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   Chapter 3 Instead of considering the whole body of material of which certain uses are made, one can speak of particular uses or phases of the substance; as—

An English Grammar By William Malone Baskervill Characters: 1225

Updated: 2017-11-30 00:04

(1) Of individual objects made from metals or other substances capable of being wrought into various shapes. We know a number of objects made of iron. The material iron embraces the metal contained in them all; but we may say, "The cook made the irons hot," referring to flat-irons; or, "The sailor was put in irons" meaning chains of iron. So also we may speak of a glass to drink from or to look into; a steel to whet a knife on; a rubber for erasing marks; and so on.

(2) Of classes or kinds of the same substance. These are the same in material, but differ in strength, purity, etc. Hence it shortens spee

ch to make the nouns plural, and say teas, tobaccos, paints, oils, candies, clays, coals.

(3) By poetical use, of certain words necessarily singular in idea, which are made plural, or used as class nouns, as in the following:-

The lone and level sands stretch far away.

From all around-

Earth and her waters, and the depths of air-

Comes a still voice.


Their airy ears

The winds have stationed on the mountain peaks.


(4) Of detached portions of matter used as class names; as stones, slates, papers, tins, clouds, mists, etc.

Personification of abstract ideas.

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