Images de page

I will now ask you to close this book for a moment, and, beginning with the first pair, “ Agriculture and Shovel,” see if you cannot recall the next pair, and the next, and so forth to the end.

You can also repeat the list backward with equal facility : Wood and table, table and furniture, etc.

Now it must be obvious that the difficulty does not increase with the number, as you have to pay attention to only two words at a time. Having gone over the list in pairs, try and recall it both forwards and backwards without repeating the same word twice; as, “ Agriculture, Shovel, Dig,” etc. I must also call your attention to the fact that, if any word of the series is mentioned, it will recall all the others, whereas if a word is mentioned which is not in the series, such as “ goat,” you know instantly and infallibly that it is not in the series, because it recalls no other word.

I will now proceed to show you some of the many practical applications of this way of learning a list of words. We have sometimes a series of isolated words to learn, in which it is quite immaterial in which order we learn them. This occurs in grammars, where there are long lists of exceptions to be learned.

In some grammars the exceptions are arranged alphabetically ; in others, in verses, because verses are more easily learned than isolated words. But an easier and surer way to learn exceptions is to arrange them so as always to take two together which we can compare easily, so that we may obtain a series of words like the one given above. Such a series will be impressed on the mind after one or two perusals, by paying attention to two

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

only at a time. As an instance of this, I will give you
a series of words, which are a series of exceptions in the
French grammar. Please go through the list in the
way indicated above, paying attention to two only at a

Tooth and Rage.
Rage and Pity.
Pity and Mercy.
Mercy and End.
End and Night.
Night and Peace. fsh
Peace and Law.
Law and Faith.
Faith and Virtue.
Virtue and Friendship.
Friendship and Tribe.
Tribe and Ant.
Ant and Mouse.
Mouse and Sheep.
Sheep and Mare.
Mare and Vaulting
Vaulting and Partridge.
Partridge and Forest.
Forest and Stem).
Stem and Part.
Part and Half.

Half and Syllable.
Syllable and Page.
Page and Image.
Image and Water.
Water and Snow.

[ocr errors]

Snow and Sea. maar
Sea and Beach.
Beach and Swimming. na
Swimming and Cough. tozat
Cough and Thirst. sort
Thirst and Hunger.
Hunger and Death. reni
Death and Scythe. forse
Scythe and Hand.
Hand and Skin.
Skin and Partition.
Partition and Nave. rei.
Nave and Lime.
Lime and Glue.
Glue and Cage.

с Cagl
Cage and Screw. vis
Screw and Key.

[ocr errors]

If you have gone through this list once or twice, always paying attention to only two at a time, you will repeat them with great facility backwards and forwards. Now for their practical use. All these words are feminine in French. Not only are they feminine, but they are the feminine exceptions. That is to say, all other words terminating like one of those words are masculine. No one 'has ever tried to learn those exceptions by heart, because there are so many, and it would take so much time to learn them, and some of them at least would be forgotten. But in this way the difficulty does not increase with the number, as we have to pay attention to only two at a time, notwithstanding the num



ber; and even if we should be unable to repeat them exactly, we recognize every word of the series and know instantly that if it is in the series the word is an exception and is feminine. Moreover, if we come across a word having the same termination as one in the list, but which word is not itself in the series, we know at once that it is not an exception. For example, “rage (the same word in French) you recognize at once as being in the series, because it recalls either “tooth "

pity.” Being in the series, it is feminine ; but age” (the same word in French), although not in the list, has the same sound in termination; it is therefore masculine. Take the word “corps," body. You know “body” is not in the list; but corps has the same termination in sound-never mind the spelling—as

mort,death, and “ death” is in the list; therefore having the same ending, but not being in the list, corps must be masculine. We may learn in this simple way the genders of thousands of French nouns.

I am not teaching you French, but only giving you an example of the use of this capacity of the mind to recall a list of words, or to recognize any word in that list. When I come to the fourth lesson, on the Study of Foreign Languages, I will show you how to remember the French equivalents of these and other words in foreign languages you will find in the lesson p.

* There are a few exceptions to this ; (.g., in words like foi, loi, etc. The sound is not sufficient: then there are a few words, sounding like toux and others, but ending with a mute e, like boue, etc,


The following list of words is a practical application to Latin grammar.

The rule in Latin is that all nouns of the third declension ending in “is” are feminine, with the exception of 36 or 37. I need not tell you how long it would take to learn them by rote, but in the way that I have indicated, not only do you learn them in one reading, but you learn the gender of all other words ending in “ is” at the same time, as shown above.

These are the exceptions :

You will please pay attention again only to the two which I give together at one time : Mullet. .fish. Fish ..river. Channel..ditch. Ditch..

Worm..dust. Dust..footpath. Footpath.. hillock. Hillock..stone. (because of flint). Fire. .firebrand. Firebrand. . bellows. Bellows..ashes. Ashes. . fine flour. Fine flour..bread. Bread..cucumber. Cucumber..stem. Stem.. bundle. Club..lever. Lever..axletree. Axletree. . ploughshare. Ploughshare (emblem of peace)..sword (emblem of war). Sword (artificial weapon). . nail (natural weapon). Nail.. blood. Blood..snake. Snake..dormouse.

Net.. hair. Hair.. rope.

Hair. .rope. Rope..collar. Circle (orbis)..month. Month (division of time)..end. End..door-post.

If you have paid attention to but two at a time, you can easily repeat these 36 words forwards or backwards.

They are a series of exceptions which we had to learn in the Latin grammar. You remember the rule, that all nouns of the third declension in is are feminine, with the exception of about 36 or 37 words.

« PrécédentContinuer »