, potent, potential, pragmatic, preamble,
precarious, precocious, precursor, predatory, predestination, predicament,
preemptory, prelate, preliminary, preposterous, prerequisite, prerogative,
presentiment, primogeniture, probation, probity, proclivity,
procrastinate, prodigal, prodigious, prodigy, profligate, progenitor,
proletarian, prolific, prolix, promiscuous, promissory, propaganda,
propensity, prophylactic, propinquity, propitiatory, propitious,
proprietary, prorogue, proselyte, prototype, protuberant, provender,
proximity, prurient, psychical, psychological, puerile, pug-nacious,
puissant, punctilious, pungent, punitive, pusillanimous, putrescent,

The coil of wire, being ____, instantly resumed its original shape. Some
one must arrange these papers for publication; will you be their ____?
Poe's mind had a bent toward ____: it could reason out a whole chain of
circumstances from one or two known facts. He showed a disposition not to
comply with these instructions; yes, he was ____.

Rabbinical, rancorous, rapacious, ratiocination, rational, raucous,
recalcitrant, recant, recapitulate, recession, reciprocal, reciprocate,
recluse, recondite, recreant, recrudescence, rectilinear, rectitude,
recumbent, redactor, redress, redound, refractory, refulgent, rejuvenate,
relevant, rendezvous, rendition, reparation, repercussion, repertory,
replenish, replete, replevin, reprehend, reprobate, repulsive, requisite,
rescind, residue, residuum, resilient, resplendent, resurgence,
resuscitate, reticulate, retribution, retrograde, retrospect, rigorous,
risible, rodomontade, rudimentary, ruminate.

His position carries no responsibility; it is a ____. The moon revolves
about the earth, and is therefore the earth's ____. His work keeps him at
his desk all day; it is ____ work. Your words incite men to disorder and
rebellion; they are ____.

Saccharine, sacerdotal, sacrament, sacrilege, salient, salubrious,
sardonic, satellite, saturnine, schism, scurrilous, sectarian, secular,
sedative, sedentary, seditious, sedulous, segregate, seismograph,
senescent, sententious, septuagenarian, sequester, sibilant, similitude,
sinecure, sinuous, solicitous, solstice, somnolent, sophisticated,
sophistry, sorcery, spasmodic, specious, spirituelle, splenetic,
spontaneity, sporadic, spurious, stipend, stipulate, stoical, stricture,
stringency, stultify, stupendous, sublimity, suborn, subpoena, subsidiary,
subsidy, substratum, subtend, subterfuge, subterranean, subvention,
subvert, sudorific, supercilious, supernal, supervene, supine,
supposititious, surreptitious, surrogate, surveillance, susceptible,
sustenance, sycophantic, syllogism, sylvan, symmetrical, symposium,
synchronize, synonymous, synopsis, synthesis.

The small stream flows into the larger one and is its ____. The thick
glass roof lets through sufficient light for us to see by; it is ____. You
will not find him hard to manage; he has spirit enough, yet is ____.

Tactile, tangible, tantamount, temerity, tenable, tenacious, tentative,
tenuous, termagant, terrestrial, testimentary, thaumaturgic, therapeutic,
titular, torso, tortuous, tractable, traduce, transcendent,
transfiguration, transient, transitory, translucent, transverse, travesty,
tribulation, tributary, truculent, truncate, turbid, turpitude, tyro.

He is so extravagantly fond of his wife that I should call him ____.
Christ died for others; it was a ____ death. The most notable quality in
Defoe's narrative is its likeness to actual facts, or in a word, its ____.

Ubiquity, ulterior, ululation, umbrage, unanimous, undulate, urbanity,
usurious, uxorious, vacillate, vacuous, vandalism, variegate velocity,
venal, venereal, venial, venous, veracious, verdant, verisimilitude,
vernacular, versatile, vestal, vibratory, vicarious, vicissitude,
virulence, viscid, viscous, vitiate, vitreous, vituperate, vivacious,
volatile, volition, voluminous, voluptuary, voluptuous, voracious, votive,
vulnerable, whimsical, zealot.



DO you never, while occupying a dental chair and deploring the necessity
that drives you to that uncomfortable seat, admire the skill of the
dentist in the use of his instruments? A great many of these instruments
lie at his hand. To you they appear bewildering, so slightly different are
they from each other. Yet with unerring readiness the dentist lays hold of
the one he needs. Now this facility of his is not a blessing with which a
gracious heaven endowed him. It is the consequence and reward of hard
study, and above all of work, hard work.

You have been ambitious of like skill in the manipulation of words. Had
you not been, you would never have undertaken this study. You have
perceived that when you speak or write, words are your instruments. You
have wished to learn how to use them. Now for every idea you shall ever
have occasion to express await throngs of vocables, each presenting its
claims as a fit medium. These you must pass in instantaneous review, these
you must expertly appraise, out of these you must choose the words that
will best serve your purpose. With practice, you will make your selections
unconsciously. You will never, of course, quite attain the infallibility
of the dentist; for linguistic instruments are more numerous than dental,
and far more complex. But you will more and more nearly approximate the
ideal, will more and more nearly find that right expression has become
second nature with you.

All this is conditioned upon labor faithful and steadfast. Without labor
you will never be adept. At the outset of our study together we warned you
that, though we should gather the material and point the way, you yourself
must do the work. This book is not one to glance through. It is one to
dwell with, to toil with. It exacts much of you-makes you, for each page
you turn, pay with the sweat of your brain.

But, assuming that you have done your part, what have you gained? Without
answering this question at all fully, we may at this juncture engage in a
brief retrospect.

First of all, you have rid yourself of the notion that words are dead
things, unrealities worthy of no more than wooden and mechanical
employment. As much as anything else in the world, words are alive and
responsive, are fraught with unmeasured possibilities of good or ill.
You have taken due cognizance of the fact that words must be considered in
the aggregate as well as individually, and have reckoned with the pitfalls
and dangers as well as with the advantages of their use in combination.
But the basis of everything is a keener knowledge of words severally. You
have therefore come to study words with the zest and insight you exhibit
(or should exhibit) in studying men. Incidentally, you have acquired the
habit of looking up dictionary definitions, not merely to satisfy a
present need, but also to add permanently to your linguistic resources.

You have carried the study of individuals farther. You have come to know
words inside and out. Such knowledge not only assists you in your dealings
with your contemporaries; it illuminates for you great literature of the
past that otherwise would remain obscure. How much keener, for example, is
your understanding of Shakespeare's passage on the Seven Ages of Man
because of your thorough acquaintance with the single word
_pantaloon_! How quickly does the awe for big words slip from you
when you perceive that _precocious is_ in origin the equivalent of
_half-baked!_ What intimacy of insight into words you feel when you
find that a _companion is_ a _sharer of one's bread_! What a
linking of language with life you discover when you learn the original
signification of _presently_, of _idiot_, of _rival_, of
_sandwich_, of _pocket handkerchief_! And what revelations as
into a mystic fraternalism with words do you obtain when you confront
such a phrase as "the bank _teller_" or "cut to the _quick"!

_Not only have words become more like living beings to you; you have
learned to think of them in relations analogous to the human. You can
detect the blood kinship, for example, between _prescribe_ and
_manuscript_, and know that the strain of _fact_ or fie or fy in
a word is pretty sure to betoken making or doing. You know that there are
elaborate intermarriages among words. You recognize _phonograph_, for
example, as a married couple; you even have confidential word as to the
dowry brought by each of the contracting parties to the new verbal

You have discovered, further, that the language actually swarms with
"pairs"--words joined with each other not in blood or by marriage but
through meaning. You have so familiarized yourself with hundreds of these
pairs that to think of one word is to call the other to mind.

Finally, and in many respects most important of all, you have acquired a
vast stock of synonyms. You have had it brought to your attention that the
number of basic ideas in the world is surprisingly small; that for each of
these ideas there is in our language one generic word; that most people
use this one word constantly instead of seeking the subsidiary term that
expresses a particular phase of the idea; and that you as a builder of
your vocabulary must, while holding fast to the basic idea with one hand,
reach out with the other for the fit, sure material of specific words. Nor
have you rested in the mere perception of theory. You have had abundant
practice, have yourself covered the ground foot by foot. You can therefore
proceed with reasonable freedom from the commoner ideas of the human mind
to that expression of definite aspects of them which is anything but

You have not, of course, achieved perfection. There still is much for you
to do. There always will be. Nevertheless in the ways just reviewed, and
in various other ways not mentioned in this chapter, you have made
yourself verbally rich. You are one of the millionaires of language. When
you speak, it is not with stammering incompetence, but with confident
readiness. When you write, it is with energy and assurance in the very
flow of the ink. Where you had long been a slave, you have become a
freeman and can look your fellows in the eye. You have the best badge of
culture a human being can possess. You have power at your tongue's end.
You have the proud satisfaction of having wrought well, and the
inspiration of knowing that whatever verbal need may arise, you are
trained and equipped to grapple with it triumphantly.


_Appendix I_

    (An editorial)

To an individual who from whatever motives of personal advantage or mere
curiosity has made himself an observer of current tendencies, the drift of
our rural population cityward gives food for serious reflection. This
drift is one of the most pronounced of the social and economic phenomena
of the day. Its consequences upon the life, welfare, and future of the
great nation to which we are proud to acknowledge our whole-hearted
allegiance are matters of such paramount importance to all concerned that
we should turn aside more often than we do from the distracting exactions
of our ordinary activities to give them prolonged and earnest

A generation or so ago human beings were content to spend the full term of
their earthly existence amid rural surroundings, or if in their declining
days they longed for more of the comforts and associations which are among
the cravings of mortality, it was an easy proposition to move to the
nearest village or, if they were too high and mighty for this simple
measure to satisfy them, they could indulge in the more grandiose
performance of residing in the county seat. But nowadays our people want
more. Rich or poor, tall or dumpy, tottering grandmothers or babies in
swaddling-clothes, they long for ampler pastures. Their brawny arms or
hoary heads must bedeck nothing less than the metropolis itself, and
perchance put shoulders to the wheel in the incessant grind of the urban
treadmill. Can you beat it? Unquestioned profit does not attend the
migration. It stands to reason that some of the very advantages sought
have been sacrificed on the altar of the drift cityward. Let us say you
have your individual domicile or the cramped and sunless apartment you dub
your habitation within corporate limits. Does that mean that the
privileges of the city are at your disposal, so that you have merely to
reach forth your hand and pluck them? Well, hardly! You certainly do not
reside in the downtown section, or if you do, you wish to heaven you
didn't. And you can reach this section only with delay and inconvenience,
whether in the hours of business or in the subsequent period devoted to
the glitter of nocturnal revelry and amusement.

But whatever the disadvantages of the city, the people who endure them are
convinced that to go back to the vines and figtrees of their native heath
would be jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. Why? Well, for one
thing, there is no such thing as leisure in the areas that lie beyond
those vast aggregations of humanity which constitute our cities. Not only
are there innumerable and seemingly interminable chores that must follow
the regular occupations of the day, but a thousand emergencies due to
chance, weather, or the natural cussedness of things must be disposed of
as they arise, regardless of what plans the rustic swain cherishes for the
use of his spare time. Urban laborers have contrived by one means or
another to bring about a limitation of the number of hours per diem they
are forced to toil. To the farmers such an alleviation of their hardships
is not within the realm of practicability. They kick about it of course.
They say it's a blooming nuisance. But neither their heartburnings nor
their struggles can efface it as a fact.

Again, the means of entertainment are more limited, and that by a big lot,
with the farmer than with those who dwell in the cities. It is all very
well to talk about the blessings of the rural telephone, rural free
delivery, and the automobile. These things do make communication easier
than it used to be, but after all they're only a drop in the bucket and do
little to stop the drift cityward. We may remark just here that if you
live a thousand miles from nowhere and are willing to drive your Tin
Lizzie into town for "the advantages," you aren't likely to get much even
along the line of the movies, and you'll get less still if what you're
after is an A-1 school for your progeny.

Finally, the widespread impression that the farmer is a bloated and
unscrupulous profiteer has done much to disgust him with his station and
employment in life. We don't say he's the one and only when it comes to
the virtues. Maybe he hasn't sprouted any wings yet. What if he hasn't?
The cities, with their brothels, their big business, and their municipal
governments--you wouldn't have the face to say that there's anything wrong
with them, now would you? Oh, no! Of course not! The farmer pays high for
his machinery and goes clear to the bottom of his pocketbook when he has
to buy shoes or a sack of flour, but let him have a steer's hide or a
wagon load of wheat to sell, and it's somebody else's ox that's gored.
Consumers pay big prices for farm products, goodness knows, but they don't
pay them to the farmer. Not on your tintype. The middleman gets his, you
needn't question that. We beg pardon a thousand times. We mean the
middle_men_. There's no end to those human parasites.

And so farmer after farmer breaks up the old homestead and contributes his
mite to the drift cityward. What will be the result that comes out of it
all? The effect upon the farmer deserves an editorial all to itself. Here
we must limit ourselves to the effects on the future of our beloved
American nation. And even these we can now do no more than mention; we
lack space to elaborate them. One effect, if the tendency continues, will
be such a reduction in home-produced foodstuffs that we shall have to
import from other countries lying abroad a good portion of the means of
our physical sustenance, and shall face such an increase in the cost of
the same that thousands and thousands of our people will find it
increasingly harder as the years pass by to maintain their relative
economic position. Another effect will be that our civilization, which to
this point has sprawled over broad acres, will become an urban
civilization, penned in amid conditions, restraints, privations, and
perhaps also opportunities unprecedented in our past history and unknown
to the experience we have had hitherto. A final effect will be that our
most conservative class, the rural populace, will no longer present
resistance that is formidable to the innovations which those who hold
extreme views are forever exhorting us to embrace; and the result may well
be that the disintegration of this staying and stabilizing element in our
citizenship--one that retards and mollifies if it does not inhibit
change--will produce consequences in its train which may be as dire as
they are difficult to foretell.

_Appendix_ 2

    (From the _Speech on Conciliation with the Colonies_)

In this character of the Americans, a love of freedom is the predominating
feature which marks and distinguishes the whole; and as an ardent is
always a jealous affection, your Colonies become suspicious, restive, and
untractable whenever they see the least attempt to wrest from them by
force, or shuffle from them by chicane, what they think the only advantage
worth living for. This fierce spirit of liberty is stronger in the English
Colonies probably than in any other people of the earth, and this from a
great variety of powerful causes; which, to understand the true temper of
their minds and the direction which this spirit takes, it will not be
amiss to lay open somewhat more largely.

First, the people of the Colonies are descendants of Englishmen. England,
Sir, is a nation which still, I hope, respects, and formerly adored, her
freedom. The Colonists emigrated from you when this part of your character
was most predominant; and they took this bias and direction the moment
they parted from your hands. They are therefore not only devoted to
liherty, but to liberty according to English ideas, and on English
principles. Abstract liberty, like other mere abstractions, is not to be
found. Liberty inheres in some sensible object; and every nation has
formed to itself some favorite point, which by way of eminence becomes the
criterion of their happiness. It happened, you know, Sir, that the great
contests for freedom in this country were from the earliest times chiefly
upon the question of taxing. Most of the contests in the ancient
commonwealths turned primarily on the right of election of magistrates; or
on the balance among the several orders of the state. The question of
money was not with them so immediate. But in England it was otherwise. On
this point of taxes the ablest pens, and most eloquent tongues, have been
exercised; the greatest spirits have acted and suffered. In order to give
the fullest satisfaction concerning the importance of this point, it was
not only necessary for those who in argument defended the excellence of
the English Constitution to insist on this privilege of granting money as
a dry point of fact, and to prove that the right had been acknowledged in
ancient parchments and blind usages to reside in a certain body called a
House of Commons. They went much farther; they attempted to prove, and
they succeeded, that in theory it ought to be so, from the particular
nature of a House of Commons as an immediate representative of the people,
whether the old records had delivered this oracle or not. They took
infinite pains to inculcate, as a fundamental principle, that in all
monarchies the people must in effect themselves, mediately or immediately,
possess the power of granting their own money, or no shadow of liberty can
subsist. The Colonies draw from you, as with their life-blood, these ideas
and principles. Their love of liberty, as with you, fixed and attached on
this specific point of taxing. Liberty might be safe, or might be
endangered, in twenty other particulars, without their being much pleased
or alarmed. Here they felt its pulse; and as they found that beat, they
thought themselves sick or sound. I do not say whether they were right or
wrong in applying your general arguments to their own case. It is not
easy, indeed, to make a monopoly of theorems and corollaries. The fact is,
that they did thus apply those general arguments; and your mode of
governing them, whether through lenity or indolence, through wisdom or
mistake, confirmed them in the imagination that they, as well as you, had
an interest in these common principles.

They were further confirmed in this pleasing error by the form of their
provincial legislative assemblies. Their governments are popular in an
high degree; some are merely popular; in all, the popular representative
is the most weighty; and this share of the people in their ordinary
government never fails to inspire them with lofty sentiments, and with a
strong aversion from whatever tends to deprive them of their chief

If anything were wanting to this necessary operation of the form of
government, religion would have given it a complete effect. Religion,
always a principle of energy, in this new people is no way worn out or
impaired; and their mode of professing it is also one main cause of this
free spirit. The people are Protestants; and of that kind which is the
most adverse to all implicit submission of mind and opinion. This is a
persuasion not only favorable to liberty, but built upon it. I do not
think, Sir, that the reason of this averseness in the dissenting churches
from all that looks like absolute government is so much to be sought in
their religious tenets, as in their history. Every one knows that the
Roman Catholic religion is at least coeval with most of the governments
where it prevails; that it has generally gone hand in hand with them, and
received great favor and every kind of support from authority. The Church
of England too was formed from her cradle under the nursing care of
regular government. But the dissenting interests have sprung up in direct
opposition to all the ordinary powers of the world, and could justify that
opposition only on a strong claim to natural liberty. Their very existence
depended on the powerful and unremitted assertion of that claim. All
Protestantism, even the most cold and passive, is a sort of dissent. But
the religion most prevalent in our Northern Colonies is a refinement on
the principle of resistance; it is the dissidence of dissent, and the
protestantism of the Protestant religion. This religion, under a variety
of denominations agreeing in nothing but in the communion of the spirit of
liberty, is predominant in most of the Northern Provinces, where the
Church of England, notwithstanding its legal rights, is in reality no more
than a sort of private sect, not composing most probably the tenth of the
people. The Colonists left England when this spirit was high, and in the
emigrants was the highest of all; and even that stream of foreigners which
has been constantly flowing into these Colonies has, for the greatest
part, been composed of dissenters from the establishments of their several
countries, who have brought with them a temper and character far from
alien to that of the people with whom they mixed.

Sir, I can perceive by their manner that some gentlemen object to the
latitude of this description, because in the Southern Colonies the Church
of England forms a large body, and has a regular establishment. It is
certainly true. There is, however, a circumstance attending these Colonies
which, in my opinion, fully counterbalances this difference, and makes the
spirit of liberty still more high and haughty than in those to the
northward. It is that in Virginia and the Carolinas they have a vast
multitude of slaves. Where this is the case in any part of the world,
those who are free are by far the most proud and jealous of their freedom.
Freedom is to them not only an enjoyment, but a kind of rank and
privilege. Not seeing there, that freedom, as in countries where it is a
common blessing and as broad and general as the air, may be united with
much abject toil, with great misery, with all the exterior of servitude;
liberty looks, amongst them, like something that is more noble and
liberal. I do not mean, Sir, to commend the superior morality of this
sentiment, which has at least as much pride as virtue in it; but I cannot
alter the nature of man. The fact is so; and these people of the Southern
Colonies are much more strongly, and with an higher and more stubborn
spirit, attached to liberty than those to the northward. Such were all the
ancient commonwealths; such were our Gothic ancestors; such in our days
were the Poles; and such will be all masters of slaves, who are not slaves
themselves. In such a people the haughtiness of domination combines with
the spirit of freedom, fortifies it, and renders it invincible.

Permit me, Sir, to add another circumstance in our Colonies which
contributes no mean part towards the growth and effect of this untractable
spirit. I mean their education. In no country perhaps in the world is the
law so general a study. The profession itself is numerous and powerful;
and in most provinces it takes the lead. The greater number of the
deputies sent to the Congress were lawyers. But all who read, and most do
read, endeavor to obtain some smattering in that science. I have been told
by an eminent bookseller, that in no branch of his business, after tracts
of popular devotion, were so many books as those on the law exported to
the Plantations. The Colonists have now fallen into the way of printing
them for their own use. I hear that they have sold nearly as many of
Blackstone's Commentaries in America as in England. General Gage marks out
this disposition very particularly in a letter on your table. He states
that all the people in his government are lawyers, or smatterers in law;
and that in Boston they have been enabled, by successful chicane, wholly
to evade many parts of one of your capital penal constitutions. The
smartness of debate will say that this knowledge ought to teach them more
clearly the rights of legislature, their obligations to obedience, and the
penalties of rebellion. All this is mighty well. But my honorable and
learned friend on the floor, who condescends to mark what I say for
animadversion, will disdain that ground. He has heard, as well as I, that
when great honors and great emoluments do not win over this knowledge to
the service of the state, it is a formidable adversary to government. If
the spirit be not tamed and broken by these happy methods, it is stubborn
and litigious. _Abeunt studia in mores_. This study renders men
acute, inquisitive, dexterous, prompt in attack, ready in defence, full of
resources. In other countries, the people, more simple, and of a less
mercurial cast, judge of an ill principle in government only by an actual
grievance; here they anticipate the evil, and judge of the pressure of the
grievance by the badness of the principle. They augur misgovernment at a
distance, and snuff the approach of tyranny in every tainted breeze.

The last cause of this disobedient spirit in the Colonies is hardly less
powerful than the rest, as it is not merely moral, but laid deep in the
natural constitution of things. Three thousand miles of ocean lie between
you and them. No contrivance can prevent the effect of this distance in
weakening government. Seas roll, and months pass, between the order and
the execution; and the want of a speedy explanation of a single point is
enough to defeat a whole system. You have, indeed, winged ministers of
vengeance, who carry your bolts in their pounces to the remotest verge of
the sea. But there a power steps in that limits the arrogance of raging
passions and furious elements, and says, _So far shalt thou go, and no
farther_. Who are you, that you should fret and rage, and bite the
chains of nature? Nothing worse happens to you than does to all nations
who have extensive empire; and it happens in all the forms into which
empire can be thrown. In large bodies the circulation of power must be
less vigorous at the extremities. Nature has said it. The Turk cannot
govern Egypt and Arabia and Kurdistan as he governs Thrace; nor has he the
same dominion in Crimea and Algiers which he has at Brusa and Smyrna.
Despotism itself is obliged to truck and huckster. The Sultan gets such
obedience as he can. He governs with a loose rein, that he may govern at
all; and the whole of the force and vigor of his authority in his center
is derived from a prudent relaxation in all his borders. Spain, in her
provinces, is, perhaps, not so well obeyed as you are in yours. She
complies, too; she submits; she watches times. This is the immutable
condition, the eternal law of extensive and detached empire.

Then, Sir, from these six capital sources--of descent, of form of
government, of religion in the Northern Provinces, of manners in the
Southern, of education, of the remoteness of situation from the first
mover of government-from all these causes a fierce spirit of liberty has
grown up. It has grown with the growth of the people in your Colonies, and
increased with the increase of their wealth; a spirit that unhappily
meeting with an exercise of power in England which, however lawful, is noc
reconcilable to any ideas of liberty, much less with theirs, has kindled
this flame that is ready to consume us.

_Appendix 3_

    (Matthew 13:3,8 and 18-23)

And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying,
Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side,
and the fowls came and devoured them up:

Some fell upon stony places, where they bad not much earth:
and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:

And when the sun was up, they were scorched;
and because they had no root, they withered away.

And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:

But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit,
some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.

Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.

When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not,
then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his
heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

But be that received the seed into stony places, the same is he
that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it.

Yet he hath not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when
tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is

He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word;
and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the
word, and he becometh unfruitful.

But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the
word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth,
some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

_Appendix 4_

    _(As You Like It, II, vii, 139-166)_

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
And then the whaling school-boy, with his satchel,
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lin'd,
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose well say'd, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

_Appendix 5_

    (From _Robinson Crusoe_)
    By Daniel Defoe

And now our case was very dismal indeed; for we all saw plainly that the
sea went so high that the boat could not escape, and that we should be
inevitably drowned. As to making sail, we had none, nor, if we had, could
we have done anything with it; so we worked at the oar towards the land,
though with heavy hearts, like men going to execution; for we all knew
that when the boat came near the shore, she would be dashed in a thousand
pieces by the beach of the sea. However, we committed our souls to God in
the most earnest manner; and the wind driving us towards the shore, we
hastened our destruction with our own hands, pulling as well as we could
towards land.

What the shore was, whether rock or sand, whether steep or shoal, we knew
not; the only hope that could rationally give us the least shadow of
expectation, was if we might happen into some bay or gulf, or the mouth of
some river, where by great chance we might have run our boat in, or got
under the lee of the land, and perhaps made smooth water. But there was
nothing of this appeared; but as we made nearer and nearer the shore, the
land looked more frightful than the sea.

After we had rowed, or rather driven, about a league and a half, as we
reckoned it, a raging wave, mountain-like, came rolling astern of us, and
plainly bade us expect the _coup de grace_. In a word, it took us
with such a fury that it overset the boat at once; and separating us as
well from the boat as from one another, gave its not time hardly to say,
"O God!" for we were all swallowed up in a moment.

Nothing can describe the confusion of thought which I felt, when I sank
into the water; for though I swam very well, yet I could not deliver
myself from the waves so as to draw breath, till that wave having driven
me, or rather carried me, a vast way on towards the shore, and having
spent itself, went back, and left me upon the land almost dry, but half
dead with the water I took in. I had so much presence of mind, as well as
breath left, that seeing myself nearer the mainland than I expected, I got
upon my feet, and endeavored to make on towards the land as fast as I
could, before another wave should return and take me up again; but I soon
found it was impossible to avoid it; for I saw the sea come after me as
high as a great hill, and as furious as an enemy, which I had no means or
strength to contend with: my business was to hold my breath, and raise
myself upon the water, if I could; and so by swimming to preserve my
breathing, and pilot myself towards the shore if possible; my greatest
concern now being that the wave, as it would carry me a great way toward
the shore when it came on, might not carry me back again with it when it
gave back towards the sea.

The wave that came upon me again buried me at once twenty or thirty feet
deep in its own body, and I could feel myself I carried with a mighty
force and swiftness towards the shore a very great way; but I held my
breath, and assisted myself to swim still forward with all my might. I was
ready to burst with holding my breath, when as I felt myself rising up,
so, to my immediate relief, I found my head and hands shoot out above the
surface of the water; and though it was not two seconds of time that I
could keep myself so, yet it relieved me greatly, gave me breath and new
courage. I was covered again with water a good while, but not so long but
I held it out; and finding the water had spent itself, and began to
return, I struck forward against the return of the waves, and felt ground
again with my feet. I stood still a few moments to recover breath, and
till the waters went from me, and then took to my heels, and ran with what
strength I had, farther towards the shore. But neither would this deliver
me from the fury of the sea, which came pouring in after me again; and
twice more I was lifted up by the waves and carried forwards as before,
the shore being very flat.

The last time of these two had well-nigh been fatal to me; for the sea
having hurried me along, as before, landed me, or rather dashed me,
against a piece of a rock, and that with such force as it left me
senseless, and indeed helpless, as to my own deliverance; for the blow,
taking my side and breast, beat the breath as it were quite out of my
body; and had it returned again immediately, I must have been strangled in
the water; but I recovered a little before the return of the waves, and
seeing I should be covered again with the water, I resolved to hold fast
by a piece of the rock, and so to hold my breath, if possible, till the
wave went back. Now, as the waves were not so high as at first, being
nearer land, I held my hold till the wave abated, and then fetched another
run, which brought me so near the shore that the next wave, though it went
over me, yet did not so swallow me up as to carry me away; and the next
run I took I got to the mainland; where, to my great comfort, I clambered
up the cliffs of the shore, and sat me down upon the grass, free from
danger and quite out of the reach of the water. I was now landed, and safe
on shore, and began to look up and thank God that my life was saved, in a
case wherein there was some minutes before scarce any room to hope. I
believe it is impossible to express, to the life, what the ecstasies and
transports of the soul are when it is so saved, as I may say, out of the
very grave: and I do not wonder now at that custom, when a malefactor, who
has the halter about his neck, is tied up, and just going to be turned
off, and has a reprieve brought to him--I say, I do not wonder that they
bring a surgeon with it, to let him blood that very moment they tell him
of it, that the surprise may not drive the animal spirits from the heart,
and overwhelm him.

    "For sudden joys, like griefs, confound at first."

I walked about on the shore, lifting up my hands, and my whole being, as I
may say, wrapt up in a contemplation of my deliverance; making a thousand
gestures and motions, which I cannot describe; reflecting upon all my
comrades that were drowned, and that there should not be one soul saved
but myself; for, as for them, I never saw them afterwards, or any sign of
them, except three of their bats, one cap, and two shoes that were not

I cast my eyes to the stranded vessel, when, the breach and froth of the
sea being so big, I could hardly see it, it lay so far off; and
considered, Lord! how was it possible I could get on shore?

After I had solaced my mind with the comfortable part of my condition, I
began to look round me, to see what kind of place I was in, and what was
next to be done: and I soon found my comforts abate, and that, in a word,
I bad a dreadful deliverance: for I was wet, had no clothes to shift me,
nor anything either to eat or drink, to comfort me; neither did I see any
prospect before me but that of perishing with hunger, or being devoured by
wild beasts: and that which was particularly afflicting to me was, that I
had no weapon, either to hunt and kill any creature for my sustenance, or
to defend myself against any other creature that might desire to kill me
for theirs. In a word, I had nothing about me but a knife, a tobacco-pipe,
and a little tobacco in a box. This was all my provision; and this threw
me into terrible agonies of mind, that for awhile I ran about like a
madman. Night coming upon me, I began with a heavy heart, to consider what
would be my lot if there were any ravenous beasts in that country, seeing
at night they always come abroad for their prey.

All the remedy that offered to my thoughts, at that time, was to get up
into a thick busby tree, like a fir, but thorny, which grew near me, and
where I resolved to sit all night, and consider the next day what death I
should die, for as yet I saw no prospect of life. I walked about a furlong
from the shore, to see if I could find any fresh water to drink, which I
did to my great joy; and having drunk, and put a little tobacco in my
mouth to prevent hunger, I went to the tree, and getting up into it,
endeavored to place myself so that if I should sleep I might not fall. And
having cut me a short stick, like a truncheon, for my defense, I took up
my lodging; and being excessively fatigued, I fell fast asleep, and slept
as comfortably as, I believe, few could have done in my condition, and
found myself more refreshed with it than I think I ever was on such an

When I waked it was broad day, the weather clear, and the storm abated, so
that the sea did not rage and swell as before; but that which surprised me
most was, that the ship was lifted off in the night from the sand where
she lay, by the swelling of the tide, and was driven up almost as far as
the rock which I at first mentioned, where I had been so bruised by the
wave dashing me against it. This being within about a mile from the shore
where I was, and the ship seeming to stand upright still, I wished myself
on board, that at least I might save some necessary things for my use.

When I came down from my apartment in the tree, I looked about me again,
and the first thing I found was the boat, which lay, as the wind and sea
had tossed her up, upon the land, about two miles on my right hand. I
walked as far as I could upon the shore to have got to her; but found a
neck, or inlet, of water between me and the boat, which was about half a
mile broad; so I came back for the present, being more intent upon getting
at the ship, where I hoped to find something for my present subsistence.

A little after noon I found the sea very calm and the tide ebbed so far
out, that I could come within a quarter of a mile of the ship. And here I
found a fresh renewing of my grief; for I saw evidently that if we had
kept on board, we had been all safe: that is to say, we had all got safe
on shore, and I had not been so miserable as to be left entirely destitute
of all comfort and company, as I now was. This forced tears to my eyes
again; but as there was little relief in that, I resolved, if possible, to
get to the ship-, so I pulled off my clothes, for the weather was hot to
extremity, and took the water. But when I came to the ship, my difficulty
was still greater to know how to get on board; for, as she lay aground,
and high out of the water, there was nothing within my reach to lay hold
of. I swam round her twice, and the second time I espied a small piece of
rope, which I wondered I did not see at first, hanging down by the
fore-chains so low that, with great difficulty, I got hold of it, and by
the help of that rope got up into the forecastle of the ship. Here I found
that the ship was bulged, and had a great deal of water in her hold; but
that she lay so on the side of a bank of hard sand, or rather earth, that
her stern lay lifted up upon the bank, and her head low, almost to the
water. By this means all her quarter was free, and all that was in that
part was dry; for you may be sure my first work was to search, and to see
what was spoiled and what was free. And, first, I found that all the
ship's provisions were dry and untouched by the water, and being very well
disposed to eat, I went to the bread-room, and filled my pockets with
biscuit, and ate it as I went about other things, for I had no time to
lose. I also found some rum in the great cabin, of which I took a large
dram, and which I had, indeed, need enough of to spirit me for what was
before me. Now I wanted nothing but a boat, to furnish myself with many
things which I foresaw would be very necessary to me.

It was in vain to sit still and wish for what was not to be had; and this
extremity roused my application. We had several spare yards, and two or
three large spars of wood, and a spare topmast or two in the ship: I
resolved to fall tp work with these, and I flung as many of them overboard
as I could manage for their weight, tying every one with a rope, that they
might not drive away. When this was done I went down the ship's side, and
pulling them to me I tied four of them together at both ends, as well as I
could, in the form of a raft, and laying two or three short pieces of
plank upon them, crossways, I found I could walk upon it very well, but
that it was not able to bear any great weight, the pieces being too light.
So I went to work, and with the carpenter's saw I cut a spare topmast into
three lengths, and added them to my raft, with a great deal of labor and
pains. But the hope of furnishing myself with necessaries encouraged me to
go beyond what I should have been able to have done upon another occasion.

My raft was now strong enough to bear any reasonable weight. My next care
was what to load it with, and how to preserve what I laid upon it from the
surf of the sea: but I was not long considering this. I first laid all the
planks or boards upon it that I could get, and having considered well what
I most wanted, I first got three of the seamen's chests, which I had
broken open and emptied, and lowered them down upon my raft; the first of
these I filled with provisions--viz., bread, rice, three Dutch cheeses,
five pieces of dried goat's flesh (which we lived much upon), and a little
remainder of European corn, which had been laid by for some fowls which we
brought to sea with us, but the fowls were killed. There had been some
barley and wheat together; but, to my great disappointment, I found
afterwards that the rats had eaten or spoiled it all. As for liquors, I
found several cases of bottles belonging to our skipper, in which were
some cordial waters; and, in all, about five or six gallons of arrack.
These I stowed by themselves, there being no need to put them into the
chest, nor any room for them. While I was doing this, I found the tide
began to flow, though very calm; and I had the mortification to see my
coat, shirt, and waistcoat, which I had left on shore upon the sand, swim
away. As for my breeches, which were only linen, and open-kneed, I swam on
board in them and my stockings. However, this put me upon rummaging for
clothes, of which I found enough, but took no more than I wanted for
present use, for I had other things which my eye was more upon; as, first,
tools to work with on shore: and it was after long searching that I found
out the carpenter's chest, which was indeed a very useful prize to me, and
much more valuable than a ship-lading of gold would have been at that
time. I got it down to my raft, whole as it was, without losing time to
look into it, for I knew in general what it contained.

My next care was for some ammunition and arms. There were two very good
fowling-pieces in the great cabin, and two pistols. These I secured first,
with some powder-horns, a small bag of shot, and two old rusty swords. I
knew there were three barrels of powder in the ship, but knew not where
our gunner had stowed them; but with much search I found them, two of them
dry and good, the third had taken water. Those two I got to my raft, with
the arms. And now I thought myself pretty well freighted, and began to
think how I should get to shore with them, having neither sail, oar, nor
rudder; and the least capful of wind would have overset all my navigation.

I had three encouragements: first, a smooth, calm sea; secondly, the tide
rising, and setting in to the shore; thirdly, what little wind there was
blew me towards the land. And thus, having found two or three broken oars,
belonging to the boat, and besides the tools which were in the chest, two
saws, an axe, and a hammer, with this cargo I put to sea. For a mile, or
thereabouts, my raft went very well, only that I found it drive a little
distant from the place where I had landed before: by which I perceived
that there was some indraught of the water, and consequently, I hoped to
find some creek or river there, which I might malze use of as a port to
get to land with my cargo.

As I imagined, so it was. There appeared before me a little opening of the
land. I found a strong current of the tide set into it; so I guided my
raft as well as I could, to keep in the middle of the stream.

But here I had like to have suffered a second shipwreck, which, if I had,
I think verily would have broken my heart; for, knowing nothing of the
coast, my raft ran aground at one end of it upon a shoal, and not being
aground at the other end, it wanted but a little that all my cargo had
slipped off towards the end that was afloat, and so fallen into the water.
I did my utmost, by setting my back against the chests, to keep them in
their places, but could not thrust off the raft with all my strength;
neither durst I stir from the posture I was in; but holding up the chests
with all my might, I stood in that manner near half an hour, in which time
the rising of the water brought me a little more upon a level; and a
little after, the water still rising, my raft floated again, and I thrust
her off with the oar I had into the channel, and then driving up higher, I
at length found myself in the mouth of a little river, with land on both
sides, and a strong current or tide running up. I looked on both sides for
a proper place to get to shore, for I was not willing to be driven too
high up the river; hoping in time to see some ship at sea, and therefore
resolved to place myself as near the coast as I could.

At length I spied a little cove on the right shore of the creek, to which,
with great pain and difficulty, I guided my raft, and at last got so near,
that reaching ground with my oar, I could thrust her directly in. But here
I had like to have dipped all my cargo into the sea again; for that shore
lying pretty steep-that is to say, sloping--there was no place to land but
where one end of my float, if it ran on shore, would lie so high, and the
other sink lower, as before, that it would endanger my cargo again. All
that I could do was to wait till the tide was at the highest, keeping the
raft with my oar like an anchor, to hold the side of it fast to the shore,
near a flat piece of ground, which I expected the water would flow over;
and so it did. As soon as I found water enough, for my raft drew about a
foot of water, I thrust her upon that flat piece of ground, and there
fastened or moored her, by sticking my two broken oars into the ground-one
on one side, near one end, and one on the other side, near the other end;
and thus I lay till the water ebbed away, and left my raft and all my
cargo safe on shore.

_Appendix 6_


One of the best ways to _know_ words is through seeing them used by
the masters. For this reason, as well as for many others, you should read
extensively in good literature. The following lists of prose works may
prove useful for your guidance. They are not intended to be exclusive, not
intended to designate "the hundred best books." Rather do they name some
good books of fairly varied types. These are not all of equal merit, even
in their use of words. Some use words with nice discrimination, some with
splendid vividness and force. For each author only one or two books are
named, but in many instances you will wish to read further in the author,
perhaps indeed his entire works.

Boswell, James: _Life of Samuel Johnson_
Bradford, Gamaliel: _Lee the American; American Portraits, 1875-1900_
Franklin, Benjamin: _Autobiography_
Grant, U. S.: _Personal Memoirs_
Irving, Washington: _Life of Goldsmith_
Paine, A. B.: _Life of Mark Twain_
Walton, Izaak: _Lives_

Addison, Joseph: _Spectator Papers_
Bryce, Sir James: _The American Commonwealth_
Burke, Edmund: _Speech on Conciliation_
Burroughs, John: _Wake Robin_
Chesterton, G. K.: _Heretics_
Crothers, S. M.: _The Gentle Reader_
Dana, R. H., Jr.: Two _Years Before the Mast_
Darwin, Charles: _Origin of Species_
Emerson, R. W.: _Essays_
Irving, Washington: _Sketch Book_
Lincoln, Abraham: _Speeches and Addresses_
Lucas, E. V.: _Old Lamps for New_
Macaulay, T. B.: _Essays_
Muir, John: _The Mountains of California_
Thoreau, H. D.: _Walden_
Twain, Mark: _Life on the Mississippi_

Allen, James Lane: _The Choir Invisible_
Austen, Jane: _Pride and Prejudice_
Barrie, Sir James M.: _Sentimental Tommie_
Bennett, Arnold: _The Old Wives' Tale_
Blackmore, R. D.: _Lorna Doone_
Bunyan, John: _Pilgrim's Progress_
Cable, G. W.: _Old Creole Days_
Conrad, Joseph: _The Nigger of the Narcissus_
Defoe, Daniel: _Robinson Crusoe_
Dickens, Charles: _David Copperfield_
Eliot, George: _Adam Bede_
Galsworthy, John: _The Patrician_
Goldsmith, Oliver: _The Vicar of Wakefield_
Hardy, Thomas: _The Return of the Native_
Harte, Bret: _The Luck of Roaring Camp_ (short story)
Hawthorne, Nathaniel: _The Scarlet Letter_
Hergesheimer, Joseph: _Java Head_
Hudson, W. H.: _Green Mansions_
Kingsley, Charles: _Westward Ho_!
Kipling, Rudyard: _Plain Tales from the Hills_ (short stories)
London, Jack: _The Call of the Wild_
Merrick, Leonard: _The Man Who Understood Women (volume of short
stories); _The Actor Manager_
Mitchell, S. Weir: _Hugh Wynne, Free Quaker_
Norris, Frank: _The Octopus_
Poe, Edgar Allan: _The Fall of the House of Usher_ (short story)
Poole, Ernest: _The Harbor_
Scott, Sir Walter: _Ivanhoe_
Smith, F. Hopkinson: _Colonel Carter of Cartersville_
Stevenson, R. L.: _Treasure Island_
Tarkington, Booth: _Monsieur Beaucaire_
Thackeray, W. M.: _Vanity Fair_
Twain, Mark: _Huckleberry Finn_
Wells, H. G.: _Tono Bungay_
Wharton, Edith: _Ethan Frome_
Wister, Owen: _The Virginian_


The index comprises, besides miscellaneous items, four large classes of
matter: (1) topics, including many minor ones not given separate textual
captions; (2) all individual words and members of pairs explained or
commented on in the text; (3) the key syllables, but not the separate
words, of family groups; (4) the first or generic term, but not the other
terms, in all assemblies of synonyms; hence, this book can be used as a
handbook of ordinarily used synonyms.

_Abandon_, Synonyms of,
_Abase_, Synonyms of,
_Abettor_, Synonyms of,
_Abolish_, Synonyms of,
Abstract vs. concrete terms. Also see _Words_
_Acknowledge_, Synonyms of,
_Acquit_, Synonyms of,
_Act_ family
_Active_, Synonyms of,
_Advise_, Synonyms of,
Aeronautics, Familiar terms in,
_Affecting_, Synonyms of,
_Affront_, Synonyms of,
_Afraid_, Synonyms of,
_Ag_ family
_Agnostic_, Synonyms of,
_Allay_, Synonyms of,
_Allow_, Synonyms of,
_Amuse_, Synonyms of,
Analysis. See _Vocabulary_ and _Synonyms_
Analysis, Rhetorical,
Anglo-Saxon words in modern English. See _Native words_
_Anim_ family
_Anni, annu_ family
_Announce_, Synonyms of,
_Answer_, Synonyms of,
_Antipathy_, Synonyms of,
_Artifice_, Synonyms of,
_Ascend_, Synonyms of,
_Ascribe_, Synonyms of,
_Ask_, Synonyms of,
_Associate_, Synonyms of,
_Attach_, Synonyms of,
_Attack_; Synonyms of,
_Audi, auri_ family
Audience, Adapting discourse to,
_Auto_ family
_Awkward_, Synonyms of,

_Bald heads_
_Begin_, Synonyms of,
_Belief_, Synonyms of,
_Belittle_, Synonyms of,
_Bind_, Synonyms of,
_Bit_, Synonyms of,
_Bite_, Synonyms of,
Blood relationships between words.
  Small groups of words so related. Also see _Words_
_Bluff_, Synonyms of,
_Boast_, Synonyms of,
_Body_, Synonyms of,
_Bombastic_, Synonyms of, Books of synonyms, List of,
_Boorish_, Synonyms of,
_Booty_, Synonyms of,
Boys, Kinds of,
_Brand, brun_ family
_Break_, Synonyms of,
_Brittle_, Synonyms of,
_Building_, Synonyms of,
Burke, Edmund. See _Causes for the American Spirit of Liberty_
_Burn_ family
_Burn_, Synonyms of,
_Burn with indignation_
_Busy_, Synonyms of,
_By and by_

_Cad_ family
_Call_, Synonyms of,
_Calm_, Synonyms of,
_Cant_ family
_Cap(t)_ family
_Care_, Synonyms of,
_Careful_, Synonyms of,
_Cart before the horse_,
_Cas_ family
"Castaway, The" (Defoe). Comments and assignments on,
"Causes for the American Spirit of Liberty" (Burke).
  Comments and assignments on,
_Cede, ceed, cess_ family
_Ceive, ceit, cept_ family
_Celebrate_, Synonyms of, Celibates, Verbal,
_Cent_ family
_Cent_ family
_Charm_ (noun), Synonyms of,
_Charm_ (verb), Synonyms of,
_Chant_ family
_Cheat_, Synonyms of,
Child. See _How a child becomes acquainted_, etc.
_Choke_, Synonyms of,
_Choose_, Synonyms of,
_Chron_ family
_Cid_ family
_Cide_ family
_Cip_ family
_Cis(e)_ family
Classes of words, in general, (also see _Words_);
  in your own vocabulary,
Classic words, distinguished from native; in modern English,
_Close the door to_,
_Coax_, Synonyms of,
Coleridge, S. T., Quotation from,
_Color_, Synonyms of,
_Combine_, Synonyms of,
_Comfort_, Synonyms of,
_Complain_, Synonyms of,
_Concise_, Synonyms of,
_Condescend_, Synonyms of,
_Confirm_, Synonyms of,
_Confirmed_, Synonyms of,
_Connect_, Synonyms of,
_Continual_, Synonyms of,
_Continuous, continual_
_Contract_, Synonyms of,
_Copy_, Synonyms of,
_Corp(s)_ family
_Corrupt_, Synonyms of,
_Costly_, Synonyms of,
_Coterie_, Synonyms of,
_Courage_, Synonyms of,
_Course_ family
_Crease, cresce, cret, crue_ family
_Cred, creed_ family
_Critical_, Synonyms of,
_Crooked_, Synonyms of,
_Cross_, Synonyms of,
_Crowd_, Synonyms of,
_Cruel_, Synonyms of,
_Cry_, Synonyms of,
_Cur_ family
_Cure_ family
_Curious_, Synonyms of,
_Cut_, Synonyms of,

_Dainty_, Synonyms of,
_Danger_, Synonyms of,
_Darken_, Synonyms of,
_Dead_, Synonyms of,
_Deadly_, Synonyms of,
_Death_, Synonyms of,
_Decay_, Synonyms of,
_Deceit_, Synonyms of,
_Deceptive_, Synonyms of,
_Decorate_, Synonyms of,
_Decorous_, Synonyms of,
_Deface_, Synonyms of,
_Defeat_, Synonyms of,
_Defect_, Synonyms of,
Definitions, of words; Dictionary vs. informal;
  How to look up in a dictionary,
Defoe, Daniel. See _The Castaway_
_Delay_, Synonyms of,
_Demoralize_, Synonyms of,
_Deny_, Synonyms of,
_Deportment_, Synonyms of,
_Deprive_, Synonyms of,
_Despise_, Synonyms of,
_Despondency_, Synonyms of,
_Destroy_, Synonyms of,
_Detach_, Synonyms of,
_Determined_, Synonyms of,
_Devout_, Synonyms of,
_Dic, dict_ family
Dictionaries, List of; How to use,
_Die_, Synonyms of,
_Difficulty_, Synonyms of,
_Dign_ family
_Dip_, Synonyms of,
_Dirty_, Synonyms of,
_Discernment_, Synonyms of,
Discords, Verbal
Discourse, at first hand; adapted to audience,
_Disease_, Synonyms of,
_Disgraceful_, Synonyms of,
_Disgusting_, Synonyms of,
_Dishonor_, Synonyms of,
_Disloyal_, Synonyms of,
_Dispel_, Synonyms of,
_Dissatisfied_, Synonyms of,
_Divide_, Synonyms of,
_Do_, Synonyms of,
_Doctrine_, Synonyms of,
_Doom, Doomsday_
_Dream_, Synonyms of,
_Dress_, Synonyms of,
"Drift of Our Rural Population Cityward, The" (Editorial),
  Comments and assignments,
_Drink_, Synonyms of,
_Drip_, Synonyms of,
_Drunk_, Synonyms of,
_Dry_, Synonyms of,
_Duc, duct_ family
_Dur(e)_ family

_Early_, Synonyms of,
_Eat_, Synonyms of,
Editorial. See _The Drift of Our Rural Population Cityward_
_Elicit_, Synonyms of,
_Embarrass_, Synonyms of,
_Encroach_, Synonyms of,
_End_, Synonyms of,
_Enemy_, Synonyms of,
_Enni_ family
_Enormity, enormousness_
_Enough_, Synonyms of,
_Entice_, Synonyms of,
_Erase_, Synonyms of,
_Error_ family
_Error_, Synonyms of,
_Estimate_, Synonyms of,
_Eternal_, Synonyms of,
_Eu_ family
_Ex_ family
_Example_, Synonyms of,
_Exceed_, Synonyms of,
_Excuse_, Synonyms of,
_Expand_, Synonyms of,
_Expel_, Synonyms of,
_Experiment_, Synonyms of,
_Explain_, Synonyms of,
Explanation (Exposition)
_Explicit_, Synonyms of,

_Face_, Synonyms of,
_Fact_ family
_Faculty_, Synonyms of,
_Failing_, Synonyms of,
_Fame_, Synonyms of,
Families, Verbal,
_Famous_, Synonyms of,
_Fashion_, Synonyms of,
_Fast_, Synonyms of,
_Fasten_ Synonyms of,
_Fat_, Synonyms of,
_Fate_, Synonyms of,
_Fawn_, Synonyms of,
_Fear_, Synonyms of,
_Feat, fect, feit_ family
_Feign_, Synonyms of,
_Feminine_, Synonyms of,
_Fer_ family
_Fertile_, Synonyms of,
_Fic(e)_ family
_Fiendish_, Synonyms of,
_Fight_, Synonyms of,
_Financial_, Synonyms of,
_Fin(e)_ family
_Fit_, Synonyms of,
_Flag, The_
_Flame_, Synonyms of,
_Flat_, Synonyms of,
_Flatter_, Synonyms of,
_Flect, flex_ family
_Flee_, Synonyms of,
_Fleeting_, Synonyms of,
_Flexible_, Synonyms of,
_Flit_, Synonyms of,
_Flock_, Synonyms of,
_Flock together_
_Flow_, Synonyms of,
_Flu, fluence, flux_ family
_Follow_, Synonyms of,
_Follower_, Synonyms of,
_Fond_, Synonyms of,
_Force_, Synonyms of,
_Foretell_, Synonyms of,
_Fort_ family
Fossils in modern English, List of,
_Found_ family
_Fract, frag_ family
_Frank_, Synonyms of,
Franklin, Benjamin, and _Spectator Papers_,
_Free_, Synonyms of
French and Norman-French words occurring in modern English
_Freshen_, Synonyms of,
_Friendly_, Synonyms of,
_Frighten_, Synonyms of,
_Frown_, Synonyms of,
_Frugal_, Synonyms of,
_Frustrate_, Synonyms of,
_Fug(e)_ family
_Fuse_ family
_Fy_ family

_Game_, Synonyms of,
_Gather_, Synonyms of,
_Gen_ family
General facts and ideas with which acquaintance assumed,
General ideas, as best basis for study of synonyms,
General vs. specific terms. Also see _Words_
Genus and species
_Ger, gest_ family
Germanic words in modern English
_Get_, Synonyms of,
_Get on to_
"Gettysburg Address" (Lincoln); Comments on,
_Ghost_, Synonyms of,
_Gift_, Synonyms of,
_Give_, Synonyms of,
_Glad_, Synonyms of,
_Go out of one's way_
_Good_ family
_Grade_ family
_Gram_ family
_Grand_, Synonyms of,
_Graph_ family
_Gray hair_
Greek prefixes List of,
Greek stems, List of,
Greek words in modern English
_Greet_, Synonyms of,
_Gress_ family
_Grief_, Synonyms of,
_Grieve_, Synonyms of,
_Guard_, Synonyms of,

_Hab_ family
_Habit_, Synonyms of,
_Habitation_, Synonyms of,
_Hale_ family
_Harass_, Synonyms of,
_Harmful_, Synonyms of,
_Haste_, Synonyms of,
_Hate_, Synonyms of,
_Hatred_, Synonyms of,
_Have_, Synonyms of,
_Head foremost_
_Headstrong_, Synonyms of,
_Heal_ family
_Healthful_, Synonyms of,
_Heavy_, Synonyms of,
_Help_ (noun), Synonyms of,
_Help_ (verb), Synonyms of,
_Hesitate_, Synonyms of,
_Hib_ family
_Hide_, Synonyms of,
_High_, Synonyms of,
_Hinder_ Synonyms of,
_Hint_, Synonyms of,
_Hot_ family
_Hole_, Synonyms of,
_Holy_, Synonyms of,
_Hopeful,_ Synonyms of,
_Hopeless_, Synonyms of,
How a child becomes acquainted with the complexity of life and language
_Ig_ family
_Ignorant_, Synonyms of,
Imperfectly understood facts and ideas
_Impolite_, Synonyms of,
_Importance_, Synonyms of,
_Imposter_, Synonyms of,
_Imprison_, Synonyms of,
_Improper_, Synonyms of,
_Impure_, Synonyms of,
_In a minute_
_Inborn_, Synonyms of,
_Incite_, Synonyms of,
_Incline_, Synonyms of,
_Inclose_, Synonyms of,
_Increase_, Synonyms of,
_Indecent_, Synonyms of,
_Insane_, Synonyms of,
_Insanity_, Synonyms of,
_Insipid_, Synonyms of,
_Intention_, Synonyms of,
_Interpose_, Synonyms of,
_Irreligious_, Synonyms of,
_Irritate_, Synonyms of,
_It_ family
"Ivanhoe" (Scott), Quotation from,
_Ject_ family
_Join_, Synonyms of,
_Journey_, Synonyms of,
_Jud_ family
_Jump on_
_Junct_ family
_Jur, jus_ family
_Jure_ family

Key-syllables, Variations in form of; Misleading resemblance between;
  Lists of,
_Kill_, Synonyms of,
_Kind_, Synonyms of,
_Kindle_, Synonyms of,
Kinships between words. See _Blood relationships between words;
  Marriages between words; Words_

_Lack_, Synonyms of,
_Lame_, Synonyms of,
_Large_, Synonyms of,
_Late_ family
Latin prefixes, List of,
Latin stems, List of,
Latin words in modern English. See _Classic words_
_Laugh_, Synonyms of,
_Laughable_, Synonyms of,
_Lead_, Synonyms of,
_Lect, leg_ family
_Lengthen_, Synonyms of,
_Lessen,_ Synonyms of,
_Liberal_, Synonyms of,
_Lie_ (noun), Synonyms of,
_Lie_ (verb), Synonyms of,
_Lig_ family
_Likeness_, Synonyms of,
_Limp_, Synonyms of,
_List_, Synonyms of,
Literal vs. figurative terms and applications. Also see _Words_
_Loc, loco, local, locate_ family
_Locu_ family
_Log_ family
_Look_, Synonyms of,
Loose use of words
_Loquy_ family
_Lose steam_
_Loud_, Synonyms of,
_Love_, Synonyms of,
_Low,_ Synonyms of,
_Loyal_, Synonyms of,
_Luc, lum, lus_ family
_Lude, lus_ family
_Lurk_, Synonyms of,

_Make_, Synonyms of,
_Make one's pile_
_Man_, as a generic term,
_Man, manu_ family
_Mand_ family
_Manifest_, Synonyms of,
_Many_, Synonyms of,
Many-sided words
_Margin_, Synonyms of,
_Marriage_, Synonyms of,
Marriages between words. Also see _Words_
_Masculine_, Synonyms of,
_Matrimonial_, Synonyms of,
_Meaning_, Synonyms of,
_Meet_, Synonyms of,
_Meeting_, Synonyms of,
_Melt_, Synonyms of,
_Memory_, Synonyms of,
_Mercy_, Synonyms of,
_Mere, merely_
_Meter, metri_ family
Military terms, Familiar
_Mis(e), mit_ family
_Misrepresent_, Synonyms of,
_Mix_, Synonyms of,
_Mob_ family
_Model_, Synonyms of,
_Mono_ family
_Mort_ family
_Mot(e)_ family
_Motive_, Synonyms of,
_Move_ family
_Move_, Synonyms of,
_Mot(e)_ family

_Name_, Synonyms of,
_Nat(e)_ family
Native words, distinguished from classic; in modern English,
_Near_, Synonyms of,
_Neat_, Synonyms of,
_Needful_, Synonyms of,
_Negligence_, Synonyms of,
_New_, Synonyms of,
_Nice_, Synonyms of,
_Noble_ family
_Noisy_, Synonyms of,
_Not(e), nor(e)_ family
_Noticeable_, Synonyms of,

_Occupation_, Synonyms of,
_Old_, Synonyms of,
_Ology_ family
_Omen, ominous_
_Order_ (noun), Synonyms of,
_Order_ (verb), Synonyms of,
_Oversight_, Synonyms of,

_Pacify_, Synonyms of,
Pairs, Three types of; Lists of or assignments in; as Synonyms,
_Pale_, Synonyms of,
_Pan_ family
"Parable of the Sower"; Comments and assignments on,
"Parable of the Prodigal Son"; Comments on,
_Part_, Synonyms of,
Parts of Speech, Wrong,
_Pass, path_ family
_Patience_, Synonyms of,
_Pay_ (noun), Synonyms of,
_Pay_ (verb), Synonyms of,
_Ped_ family
_Pend, pense_ family
_Penetrate_, Synonyms of,
_Pet_ family
_Petit, petty_ family
_Petr, peter_ family
_Phil(e)_ family
_Phone_ family
_Pity_, Synonyms of,
_Place_, Synonyms of,
_Plan_, Synonyms of,
_Playful_, Synonyms of,
_Plentiful_, Synonyms of,
_Plic(ate), ply_ family
_Plunder_, Synonyms of,
_Pocket handkerchief_
_Pod_ family
_Poli_ family
_Polite_, Synonyms of,
_Pond_ family
_Pone, pose_ family
_Port_ family
_Portent, portentous_
_Poten(t)_ family
_Poverty_, Synonyms of,
_Prehend_ family
_Pretty_, Synonyms of,
_Prise_ family
_Prob_ family
_Prod up_
_Profitable_, Synonyms of,
_Prompt_, Synonyms of,
_Proud_, Synonyms of,
_Pull_, Synonyms of,
_Pulse_ family
_Punish_, Synonyms of,
_Push_, Synonyms of,
_Put(e)_ family
_Puzzle_, Synonyms of,

_Quarrel_, Synonyms of,
_Queer_, Synonyms of,
Quickly, Dame
Quotations from literature, embodying old senses of words

_Raise_, Synonyms of,
_Rash_, Synonyms of,
Reading Lists
_Rebellion_, Synonyms of,
_Recover_, Synonyms of,
_Reflect_, Synonyms of,
_Regret_, Synonyms of,
_Relate_, Synonyms of,
_Relinquish_, Synonyms of,
_Renounce_, Synonyms of,
_Replace_, Synonyms of,
_Reprove_, Synonyms of,
_Repulsive_, Synonyms of,
_Requital_, Synonyms of,
_Responsible_, Synonyms of,
_Reveal_, Synonyms of,
_Reverence_, Synonyms of,
_Rich_, Synonyms of,
_Ridicule_, Synonyms of,
_Ripe_, Synonyms of,
_Rise_, Synonyms of,
_Robber_, Synonyms of,
_Rog, rogate_ family
_Rogue_, Synonyms of,
_Round_, Synonyms of,
_Rub_, Synonyms of,
_Run_, Synonyms of,
_Rapt_ family
_Rural_, Synonyms of,

_Sad_, Synonyms of,
_Sal, sail_ family
_Satiate_, Synonyms of,
_Say_, Synonyms of,
Scandinavian words in modern English
_Science, scit(e)_ family
_Scoff_, Synonyms of,
Scott, Sir Walter, Quotation from,
_Scribe, script_ family
_Secret_, Synonyms of,
_Sect_ family
_Secu, sequ_ family
_Sed_ family
_See_, Synonyms of,
_Seep_, Synonyms of,
_Sell_, Synonyms of,
_Sens(e), sent_ family
"Seven Ages of Man, The" (Shakespeare); Comments and assignments on,
Shakespeare, William. See _The Seven Ages of Man_
_Shape_, Synonyms of,
_Share_, Synonyms of,
_Sharp_, Synonyms of,
_Shear_ family
_Shine_, Synonyms of,
_Shore_ family
_Shore_, Synonyms of,
_Shorten_, Synonyms of,
_Show_ (noun), Synonyms of,
_Show_ (verb), Synonyms of,
_Shrink_, Synonyms of,
_Shun_, Synonyms of,
_Shy_, Synonyms of,
_Sid(e)_ family
_Sign_ family
_Sign_, Synonyms of,
_Silent_, Synonyms of,
_Simple_, Synonyms of,
_Sing_, Synonyms of,
_Sing another tune_
_Sist_ family
_Skilful_, Synonyms of,
_Skin_, Synonyms of,
_Slander_, Synonyms of,
_Sleep_, Synonyms of,
_Sleepy_, Synonyms of,
_Slovenly_, Synonyms of,
_Sly_, Synonyms of,
_Smell_, Synonyms of,
_Smile_, Synonyms of,
_Smoke in one's pipe_
_Solitary_, Synonyms of,
_Solve, solu_ family
_Song_, Synonyms of,
Sources for modern English, Variety of,
_Sour_, Synonyms of,
_Speak_, Synonyms of,
_Spect, spic(e)_ family
"Spectator Papers, The" (Addison)
_Speech_, Synonyms of,
_Spend_, Synonyms of,
_Spire, spirit_ family
_Spond, spons(e)_ family
_Spot_, Synonyms of,
_Spruce_, Synonyms of,
_Sta, sti_ family
_Stale_, Synonyms of,
_Stay_, Synonyms of,
_Stead_ family
_Steal_, Synonyms of,
_Steep_, Synonyms of,
_Stingy_, Synonyms of,
_Storm_, Synonyms of,
_Straight_, Synonyms of,
_Strain, string, strict_ family
_Strange_, Synonyms of,
_Strike_, Synonyms of,
_Strong_, Synonyms of,
_Struct, stru(e)_ family
_Stubborn_, Synonyms of,
_Stupid_, Synonyms of,
_Suave_, Synonyms of,
_Succeed_, Synonyms of,
_Succession_, Synonyms of,
_Sue_ family
_Sullen_, Synonyms of,
_Sult_ family; Superfluous details,
_Supernatural_, Synonyms of,
_Suppose_, Synonyms of,
_Surprise_, Synonyms of,
_Swearing_, Synonyms of,
Synonyms, Necessity for; Similar not identical in meaning;
  List of books of; How to acquire; Analysis of your use of;
  Progress from the general to the specific;
  Pertinent rather than comprehensive; Lists of, or assignments in,
  (also see _Pairs_)

_Tact_ family
_Tail_ family
_Tain_ family
_Take down a notch_
_Take hold of_
_Take the hide off_
_Take umbrage_
_Talk_ (noun)
_Talk_ (verb), Synonyms of,
_Talkative_, Synonyms of; Tameness,
_Tang_ family
_Teach_, Synonyms of,
_Tear_, Synonyms of,
Telegrams and night letters
_Ten, tent_ family
_Tend, tens, tent, ten_ family
Tennyson, Alfred, Quotation from,
_Term, termin_ family
_Ter(re), terra_ family
_Thank your lucky stars_
_Thesis, theme_ family
_Thoughtful_, Synonyms of,
_Throw_, Synonyms of,
_Throw in the shade_
_Throw out a remark_
_Tin_ family
_Tire_, Synonyms of,
_Tool_, Synonyms of,
Tone, Unity of. See _Discords, Verbal_
_Tort_ family
_Tract, tra(i)_ family
_Trifle_, Synonyms of,
_Trust_, Synonyms of,
_Try_, Synonyms of,
_Tum_ family
_Turb_ family
_Turn_, Synonyms of,

_Ugly_, Synonyms of,
_Unwilling_, Synonyms of,

_Vade, vasion_ family
_Vail, vol(e)_ family
_Veal, veau_
_Vene, vent_ family
_Vers(e), vert_ family
_Vid_ family
_Vince, vict_ family
_Vir_ family
_Vis_ family
_Viv(e)_ family
_Voc, voke_ family
Vocabulary, Ready, wide, or accurate; Speaking or writing;
  Analysis of your own
_Volve, volute_ family

_Walk_. Synonyms of,
_Watchful_, Synonyms of,
Wave (noun), Synonyms of,
Wave (verb), Synonyms of,
_Weak_, Synonyms of,
_Weariness_, Synonyms of,
_Wearisome_, Synonyms of,
_Classes of words, Abstract vs.
_Wet_ (adjective), Synonyms of,
_Wet_ (verb), Synonyms of,
Whim,_ Synonyms of,
Whip, Synonyms of,
Whole_ family
_Wicked_, Synonyms of,
_Wind_, Synonyms of,
_Wind_ (verb), Synonyms of,
_Winding_, Synonyms of,
_Wis, wit_ family
_Wise_, Synonyms of,
_Wonderful_, Synonyms of,
Words, as realities; as instruments; to be learned in various ways;
  like people; in combination; Individual; to learn first; The past of;
  Buried meanings of; Poetry of; Dignified and unassuming;
  Literal, concrete, and specifc; General; Exaggerative; Debased;
  as celibates; related in blood or by marriage;
  examined for relationships; related in meaning; often confused;
  Native and classic; Many-sided; Supplementary list of.
  Also see _concrete terms, Literal vs. figurative terms,
  General vs. specific terms, Slang, Vocabulary, Synonyms, Fossils,
  Loose use of words
_Work_, synonyms of,
_Workman_, Synonyms of,
_Worm in_
_Write_, Synonyms of,
Writing as an aid to memory

_Yearn_, Synonyms of,
Young, Synonyms of,


*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Century Vocabulary Builder" ***

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