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   Chapter 4 No.4

An English Grammar By William Malone Baskervill Characters: 1293

Updated: 2017-11-30 00:04

They are not then pure abstract nouns, nor are they common class nouns. For example, examine this:-

The arts differ from the sciences in this, that their power is founded not merely on facts which can be communicated, but on dispositions which require to be created.-Ruskin.

When it is said that art differs from science, that the power of art is founded on fact, that disposition is the thing to be created, the words italicized are pure abstract nouns; but in case an art or a science, or the arts and sciences, be spoken of, the abstract idea is partly lost. The words preceded by the article a, or made plural, are still names of abstra

ct ideas, not material things; but they widen the application to separate kinds of art or different branches of science. They are neither class nouns nor pure abstract nouns: they are more properly called half abstract.

Test this in the following sentences:-

Let us, if we must have great actions, make our own so.-Emerson.

And still, as each repeated pleasure tired, Succeeding sports the mirthful band inspired.-Goldsmith.

But ah! those pleasures, loves, and joys

Which I too keenly taste,

The Solitary can despise.


All these, however, were mere terrors of the night.-Irving.

By ellipses, nouns used to modify.

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