Proposition. An expressed judgment. A judgment consists of two notions
or concepts, of which one is the subject and the other the predicate,
and when it is expressed or propounded, these are named terms.
As we have two verbs derived from the same Latin one, to propound and
propose, and two corresponding substantives proposition and
would have been desirable to keep the two latter distinct, confining the
one to its relation to propound, and the other to its relation to
propose, just as we keep distinct the words exposition and exposal or
exposure, and composition and composure, these being respectively the
substantives corresponding to the verbs expound, expose, compound,
In the case of proposition and proposal the distinction has
been unfortunately lost sight of. We find proposition used for proposal
as far back as Clarendon, and by the newspaper and parliamentary orators
of the present day such use is so general, that it seems as hopeless
swimming against the stream to resist it. Nevertheless, as a language
always gains both in precision and strength by the existence and observance of distinctions, I think it would be well to
attend to that now before us.
This, however, we do but partially.