161. Errors in Speaking.--There are several kinds of errors in speaking. The most objectionable of them are those in which words are employed that are unsuitable to convey the meaning intended. Thus, a person wishing to express his intention of going to a given place, says, "I propose going," when, in fact, he purposes going. The following affords an amusing illustration of this class of error:- A venerable matron was speaking of her son, who, she said, was quite stage-struck. "In fact," remarked the old lady, "he is going to a premature performance this evening!" Considering that most amateur performances are premature, it cannot be said that this word was altogether misapplied; though, evidently, the maternal intention was to convey quite another meaning.
162. Other Errors Arise from the substitution of sounds similar to the words which should be employed; that is, spurious words instead of genuine ones. Thus, some people say, "renumerative," when they mean "remunerative." A nurse, recommending her mistress to purchase a perambulator for her child, advised her to purchase a peramputator!
163. Other Errors are Occasioned by imperfect knowledge of the English grammar: thus, many people say, "Between you and I," instead of "Between you and me." And there are numerous other departures from the rules of grammar, which will be pointed out hereafter.
164. By the Misuse of the Adjective: "What beautiful butter!" "What a nice landscape!" They should say "What a beautiful landscape!" "What nice butter!" Again, errors are frequently occasioned by the following causes:-
165. By the Mispronunciation of Words. Many persons say pronounciation instead of pronunciation; others say pro-nun'-she-a-shun, instead of pro-nun-ce-a-shun.
166. By the Misdivision of Words and syllables. This defect makes the words an ambassador sound like a nambassador, or an adder like a nadder.
167. By Imperfect Enunciation, as when a person says hebben for heaven, ebber for ever, jocholate for chocolate, &c.
168. By the Use of Provincialisms, or words retained from various dialects, of which we give the following examples:-
169. Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Suffolk, &c.--Foyne, twoyne, for fine, twine; ineet for night; a-mon for man; poo for pull.
170. Cumberland, Scotland, &c.--Cuil, bluid, for cool, blood; spwort, scworn, whoam, for sport, scorn, home; a-theere for there; e-reed, seeven, for red, seven; bleedin' for bleeding; hawf for half; saumon for salmon.
171. Devonshire, Cornwall, &c.--F-vind for find; fet for fetch; wid for with; zee for see; tudder for the other; drash, droo, for thrash, and through; gewse for goose, &c.
172. Essex, London, &c.--V-wiew for view; vent for went; vite for white; ven for when; vot for what. Londoners are also prone to say Toosday for Tuesday; noomerous for numerous; noospaper for newspaper, &c.
173. Hereford, &c.--Clom for climb; hove for heave; puck for pick; rep for reap; sled for sledge.
174. Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, &c.--Housen for houses; a-loyne for lane; mon for man; thik for this; brig for bridge; thack, pick, for thatch, pitch.
175. Yorkshire, &c.--Foyt for foot; foight for fight; o-noite, foil, coil, hoil, for note, foal, coal, hole; loyne for lane; o-nooin, gooise, fooil, tooil, for noon, goose, fool, tool; spwort, scworn, whoam, for sport, scorn, home; g-yet for gate.
176. Examples of Provincial Dialects.--The following will be found very amusing:-
177. The Cornish Schoolboy.--An ould man found, one day, a young gentleman's portmantle, as he were going to es dennar; he took'd et en and gived et to es wift, and said, "Malle, here's a roul of lither, look, see, I suppose some poor ould shoemaker or other have los'en; tak'en, and put'en a top of the teaster of tha bed; he'll be glad to hab'en agin sum day, I dear say." The ould man, Jan, that was es neame, went to es work as before. Mally then opened the portmantle, and found en et three hunderd pounds. Soon after thes, the ould man not being very well, Mally said, "Jan, I'ave saaved away a little money, by the bye, and as thee caan't read or write, thee shu'st go to scool" (he were then nigh threescore and ten). He went but a very short time, and comed hoam one day and said, "Mally, I waint go to scool no more, 'caase the childer do be laffen at me: they can tell their letters, and I caan't tell my A, B, C, and I wud rayther go to work agen." "Do as thee wool," ses Mally. Jan had not been out many days, afore the young gentleman came by that lost the portmantle, and said, "Well, my ould man, did'ee see or hear tell o'sich a thing as a portmantle?" "Portmantle, sar, was't that un, sumthing like thickey?" (pointing to one behind es saddle). I vound one the t'other day zackly like that." "Where es et?" "Come along, I carr'd'en and gov'en to my ould 'ooman, Mally; the sha't av'en, never vear.--Mally, where es that roul of lither I broft en tould thee to put en a top o' the teaster of the bed, afore I go'd to scool?" "Drat thee emperance," said the young gentleman, "thee art bewattled; that were afore I were born." So he druv'd off, and left all the three hundred pounds with Jan and Mally.
178. Yorkshire.--Men an' women is like so monny cards, played wi' be two oppoanents, Time an' Eternity; Time gets a gam' noo an' then, and hez t'pleasure o'keepin' his cards for a bit, bud Eternity's be far t'better hand, an' proves, day be day, an' hoor be hoor, 'at he's winning incalcalably fast.--"Hoo sweet, hoo varry sweet is life!" as t'flee said when he wur stuck i'treacle!
179. Effect of Provincialisms.--Persons bred in these localities, and in Ireland and Scotland, retain more or less of their provincialisms; and, therefore, when they move into other districts, they become conspicuous for their peculiarities of speech. Often they appear vulgar and uneducated, when they are not so. It is, therefore, desirable for all persons to approach the recognised standard of correctness as nearly as possible.
180. Correction of Errors in Speaking.--To correct these errors by a systematic course of study would involve a closer application than most persons could afford, and require more space than we can devote to the subject. We will therefore give numerous Rules and Hints, in a concise and simple form, which will be of great assistance to inquirers. These Rules and Hints will be founded upon the authority of scholars, the usages of the bar, the pulpit, and the senate, and the authority of societies formed for the purpose of collecting and diffusing knowledge pertaining to the language of this country.