The study of English as language is beginning to
find its rightful place, parallel with the study of English
Archbishop Trench and Richard Grant White, in their
works on words, were pioneers in this direction. From
our very position as followers, we cannot claim the originality
of these leaders, but we have the advantage of the
records of late scholarship, far deeper and broader and
more trustworthy than the accepted traditions on which
they based their statements.
This little book is believed to be the first effort to
bring within schoolroom scope and schoolbook form
the latest discoveries of language students about English.
After Trench and White and Skeat, the author
is indebted to Whitney and Emerson ; and Professor
Jackson of Columbia University has most kindly allowed
the use of his table for distinguishing word-origins at
sight (page 46).
Although the book is meant as a stepping-stone from
Grammar to Rhetoric and the History of English
Literature, by means of an elastic set of Topics at the close
of each chapter, original and varied work may be done
by more advanced classes, if desired.
It is the author’s hope that this elementary work
may help toward the time when our boys and girls
shall know more of their English tongue, and shall
feel increasingly the charm and worth of their language
J. M. A.