The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903, July 06, 1901, Image 2

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Office 1132 N street, Up Stairs.
Telephone 384.
Subscription Rates.
Per annum il 50
Six months 1 00
Rebate of fifty cents on cash payments.
Single copies 05
The Cockier will not be responsible for vol
nntary communications unless accompanied by
return postage.
Communications, to receive attention, must
be signed by the lull name ot the writer, not
merely as a guarantee of good faith, but for
publication if advisable.
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Allied for concerted offensive action
against Crokerism at the next New
York election are the Citizen's Union,
the City Club, the Greater New York
Democracy, the Brooklyn Democracy,
the New York County Republicans,
the King's County Republicans, the
German-American Municipal League
and the American-German Indepen
dents. Mr. Croker is in Europe and
professes to be entirely indifferent to
the movement, gathering volume
everyday, against himself and his ex
ploitation of the citizens of New
York. It may be that his "cold
blood" is not assumed and that he is
satisfied to permanently retire from
New York where he has made enough
to support himself in good style in
Great Britain. All signs indicate
that Crokerism will bo defeated at
Vhe coming election. Tammany is
overwhelmed, once in a cycle, by the
plundered, deceived, disgusted citi
zens of New York. It is indicated
that such a rising of the voters is
about to occur. And it is likely that
Croker has read the writing, although
he does not read much.
It is idle wasting any objurgations
on him. The tax payers of New York
who have allowed Croker or Platte,
or both together, to farm out the city
for their own benefit for so many
years, deserve to be plundered. Their
excuse is that they are too busy to
attend the primaries. Some of them
say they -can better afford to be rob
bed by Croker than to spend time
enough in politics to drive out the
robbers. Relying upon this preoc
cupation, the machinists have en-
joyed, ever since the renaissance of
m Tammany after the disorganization
w1 caused by the Tweed trial, undisput-
I ed access to the treasury of New York
city. But it is impossible to have the
law on Croker, or on Dowie, or on any
body who, unlike a gambler, extracts
money from the public not by games
of chance, but by politics or the fana
ticism of the credulous. Dowie and
Croker would have to work for a liv
ing if it, were not for the credulity of
their clientele. I believe there is a
statute against taking advantage of
a crazy man, or of an imbecile or of a
drunken man; but against the pecu
liar kind of idiocy manifested by the
Dowieites, for instance, there is no
recourse against the operator who
induces the people to voluntarily
donate him their property. No com
mission of insanity would pronounce
these people insane. On examination
they reason as well as the average
man, but the submission of their wills
and of their property to an India
rubber fakir like Dowie is a sign of
insanity. If the sane survivors
should at any time decide that it is
expedient to shut up the people who
give away their money to confidence
men like Dowie, they must needs im
prison them in tents, and it is doubt
ful if in such a case there would not
be more people on the inside than the
outside of the tents. There are no
more false prophets now than iu the
time of the Pharaohs, so their kind
is not increasing. The populace
railed at them then. We rail at them
now, but vituperation is not fatal to
the object of it and the fakirs are not
exterminated. They will continue to
nourish until the far-distant day
when they cannot find gullible fools
to fool.
The Cultivation of English.
Mr. Alfred Ayers, an essayist in one
of the month's magazines, says that
lie knows from observation that in
Germany, France, Spain and Italy
the knowledge of the mother-tongue
is reckoned the most desirable of all
the polite accomplishments. Com
plicated as the German grammar is,
Germans of refinement speak it cor
rectly. "How different in the most
cultured English-speaking circles!
True, one cannot, without attracting
attention, use seen for saw or done
for did, or put two negatives in a
sentence; but one can misuse the
auxiliary verbs continually, misuse
the tenses, use adjectives where ad
verbs are required, misuse the cases,
use lay for lie, since for ago, without
for unless, the indicative where the
subjunctive is required, and so on and
on without attracting attention, un
less there chances to be a stickler for
purity present."
The last clause of the preceding
sentence is purely subjunctive and
sliould read: "Unless a stickler for
purity chance to be present." But
the subjunctive, because of this very
carelessness, which Mr. Ayers so
poignantly regrets, is passing out ot
use. The simplification of the Eng
lish 'anguage has been .accomplished
by this angloaxon tendency to do
everything in the shortest time and
with as little fuss and feathers as
possible. The German language is
still burdened with gender. Even
inanimate objects like dipper and ink
stand have a gender, and which of
the three dipper is can be known
only to the native or to the man with
a marvelous memory. The German
is slow, a tritle heavy and he takes
his language as he does military ser
vice, as something which cannot b2
changedi The impatience of the an
glo saxon has cleared a lot of rubbish
out of the way of the North Ameri
can school-boy. Little German boys
are still spending years learning the
gender of objects, genders bestowed
upon them during the Cesarean peri
od of the Sprache, when the super
stitious herders personified everything
and referred to things respectfully as
he or she and sometimes it. The dead
hand would not have held live Eng
lish rigid but the Germans speak the
speech their fathers spnke conscien
tiously and patiently. We escape our
custom easily. In Germany it mar
ries, buries, or consigns a youth to
five years service in the army and his
parents never think of combining
with several thousand other parents
to change the law. bo it is likely
that German children for the next
thousand years will spend their time
trying to learn the gender of pots and
pans, beer glasses, policemen and
maidens. The descendant of the
anglo-saxon has wiped out the three
declensions (or is it four?), he is
rapidly making the subjunctive case
obsolete, and he is making more and
more fashionable the simplest forms
of the verbs. Only the most fasti
dious use the subjunctive in speak
ing, and of the few who use it in writ
ing, their punctilious printers put it
right back in the indicative. To this
taste for simplicity and compactness
the English language owes its use by
all nations. If in tho process of sim
plification the speech loses feminine
endings, the subjunctive case and
some irregular tenses, we can afford
it. For the sake of the larger use of
our tongue by the peoples of the'earth
we are prepared to sacrifice a part of
the indicative, and it is not unlikely
that, before we get through, we shall
be called upon to do it.
Writers assume that our language
is more jealously guarded by English
men than by Americans, in spite of
the fact that foreigners cannot tell
how aa English proper name is pro
nounced until it is vocally pronounc
ed for him by a native or by some one
whom the native has taught, so far
has the pronunciation departed from
the sound of the letters which ori
ginally were indicated. Of course1
these changes have come about from
the ground up. Scholars keep a lan
guage from changing too rapidly.
They act as a drag or anchor; they are
not an active force in changing it.
Changes come about by means of
those who are playing the game from
year to year. The umpire settles dis
puted points for the time being. Her
is not an agent in the development;
of the game. An expression that was
slang ten years ago has now a certain
dictionary standing, if it was goo:I,
picturesque, expressive slang. Mr.
Ayres' plea for cultivating the Eng
lish language contains sound advice
and valuable hints. Some of the par
agraphs are somewhat unfortunately
composed, as: "There are a few words
that by well nigh everybody are very
much more frequently wrongly used
than they are rightly used." "Mas
tery in the use of any language is
beyond the reach of all but a very
few; proficiency, however, in the use
of one's motlier-tongue is within the
reach of most of us; and that pro
ficiency, it has always seemed to mev
is beyond compare the most to be
desired of all the polite accomplish
ments." Any discourse on language, how
ever, is embarrassed by the writer'
own technical imperfections in its
use. Only a genius can play upon a
language, express his ideas, and pro
duce no discords, no examples of the
very solecisms he is declaiming
against. The editor of these pages
frequently discourses about the de
plorable English used by the public
school children, although there are
mistakes on this page that the chil
dren would be ashamed to make. But
there are so few geniuses Those that
are born here do not stay here, and if
it could not be said until a master
said it, it would not be said at all.
In the meantime the Lincoln teach
ers might thir.k they were really
teaching the pupils in the public;
schools to speak, read and write the
English language correctly, the pu
pils would grow unwarrantably com
placent, and the parents would cease
to be dissatisfied; all this would
happen and more besides if the editor
of this paper ceased to apprise the
people once a week that things edu
cational, things political and things
religious are going to the dogs.
The Fourth of Julyi
Small boys are quiet only when they
are asleep Their noise is a serious
inconvenience and trial to grown
people all the year through, but on
the Fourth of July they are a menace
to life as well as to nerves. I know
it" is the latest note in child stud7"
that a boy's system demands noise,
and that in entering a room of studi
ous people with a wild whoop which
sets the nerves a-quiver. he is but
fulfilling a law of his nature which
the child professors say it would be
dangerous to interdict. It has been
my unhappy fate to know and endure
some of the children of professors of
pedagogy, physiology, and child study
(none of them residents of Lincoln.)
Considering that they were only ex
perimental apparatus and had had
one system after another tried on
their protesting little entities they
were remarkably good children. But
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