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These canons are followed, somewhat incongruously, by the statement (I, 404-05) that "the want of etymology, whatever be the opinion of some grammarians, cannot be reckoned a sufficient ground for the suppression of a significant term which hath come into good use. . . . No absolute monarch hath it more in his power to nobilitate a person of obscure birth, than it is in the power of good use to ennoble words of low or dubious extraction; such, for instance, as have either arisen, nobody knows how, like fib, banter, bigot, fop, flippant, among the rabble, or like flimsy, sprung from the cant of manufacturers." But this statement is immediately qualified (I, 406): "It ought, at the same time, to be observed, that what hath been said on this topic, relates only to such words as bear no distinguishable traces of the baseness of their source; the case is quite different in regard to those terms, which may be said to proclaim their vile and despicable origin, and that either by associating disagreeable and unsuitable ideas, as bellytimber, thorowstitch, dumbfound; or by betraying some frivolous humour in the formation of them, as transmogrify, bamboozle, topsyturvy, pellmell, helterskelter, hurlyburly. These may all find a place in burlesque, but ought never to show themselves in any serious performance." Though bellytimber and thorowstitch are now as dead as Campbell could have wished them to be and transmogrify and bamboozle are still avoided "in any serious performance," the other words are in at least good colloquial use and no purist today would object to dumbfound and pellmell.
Under the general heading of " Grammatical Purity" Campbell devoted a considerable section (I, 410-29) to "Barbarisms." Concerning his first class of barbarisms-obsolete terms he stated (I, 411): "We ought, therefore, not only to avoid words, that are no longer understood by any but critics and antiquarians, such as hight, cleped, uneath, erst, whilom; we must also, when writing in prose and on serious subjects, renounce the aid of those terms, which, though not unintelligible, all writers of any name have now ceased to use. Such are behest, fantasy, tribulation, erewhile, whenas, peradventure, selfsame, anon." His excellent presentation of objections (I, 412-17) to barbarisms of his second class-" words wholly new "-is illustrated especially by importations from the French; among these he condemns connoisseur, reconnoitre, and sortie. Of one who should undertake to introduce foreign terms,
he declared: "If he should not be followed in the use of those foreign words which he hath endeavoured to usher into the language, if they meet not with a favourable reception from the Public, they will ever appear as spots in his work. Such is the appearance which the terms opine, ignore, fraicheur, adroitness, opiniatry, opiniatrety, have at present in the writings of some ingenious men." In the case of both these varieties of barbarism, exception can hardly be taken against Campbell's statement of principle; and yet today just as little can exception be taken against many of the individual words he condemned.
Appearing somewhat out of place in his discussion of the third division of barbarisms-"new formations and compositions, from primitives in present use "-was Campbell's (I, 422 ff.) effective and extremely sensible statement of objections to a pedantic reformation of terms once foreign but later completely naturalized in order to bring them in spelling or pronunciation nearer "to the original names as they appear in the language from which these words were taken." And yet despite his arguments against such preciosity, arguments that would be held perfectly valid at any time, several of the reformations to which he objected have displaced words once apparently well grounded in use. Among these intruders, Mohammed, Mohammedan are today much more generally employed than are Mahomet, Mahometan, Moslem than Mussulman, and Koran than Alcoran. Further, dervish and pasha, clearly deriving from the newer dirvesh and pacha which Campbell attacked have displaced the older dervis and bashaw which he defended. Of the forms Campbell cited as the more familiar in his day, only Zoroaster, Confucius, and hegira have maintained themselves against Zerdusht, Con-fut-cee, and hejra.
The section on "improprieties" (I, 456-87) contains a number of precise discriminations between words sometimes inaccurately used one for the other, a section in the main as serviceable today as it was a century and a half ago. Among these, however, are two or three distinctions no longer observed-as, indeed, they were not generally when Campbell made them. One of these (I, 457) is a distinction between sophist, "a teacher of philosophy in ancient
• Mohammedism, which Campbell gave as the pedantically newer equiva lent of Mahometism, after having been slightly altered to Mohammedanism has become the current term.
Greece," and sophister, "a specious but false reasoner "; at present sophister is little used, and sophist is usually employed in the sense Campbell assigned to sophister. Again (I, 471) he urged the retention of the old plural enow, to be distinguished from enough: "Enough is frequently confounded with enow, and used for it. Both denote sufficiency, the former in quantity or in degrees of quality, the latter in number. Thus we say properly, 'We have courage enough, and ammunition enough; but we have not men enow.'" In this distinction he had been anticipated by Priestley, who stated (p. 73) that "we say enough with respect to quantity, which is singular; and enow with respect to number, which is plural," and gave illustrations of enow from Addison and Hume. Webster (p. 68) stated that "enow in the plural is still used by some writers, particularly the Scotch; but enough is now generally used in both numbers." One other of Campbell's objections was directed against two idiomatic usages current in his day and ever since. He stigmatized them (I, 469-70) under the head of "vulgarism, in which only a low and partial use can be pleaded in support of the application that is made of a particular word." The first was "speaking to the following points," quoted from the Guardian; the second, the use of it "made sometimes to follow neuter verbs, as in the following passage: 'He is an assertor of liberty and property; he rattles it out against popery and arbitrary power... "" quoted from Swift's Project for the Advancement of Religion. Priestley (p. 86) had noted this use of it, but had merely stated that sometimes it "connects so closely with the verb, that it seems only to modify its meaning, and not to have any separate signification of its own." Webster, obviously following Priestley, stated (p. 68): "Sometimes it seems to coalesce with the verb in sense."
In two further groups of particulars usage has gone counter to Campbell's pronouncements. The first comes under his discussion of mixed figures of speech, or "catachresis" (II, 225): "There are a few phrases which come under the same denomination, and which, though favored by custom, being quite unnecessary, deserve
"Webster's statement as to the dialectical character of the use of enow is undoubtedly correct. This form was probably familiar to Priestley, a "north country" man, and to Campbell, a Scotchman, after it had become practically obsolete in standard English.
to be exploded. Such, amongst others, are the following a man of war for a ship of war; and a merchantman for a trading vessel. The absurdity in the last two instances is commonly augmented by the words connected in the sequel, in which, by the application of the pronouns she and her, we are made to understand that the man spoken of is a female. I think this gibberish ought to be left entirely to mariners, amongst whom, I suppose, it hath originated." The second comes under the discussion of pleonasm (II, 280-81): "As there are some single words, which have I know not what air of tautology, there are some also which have a pleonastic appearance. Such are the following, into, until, selfsame, foursquare, devoid, despoil, disannul, oftentimes, nowadays, downfall, furthermore, wherewithal; for to, till, same, square, void, spoil, annul, often, now, fall, further, wherewith. . . . It would not be right to preclude entirely the use of them in poetry, where the shackles of metre render variety more necessary, but they ought to be used very sparingly, if at all, in prose." It is of course unnecessary to call attention to the fact that most of these words are in perfectly good prose use today.
Several of the observations upon usage made in the grammars of Lowth, Priestley, and Webster have already been quoted in connection with Campbell's statements. Some few other instances remain to be noted in which the preferred practice of today differs from that indicated by these authorities. That they are not more numerous is probably due to the fact that these writers, Lowth and Webster especially, were primarily interested in the grammatical structure of the language rather than in questions of propriety in word or phrase. Priestley's "Notes and Observations," it is true, make up a large part of his work, but they deal much more with peculiarities of syntax than with questions of usage in any restricted sense.8
As might be expected, Priestley was much more the scientific observer of English as actually used than were Lowth and Campbell and Webster. As a result, in several particulars he anticipated the grammarians of the present day. For example, so far as I have found, he was the first to recognize in English the passive force of the active verb form in certain expressions. His statement (p. 111) is: "In some very familiar forms of speech, the active seems to be put for the passive form of verbs and participles. I'll teach you all what's owing to your queen. Dryden. The books continue selling, i. e. upon the sale, or to be sold. It may be
Lowth, in discussing irregular comparison, in a footnote (p. 43) to little, less, least, quoted with approval Dr. Johnson's condemnation of lesser: "Lesser, says Mr. Johnson, is a barbarous corruption of Less, formed by the vulgar from the habit of terminating comparisons in er." Lowth added: "Worser sounds so much more barbarous, only because it has not been so frequently used." Priestly, on the contrary, defended lesser (p. 75): "The word lesser, though condemned by Mr. Johnson, and other English grammarians, is often used by good writers." In support of this form he cited two instances from Smollett's Voltaire.
Priestley's statements concerning the formation of certain plurals are not wholly in keeping with the usage urged today. In the case of such compounds as handful he observed (pp. 58-59) that for the plural "some would say two hands full; others, two handfuls." He did not undertake to decide which was preferable. In considering the plural of a name with a prefixed title, he stated (p. 59): "When a name has a title prefixed to it, as Doctor, Miss, Master, &c., the plural termination affects only the latter of the two words; as the two Doctor Nettletons, the two Miss Thomsons; tho' a strict analogy would plead for the alteration of the former word, and lead us to say, the two Doctors Nettleton, the two Misses Thomson; for if we supplied the ellipsis, we should say, the two Doctors of the name of Nettleton; . . . and I remember to have met with this construction somewhere, either in Clarissa or Sir Charles Grandison; but I cannot now recollect the passage." In the case of handful, Webster, as usual, was very positive (p. 67): "It appears to me as plain as two shoemakers, or two shoes maker. The word handful is a noun, the name of a certain quantity, and the sign of the plural ought to be added to the termination. Two handsful does not convey the idea; it means two separate hands filled; whereas two handfuls means twice the quantity that the
supposed, that this instance is a contracted form of speaking, the word ending in ing, being a noun and the preposition being understood; so we may say, the brass is forging; i. e. at the forging, or in the act of forging.” Nor have I encountered any earlier recognition of the pronominal, proadjectival, pro-adverbial use of so (p. 137): "The word so has, sometimes, the same meaning with also, likewise, the same; or rather it is the equivalent to the universal pronoun le in French. They are happy; we are not so, i. e. not happy."