Sivut kuvina

but performing a distinct office in the structure of a sentence or of another phrase; as, He sat in his tent. He came in the carriage of a friend.

A SENTENCE is a combination of words which asserts an entire proposition; as,

God said, Let there be light!

It is not all of life to live.

Youth is the season for improvement.


Accent is a stress of voice laid on one or more syllables of a word.

In long words, containing many syllables, two syllables are spoken with greater force than the others. Hence we have two accents, viz: the PRIMARY and the SECONDARY, the former being stronger than the latter.

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PRIMARY ACCENT is marked thus ('); as, man'ly, boy'ish, hap'py. SECONDARY ACCENT is marked thus ( ́), more lightly; as, con' sti-tu' tion, fun' da mentʼal.

Very long words sometimes have a third accent; as, in' ter com mu'nica' tion.

The meaning of many words having the same form, is determined by


Pres' ent, a gift.

Au' gust, a month.

Pre sent', to give.

Au gust', grand.

CHANGED BY CONTRAST. The accent of words is often changed by contrast; as,

Man pro poses, but God dis'poses.

Be con'sistent and persistent.

Weapons of of'fense and de'fense.


Expression is the utterance of written thoughts, feelings and sentiments, in such a manner as to convey them truly and impressively to the hearer.

The general divisions of Expression are as follows:

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Emphasis is a force of voice laid upon some word or words, to intensify their meaning.

EMPHASIS is the chief resource of the reader and the orator, and is capable of gradations as varied and finely shaded as the thoughts and emotions it is used to express.


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Emphatic words are often denoted by being printed in italics; those more emphatic in SMALL CAPITALS; and those still more so, in LARGE CAPITALS.

ABSOLUTE EMPHASIS is the force of voice laid upon a word or words, to show the importance of the idea expressed by it or them; as,

We must obey the laws of health; the penalty of taking poison is death, the penalty of intemperance is misery, DECAY and DEATH.

The terse mandate of God falls loud and clear upon the race,

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Hurrah! for the Union! HURRAH! HURRAH!

The charge is utterly, TOTALLY, MEANLY, false.

They shouted France! SPAIN! ALBION! VICTORY


A succession of important words or phrases, as in the preceding examples, usually requires a gradual increase of emphatic force, but emphasis sometimes falls on the last word of a series only; as,

These misfortunes are the same to the poor, the ignorant, and the weak, as to the rich, the wise, and the powerful.

It is better to be poor, unknown and true, than to be rich, applauded and false.

RELATIVE EMPHASIS is a force of voice laid upon some word or words, to compare or contrast the idea expressed by it or them, with that expressed by some other word or words; as,

He not only talked Christianity, but acted it.

The few shall not forever sway,
The many wail in sorrow!

The powers of Sin are strong to-day,
But Right shall reign to-morrow!

MERE LOUDNESS of tone does not constitute Emphasis. On the contrary, the volume of the voice is often not great enough to express the depth and strength of our feelings, and the emphatic words are spoken with a hiss, or a husky whisper; as,

And whispered with white lips, the foe! they come! THEY COME!

O that I had words to paint in fitting colors the character of a man who could be guilty of an act so mean, and Low, and VILE!

The Emphasis can be moved so as to change the entire meaning of a sentence; as,

Did you attend the Fair to-day?
Did you attend the Fair to-day?
Did you attend the Fair to-day?
Did you attend the Fair to-day?


No, my brother did.

No, I went to the theater.
No, I went yesterday.


Inflection is the bend or slide of the voice, used in reading and speaking.

There are three inflections, as follows:

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THE RISING INFLECTION is the upward slide of the voice; as,

Know ye the land where the cypress and myrtle

Are emblems of deeds that are done in their clime?

THE FALLING INFLECTION is the downward slide of the voice; as,

It requires more courage to live than to die.

THE CIRCUMFLEX is the union of the rising and falling inflections on the same syllable or word, so as to produce a wave of the voice. It may begin with the rising and end with the falling, or begin with the falling and end with the rising inflection.

HOW MARKED. The rising inflection is marked thus ('); and the falling inflection thus (). The rising circumflex is marked thus '); and the falling circumflex thus

NO RULES OF UNIVERSAL APPLICATION can be given for the inflections. A few rules of most general use are inserted below for the guidance of the pupil.


1. DIRECT QUESTIONS, or those that can be answered by yes or no, unless repeated with emphasis, generally take the rising inflection, and their answers the falling; as,

Can pleasure alone satisfy the soul'? No.

2. WHEN REPEATED with emphasis, direct questions take the falling inflection.

3. CARELESS ANSWERS to direct questions take the rising inflection; as,

Will you be at home early? Perhaps'.

4. DISJUNCTIVE OR. Words and clauses connected by the disjunctive or usually take the rising inflection before, and the falling after it; as,

To bé, or not to bè-that's the question.


Did you say valor' or valuè?

Words and clauses connected by or, used conjunctively, generally require the rising inflection after, as well as before it; as Easy or difficult', it must be done at once.

Can you expect to succeed if you are idle', or vicious', or profligate ́ ? Show me that you are possessed of either wisdom', or valor, or virtue', and I will respect you`.

6. THE NAME OF THE PERSON, or object, addressed generally takes the rising inflection; as,

Friends', Romans', countrymen', lend me your ears.

Ye hills', and dales', ye rivers', woods' and plains',
Tell, if ye saw, how came I here`?

7. WHEN REPEATED WITH EMPHASIS, such words generally take the falling inflection.

8. WHEN A PAUSE IS REQUIRED by the meaning, and the sense is not complete, the rising inflection is generally used: as,

He tried each art', reproved each dull delay',
Allured to brighter worlds', and led the way`.

9. TENDER EMOTION, such as grief, pity, kindness, gentle joy, and mild entreaty, commonly requires the rising inflection; as,

Ring out wild bells, to the wild sky',
The flying cloud, the frosty light';
The year is dying in the night;

Ring out, wild bells, and let him die'.

I am sorry, mother', that I disobeyed you'.

REMEMBER that the rising inflection is often very slight, so that, in fact, the voice is merely suspended, rather than raised.


1. INDIRECT QUESTIONS, or those which cannot be answered by yes or no, generally take the falling inflection, and their answers the same; as, Where are you going now? To the office`.

How far is it from New York to San Francisco`?

2. WHEN REPEATED, however, indirect questions expect a brief and immediate answer, like direct questions, and therefore take the rising inflection;


Where did you say'? How far'?

3. THE LANGUAGE OF COMMAND, surprise, exclamation, anger, terror, and, in fact, all strong emotion, requires the falling inflection; as,

Command. Draw`, archers', draw your arrows to the head!

Surprise. Well`! who would have thought` it!

Exclamation. 'Tis he'! 'tis he'! I know him well`!

Anger. Begone! my soul abhors' thee!

Terror. The foe`! they come`! they come`!

4. The falling inflection is generally proper wherever the sense is complete, whether at the end of a sentence or not; as,

We sped the time with stories old`,

Wrought puzzles out`, and riddles told.

5. WHEN NEGATION is opposed to affirmation, the former takes the rising, and the latter the falling inflection, whether the negation comes first or not; as,

I said an elder` soldier, not a better'.

6. IN CONTRAST AND ANTITHESIS, the inflections alternate, in order to set forth the contrast distinctly; as,

And it shall be, as with the people', so with the priest; as with the servant', so with the master`; as with the maid', so with her mistress`; as with the buyer', so with the seller`; as with the lender', so with the borrower`; as with the taker' of usury, so with the giver` of usury to him.

7. A GENERAL RULE for the use of the rising and falling inflections at the end of members and smaller sections of sentences may be stated thus: In all loose, complex, and compound sentences whatever, those members which have the sense incomplete, or are dependent on something following, should have the rising inflection; and all those which have the sense finished and completed, or are independent of anything that follows, require the falling inflection.

8. THE EFFECT of strong emphasis usually is to give the falling inflection to words and clauses affected by the emphasis, when they would otherwise take the rising inflection. The case of direct questions when repeated comes under this rule, as the repetition of a question is commonly, if not invariably, accompanied with emphasis.


THE CIRCUMFLEX is used when the language is not sincere or earnest, but is employed in jest, ridicule, sarcasm or mockery. The falling circumflex is used in cases that would otherwise require the falling inflection; the rising circumflex in cases that would otherwise require the rising inflection;

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Who ever thought that Smith would become a poet!

He had a fever when he was in Spain,

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