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8. Do not underline words and sentences for emphasis, nor indulge in apologies and long prefaces of explanation.
9. When writing a letter of request to a mere acquaintance, or to a stranger, it is good form to inclose a postage stamp. We should not impose any pecuniary obligation upon a stranger.
10. The letters st, th, or d are omitted after figures used to designate the day of the month, in such cases as September 29, October 2.
11. Invitations to dinner or luncheon require immediate answers; but invitations to weddings, receptions, and evening entertainments require no answer in acceptance, unless an answer has been requested. Written regrets may be sent within three or four days after the receipt of the invitation. The answer is always addressed to the person in whose name the invitation is given.
12. An invitation should not be answered on a visiting card, nor on a postal card, nor on business paper, nor on a half sheet of note paper.
13. When an invitation is given in the name of both husband and wife, the answer should contain an allusion to each; but the envelope should be addressed to the wife alone.
14. The words "Present," "Addressed," or "En Ville" should not be placed upon the envelope. It is a custom no longer observed.
15. An occasion for a postscript (P. S.) should be avoided.
16. It is not good form to begin a sentence without a subject; as, "Have just returned from," etc., or, "Would be glad to meet,” etc.
17. "Avoid flourishes and peculiar and striking capitals in the signature. They are an evidence of vanity and vulgarity, not of individuality and character, as is sometimes imagined."
18. Remember that written words may sometimes become very unpleasant witnesses. It is ever well that thinking precede writing.
19. A letter of introduction or of recommendation should not be sealed. On the lower left-hand corner of an envelope inclosing a letter of introduction should be written the word Introducing, with the name of the person introduced.
Come to class prepared to do the following requirements at the blackboard:
1. Write proper headings for letters supposed to be written from the following places: a state normal school; a village in Sonoma County, California; the St. Francis Hotel, in San Francisco; the University of Michigan; the steamship Paris in mid-ocean; 235 Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio.
2. Write the introductory and concluding parts of letters to three firms.
3. Direct envelopes to the following: a clergyman in Milwaukee, a lawyer living in the county
seat of your own county, the editor of a local paper, the principal of the nearest high school, a physician living in a Kansas village, the mayor of a large city, your uncle who is staying at the Auditorium Hotel in Chicago, and a boy of ten with whom you are acquainted, and who is spending the winter in Honolulu.
4. Write a formal invitation. Write two replies, in one accepting, in the other declining, the invitation.
1. Your friend Albert Fuller writes to ask you about a school that you formerly attended and that he is thinking of attending next year. Answer his letter.
2. Your friend Irene Jones writes to ask you about a school that you have attended, and that she thinks of attending next year. Answer her letter.
3. You have a cousin who lives in Nova Scotia. You live in Texas. Write to him (or her) about the climate and the chief industries. Tell something respecting your school, your young people's clubs, and your amusements.
4. A classmate has been ill, but is convalescent. Write him (or her) the kind of letter you would like to get if you were in his (or her) place.
5. Write to your friend Charles Dickson, who lives in Lincoln, Nebraska, inviting him to spend the Christmas holidays with you. Tell him why you
think he would enjoy such a visit. Your parents join in the invitation.
6. Write to a Christian friend, and recount the work done by your young people's missionary society during the last three months.
7. A man whom you know, wishes to buy a horse. Write to him, offering to sell him your horse. Describe the horse.
8. Write to the publishers of The World's Work, requesting them to send the magazine to your school for use in the reference library. Inclose a money order in payment.
9. You wish to buy a motor cycle. Write to the nearest agency, asking for descriptions of the "makes" they represent, with prices.
10. You are a student in a Christian college. Write to your mother, telling her why you enjoy the daily chapel exercises.
11. Send an order to Henry Holt and Company, for ten different books of recent issue. Arrange for payment.
12. You are a teacher. Write to a young friend, telling him why you think he should make teaching his life's work.
Principles of Effective Composition
DEFINITION. A sentence is a complete thought verbally expressed.
"The sentence is the mold into which all our thinking is run." It is the unit of thought and speech. All speaking and writing must therefore be done in sentences. We see, then, that the sentence is a tool which every one has occasion to use; and, like other tools, it is used to little purpose, if not used well. Here, as elsewhere, skill demands its pricelong and painstaking practice.
The grammatical requisites of a good sentence have been indicated in the chapter on "Applied Grammar." But there are other considerations that enter into the making of sentences.
Every sentence should be tested in effect by the following questions:
a. Have the words been so chosen and arranged as to insure clearness of expression?
b. Does the sentence express the thought with due emphasis or force?
c. Does it contain but one central thought?
d. Could the sentence be made to affect the ear more pleasantly?