26 APRIL 1890, Page 13


[TO THE EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR."] Sin,—In your interesting article on the coinage of new words, you give one or two examples of incorrect grammatical ex- pressions which are establishing themselves in the language. May I add a few which, so far as my experience goes, are habitually used by almost all of those who pass into the ranks of the elementary teachers P "Sort of a man ;" "very vexed," &c. ("very pleased" is a solecism of which better-

educated people are constantly guilty); "no one only ;" "try and do it ;" "what's the use of me speaking ;" "he heard of us coming ;" "I can prevent him doing it," &Ai This last mistake and some of the others are familiar to all readers of our penny papers. Can any one say why, in the confusion between verbal nouns and present participles active, it sounds worse to use " us " for " our " than to use " him " for " his "? Again, buttons are now not " sewed " but "sewn" on to garments. "All right" is becoming "alright," but I have not yet seen this in print. Worst of all, perhaps, is the tele- graphesque style of correspondence: "Went yesterday to the theatre. Am going to-morrow again."—I am, Sir, &c.,