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of matter, exclamations in the front, and epiphonemas in the rear. I could have used, for the promptlier stirring up of passion, apostrophal and prosopopœial diversions; and for the appeasing and settling of them, some epanorthetic revocations, and aposiopetic restraints. I could have inserted dialogisms, displaying their interrogatory part with communicativelypysmatic and sustentative flourishes, or proleptically, with the refutative schemes of anticipation and subjection and that part which concerns the responsory, with the figures of permission and concession.'
Since 1830, the tendency to innovate has been on the part of students of the German. If this tendency confined itself to occasional, gradual, and cautious transplantation of genuine and expressive words from the German vernacular; or better still, if it simply led us, by a reflex influence, to cherish the Saxon element in our own language, to keep the other elements in check, and to give this its proper place, it would be matter of congratulation. Of course, wholesale, tasteless importations of unsanctioned words, though possibly less pernicious than when introduced from languages of less affinity with our own, would be still pernicious. To quote a sentence from our former article: A philosophical mind will consider that whatever deflection may have taken place in the original principles of a language, whatever modification of form it may have undergone, it is, at each period of its history, the product of a slow accumulation, and countless multitude of associations, which can neither be hastily formed, nor hastily dismissed; that these associations extend even to the modes of spelling and pronouncing, of inflecting and combining words; and that any thing which does violence to
such associations, impairs, for the time at least, the power of the language.'
In truth, however, the words we have really naturalised from the German have been very few. 'Handbook,' 'fatherland,' and a score or two more, would exhaust the catalogue. Unhappily, the Germanised style, of which we have so much reason to complain at the present day, consists either in an absurd imitation of German idiom and construction; or in a free resort to grotesque compounds which, as a necessary consequence, in so heterogeneous a language as ours, favours the multiplication of yet more grotesque hybrids; or (especially in relation to philosophy), in an eminently Latinistic diction, partly made up of a literal rendering of Latin terms which the German has itself incorporated, and partly (which is still worse) of translations of their vernacular philosophic terms into Latin derivatives of our own, often previously appropriated in another sense, and sometimes in many other senses. Objective,' ' subjective,' 'momentum,' 'transcendental,' 'egotism,' 'concrete,' the 'absolute,' the 'reason,' &c., are instances in the one kind or the other; and by conjuring with these, aided by a due abstinence from definitions, and by a certain mixture of German constructions, a man may, and sometimes does, write volumes which neither his reader nor himself understands.
There is nothing for which we more deeply regret the loss of those varied inflections of our once homogeneous language, which gave it an unlimited power of forming compounds, — the significance of which can be gathered immediately from the separate elements, than the consequent multiplication of scientific terms, having a foreign origin. The evil is becoming almost intolerable; and we should be thankful
to believe that there is any mode of successfully checking it. We are not ignorant that there are some advantages attending the present practice; but as the nomenclature of science increases without limit, its exotic character becomes a serious nuisance; the memory cannot retain it; and, what is worse, it loses all power of association, and renders the scientific style intelligible only to the deeply initiated. It is a hieroglyphic for a priesthood.*
The number of Greek and Latin derivatives which have been introduced in the course of the last fifty, and especially the last thirty years, in consequence of the vast extension of the physical sciences, is immense. In botany, geology, conchology, mineralogy, and, above all, chemistry, the nomenclature has increased at a most prodigious rate. If all these terms were considered as much English words as those which enter into the dialect of common life, of poetry, of eloquence, of historic composition, we could no longer say that the Anglo-Saxon forms so decidedly preponderant an element as it has done throughout the whole previous course of our literary history. The ratio of that element to the sum of all the others which enter into competition with it, would be very appreciably diminished. In fact, however, a vast number of these terms are found exclusively in works of science; rendered really, or apparently, necessary by our difficulty
*Many think that the evil is capable of being checked by a free resort to the Saxon: whether they would go so far as the man mentioned in an instructive paper on English Adjectives' in the Philological Museum, who suggested that the impenetrability of matter' might be expressed by the 'unthoroughfaresomeness of stuff,' we know not. By the way, we strongly recommend the above paper, and some others on related topics in the same publication, to the perusal of every student of the English language.
of compounding words from the vernacular. They are regarded simply as a concise notation, and affect the general relations of the language as little as the symbols of algebra. When, for example, the zoologist tells us, that if we take the head of an opossum, contract the cranium, widen the orbits and parietal crests, elevate the occiput, shortening at the same time the basilary part, &c., and we shall only require the differences of projection of some parts, the presence of an external pterygoid apophysis, the direction downwards of the curvature of the zygomatic arch, &c., to arrive at the head of a hog;' or when the botanist tells us that a genus of plants has a 3-parted halfinferior calyx, rotate monopetalous 5-10-parted corolla, imbricate in æstivation, indefinite stamens inserted in the lobe of the corolla, with the filaments cuspidate at the apex, and polyadelphous at the base;' or when the chemist tells us that 'æther is supposed to be an oxide of ethereum, alcohol a hydrated oxide, and sulphovinic acid a hydrated bisulphate of oxide of ethereum;' or discourses of a gas which boasts of the three brief names, 'superolefiant gas,' 'terhydrocarbon,' and 'tritocarbohydrogen;' every one feels that, convenient to science as may be such a peculiar style, it is disguised Greek and Latin that he is reading rather than English.
But though, in strictly scientific treatises, the unsparing use of terms of art may be very necessary, and not only tend to economise expression, but (by thus obviating prolixity) be even conducive to clearness, at least for those who previously understand the terminology, there is often in half scientific men an excessive fondness for this species of language, when they are not addressing scientific readers or not addressing them exclusively. Under the notion of being
more philosophical, they commit the same error as the young writer or speaker who employs the most general and abstract terms he can find, instead of the most specific and vivid, or who substitutes the sonorous Latin for the strong homely Saxon. It would be well for every scientific writer, who is addressing his discourse in any degree ad populum, or not exclusively to the scientific world, to peruse with care the observations of Whately in his Rhetoric,' on the use and abuse of technical language; and to study as models the writings of such men as Paley, Sir John Herschel and Sir Charles Bell. To express the results of science without the ostentation of its terms, is an excellent art indeed, and known to but few. amusing example of the impropriety in question not unfrequently occurs in courts of justice, when a surgeon undertakes to enlighten a wondering jury as to the results of a post mortem examination: he finds a wound in the parietes of the abdomen, opening the peritoneal cavity;' or an injury of some vertebra in the dorsal or lumbar region.' A judge lately rebuked a witness of this character by saying, 'You mean so
and so, do you not, sir?'-at the same time translat
ing his scientific barbarisms into a few words of simple English. I do, my Lord.' 'I 'Then why can't you say so ?' He had said so,—but not in English.
If the Saxon cannot supply us with an adequate nomenclature, science must continue her demands on the plasticity of Greek and the compactness of Latin, to aid her in giving expression to her novel thoughts and teeming discoveries. Such an alternative leaves us no other resource. But the precedent is contagious; and it is too much to be threatened with a wanton inundation of similar learned terms, to dignify the achievements of the common arts of life, and of the