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d. There are reasonable and unreasonable requests which a tele phone subscriber may make of “information.”

4. Develop by comparison and contrast.

a. The disposition of our hired man varies with the weather.
b. Our yard presents many interesting pictures in the course of
the year.

c. I looked into the school building one day during vacation. 5. Develop by cause and effect.

a. In this section of the country the prevailing wind comes from the northwest.

b. Fortunately, in writing for a situation, I remembered that penmanship is in part a matter of courtesy.

c. The train was ten minutes late.

d. A friend of mine sat at a desk that was not fitted to him. e. When very small, I was taught to swim and to skate.

f. The suit was altogether too small.

g. After touching a match to the pile of wood in the fireplace, mother turned down the light.

h. Once a year I called on my dentist.

i. My father learned as a boy the importance of sitting and standing erect.

113. Subjects for Compositions. Again and again pupils dolefully complain that they have nothing to write about, not realizing that this is as absurd a statement as that they can find nothing to talk about at home. They do not remember that their world is full of subjects. Two boys have given the following suggestions about finding something on which to write:

1. In going to and from school I try to observe carefully every little thing I see. When I get home at night, I sum up what I have seen through the day and write it. If I am reading some book, I express my opinion on it. I think boys living in the country have an equal chance with the boys who live in the city, as they see more things which God created; for instance, the woods, birds, and animals.

2. I think that if a person keeps his eyes wide open and listens to all he hears, he is very sure of finding at least one subject to write about each day. For instance, Monday I saw a cab in a predica

ment; Tuesday I saw a train blocked by snow; Wednesday I wrote about my reading; Thursday I saw a freight car put on the track; Friday I saw a boy fall and hurt himself; Saturday I saw a woman have a narrow escape from being run over. It is like that. I come to school on a train and watch all around for incidents. Sometimes I ride home on the electric cars and have a good opportunity to see things. Everybody has time and must use it in some way.

If nothing of interest happens on your way to or from school, remember that you are always at liberty to write a secretary's report of a recitation. Remember, too, that the number of enjoyable books is legion - books on which you may write freely and fully, noting details that you like, judging the work as a whole, and making such comparisons and contrasts as naturally occur to you. In handling such materials be sure that you give your honest opinions with absolute frankness.

As for what goes on about you, whether the thoughts suggested by the call of a street hawker, or by the sound of a hurdy-gurdy under the window, are interesting or not, nobody else will have the same thoughts. Your themes are to be a record of your experiences, your impressions, your opinions.



114. Unity in the Sentence. We have seen that the ideal paragraph, like the ideal composition, is a unit, and the definition of a sentence shows that the sentence, too, should be a unit. One of the hardest things for many young writers to learn is to stop when they have finished a sentence. Like fluent but careless letter writers, they ramble on from one subject to another without a period. Sometimes this dividing paragraphs into sentences is a very simple matter; at other times it is somewhat puzzling.

115. Simple and Complex Sentences as Units. Simple and complex sentences offer the best means of securing unity. You remember from your study of grammar that a simple sentence consists of a single statement, command, question, or exclamation. Such a sentence seldom lacks unity. Similarly, if your sentence is complex, that is, if it consists of one main clause and' one or more subordinate clauses, you have a good chance to put the important statement in a prominent position. If, however, your sentence is compound, if it consists of two or more clauses of equal rank, — you will need to give special attention to unity.

It is not sufficient for these main clauses to refer to the same thing; as separate thoughts they must be parts of a greater thought. The following sentence is not unified, although both main clauses refer to Shakespeare:

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Shakespeare was born in Stratford-on-Avon, and he wrote 66 Macbeth."

Notice that the statements may be put into a complex sen

tence; as,

Shakespeare, who wrote "Macbeth," was born at Stratfordon-Avon.

But the following sentence, although similar in form to the compound one given above, is allowable because its main clauses merge in a greater thought:

Shakespeare was born at Stratford-on-Avon, and is supposed to have written "Macbeth" in that town.


The first two sentences in section 114 may be studied as illustrations of the differences between a compound and a complex sentence. The first sentence is compound. Each of the two main clauses discusses unity: the one, unity in the paragraph; the other, unity in the sentence. The greater thought," binding the whole sentence together, is that unity is the fundamental basis of both the paragraph and the sentence. The second sentence is complex. The main clause states that it is hard for a young writer to do a certain thing; the subordinate clause explains when this is difficult.

Several separate thoughts may form a series or may constitute a group of details in a single picture. For example:

1. The smith, with the horse's heel in his lap, pauses as the vehicle whirls by, the cyclops round the anvil suspend their ringing hammers, and suffer the iron to grow cool; and the sooty specter in brown paper cap, laboring at the bellows, leans on the handle for a moment and permits the asthmatic engine to heave a long-drawn sigh, while he glares through the mirky smoke and sulphurous gleams of the smithy.

2. At this point I cannot keep out of mind the story of the preacher

who divided his discourse into three heads. He declared it to be his intention, under the first head, to speak of some things that he knew all about, and of which his congregation knew nothing; under his second head, he proposed to deal with matters that both he and his hearers fully understood; and under the third head, he promised to discuss topics concerning which neither he nor they had any knowledge.

It is a good habit in revising your work to see whether you cannot improve sentences by making compound sentences either simple or complex.


362. Point out the greater thought (1) in the last sentence of section 2, page 1; (2) in the first sentence of section 3. Turn to five other compound sentences in the book, and explain what you understand to be the greater thought in each.

363. Be prepared to make each of the following sentences complex. Emphasize the main thought. When it seems best, substitute a phrase for a clause.

1. I called this morning before school, and he was still asleep. 2. He rounded the corner and recognized his old master.

3. The bell rang, and the room became quiet.

4. We went into the kitchen and found Fred putting up the luncheon.

5. Night came on, and we hurried out of the wood.

6. We reached the mooring about five o'clock, and took the party ashore in the tender.

7. We returned to the boat and cleaned her deck and sides, and then went ashore.

8. I was skating on Jamaica Pond a few nights ago and saw a novel way of gliding over the ice.

364. Find in your writing five compound sentences. Turn them into complex sentences by using subordinate clauses, and point out any improvement or lack of improvement.

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