Society for Pure English Tract 1 (Oct 1919)

Society for Pure English
Society for Pure English Tract 1
(Oct 1919)

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Title: Society for Pure English Tract 1 (Oct 1919)
Author: Society for Pure English
Release Date: May 15, 2004 [EBook #12358]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII

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Post-Proofer; the Online Distributed Proofreaders Team


Preliminary Announcement

List of Members
Oct. 1919
At the Clarendon Press MDCCCCXIX

The Society was founded in 1913, and was preparing to enter on its
activities, when the declaration of war in Aug. 1914 determined the
Committee to suspend proceedings until the national distraction should
have abated. They met again after the Armistice in 1918 and agreed to
announce their first issues for October 1919. Although present
conditions are not as favourable as could be wished, it would seem that
the public are disposed to attend to literary matters, and that the war has
even quickened the interest and increased the number of those to whom
the special objects of the Society will be most intelligible and
A false start is a misfortune, and recovery from its confusion must have
an awkward appearance, for which it is needless to make further
apology or explanation.
In calling itself the Society for Pure English it was not overlooked that
the word Pure might carry a wrong suggestion. It should be explained
that it does not denote, as it is sometimes used to denote, the idea that
words of foreign origin are impurities in English; it rather assumes that
they are not; and the Committee, whether wisely or unwisely, thought a
short title of general import was preferable to a definition which would
misrepresent their purpose by its necessary limitations.
The founders were originally confident that they could carry on their
work without asking for any subscription from the members; and
although the conditions of prices and commodities are now wholly
changed and altogether unfavourable, they still hope that they may be
able to keep to their scheme. If the publications of the Society are of
sufficient merit, their profits should cover the expenses of an unsalaried
staff; and though it shall be optional for their authors to retain a share
of such prospective profits, it is hoped that most of those who
contribute their work will be willing to allow all the profits to go into

the funds of the Society. In the place of a small subscription, which it is
as inconvenient regularly to collect as it is to pay, the secretary invites
donations of any amount, great or small, which will be duly
acknowledged and deposited in the Society's banking account. The
sympathetic response to their prospectus warrants the belief that more
donations will be forthcoming. The Society having a finite aim may,
after a few years of activity, consider its usefulness to be at an end; and
if, when it is wound up, it should have a balance in hand, the present
Committee undertake to pay such a balance into the Pension Fund of
the Society of Authors.
The Society undertakes to publish a series of tracts on the subjects
which it is founded to deal with.
It is impossible to foresee the quality or amount of such expert
contributions; but the Committee intend to issue at least a quarterly
paper which shall contain a report of proceedings up to date.
Meanwhile the two first tracts are sent gratis to all the present members.
Later issues will be announced in the literary journals, and members
will be expected to buy them unless they shall pre-contract to have
them supplied as they are issued, which may be done by a donation to
the Society at the rate of 10s. a year. The tracts will be issued by the
Oxford University Press.
The original Committee will continue to carry on until it is convenient
to call a meeting of the members to relieve them of their responsibility;
and it is their plan that the members should ultimately decide the
constitution of the Society. Meanwhile they guarantee the general
soundness of the books and publications which will be advertised on
their pages; but under no circumstances do they make the Society
responsible for all the opinions of its
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