A Proposal for Correcting, Improving and Ascertaining the English Tongue: In a Letter to the Most Honourable Robert, Earl of Oxford and Mortimer, Lord High Treasurer of Great Britain

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Benj. Tooke, 1712 - English language - 48 pages
 

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Page 18 - To this succeeded that licentiousness which entered with the restoration, and from infecting our religion and morals fell to corrupt our language ; which last was not like to be much improved by those, who at that time made up the court of King Charles the Second...
Page 32 - It is your lordship's observation, that if it were not for the Bible and Common Prayer Book in the vulgar tongue, we should hardly be able to understand anything that was written among us a hundred years ago; which is certainly true, for those books, being perpetually read in churches, have proved a kind of standard for language, especially to the common people.
Page 8 - My lord, I do here, in the name of all the learned and polite persons of the nation, complain to your lordship, as first minister, that our language is extremely imperfect; that its daily improvements are by no means in proportion to its daily corruptions; that the pretenders to polish and refine it, have chiefly multiplied abuses and absurdities; and that in many instances it offends against every part of grammar.
Page 32 - I doubt whether the alterations since introduced have added much to the beauty or strength of the English Tongue, though they have taken off a great deal from that Simplicity which is one of the greatest perfections in any language.
Page 19 - ... which used to be the standard of propriety and correctness of speech, was then, and, I think, has ever since continued, the worst school in England for that accomplishment; and .so will remain till better care be taken in the education of our young nobility, that they may set out into the world with some foundation of literature, in order to qualify them for patterns of politeness.
Page 18 - From the civil war to this present time, I am apt to doubt, whether the corruptions in our language have not at least equalled the refinements of it ; and these corruptions very few of the best authors in our age have wholly escaped.
Page 33 - Bible were masters of an English style much fitter for that work than any we see in our present writings, — which I take to be owing to the simplicity that runs through the whole.
Page 15 - ... if it were once refined to a certain standard, perhaps there might be ways found out to fix it for ever, or at least till we are invaded and made a conquest by some other state...
Page 7 - ... of which is to be your own work, as much as that of paying the nation's debts...
Page 13 - ... or encouragement for popular orators; their giving not only the freedom of the city, but capacity for employments, to several towns in Gaul, Spain, and Germany...

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