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LILLIAN G. KIMBALL
INSTRUCTOR IN ENGLISH, STATE NORMAL SCHOOL, OSHKOSH, WISCONSIN
NEW YORK :: : CINCINNATI : : CHICAGO
It has long seemed to me both unfortunate and wrong that many pupils leave school with no keen delight in the study of English grammar, and with the mistaken idea that it is mainly a study of rules and definitions based upon the forms of mere words. Far from this, it should be from the beginning a study of thought. Words should be examined solely from the point of view of their function in the sentence, the part they play in the communication of thought. Always the sentence should be the unit of study, and it should be looked at, not primarily as expressing a thought that was once in the mind of its author, but rather as forever communicating thought to the minds of its readers. For men would neither speak nor write without an audience. Their aim is not to get their thought into words for satisfaction to themselves, but to convey thought by means of words to their fellow
Therefore it is that in all language study, in all language teaching, the governing idea should be, not expression, but communication, of thought.
It is now universally conceded that the purposes of grammar study are three; namely, and in the order of their importance and their realization, — 1. to discipline the mind; 2. to aid in the interpretation of speech and literature; 3. to facilitate the correct expression of thought. It cannot, then, be denied that a rational investigation of the structure of English sentences is far