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absurdity adjective affixed alphabet arbitrary grammar augmentive boast called the past classical composition conjunction connexion considered consonants contraction copula Crombie denote dialects Dictionary doctrines Dugald Stewart ears ellipsis employed English language enquirer equivalent etymology etymon evident finical give Gothic grammarians Greek gutturals hand Hebrew Hebrew alphabet hence Horne Tooke idea important insignificant instances intellectual join labour Latin Latin language learned letters lexicography Lindley Murray literary manner meaning metaphor metaphysical mination mistiness modes of expression mouth nature nonsense objects origin orthography participle person philological philosophic plural present usage principles pronounced pronouns pronunciation properly put elliptically quotation racter reader will perceive reason remarks resolvable respecting rhetorical roting Saxon Scotch seems signifying softened sound speech spelling spelt style supposed taste tense termina termination theory thing tical tion tive true truth understanding vacuous variety verb vowels words writing
241 ページ - Seeing then that truth consisteth in the right ordering of names in our affirmations, a man that seeketh precise truth had need to remember what every name he uses stands for, and to place it accordingly, or else he will find himself entangled in words, as a bird in lime twigs, the more he struggles the more belimed.
237 ページ - But when, having passed over the original and composition of our ideas, I began to examine the extent and certainty of our knowledge, I found it had so near a connexion with words, that, unless their force and manner of signification were first well observed, there could be very little said clearly and pertinently concerning knowledge...
237 ページ - But I am apt to imagine, that were the imperfections of language, as the instrument of knowledge, more thoroughly weighed, a great many of the controversies that make such a noise in the world, would of themselves cease ; and the way to knowledge, and perhaps peace, too, lie a great deal opener than it does.
242 ページ - ... tenets: which make those men that take their instruction from the authority of books and not from their own meditation to be as much below the condition of ignorant men as men endued with true science are above it. For between true science and erroneous doctrines ignorance is in the middle.
243 ページ - For words are wise men's counters — they do but reckon by them — but they are the money of fools...
242 ページ - For the errors of definitions multiply themselves according as the reckoning proceeds, and lead men into absurdities, which at last they see, but cannot avoid, without reckoning anew from the beginning, in which lies the foundation of their errors.
242 ページ - ... at last, finding the error visible and not mistrusting their first grounds, know not which way to clear themselves, but spend time in fluttering over their books, as birds that, entering by the chimney and finding themselves inclosed in a chamber, flutter at the false light of a glass window, for want of wit to consider which way they came in.
242 ページ - ... books, as birds that entering by the chimney, and finding themselves enclosed in a chamber, flutter at the false light of a glass window, for want of wit to consider which way they came in. So that in the right definition of names, lies the first use of speech, which is the acquisition of science, and in wrong or no definitions lies the first abuse, from which proceed all false and senseless tenets...
242 ページ - By this it appears how necessary it is for any man that aspires to true knowledge to examine the definitions of former authors ; and either to correct them where they are negligently set down, or to make them himself.