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The King's English and How to Write It

Excerpt from The King's English and How to Write It: A Practical Text-Book of Composition For this edition the book has been carefully revised and in some chapters practically re-written; in several sections new matter has been included and additional exercises have been provided. In making these changes we have been much indebted to the criticisms of teachers who have used the work and who, in several cases, have urged that more exercises would be advisable. We give tests bearing upon every chapter, and in the Appendix have reproduced a series of recent English papers set at the Matriculation Examination of the University of London. By means of cross-references, the latter questions have been classified as supplementary exercises upon various chapters, but it was thought better to give the papers as originally set, so that they may be worked in toto if desired. We hope the work will be found tolerably complete by those who require help for examinations where English Composition (in various forms) is a test, and where the "English" papers are of a type similar to those now set at the "London Matric." We also trust that it may serve as a class-book where no particular examination is in view. We have tried to make it something more than a "cram book," and where it was necessary to give facts and information, have endeavoured to reduce these to the minimum. Rules and facts concerning what might be termed the mechanical details of composition necessarily predominate in Chapters like II. - V., but, as far as possible, we have tried to make them suggestive rather than dogmatic. In Chapters such as VI., VII., bearing primarily upon the "acquisition of matter," whilst seeking to lead to that "fulness of mind" necessary in all who would write, we have sought to develop the reasoning faculty and to cultivate the imagination. With this end in view, constant stress is laid upon the importance of reading good literature - for inspiration no less than information. As mentioned in the Preface to the First Edition, one of us (A. J. L. J.) is primarily responsible for the section on Precis Writing, the other (J. B.) for the general plan and for the remainder of the book. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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