Page:The Comic English Grammar.djvu/7

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PRELIMINARY DISCOURSE.


Fashion requires, and like the rest of her sex, requires because she requires, that before a writer begins the business of his book, he should give an account to the world of his reasons for producing it; and therefore, to avoid singularity, we shall proceed with the statement of our own, excepting only a few private ones, which are neither here nor there.

To advance the interests of mankind by promoting the cause of Education; to ameliorate the conversation of the masses; to cultivate Taste, and diffuse Refinement; these are the objects we have in view in submitting a Comic English Grammar to the patronage of a discerning Public.

Few persons there are, whose ears are so extremely obtuse, as not to be frequently annoyed at the violations of Grammar by which they are so often assailed. It is really painful to be forced, in walking along the streets, to hear such phrases as, "That 'ere omnibus." "Where've you bin?" "Vot's the odds?" and the like. Very dreadful expressions are also used by cartmen and others in addressing their horses. What can possibly induce a human being to say "Gee woot!" "'Mather way!" or "Woa?" not to mention the atrocious "Kim aup!" of the barbarous butcher's boy.

It is notorious that the above and greater enormities are perpetrated in spite of the number of Grammars already before the world. This fact sufficiently excuses the present addition to the stock; and as serious English Grammars have hitherto failed to effect the desired reformation, we are induced to attempt it by means of a Comic one.

With regard to the moral tendency of our labors, we may be here permitted lo remark, that they will tend, if successful, to the suppression of evil speaking; and as the Spartans used to exhibit a tipsy slave to their children with a view to disgust them with drunkenness, so we, by giving a few examples here and there, of incorrect phraseology, shall expose, in their naked deformity, the vices of speech to the ingenious reader.