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words of a sacred writer) was not made for man: the passage so inserted is also called a parenthesis; and, in reading, should be run through more quickly, and in a modulated tone; so that its beginning and its end may be distinctly marked.
A paragraph contains one distinct subject; and may consist of one or more sentences. It begins a little farther from the left margin, and generally ends with a break in the line. In the old style of printing, every paragraph was denoted by a blotted P reversed (T); but this mark is retained now only in the Bible.
A sentence is a simple enunciation of thought it begins with a capital letter, and generally ends with a period; and the sentence itself is also called a period. A simple sentence contains but one subject, and one finite verb; as, John reads. A compound sentence is two or more simple sentences, joined by conjunctions, adverbs or relative pronouns, either expressed or understood; as, Wisdom's ways are the ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
PAUSES UNNOTED BY POINTS-"DIVISIONS OF SENSE "BARS-SYLLABLES
BESIDES those pauses denoted by grammatical punctuation-which are always strictly to be regarded-a good reader makes nearly as many others, though generally
more slight, where there is nothing to guide him but his own taste and judgment; e. g., Early rising | will add many years to your life.
This sentence is so compact as not to suffer a comma to separate any of the words; and yet, to read it properly, we must make, where the faint lines are drawn, two slight suspensions of the voice.
In copying out colloquial utterance, the words flow forth sometimes singly, sometimes in groups, just as they happen to be more or less separated, or associated in meaning. To render this principle plainer and more easily applicable in practice, I propose to name every distinct portion of utterance that requires a suspension of the voice, a division; and the upright lines with which they will be occasionally separated to show these suspensions, I shall call bars and half bars. The half bar (), coming down only to the line, will show the slightest suspension; and a bar (|), crossing the line, will show one twice as great; and two or more bars together, will show a suspension still greater in proportion; e. g., He who loves study will become wise. Now is the time | to secure an education. Truth | is the basis of moral character. The experience of want | enhances the value of prosperity. From the right exercise of our intellectual powers | arises one of the chief sources of our happiness. A public speaker | may have a voice that is musical and of great compass, but it requires much time and labor to attain its just modulation | and that variety of inflection and tone | which a pathetic discourse requires.
In these examples, where the divisions are marked by
bars and half bars, it may be perceived that in order to read each group with sprightliness, one of the syllables in the group must be pronounced higher than any of the rest, and some lower, and some without accent; and to make the transition from one division to another with smoothness, the last word of each must be so dwelt upon by the voice, as to slide with ease into the first syllable of the division which follows, without any abruptness, or harshness of tone.
These divisions consist of impulses and remissions; and they follow each other as naturally, as the exhaling and inhaling of the breath: every impulse swells or vanishes into the remitted syllable that follows: as in the word comprehensibility. The first impulse is on com, the second on hen, the third-the principal one-is on bil; and each of these is followed by a remission of one syllable, except the principal, which is followed by two. In the word incomprehensibleness, we notice the first impulse to be followed by two syllables of remission, and the second, which is the principal, by three. Hence it is perceived, that the nearer the principal impulse is to the first part of a word, the more forcible it becomes, and the more syllables of remission may follow it in this instance, two syllables follow the first, and three, the second impulse. In the word éxpiatory, we find it necessary to give a sort of percussive, or explosive impulse on the first syllable, that the other four may follow in remission: the same also in imitativeness.
A syllable is an articulate sound, formed of one or more letters. A word is one or more syllables expressing a thought. A word of one syllable is called a mono
syllable; a word of two, a dissyllable; a word of three, a trissyllable, and a word of four or more, is called a polysyllable.
Accent is that stress or distinctness which is given to one syllable in a word above the others; as promote, justification. Every word of more than three syllables has a primary and a secondary accent; as comprehénsible. In this word, hen has the primary, and com the secondary accent, and the rest are unaccented syllables.
Very similar to the stress laid upon a long word, dividing it by primary and secondary accents, and unaccented syllables, is the stress naturally employed in reading words formed into discourse. We utter sometimes one, sometimes several words at a single impulse of the voice, just, or nearly as we do the syllables of a long word; or, as I would say, by impulses and remissions; and it is this ever-varying change of pause, stress, quantity, and inflection, that renders them so easy to be uttered, and makes them so distinct and agreeable to the ear.
As it regards the number and the length of the divisions, the slower our utterance is, the more divisions we make, and the more rapid our utterance is, the fewer we make; e. g., John | is a very diligent scholar. This sentence as marked into five divisions, is unnaturally slow and monotonous; marked into four, of course, it would be less so; but, when brought into three, it is uttered with the sprightliness of ordinary conversation; and the grouped division is pronounced like the word comprehensibility or indestructibility: thus, John | is a very diligent scholar.
Besides the accent as already described, there are two marks called by the same name-the acute accent ('), and the grave accent (`): the acute, pointing towards the left, and the grave towards the right. The acute accent is used in the dictionary over that syllable in a word which is accented, or which takes the greatest force in pronouncing it; as invíte, intégrity. The grave accent is not used in the English language, except in elocutionary exercises; then, the acute accent is applied to show the rising, and the grave to show the falling slide.
Quantity is the length of time taken in pronouncing a syllable, whether it be long or short. The macron () is used over a word to mark a long syllable, or to show the accent in a poetic foot; as, māker, nōble; the breve (~) is used to mark a short vowel or syllable; as, běttěr, brevity:
A wīt's ǎ feather, and ǎ chief, ǎ rōd :
An hōněst man's the noblěst work of Gōd.
The hyphen (-)—the same form as the macronused to join compound words; as, pen-knife, ink-stand, penny-wise; and is employed also at the end of a line, when a part of the word is carried to the next.
An apostrophe is a comma used to show the possessive case; as, John's book: or to show an omission; as, 'tis, for it is; he's gone, for he is gone; or, as in the lines of poetry above; "wit's," for "wit is; is ;" and 'man's," for "man is."