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The sound of á as in āpe

.Pages 20, 64 32 79 119 133 141

The sound of , as in åt..

21, 65 34

82 | 120 139 141

The sound of ä as in fär.

22, 66 37 87

The sound of a as in all, and of o as in for

22, 67 38 88

The sound of ä as in fast

23, 68 40 89

The sound of â as in fûre.

68 39 89

The sound of ē as in mēte

23, 69 41 90 122 138 141

The sound of as in mot.

24, 71| 43 92 123 139 141

The sound of ė as in her, of į as in bird, of ó as in

word, and of ŭ as in băr.

31, 77 61 116 | 138

The sound of i as in fine

25, 72 46 99 127 138 141

The sound of i as in fin.

26, 73 48 101 128 139 141

The sound of 7 as in note.

27, 74 51 105 132 138 141
The sound of o as in not, and of a as in whạt.

28, 75 53 106 | 133 141 141
The sound of ö as in möve, and of û as in rûde. 29, 75 55 110
The sound of it as in müte..

29, 76 56 111 136 139 141
The sound of ŭ as in būt, and of ò as in love

30, 76 57 113 137 140
The sound of u as in bull, and of . as in wolf..

30, 76 60 118
The sound of ou and of ow as in thou, now.

31, 78 62 118
The sound ef oi and way, as in toil, tpy;.


31, 78 63 118



Adjectives as Synonyins.

.Pages 33–57, 127-131

Nouns as Sylowyms....

58-87, 131-135
Verbs as Synonyms

88-127, 135–137



Pages 150–156










.Pages 167, 168

Note.-In this " Revised Edition" some changes have been made in the arrangement
of a few words in Lessons 81, 89, 90, and 91; and some three or four words have also been
changed in other Lessons.

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight hundred and

sixty-four, by



The present work is designed to carry out the general principles contained in the “Primary Speller," although some of the features of that work have given place in this to others of more importance to the advanced scholar, and to such exercises as better adapt the book to the wants of those schools in which only one Speller is used.

As in the Primary Speller," we have adopted here, mainly, the orthography and pronunciation of Dr. Webster, as contained in the University edition of his Dictionary, edited by Prof. Goodrich. With only a few exceptions, this edition does not differ materially in these particulars from the valuable work of Dr. Worcester. In accordance with both Webster and Worcester, we have designated the sound of u, when preceded by r in the same syllable, as equivalent to oo, so that rûle is pronounced rool, and not rule; although we believe growing usage favors the long sound of u in all words of this class, the same as in mūle, tūne, etc. We would have preferred, in accordance with Johnson, and the early editions of Webster, to give to long u but one sound, as heard in mûte, but the present weight of authority seems to be against it.

In his system of syllabication, Webster aimed to designate the primitive word in all derivative forms: hence he has bak'er, mak'er, rid'er, writ'er, etc., instead of ba'ker, ma'. ker, ri’der, wri'ter, as given by Walker, Worcester, and others. We see no reason to believe that Webster designed his system of syllabication to be carried out in actual oral spelling, although we believe it has been rigidly adhered to in most of the Spelling-books based upon his system of orthography. We have generally endeavored to give that division of words into syllables which best represents their actual syllabication in spoken language, but we have retained the system of Webster when it is not too plainly inconsistent with this usage. To avoid the anomaly of giving to c the sound of 8, when it follows a vowel in the same syllable, we have written ve ră'ci ty, ně'ces sa ry, so li'ci tude, etc., instead of ve rac'i ty, nec'es sa ry, so lic'i tude, as given by Webster. In the marks indicating the sounds of the letters, we have aimed to be sufficiently full and minute where either teacher or pupil could possibly need a guide, but we have not thought it desirable to encumber the text with them where they would be useless, as in the hundreds of cases of c sounded like k, and of 8 like 2, in which the pupil could scarcely, by any possibility, avoid giving the correct sounds.

The following are the leading points in which the present work differs essentially from other Spelling-books.

THE REGULAR SPELLING LESSONS. In the regular spelling lessons, which occupy the larger portion of the work, not only are the words arranged in strict accordance with their accented vowel sounds, but they are further classified under the heads of the different parts of speech to which they belong; and a word which may be used in two or more parts of speech is found under its appropriate heading. Some of the advantages of this latter mode of arrangement are the following:

By habitually associating the words with the offices wkich they perform in written or spoken language, pupils will necessarily gain some considerable knowledge of their meaning and uses; and if, in connection with the spelling lessons, the teacher will frequently direct attention to the definitions of the several parts of speech, not only will this knowledge of words be greatly extended, but the rudimentary principles of English Grammar also will be easily acquired.

Where the same words are classed as belonging to two parts of speech-as being both "nouns and verbs," or "adjectives and nouns," for example-it would be well for the teacher to accustom the pupils to form sentences showing their use in both senses, as illustrated in some of the early lessons.

II. WORDS USUALLY CALLED SYNONYMS. We have taken a large number of the so-called "synonyms" found in our language, and have grouped the words of similar meaning in couplets, triplets, etc., with a brief

phrase or sentence designed to give an example of the appropriate use of each. See the “Exercises” from page 33 to page 137 inclusive.

The design of this arrangement is not only to furnish suitable spelling lessons formed of words used in sentences, and thereby having a meaning attached to them, but also to accustom pupils to the appropriate use of a large class of words in which mistakes most frequently occur, even among good writers. " The great source of a loose style," says Dr. Blair, " is the injudicious use of synonymous terms." If we would guard against this fault, we must early familiarize children to the best usage of this class of words, and by doing this we shall do much to cultivate in them nice discrimination and a correct taste. We have adopted the plan pursued in this work with this end in view, and without at all encroaching upon the usefulness of the book for mere spelling purposes. The plan is very different in principle from the system of arranging synonyms as mutual definers, as has been done by several other compilers of Spelling-books. The following are some of the objections to the system of defining one word by another in a work designed for primary instruction.

1. So far as the pupil is concerned, the word used as a definer frequently needs defining as much as the word defined.

2. When it is considered that there are probably not a dozen words in our language for which we can substitute exact synonyms-that is, words which in all cases will convey precisely the same meaning as the words to be defined, it must be evident that the method of defining by synonyms is exceedingly faulty, as the following examples will show.

Although the words unavoidably and inevitably are given in our dictionaries, and in several Spelling-books, as mutual definers, and are regarded as synonyms, yet it will be found that, in their use in sentences, they can seldom be made to exchange places with propriety. Thus we would say,

He was unavoidably detained ;

He will be inevitably killed ; but it would not be in accordance with good usage to say, “He was inevitably detained ;" “He will be unavoidably killed." Although what is imperceptible is, manifestly, not perceivable, yet we should say,

The imperceptible progress of the siege;

The unperceivable approach of the enemy; meaning, in the one case, that the progress was so slow as to be imperceptible, and, in the other, that the enemy came by such a route that their approach was unperceived by us.

It is true that what is interminable is, from the derivation of the word, without end or limit, yet we should say,

Interminable disputes ;

Illimitable space; and not “interminable space," nor "illimitable disputes."

In one Spelling-book we find the words impregnable and invincible used as mutual definers, and also the words florid and flowery. Good usage would require us to say,

The fortress is impregnable ;
The army is invincible ;
A florid complexion ;

A flowery lawn; but we should not say, “The fortress is invincible," " The army is impregnable;" nor should we say.' A flowery complexion," or "A florid lawn." And even where two words, from their derivation, would seem to be strictly synonymous, each has, generally, its own peculiar application : were it not so there would have been no necessity for both words in the language. Thus daily and diurnal have the same meaning; but usage has made the former the colloquial, and the latter the scientific term. Thus we say “A physician's daily visits," not his diurnal visits; “the earth's diurnal motion," not the earth's daily motion.

But, for further illustrations of the principle, we would refer to all the EXERCISES in synonyms given in the following pages. See especially “Miscellaneous," p. 127-129, in which all the synonymous words are taken from a single page in one of our Spelling-books, where all the couplets are used as mutual definers.

It is not pretended that in no cases can the synonymous words which we have embraced in brackets be made to exchange places with propriety, but that few of them, comparatively, can be thus mutually substituted for each other, and that, in the phrases or partial sentences in which the synonymous terms are exhibited, we have endeavored to conform to the best usage. We believe, moreover, that pupils will acquire a much better knowledge of the shades of meaning of this elass of words by the methods herein indi. cated, than would be obtained by any amount of study given to them as mutual definers --the only way in which they can be studied in our dictionaries or in previous Spellingbooks. The familiarity with synonyms thus acquired will, furthermore, produce this ing him several words of allied meaning to choose from, while, at the same time, it will furnish him an example of the appropriate usage of each. Those who have given instruction in the writing of compositions will appreciate the importance of the aid which this feature of the work will render their pupils. It would be a profitable exercise for advanced pupils to write several complete sentences for each of the words grouped as synonyms, as they would thereby the better learn to apply the distinctions which are briefly illustrated in the book,


(See page 150 to page 166 inclusive.) A third prominent feature of the present work is found in the Defining Lessons, beginning on page 150, embracing a list of common words, each of which has various meanings, or shades of meaning, according to its application. If the pupil should be required to learn the definitions, or varied uses, of any words in the language, he should certainly learn those of the words of this class ; but it is very evident that the prevalent system of defining these words by words is of little practical utility, for the application is still to be learned by the use of the words in sentences. There is, moreover, in the old or dictionary method, the certainty either of encumbering the mind of the pupil with mere words that convey no ideas, or of giving wrong ideas. We will briefly illustrate by examples from the Dictionary.

COUN'SEL, n., advice; opinions; an advocate.
CRAFT, n., artifice; trade; small vessels.

CHARGE, V., to make an onset; to load; to intrust; to set to the account of; to accuse; to command.

Such a variety of meanings, without any application of the words, is enough to confuse any child, and is sufficient to show the absurdity of dictionary definitions for purposes of primary instruction. The object of defining words in this manner, in the dictionary, is that, when the reader finds a word used with a new or peculiar signification (which he generally learns from the context), he may refer to the dictionary to ascertain if this particular usage of the word is authorized. The dictionary is designed to be referred to, for a particular word, only after the word has been met with in reading or conversation. The use of the word grew up before the dictionary was made; and in the instruction of children we should, as far as possible, follow the same order-we should show the use of the word before giving its formal definition, for it is the context only which clearly determines the meaning in any particular instance. In contrast with the word method, or dictionary method of definitions, we give an illustration of the system adopted in the "Defining Lessons" of the present work, using the same words as above.

Coun'sEL, n. We gave him good counsel (advice). Let a man keep his own counsel (opinions; purposes). He was questioned by the plaintiff's counsel (advocate; lawyer).

CRAFT, n. He accomplished his purposes by craft (artifice). He belongs to the craft of masons (trade; occupation). There are many small craft in the river (small vessels).

CHARGE, We charged the nemy (attacked; made an onset upon). We charged our muskets (loaded). The officer was charged with despatches (intrusted). To whom shail we charge the goods ? (as a debt). He is charged with theft (accused of). We charge you to return immediately (command).

It would be a very hard task for a child to learn the several significations of the verb “to charge," as taken from the dictionary, but the lesson becomes at once interesting and profitable when the meaning is first indicated by the use of the word. The latter is the only natural method by which children learn language. In the “ Defining Lessons" the teacher should read aloud the sentences, and require the pupil to tell the meaning of the word to be defined in each. It would also be well for advanced pupils to write other similar sentences, showing the meaning of the word in each, according to the plan given above.

The utility of this system of definitions is quite as marked when it is desired to exhibit shades of meaning, as the following examples will show.

DE LIN'E ATE, V. We delineate their forms with the pencil (sketch; draw). We delineate the virtues of our ancestors (set forth in words).

CLEAR, adj. The way is now clear for him to proceed (unobstructed). It is a clear day (free from clouds). The reason of it is very clear (plain; evident). He is a man of clear judgment (discriminating). He is now clear of debt (free from). He has a clear voice (distinct).

Although delineate means, in both the above cases, “to represent," or " set forth," yet the representation is made in the one case by the pencil, and in the other by words; and these are shades of meaning that could not well be shown without an illustrative use of the word in different sentences. The use of the adjective clear, as above given, illustrates the same principle.

In this connection, we suggest the following for a series of highly interesting and useful lessons in which a superior teacher may exercise his advanced pupils. Let the teacher,

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