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chair and my candle, for every boy has a candlestick, snuffers, and extinguisher of his own.
Your affectionate son,
THOMAS B. MACAULAY.
III. Suggested Time Schedule
Friday (a) Hand in Written Composition. (b) Public Speaking.
IV. Notes and Queries
Macaulay wrote this letter when he was not quite thirteen years old. You can probably do as well, if you try. In order to prepare to do so, answer the following questions:
1. What did Macaulay do when he grew up? If you do not know, tell how you would go to work to find out.
2. What is the subject of the whole letter? Of each paragraph? In your letter use the same paragraph subjects. Instead of your room at home, you may describe your school room.
3. How many simple sentences does the letter contain? Compound? Complex?
4. Explain the construction of: "holiday" (l. 1); "week" (1. 6); "whom" (1. 6); "twice" (1. 8); "hitherto" (1. 12).
5. (a) Had Macaulay been long at Shelford when he wrote this?
(b) What course was he taking?
(c) What did he have to do in English?
(d) Find a simile.
6. Is there any practical good which can come from an exercise like this? If so, what?
V. Oral Composition
Prepare yourself to dictate to the class without notes a letter planned after the model. Be sure that it has four paragraphs, as follows:
1. My Health.
2. My Work.
3. My Play.
4. My Room, Private Refuge, or Den.
If you do a good piece of work, your classmates and teacher will praise you. If you are careless, you may expect a storm of criticism, against which you must defend yourself as well as you
VI. Written Composition
Write your letter, bring it to class, and on entering hand it to your teacher, who will proof-read it and return it to you on Monday. Write with the greatest care. Use black ink. Rewrite your letter until you are sure that it is perfect in form, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammar. Gibbon rewrote the first sentence of his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire no less than thirteen times. Chaucer says:
"There n'is ne werkeman, whatever he be,
One per cent will be deducted from your standing for each mistake in spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, and the other essentials of good usage. If you make more than ten of these you will be required to rewrite your letter. Two
per cent will be deducted for each error in this revision. If you make more than five errors in each one hundred words, you will be required to rewrite your letter a second time. This process of revision will continue until your composition is letter perfect or until your teacher succumbs to old age. The following table of standards is suggested to teachers:
"Diseases desperate grown by desperate appliance are relieved or not at all." SHAKESPEARE.
1 This means that, if the maximum number of errors allowed be exceeded, the composition must be rewritten.
THE RIGHT WAY TO READ
"Genius is only a very great capacity for taking pains."
THE subject of this chapter is the correction of proof. When the type is set in a printing-office, the first impression, called a proof, is sent for correction to an employee called a proof-reader, and then to the editor, or to the author. The mistakes are corrected by means of a system of shorthand which is described in full on Page 2550 of Webster's New International Dictionary.1 In the correction of themes teachers, as far as possible, will use the proof-readers' signs to indicate mistakes. A knowledge of them is a necessary part of a liberal education; and, since thousands of people earn their living by reading proof, it may have a direct vocational value. Moreover, nearly every person is called upon occasionally to read proof.
II. Time Schedule
Write these questions and the answers in ink in your notebook:
What mark signifies
1. Delete or expunge?
2. A space or more space between words, letters, or lines?
1 If dictionaries are scarce, certain members of the club (or class) may be appointed as a committee to find the answers and report them to the others.
3. Less space or no space between words or let ters?
4. Carry a word farther to the left? To the right? 5. Indent?
6. Straighten a margin?
7. Make new paragraphs?
8. Put in italics?
9. Put in small capitals?
10. Put in capitals?
12. Put in small letters a word or letter that is in capitals?
Tuesday and Wednesday
1. Learn the answers to Monday's questions.
2. Dictation and correction, by the signs, of the following verses, which in themselves constitute a system of shorthand. This exercise will also extend through Wednesday.1
AN A-Z (AISY) METHOD FOR MARKING THEMES A is for Accurate; you have not said
Precisely the thing that you had in your head.
B is for Bravo; it means you have won
Your teacher's approval; your work is well done.
1 Every school has, or should have, some system of shorthand to supplement the standard proof-readers' signs. Of these systems it may be said: ""T is with our systems as our watches; no two go just alike, yet each believes his own." These verses constitute such a system, probably neither better nor worse than hundreds of others. Pupils whose teachers use "The A-Z Method" will perceive that the scheme consists in indicating a mistake in grammar by placing a G in the margin of a composition opposite the line containing the error, etc. One letter thus means as much as a whole couplet. The verses at least have the merit of being easily memorized and remembered by pupils and the corrections do not much fatigue a teacher's fingers. It may be added that a standard system of marks universally used would be a blessing to the human race.