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the allowance shall be exhausted. They never speak of an advertisement without the affectation of calling it an “ad."; nor of the elevated railroad, but always “the L”; nor of the president of a college but to call him “ Prex.” If they would save some of the volumes of breath that they waste on unnecessary words, they would have enough to speak with fulness and elegance those that they now ruin by abbreviation. Practically, no time is saved by abbreviations in speech. In writing, some conventional abbreviations are so firmly established, and so universally understood, that they have almost taken the place of the full word—in the names of the months, for example. But, with the exception of such, nearly all are to be condemned. “Christmas

is a handsome word, but all its beauty disappears in “Xmas." Perhaps the most inexcusable of all abbreviations is “ Jno.” for John. It ruins the appearance of a fine name, and it does not even save a fraction of a second or a particle of ink in writing. From the craze for abbreviation has sprung a vicious practise in the dating of letters, substituting the number of the month for its name. It is vicious because of the lack of uniformity in the order of the figures. Some indicate first the month and then the day; others the day and then the month; so that when we find a letter dated" 4, 7, '98” we do not know whether it was written on the 4th of July or on the 7th of April. Technical abbreviations may be used properly in commercial correspondence, but it is a sheer affectation to introduce them in other literature. Except in the registry of vessels, "AI" is an indefensible vulgarism; and C/o is excusable only when the envelope is so small that there is not room to write “In care of.” Many have laughed at the reverend lady who, being asked to open a convention with prayer, besought the Lord to "bless the Y. M. C. A. and bless the W. C. T. U.," but she was only carrying a little farther the habit of many who smiled at her petition, and she was more reasonable than they, for mortals do not always understand the abbreviations that are addressed to them.

One persistent abbreviation is a blot upon the typography wherever it appears in print; this is MS. or MSS. It is true that manuscript is a long word; but after spelling out correspondence, consequential, and unconstitutionality, why should the writer or the printer always assume that a particular word of ten letters must be represented by two or three clumsy capitals?

Photograph is a dignified and distinctive word that never should give place to the senseless and inelegant abbreviation photo. If any reason other than good taste is required, it need only be remembered that the Greek photo forms a part of sev

eral other English words as well as of the word photograph.

About.—The superfluous use of this word is seen in such expressions as about eight or ten dollars,"

about twenty-five or thirty miles.” If two sums or distances are mentioned, the inexactness or uncertainty is already expressed, without the word about. Say about eight dollars or about ten dollars or about nine dollars, or say “ eight or ten dollars.” A reviewer in one of our dignified journals writes of Russell's Recollections of Scott, “He begins by telling that he was about eight or nine years old when any emotion was excited in him by poetry.” The inelegant use of the word is seen in the expressions “That piece of work is about finished," " My vacation is about ended," " That is about the hardest

, lesson in the book." The correct expressions in place of these would probably be: “That piece of work is practically (or virtually) finished," "My vacation is nearly ended,” “That is perhaps (or probably) the hardest lesson in the book.” This use of the word is also illogical, for about comprehends both sides of the point mentioned. A piece of work might lack a little of completion, but it could not be a little more than complete.

Above. This word should not be used in the sense of “ more than.” Do not say, “ The çlispeak was above twenty miles,” or that it wa: word means

ty miles.” Say it was “more than twenty miles.” There is a much more objectionable use of the word as a noun or an adjective, as seen in the common forms of expression, “ According to the above, the time must have been winter,” and “ All the above gentlemen were present." The correct expressions would be: “According to the statement given above, the time must have been winter," and " All the gentlemen named above were present,” “ The above-named gentlemen ” would be grammatical, but less elegant. Charles Reade, on the last page of Love Me Little, Love Me Long, writes, “ Four years after the above events two ladies were gossiping.” The expression “over and above" is certainly

pleonastic, but it appears to have the defense of immemorial usage.

Adjectives.—The superfluous use of adjectives is one of the commonest faults of speech. Every day we read sentences like this: “He is a young man twenty-three years of age.” If the number of his

years is mentioned, the reader will perceive how young he is, without being told specifically that he is young. And again: "He died at the ripe old age of eighty-nine.” The reader may be presumed o know that eighty-nine is a ripe old age. Expresthan like this are occasionally excusable in con. bered that it never in writing. It may be doubted

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that “ She's a widow woman, her husband's dead is pardonable even in rapid conversation. In talking, one sometimes utters half of a sentence and then perceives that it might better have had another form, or that more specific information is called for than the generalization with which he has begun. It is then better to make the latter half of the sentence what it should be, though this may render the sentence faulty as a whole, than to recall the words already spoken and begin again. But in writing the sentence should be corrected or reconstructed.

The most reprehensible use of adjectives is seen in their substitution for nouns. In most cases this arises from the universal, unreasonable passion for abbreviations. It is common to speak of " sending a postal," when a postal card is meant. Once when a conductor was asked why the train was detained at the top of the pass, he answered, “ To inspect the air." The traveler wondered several minutes what the trainmen intended to do about the rarefied atmosphere on the mountains when they had finished the inspection, and then learned that he meant to convey the idea that they were inspecting the airbrakes before descending the steep grade. At least two travelers, men of eminence, in mentioning a visit to the famous fair at Nijni-Novgorod, speak of the town as simply “Nijni.” That word means

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