BUSINESS CORRESPONDENCE LETTER No. 1.
LETTER, No. 2.
LETTER .No. 4.
LETTER No. 5.
LETTER No. 6.
LETTER No. 7.
LETTER No. 8.
LETTER No. 9.
LETTER No. 10.
LETTER No. 11.
The following specimen of short word composition is from an address delivered by-the late Hon. Horatio Seymour, at-a State Convention of School Superintendents, held quite a number-of years-ago at-the City-of Utica, in-the State-of-New-York :
Through life we-will teach and we-will learn. This world is-a great school-house, where we-find out what-is good and what-is evil, and-thus get ready to act in some-other sphere. What we-are at-the end of-this life we-shall-be when-the next begins. We-must spare no pains then when-we teach others or ourselves. We-teach ourselves in-our thoughts, others by our words. We-must take-care that-we-think and speak in-a-way so clear that we-do-not cheat or mislead ourselves by vague and hazy ideas. To-save us from this we-must learn to-think in words. We-must get a habit of using them in thought with-the same care which-we use when-we speak or write toothers. Words give a body and form to-our thoughts, without-which they-are apt to-be so vague and dreamy that we-do-not see where they-are weak or false. If-we put them into-a body of words we-will as-a-rule learn how-much-of truth there-is in-them. When they-are in-that form we-can turn them over in-our minds. If-we write them out we-find that in many-cases, when-we put them to-this test, the ideas we-thought we-had hold-of seem to-fade away. But if-they prove to-be real and-of value, they-are thus not-only made clear to-us, but they-are in-such-a shape that we-can make them clear toothers. When our ideas float in-our minds in-a hazy way, and we-are in doubt about-them, if-we talk with others, as-a-rule our doubts are solved by-the fact that when-we state them in-a-clear way we-see the truth at-once. In most cases what we-say to-others, not what they say to-us, when-we consult them, settles our doubts. We-must-not only think in words, but we-must also try to-use-the best words, and-those which in-speech will put most clearly what-is in-our minds into-the minds of-others. This-is-the great art to-be gained by-those who wish to-teach in-the school, the church, at-the bar, or through-the press. To-do this in-the right way, they should as-a-rule use-the short words which-we learn in early life, and-which-have the same sense to-all classes of men. They-are-the best for-the teacher, the orator, and-the poet.
If-you-will look-at what-has-been said in prose or in verse that comes down to-us through many years — things which-have struck all minds and-that men most quote — you-will-find that they-are in short words of-our-own tongue. Count them in Gray's "Elegy," which all love to-read, and you-will-find that they make up a large share of-all that-he uses. The English of-our Bible is good, but now-and-then some long words are found and-they always hurt-the verse in-which you-find them. Take-that which-says "Oh ye generation of vipers-who hath warned you to-flee from-the wrath to come ? " There-is one long word which ought-not to-be in-it, namely, "generation." In-the older version the word '' brood " is used. Read the verse again with-this term and you-feel its full force. When Daniel Webster made a speech he used to-tell those who put it in form for-the press to-strike-out every long word. If-you-will study the things he-said or wrote you-will-find they-were mainly made up of short, clear, strong terms, although he sometimes used those of length for-the-sake-of sound. No-other man could paint with-such words as-well-as he. He-could draw out a scene so well that-those-who heard him felt that they themselves had seen that of-which he spoke.
The use-of long words which we-get from other tongues not-only makes our thoughts and-our speech dim and hazy, but it-has-done somewhat to harm the morals of-our people. Crime sometimes does-not look-like crime when-it-is set before-us in-the many folds of-a long word. When-a man steals and we-call-it " defalcation," we-are at-a loss to know if-it-is a blunder or a crime. If-he does-not tell the truth and we-are-told that it-is a case of " prevarication," it takes us some-time to know just what we-should think of-it. No man will ever cheat himself into wrong-doing, nor will he be at-a loss to judge of-others, if-he thinks and speaks of acts in clear, crisp English terms. It-is a good rule when one is at-a loss to know if-an act is right-or-wrong, to-write it down in short, straight out English. It-may-be-said that if-you carry this thing too far we-may cramp ourselves too-much ; that our language has-been made rich by what it-has gained from others, and-that we-ought-not to-lose the use-of words which-we need to-give shades of meaning, or for scientific purposes. All-that-is true, but still we-should take-care to make our-own tongue the groundwork of-our thought and speech. Many things are gained by doing so. He who will try to-use short words and to-shun long ones will in-a-little-while not-only find that he-can do-so with ease, but that it-will also make-him more ready in-the use-of words of Greek or Latin origin when-he needs them. If-he tries to-write in words of one syllable he-will-find that he-will run through his mind a-great-many words to-get those he needs. While he may-not at-the-time use them, yet they-are brought to-his mind in-his search for-those that-he wants. It-is a good way to-learn words of-all kinds. When-a man is in search-of one fact he-may-be led to-look at every book in-his library, and-thus he learns many things. There-is-another gain when-we try to-use only short words, to-bring them in and keep all others out : we-have to-take a-great-many views of-the topic about-which we-write. In-this-way we-find that-we bring to-our minds a-great-many new thoughts and ideas that would-not otherwise spring up.