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In writing, it is customary to underline such words as would be italicised in printing.

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As a general principle, it may be observed that the syllables of a word are those divisions which are made in a correct pronunciation of it.

The following are, perhaps, the only definite rules, that can be given on this subject.

1. Two consonants forming but one sound, as ng, ch, th, sh, ph, wh, are never separated. Thus, we write church-es, wor-thy, feath-er, ring-ing, a-while.

2. The terminations cean, cian, ceous, cious, cial, tian, tion, tious, tial, geon, gian, geous, gious, sion, and sier, are seldom divided. Thus, we write, nation, o-cean, capa-cions pi-geon, cap-tious.

3. Compound words are commonly separated into the simple words, of which they are composed; as, care-less, bee-hive, rail-road.

4. The termination ed, though not always pronounced separately, is regarded in writing as a distinct syllable; as lov-ed, burn-ed.

5. Derivative and grammatical terminations should generally be separated from the radical word: as, great-ly, teach-er, rush-est, prov-est.



The Hyphen [-] is used at the end of a line, when the whole of a word cannot be got into it, and shows that the rest of the word is at the beginning of the following line.

Some compound words are connected with the hyphen, others without it. Writers are not agreed on the subject of inserting and omitting the hyphen. The following REMARKS may be of use:—

1. When each of two contiguous nouns retains its original accent, the hyphen is not used; as, Master builder.

2. When two nouns are in opposition, and each is separately applicable to the person or thing designated, the hyphen is not used; as The Lord Chancellor, who is both a Lord and a Chancellor.

3. When the first noun is used as an adjective, and expresses the matter or substance, of which the second consists, and may be placed after it with of not denoting possession, the hyphen is not used; as, a silk gown, a cork jacket; that is, a gown of silk, a jacket of cork.

When the first noun is not used as an adjective, does not express the matter or substance of the second, and may be placed after it with of denoting possession, or with for, belonging to, &c., the hyphen is used: as, a silk-mill, a mill for silk; a cork-screw, a screw for corks; a horse-dealer, a dealer in horses; a kitchen-grate, a grate for a kitchen.

When the words readily coalesce, are easily pronounced as one, have long been associated together

and are in frequent use, the hyphen is often omitted, and both nouns are printed or written as one; thus, Bookseller, a seller of books; Schoolmaster, the master of a school.

The necessity of attending to the hyphen will be evident from the following examples: A glass house, a tin man, an iron mould, a negro merchant, pronounced as separate words, and each with its natural accent, will mean a house made of glass, a man made of tin, a mould made of iron, a merchant, who is a negro; but a glass-house, a tin-man, an iron-mould, a negromerchant, taken as compound nouns, with the accent on the first syllable, will mean a house for the manufacture of glass, a man who works or deals in tin, a mould for casting iron, or a mould or stain caused by the rust of iron, a merchant, who buys and sells negroes.

It would, perhaps, be an improvement in such cases, to use a hyphen similar to that which is used by some foreign printers [=], as this would enable the student, on meeting with a compound word, printed part of it at the end of one line, and part at the beginning of the following line, to know whether the words should be connected with a hyphen or not. If they should be connected by a hyphen, this one would be used; if not, the common hyphen -. 4. When a compound noun consists of an adjective and a noun, no hyphen is used; as, High Sheriff, Chief Magistrate.

When the adjective and its noun are used together as a kind of compound adjective to another noun, a hyphen is inserted between the two former; thus, The High-Church doctrine.

5. When an adjective or adverb, and a participle immediately following, are used together as a kind of compound adjective, merely expressing a quality, without reference to immediate action, and precede the noun to which they are joined, a hyphen is used; as, A quick-sailing vessel; The above-men tioned circumstances.

When they imply immediate action, and follow the noun, the hyphen is not used; as, The ship quick sailing o'er the deep [or, Quick sailing o'er the deep, the ship] pursues her course. The circumstances above mentioned.


1. Final consonants are generally single; as in man, book, repeat.

The final letters in add, ebb, odd, jagg, egg, err, purr, burr, inn, butt, and buzz, are exceptions to this rule. We must also except f, 7, and s, immediately preceded by a single vowel, or by gu or qu, and a single vowel. Under these circumstances, f, and, in monosyllables, 7 and s, are doubled, as in rebuff, call, guess, quill; except in as, has, was, gas, his, is, this, thus, us, yes, is, if, of and its compounds hereof, whereof, &c. Concerning and s in words of more than one syllable, no certain rule can be given.

C assumes k at the end of all monosyllables, except lac, zinc, and arc.

K was formerly used after c, in many words of more than one syllable; but it is now generally omitted, except in some few words; as, attack, hillock, bullock.

2. Words ending in y preceded by a consonant, change y into i on receiving an addition,* unless this addition is 's, or a syllable beginning with i; as, carry, carries, carrier; fancy, fancied, fanciful; -lady, lady's; carry, carrying.

3. But words ending in y preceded by a vowel, generally retain the y on taking an increase; as, boy, boys, boyish,

EXCEPTIONS.-Paid, laid, lain, saith, said, and most of their compounds, as, unpaid, mislaid, are exceptions to this rule.

4. Words ending in silent e, generally reject the e, before an additional syllable beginning with a vowel; as, move, movest,† moving, movable.

Exc. 1.-Words ending in oe, retain the final e; as, shoe, shoeing; hoe, hoeing.

Exc. 2. When e is preceded by c or g, it is retained before ous and able; as, courageous, peaceable.

Exc. 3-The e is retained in a few words to prevent ambiguity; as in singeing, to distinguish it from singing; in dyeing [colouring], to distinguish it from dying [expiring].

Exc. 4.-Words terminating in ee, drop the final letter only when the addition begins with e; as, see, seer, seeth; flee, fleest; agree, agreed. Final ie, besides dropping e, changes i into y, before an additional syllable beginning with i; as, lie, lying.

The 2nd, 4th, and 6th rules are not intended to include such additions as form compound words.

Movest is for ned in accordance with the rule, by dropping the e in move, and adding est.

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