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(IV.) ETYMOLOGICAL ANALYSIS, or the division of 'words into their component parts, according to their meaning suggested to the mind, or the process of tracing the composition and derivation of words ; — (1.) resolving compound words into the simple words of which they are composed; (2.) detaching the initial and final syllables of a word, according to their significance as prefixes and affixes, or suffixes; and, (3.) tracing the root, - the original term or syllable, — which is the main significant element of a word, and determines its meaning and application.

Thus, the word used in a preceding paragraph, as an example of oral syllabication, when it is subjected to etymological analysis, and resolved into its component elements of signification, suggested to the mind, although properly pronounced recreation, is divided thus re-creat-ion; re- being the prefix, -ion the suffix, and -creat- the root of the word.



Under the former of these heads is comprehended the exercise of tracing, wherever practicable, the import of a word to its primary sense, - the significance of its primitive elements of composition or of derivation: under the latter, that of stating the secondary, or actual sense, whether modified or otherwise, in which it is employed in the current usage of our own day.

We learn, thus, that the written word recreation signifying, originally, creating again, or anew, and originally pronounced re-creation, though subsequently, rec-reation, implies a reference to that newness, or freshness, of feeling, which attends exercise

properly taken for relaxation or amusement, and causes the person previously worn out or exhausted, to feel as if created anew, — or, in customary phrase, “made over again.” The actual current meaning of the word, however, regards the act, rather than the purpose, of recreative exercise, and applies it indiscriminately to all forms of amusement, play, or sport, without reference to their effect on body or mind.

(VI.) DEFINITION, — by which the signification of a word is verified by reference to a description of the object, or a definition of the idea, which it represents.

Thus, the word recreation may, in consistency with its etymology, be properly defined as the renovation of bodily and mental condition, by change of occupation; or, in accommodation to its customary acceptation, as exercise taken for purposes of pleasure rather than utility

(VII.) SYNONYMS. The exercises practised under this head, comprise, (1.) a collection of all the words of our language, which have nearly the same signification with that of a given word; (2.) the application of these, individually and differentially, in phrases or sentences so worded that no other member of the given family of synonyms could, with propriety, be substituted for the one embodied in the illustration; (3.) the definition of synonyms, by a common general term, used as a test to prove their general unity of meaning, by their actual relation to one and the same primary idea, expressed by that term in its most comprehensive sense; (4.) the discrimination of

synonymous words, by a statement of the distinction founded on the specific difference of their import, evolved by logical definition.

Of these four forms of exercise the following may serve as examples.

(1.) Collection of Synonyms. —" Recreation," — exercise, diversion, relaxation, amusement, entertainment, interlude, pastime, play, game, sport, frolic.

(2) Application of Synonyms. —" It is not enough that we allow sufficient time for rest, and for relaxation from the severity of intense application. Both body and mind require recreation, to renew their vitality and restore their energy, when wearied or worn by monotony, or exhausted by exertion. When the faculties have become torpid by long-continued inaction, they even require active exercise, for the renewal of their force. Long-sustained mental application must be relieved by resort to diversion. Profound thought on grave subjects, intense meditation, the solution of intricate problems, the prosecution of abstruse investigations, the performing of complicated calculations, must give place, occasionally, to amusement, if we would retain that very power of cogitation which we wish to exert. amusement take the form of a pleasant social pastime, it will be all the more salutary. The man who does not wish to become stiff in body, and rigid in mind, must accustom himself to play, and to games which tend to give pliancy and grace combined with strength. The gravest senator is not out of place, when taking part in the sports or even the frolics of children. Such interludes unbend the sternness of manhood, and not only give entertainment to the fancy, and animation to the spirits, but meliorate the heart, and refresh our whole being.”

(3.) Definition of Synonyms. — Generic or general term, - Exercise. Recreation, renovating exercise ;

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Diversion, sportive exercise ; Relaxation, restorative remission of exercise; Amusement, entertaining exercise ; Entertainment, amusive mental exercise; Interlude, intervening amusive exercise; Pastime, festive form of exercise; Play, pleasurable exercise; Game, regulated amusive exercise; Sport, animating exercise; Frolic, exhilarating exercise.

(4.) Discrimination of Synonyms.

Recreation (a): Diversion (b). Distinction, founded on the difference between general (a) and particular (b). Exemplification : Diversion does not always prove a wholesome form of recreation."

Recreation (a): Relaxation (b). Distinction, difference between action and remission; e. g. restorative influence of relaxation, to the weary, renders it, sometimes, preferable to the most enlivening recreation.

Amusement (a): Entertainment (b). Distinction, difference between general (a) and particular (b);

“ Theatrical entertainments were the chief form of popular amusement among the Athenians.”

Pastime (a): Interlude (b). Distinction, difference between continuous progression (a) and interruption (b); e. g. “The masques and pageants, and similar pastmes, of the middle ages, were interspersed with frequent interludes, designed to relieve the attention and enliven the feelings of the spectators.”

Play (a): Game (b). Distinction, difference between general (a) and particular (b); e. g. healthful effect of play is aided by its taking the regulated form of a game.

Sport (a): Frolic (b). Distinction, difference in degree of activity; e. g. “ The boys' sport soon ended in the most uproarious frolic."

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(VIII.) THE SUPPLYING OF ELLIPSES, the replacing of words intentionally omitted in the

form of exercise prescribed, which is designed to furnish opportunity for practice and discipline in the appropriate and discriminating use of words.

E.cample. “ The hours of the afternoon were passed in very [ 1 ] society, and in very [ 2 ] occupation. Some of the party had just received the ( 3 ) intelligence of the health and prosperity of near relatives abroad. The [ 4 ] approach of evening heightened the glow of [ 5 ] feeling in the social circle around the parlor fire; yet all received with pleasure the unexpected and [ 6 ] invitation to a sleigh-ride by moonlight.”

[1] agreeable, [2] pleasing, [3] gratifying, [4] welcome, [5] cheerful, [6] acceptable.

(IX.) VARIATION OF EXPRESSION, — the translation of selected passages into words nearly equivalent in signification. This process is designed, as a practical exercise in etymology, of which the main, though not the exclusive, object, is, to train the student to a ready recognition of the difference between idiomatic and unidiomatic expression, as dependent on the preponderance of words of Saxon or of Latin origin, in the phraseology of sentences, and the consequent character of style.


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Example. - There are frequently mornings in

often early hours March, when an admirer of nature may enjoy, day, a lover

expein a stroll, sensations not to be exceeded, or, rience “ ramble, feelings

surpassed perhaps, equalled by any thing which the full it may be, paralleled,

aught glory

of summer can awaken, ample splendor

midsummer" excite,


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