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Numeral Figures and Words. · With the exception of dates, figures consisting of four or more characters are pointed with a comma before every three from the end, or between each class of hundreds.
The population of China in 1743, according to the French missionaries, was 150,029,855; in 1825, according to Dr. Morrison, 352,866,002.
REMARKS. a. Properly speaking, the comma, as here used, is neither a grammatical nor a rhetorical point; but, for the easy understanding of the value of sums, it is exceedingly useful. The rule is inserted in this place, merely because a more appropriate situation could not be found for it in the book.
b. When put in words, numbers are usually left unpointed; as, to take the first calculation in the example, “ The population of China in 1743 was fifteen millions twenty-nine thousand eight hundred and fifty-five."
c. When round numbers are used, and no comparison is made between one sum and another, words are preferable to figures; as, “According to Balbi, the entire population of Africa is thirty-nine millions."
EXERCISE TO BE WRITTEN. Punctuate the figures, except those expressive of dates :The sun is 883210 miles in diameter, about 2774692 miles in circumference, and distant from the earth about 95000000 of miles.
The Rocky Mountains rise 12500 feet above the level of the ocean; the Andes, 21440 feet.
On April 17, 1790, Dr. Franklin died at Philadelphia, aged eighty. four, and bequeathed $4444 to the people of Boston, for the benefit of young married artificers.
Population of the city of New York in 1790 was 33131; in 1800, 60489; in 1910, 96373; in 1820, 123706; in 1830, 202589; in 1840, 312710; in 1850, 515507.
SECT. II. — THE SEMICOLON.
The SEMICOLON [ ; ] is used to separate such parts of a sentence as are somewhat less closely connected than those separated by a comma.
RULE I. A Sentence consisting of Two Conjoined Clauses. When two clauses are united by either of the conjunctions for, but, and, or an equivalent word, — the one clause perfect in itself, and the other added as a matter of inference, contrast, or explanation, — they are separated by a semicolon.
1. Economy is no disgrace; for it is better to live on a little than to outlive a
great deal. 2. Genius breaks from the fetters of criticism; but its wanderings are sanc
tioned by its majesty and wisdom. 8. Modesty is one of the chief ornaments of youth; and it has ever been
esteemed a presage of rising merit.
a. When a conjunction unites two clauses incapable of being subdivided by a comma, in the last of which the nominative is anderstood, the insertion of a comma between the clauses is preferable to that of the semicolon. Thus, were the nominative “it,“ in the third example, omitted, the sentence would be punctuated as follows: “ Modesty is one of the chief ornaments of youth, and has ever been esteemed a presage of rising merit.” -- See page 98.
6. When a sentence consists of three or more clauses, united by a conjunction, none of which are susceptible of division, a semicolon
should be put between those which are least connected in sense, and a comma only between the others; as, “ The woods may disappear, but the spirit of them will never nows for it has been felt by a poet, and we can feel for ever what he felt.”
ORAL EXERCISE. Repeat the preceding Definition and Rule, and say why semicolons are inserted
in the following sentences :All cannot be great; and nobody may reasonably expect all the world to be engaged with lauding his merits.
Idleness is the parent of every vice; but well-directed activity is the source of every laudable pursuit and worldly attainment.
Examinations are formidable even to the best prepared; for the greatest fool may ask more than the wisest man can answer.
An entire retreat from worldly affairs is not what religion requires; nor does it even enjoin a long retreat from them.
Religion must be the spirit of every hour; but it cannot be the meditation of every hour.
A clownish air is but a small defect; yet it is enough to make a man disagreeable.
We have carved a cross upon our altars; but the smoke of our sacrifice goes up to Thor and Odin still.
Reasoning implies doubt and uncertainty; and therefore God does not reason.
Endless existence is a great truth; but an immortality of pure affections and holy employments is far greater.
Men must have recreation; and literature and art furnish that which is most pure, innocent, and refining.
Do not think yourself perfect; for imperfection is natural to humanity.
Pope had perhaps the judgment of Dryden; but Dryden certainly wanted the diligence of Pope.
Life is felt to be a great and gracious boon by all who enjoy its light; and this is not too much felt.
Never value yourself upon your fortune; for this is the sign of a weak mind.
Virtue is a real honor; whereas all other distinctions are merely titular.
Distracted and surprised with deep dismay
EXERCISE TO BE WRITTEN.
Let the following sentences be punctuated agreeably to the preceding Rule and
Make a proper use of your time for the loss of it can never be regained.
Truth will pass down in fragments to posterity but posterity will collect and compose them into a whole.
Ivy is the beauty of old ruins and your faith is not unlike it for it springs up so strongly from amidst fallen hopes. (Remark b.)
Mere knowledge may be idle but belief and love will, and must, go forth in action.
lle is a freeman whom the truth makes free
And all are slaves beside. Chaucer followed nature everywhere but never went beyond her. (Remark a.)
Good and evil are inseparable companions but the latter often hides behind the back of the former.
Liberal dealing is better than almsgiving for it tends to prevent pauperism, which is better than to relieve it.
The proud have no friends in prosperity for then they know nobody and none in adversity for then no one knows them. (Rem. 6.)
Property left to a child may soon be lost but the inheritance of virtue will abide for ever.
Outward suffering is the lot of human nature and it is cheering to see it bravely borne even on the battle-field.
A good conscience is a continual feast and proves a spring of joy amidst the greatest distresses. (Remark a.)
The study of truth is perpetually joined with the love of virtue for there is no virtue which derives not its original from truth.
A little philosophy inclineth men's minds to atheism but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds to religion.
Infidelity is not always built upon doubt for this is diffident nor philosophy always upon wisdcm for this is meek. (Remark b.)
Some persons make a long story short but most persons make a short story long. — Scott built a castle but he broke his heart.
We promise according to our hopes but perform according to our fears. (Remark a.)
The esteem of wise and good men is the greatest of all temporal encouragements tc virtue and it is the mark of an abandoned spirit to have no regard to it
Expressions divided into Simpler Parts.
A semicolon is placed between two or more parts of a sentence, when these, or any of them, are divisible by a comma into smaller portions.
1. Men are not to be judged by their looks, habits, and appearances; but by
the character of their lives and conversations, and by their works. % The noblest prophets and apostles have been children once; lisping the
speech, laughing the laugh, thinking the thought, of boyhood. 8. As we perceive the shadow to have moved, but did not perceive it moving;
80 our advances in learning, as they consist of such minute steps, are perceivable only by the distance.
a. It is obvious, that, if the sinaller portions of a sentence require to be separated by a comma from each other, the construction and sense of the whole passage will be more readily perceived, if the larger divisions are set apart by the insertion of a point indicating a less intimate connection. This will show the propriety of putting a semicolon, in the first example, between the negative and the affirmative portion of the sentence; in the second, between the clause and the series of phrases; and, in the third, between the members.
6. When, however, in a sentence resolvable into two or more larger portions that require to be separated by a semicolon, the last ends with a series of phrases, of which only the final one is capable of subdivision, the comma will usually be found sufficient to distinguish all the final terms. Thus: “ As, with a small telescope, a few feet in length and breadth, man learns to survey heavens beyond heavens, almost infinite; so, with the aid of limited senses and faculties, does he rise to the conception of what is beyond all visible heavens, beyond all conceivable time, beyond all imagined pmcer, beauty, and glory."
c. When the insertion of a seinicolon would tend to break up the harmony or the dependencies of the thought expressed, the larger portions of a sentence, though its smaller parts are susceptible of being grammatically divided, should be separated only by a comma,