The Freshman's Troubles

Under the new rules of limitation at Haryard there is a provision that will make some of the aspirants more or less uneasy. It is no less than that a candidate for entrance whose native tongue is English will not be admitted unless his work in English is passable. The question then arises whether the present generation of sub freshmen talk and write worse English than the one preceding, and whether that generation fell short in this respect of its senior. One thing is certain, at all events, and that is that the present crop of freshmen at Harvard and elsewhere are nothing much when it comes to talking and writing English. It is not entirely the fault of these unhappy youths that this should be the untoward fact, for there are many reasons for it. One is the acceptation in such matters of mediocre standards throughout the country as a whole, a state of affairs that makes itself evident quite as much in the school and colleges as anywhere else. A society that talks slipshod English is going to produce slipshod teachers. Another reason may be summed up in the word "carelessness" a carelessness that has political cause as well as others, for there are some mistaken citizens who regard careful English as sinister affectation. Their view seems to be that one can talk as badly and incorrectly as he choose and yet save his country, to say nothing of the domestic hearth, while one who pronounces the language so that it is at once melodious and correct has a certain meretrioiousness in his composition of which freemen must aware. It is one more case of the divine right of incorrectness. The Transcript.