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A normal department has been in operation in connection with the State University during the summer term each year for three years, and I learn from the July Nnmber of the Journal that $14,520 have been distributed among several colleges and academies in this State for the purpose of establishing normal departments. Unless they prove of more benefit than the normal department connected with the State University, the money is literally thrown away, or, at least, would have been expended much more beneficially in holding teachers' institutes in different localities in the State, where practical teachers might assemble and relate their experience and discuss the different methods of teaching.

E. M

TO PARENTS.

I wish to call your attention to one fact: that interfering with the teacher's discipline for preserving punctuality not only does injustice to him, but has a very deleterious influence on the school, and also founds a priociple of non-obedience to your own injunctions, and diminishes their estimate of the importance of regular habits. To explain, take the instance of tardiness. You say, “My children will always be punctual, unless necessarily detained, and I do not think it a just requirement.” Did it ever occur to you that all children are not as honest as yours ? that the dishonest seek extenuation from the liberty given the honest ? Your boy goes late, and you give him an excuse which you desire to serve for the term, viz.: “He will always be punctual if possible.” Let the teacher accept this general excuse, and the next time your boy is tardy, he takes his seat, an. der the observation of the school, without rendering the asual account. Every heedless and dishonest scholar says to himself, "I won't bring an excuse next time." He comes tardy. “ Where is your excuse, sir ?" "I have none; you let so-and-so take his seat without one--why not me?'' Thus the teacher is pricked with the sharp horn of a dilemma, aud must prevaricate to retain his dignity.

How much trouble would have been saved by complying with the teacher's wishes ! But why make this ado about punctuality? Because its importance is daily ard hourly forced upon our observation. Show me a lad punctual at every roll-call-starts the moment a recitation is called, with quick but quiet step and brightening eye, and you show one that is always prepared for every question, and eager to drink in every observation and explanation.

Again, take one who has no regard to discipline. He is indifferent to

noble incentives-tardy in the morning-tardy at noon-lardy at recitai tion; throws down his books and slate with a clatter ; is laughing, or in looking another way when questioned; in fact, is a troublesome character

generally. Of these two examples, the latter will probably become an in

dolent and worthless fellow; the former an honest, capable, and trustlei worthy citizen. ded Judge you, now, which course you would prefer for your boy. If you

wish him to be a spoiled child, an ungovernable youth and worthless man, ir let him go and come when he chooses, reproach the teacher before him for i not overlooking his faults, and take him out of school because he will not

do it. If, on the contrary, you wish him to be an honor to you, take an interest in his progress-teach him to make his wishes subservient to the regulations of the school, and implant in his mind the importance of obedience, punctuality, and assiduity.-Ilinois Teacher.

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We often hear persons speak of “

an use,"

an union," etc. As properles i ly might they say “an year.” When u at the beginning of a word has the tep sound of yoo, we must treat it as a consonant, and use a instead of an bedi fore it. So in the word one, the vowel sound is preceeded by the consonhet ant sound of w, as if it were wun; and we might as properly say "an won

der,” as say "such an one.” Before words commencing with h silent, an and must be used; as an hour," an honest man," etc. Before words com

mencing with h aspirated we use a; as a hope," a high hill," "a hum| so ble cot," etc. Do we aspirate the h in humble? Yes. So say Webster and the most modern authorities.

It is a common mistake to speak of a disagreeable effluvia. The word is pel effluvium in the singular, and effluvia is the plural. A similar form should So be observed with automaton, arcanum, erratum, phenomenon, alluvium,

and several other words which are less frequently used, and which change here the um or on into a to form the plural. In memorandum and encomium,

Disage has made it allowable to form the plural in the ordinary way, by the

addition of s. We may say either memorandums or memoranda, encomide ums or encomia. A man, who should have known better, remarked, the bele other day, “I found but one errata in the book.” Erratum, he should have said ; one erratum, two or more errata.

There is an awkwardness of speech prevalent among all classes of American society in such sentences as the following: “He quitted his horse and

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got on to a stage-coach ;" "He jumped from the counter on to the floor; “She laid it on to a dish ;” “I threw it on to the fire.” Why use two prepositions where one would be quite as explicit, and far more elegant ? Nobody, in the present day, would think of saying, “He came up to the city for to go to the exhibition,” because the preposition for would be an awkward superfluity; so is to in the examples given. There are some situations, however, in which the two prepositions may with propriety be employed, though they are never indispensable ; “I accompanied such & one to Bridgeport, and then walked on to Fairfield.” But here tro motions are implied, the walking onward and the reaching of a certain point.

There seems to be a natural tendency to deal in redundance of prepositions. Many people talk of “continuing on." I should be glad to be in. formed in what other direction it would be possible to continue.

It is illiterate to put the preposition of after the adverb off; as "the satin measured twelve yards before I cut this piece off of it; “the fruit was gathered off of that tree;" “ he fell off of the scaffolding.

There is an inaccuracy connected with the use of the disjunctive conjunctions or and nor by persons who speak in the following manner : Henry or John are to go to lecture;" “ His son or bis nephew have since put in their claim;"

;""Neither one nor the other have the least chance of success." The conjunctions disjunctive or and nor separate the objects in sense, as the conjunction copulative unites them; and as, by the use of the former, the things stand forth separately and singly to the comprehension, the verb or pronoun must be rendered in the singular number also; as, “ Benry or John is to go to the lecture; “His son or his nephew has put in his claim ;'? "Neither one nor the other has the least chance of success."

Many people improperly substitute the disjunctive but for the comparative than; as, “The mind no sooner entertains any proposition, but it preently hastens to some hypothesis to bottom it on.”Locke. “No other resource but this was allowed him;" "My behavior," says she, “has, I fear, been the death of a man who had no other fault but that of loving me too much."-Spectator.

Sometimes a relative pronoun is used instead of a conjunction, in such sentences as the following: “I do not know but what I shall go to New York to-morrow;" instead of “I do not know but that,” etc. Never say

cat it in half;" for this you can not do, unless you could annihilate one half. You may “cut it in two,” or “cut it in halves," or “cut it through,” or “divide it;" but no human ability will enable you to cut it in half.

There are speakers who are too refined to use the past (or perfect) participle of the verbs to drink," ,” “to begin," etc., and substituie the imperfect tense: thus, instead of saying, “I have drunk," "He has run,"

," "They have begun,” they say I have drank,” “ He has ran," “They have began," etc. Some of the dictionaries tolerate drank as &

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ros tot past participle; but drunk is unquestionably correct English. Probably it

Ways is from an unpleasant association with the word drunk that modern refineir mor de ment has changed it to drank. 2 came Và

It is very easy to mistake the nominative when another noun comes befor was tween it and the verb, which is frequently the case in the use of the inde

finite and distributive pronouns; as, “One of those houses were sold last ith prya week;" "Each of the daughters are to have a separate share;" "Every corarenied tree in those plantations have been injured by the storm;" “ Either of the But here's children are at liberty to claim it.” Bere, it will be perceived, that the f a certain pronouns “one,” each," every, ,” “either," are the true nominatives to lance of pe

the verbs; but the intervening noun in the plural number, in each sende gale: tence, deludes the ear; and the speaker, without reflection, renders the tinue

. verb in the plural instead of the singular number. The same error is often 07; a * committed when no second poun appears to plead an apology for the fault, *** the is as, “Every body has a right to look after their own interest ;” “Either

are at liberty to claim it.” This is the effect of pure carelessness.

There is another very common error, the reverse of that last mentioned, anner:· which is that of rendering the adjective pronoun in the plural number innae sine stead of the singular, in such sentences as the following: These kind of

entertainments are not conducive to general improvement;" Those sort of experiments are often dangerous. This error seems to orginate in the babit which people ineensibly acquire of supposivg the prominent noun in the sentence (such as “entertainments” or “experiments”) to be the noun qualified by the adjective

these" or " those;" instead of which, it is kind," "sort," or any word of that description immediately following - has pais

the adjective which should be so qualified, and the adjective must be made to agree with it in the singular number. We confess it is not so agreeable to the ear to say This kind of entertainmeuts,” “That sort of experimente," but it would be easy to give the sentence a different form, and say “Entertainments of this kind;" "Experiments of that sort;" by which the requisitions of grammar would be satisfied, and those of euphony, too.

Whatever is worth doing, is worth doing well. If our native language is worth studying, it is worth speaking well. Youth is the time for forming correct habits of speech.-English Journal of Education.

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ADMIRABLE USE OF A MAGNET.—A smith in Brighton, England, while forging a piece of iron, felt something strike his eye, and subsequently feeling great pain, he went to Dr. King, in Palace Street, who discovered that a piece of iron had embedded itself in the ball of the eye. Atter vainly endeavoring to extract it in the usual way, Dr. King thought of a powerful magnat which he had. He applied it to the eye, and was rejoiced at finding the piece of iron instantly removed. It was as large as a grain of wheat.

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Superintendent's Department.

TEXT BOOKS RECOMMENDED.

In this age of improved text-books, it is no pleasant task to commend one book, or series of school books, as superior to all others of the kind. Yet it is one of the obligations imposed by law on the State Superintendent—"it shall be his duty to recommend the introduction of the most approved text books, and, as far as practicable, to secure a uniformity in the use of text books in the common schools throughout the State.” “The Board in each district shall have power, under the advice of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, to determine what school and text books shall be used in the several branches taught in the school of such district." The law, then, makes it the “duty of the State Superintendent to recommend” wbile “ the power of determining what school and text books shall be used,” is vested in the District Board, under the advice of the State Superintendent. It is a further duty of the State Superintendent to secure, as far as practicable, a uniformity in the use of text books throughout the State. How all this can be effected, is not so easily determined. It would be folly for the State Superintendent to recommend text books, and endeavor to secure a uniformity in their use, if the District Boards have full power to determine this matter for themselves. And if the four thousand District Boards in this State, have full control of this subject, and can select what text books they please, how can a uniformity by any possibility be secured? But this power on the part of the District Boards is plainly limited; they can only determine under the advice or recommendation of the State Superintendent. To meet this view of the case, and leave the district boards some latitude, two kinds of text books upon the principal branches taught, are respectfully recommended in the following list.

Other series of Readers are regarded as good-Tower's, Sargeants, Town & Holbrook's, Sander's and Lovell's; but after a careful examination of the merits of all, and consultation with several of the prominent edacators of the State, preference is given to Parker & Watson's New Series of National Readers, and McGuffey's Eclectic Educational Series.

When different text books from those here recommended are at present

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