Page:The Comic English Grammar.djvu/97

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SYNTAX.

the English student, is rendered so both by its orthography and pronunciation; namely, chawed. This term is no other than "chewed," modified. "Chawed up" is a very strong expression, and is employed to signify the most complete state of discomfiture and defeat, when a man is as much crushed, mashed, and comminuted, morally speaking, as if he had literally and corporeally undergone the process of mastication. "Catawampously" is a concentration of "hopelessly," "tremendously," "thoroughly," and "irrevocably;" so that "catawampously chawed up," means, brought as nearly to a state of utter annihilation as anything consistently with the laws of nature can possibly be. For the metaphorical use of the word "chawed," three several reasons have been given: 1. Familiarity with the manner in which the alligator disposes of his victims. 2. The cannibalism of the Aborigines. 3. The delicate practice of chewing tobacco. Each of these is supported by numerous arguments, on the consideration of which it would be quite out of the question to enter in this place.

 

RULE XVI.

Two English negatives (like French lovers) destroy one another,—and become equivalent to an affirmative: as, "The question before the House was not an unimportant one;" that is, "it was an important one." "Mr. Brown was free to confess that he did not undertake to say that he would not on some future occasion give a satisfactory answer to the honorable gentleman."

Thus, at one and the same time, we teach our readers Syntax and secretiveness.

It is probable that small boys are often unacquainted