28 JUNE 1845, Page 13


THE ." British Association for the Advancement of Science" has done good service in its way ; but that is no reason for allowing it to play freaks with the English language. There is the word " statistics," none of the best English from the beginning. A -German professor, some hundred years ago, collected a number of facts tending to illustrate the comparative power and resources of various states; he was at a loss for a name whereby to designate this collection; and, recollecting that from polls the Greeks had made politice, (c hard,) out of status he manufactured statistice. The Latinity of status, used to designate a modern state, is more than questionable ; and a derivative from it in the Greek form was yet more anomalous : still, we knew what was meant— statistics were an exposition of the power and resources of a state or states. But our modern literati make bad worse. At this year's meeting of the Association, a gentleman has been reading a paper "on the statistics of small-pox"—we shall next hear of -au essay "on the politics of typhus."