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Nevada Writers Hall of Fame: Charlton Laird

Charlton Laird

Charlton Laird
Nevada Writers Hall of Fame 1990

 

Charlton (Larry) Laird (1901-1984) was a scholar, linguist, poet, novelist, nonfiction writer, editor and a teacher. He was born in Nashua, Iowa. While an undergraduate at the University of Iowa, he was a varsity fencer and worked as both an itinerant wheat harvester and summer preacher in the Midwest. He worked as manager of the News Bureau for the Des Moines Register & Tribune in 1926 and also became Head of the Dept. of Journalism for Drake University in Des Moines that year. He was a member of Sigma Delta Chi, an honorary journalistic society, which is now the Society of Professional Journalists. After further education at Columbia, Stanford and Yale Universities, he came to the University of Nevada, Reno in 1943 as head of the Department of English. Laird was instrumental in the German-born composer Max Urban's decision to move from Mexico to Reno, Nevada. Laird's wife, Helene, wrote lyrics for several of Urban's songs, and Urban composed music for several songs and musical plays written by Laird. Laird's love of language is evident in his numerous books, papers and speeches that turn highly specialized scholarly research into lively reading for the intelligent layman. He was active in the National Council of Teachers of English, sharing in a speech at their 1968 conference, "A good teacher of literature resembles a poem ...".

 

Bibliography for Charlton Laird

Novels:

Thunder on the River. Boston: Little, Brown, 1949. [Available: Knowledge Center: PS 3523 .A362 T5 1949]

West of the River. Boston: Little, Brown, 1953. [Available: Knowledge Center: PS 3523 .A362 W47 1953 and at Great Basin College, Elko]

Nonfiction:

Alston, William P. Philosophy of Language (review) in College Composition and Communication (Feb. 1965), Vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 50-51. [Available: Knowledge Center: PE 1001 .C6 1965 and online via JSTOR on the Library web site]

And Gladly Teche: Notes on Instructing the Natives in the Native Tongue. Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice-Hall, 1970. [Available: Knowledge Center, UNR Archives: PE 1065 L33 and at Great Basin College, Elko]

Aristotle's Katharsis in an Impersonal World" in College English (Dec. 1941), Vol. 3, pp. 215-225. [Available: Knowledge Center, MARS].

A Basic Course in Modern English. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1963. (Co-authors: Robert M. Gorrell and Raymond J. Pflug)

"Books that Changed the World" (review) by Robert B. Downs (1956) in College English (Nov. 1958), Vol. 20, no. 2, p. 99. [Available: Knowledge Center, MARS]

Collins New World Thesaurus. London: Collins, 1979. new ed.

A Course in Modern English. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1960. Co-author: Robert M. Gorrell.

"Dialogues on Language" reprint of "Structural Linguistics: Notes for a Devil's Advocate." [Urbana, IL?: National Council of Teachers of English?, 1962.]

"Down Giantwife: The Uses of Etymology" in English Journal (Nov. 1970), Vol. 59, no. 8, pp. 1106-1112. [Available: Knowledge Center, MARS].

English as Language: Backgrounds, Development, Usage. New York, Harcourt, Brace & World, 1961. [Available: Knowledge Center, UNR Archives: PE 1075.5 .L3]

"Etymology, Anglo-Saxon, and Noah Webster" in American Speech (Feb. 1946), Vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 3-15. [Available: Knowledge Center: PE 2801 .A6 1946 and online via JSTOR on the Library web site]

"Five New Gretham Sermons and the Middle English 'Mirror'" in Publications of the Modern Language Association of America (PMLA) (Sept. 1942), Vol. 57, pp. 628-637. [Available: Knowledge Center, MARS, and online via JSTOR on the Library web site]

"A Footnote to the Footnote: Science, Linguistics, and the Kwakiuts Grammarian" in College English (May 1958), Vol. 19, no. 8, pp. 354-357. [Available: Knowledge Center, MARS, and online via JSTOR on the Library web site]

"A Fourteenth Century Scribe" in Modern Language Notes (MLN). (Dec. 1940), Vol. 55, no. 8, pp. 601-603. [Available: Knowledge Center, MARS, and online via JSTOR on the Library web site]

Handbook for English Language and Composition. Boston: Ginn, 1964. Complete High School ed. [Available: Knowledge Center, Special Collections]

"The Importance of Being a Literary Orphan" in College English (Dec. 1943), Vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 129-136. [Available: Knowledge Center, MARS, and online via JSTOR on the Library web site]

Iowa Legends of Buried Treasure. Lincoln, Neb.: Foundation Books, 1990. (Rev. ed. of Laird's Master of Arts thesis, edited by Stephen K. Hutchinson)

Kurath, Hans. A Phonology and Prosody of Modern English (review) in English Language Notes (1966), Vol. 3, pp. 315-320. [Available: Knowledge Center: PE 1  .E53 1966]

Laird's Promptory: A Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms and Specific Equivalents. NY: Holt, 1948. [Available: Knowledge Center: PE 1591 .L26 1948]

"Language: Second Phase of the Rocket" in Reflections on High School English: NDEA Institute Lectures 1965. Tulsa, OK: Tulsa Univ., 1966; pp. 158-176.  [Available: Knowledge Center: PE 1066 T3; and in Research, ERIC microfiche: ED 023688]

"Language: What To Do About a Drop-In" in English Journal (Nov. 1970), Vol. 59, no. 8, pp. 1199-1205. [Available: Knowledge Center, MARS].

Language in America. NY: World Pub., 1970. [Available: Knowledge Center: PE 2808 L3 and at Great Basin College, Elko]

"Linguistic Approach to the Study of the American Language" in Baltimore Bulletin of Education, A Journal of the Public Schools. (1966-67), Vol. 43, no. 2-4, pp. 1-80. [Available: Knowledge Center, Research, ERIC microfiche: ED 049265]

Manuscripts of the 'Manuel des Pechiez'. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. School of Letters, 1941. (Series: Stanford Studies in Language and Literature). [Available: Knowledge Center, Special Collections]

The Miracle of Language. Cleveland: World Pub. Co., 1953.

"The Miracle of the Desart" in Myths About Language. Tokyo: Eichosha, 1972, pp. 1-18, 55-59. (Hayashi, Tetsuro & Kaoru Isobe, eds.) (Excerpt from The Miracle of Language; "desart" is an obsolete form for "desert")

Modern English Handbook. 6th ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1976. Co-author: Robert M. Gorrell. (2nd. ed., 1956, 1963) [Available: Knowledge Center, Research: PE 1408 G63 1976; earlier editions also in Getchell: 1962, 1967, 1972]

Modern English Reader. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1970. Co-editors: Robert M. Gorrell and Ronald E. Freeman. [Available: Knowledge Center, UNR Archives: PE 1408 G65]

Modern English Rhetoric and Handbook, 7th ed. Co-authors: Robert M. Gorrell and Margaret Urie. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1988.

"A Nonhuman Being Can Learn Language" in College Composition and Communication. (May 1972), Vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 142-154. [Available: Knowledge Center: PE1001 .C6 1972 and online via JSTOR on the Library web site]

"Peter Idley's Instructions to his Son" (review). by Charlotte D'Evelyn, ed.; in English Studies. (1939), Vol. 21, pp. 276-278. [Available: Knowledge Center, MARS].

Pickett at Gettysburg. Boston: Ginn, 1965. (Series: Casebooks for Objective Writing). [Available: Knowledge Center, UNR Archives: PE 1415 L3]

Primitive Art On Your Feet. Pocatello, ID: Shoshone Trading Post, 1941?. (8 loose photographs in pocket) [Available: Knowledge Center, Special Collections: E 99 .S4 L357 1941]

Reading About Language. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1971. Co-author: Robert M. Gorrell. [Available: Knowledge Center, UNR Archives: PE 25 .L3]

"Reflections: The Child as Linguist" in Language Arts. (Feb. 1980), Vol. 57, no. 2, pp. 131-141. [Available: Knowledge Center: LB 1576 A1 E6 1980]

"Relativist and Absolutist: The Early Neoclassical Debate in England" (review). by Emerson R. Marks, 1955. inComparative Literature (Summer 1957), Vol. 9, no. 3; pp. 283-285. [Available: Knowledge Center: PN851 .C595 1957 and online via JSTOR on the Library web site]

Revising and Re-Editing: A Guide for Comparative and General Literature. Reno: Univ. of Nevada, 1966. (Report no. CRP-S-144) [Available: Knowledge Center, Research, ERIC microfiche: ED 011969]

"Seen but not Heard: Language Learning and Language Teaching." [Available: Knowledge Center, Research, ERIC microfiche: ED 024940]

"A Simpleminded Look at Grammar and Language" in College Composition and Communication. (Oct.  1969), Vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 181-186. [Available: Knowledge Center: PE1001 .C6 1972 and online via JSTOR on the Library web site]

The Source of Robert Mannyng of Brunne's Handlyng synne: A Study of the Extant Manuscripts of the Anglo-Norman 'Manuel des Pechiez'. CA: Stanford Univ., 1940. (doctoral dissertation)

"Structural Linguistics: Notes for a Devil's Advocate" in College English (Nov. 1962), Vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 93-126. [Available: Knowledge Center, MARS, and online via JSTOR on the Library web site]

Tanner, Bernard R. and Craig Vittetoe. Guide for Objective Writing. Boston, MA: Ginn, 1967. (General editor: Charlton Laird) [Available: Knowledge Center, Special Collections: PE 1429 .T3 1967]

"A Teacher Must Be." in Teaching the Teacher of English: Selected Papers and Addresses delivered at the 'Conference on English Education' (6th, Univ. of Colorado, Mar. 28-30, 1968). Part II, pp. 1-4. Champaign, IL: National Council of Teachers of English, 1968. [Available: Knowledge Center: Research, ERIC microfiche: ED 071101]

Thinking About Language. NY: Rinehart, 1959. (Series: Rinehart English pamphlets) 75 pp. (its Manuscript available: Knowledge Center, Archives) [Available: Knowledge Center, Special Collections: P 121 .L36 1961]

"Tragedy and Irony in 'Knickerbocker's History'" in American Literature: A Journal of Literary History, Criticism and Bibliography. (May 1940), Vol. 12, pp. 157-172. [Available: Knowledge Center, Research, Microfilm S274 1940 and online via JSTOR on the Library web site]

The Tree of Language. Cleveland: World Pub. Co., 1957. Co-author: Helene Laird. (autographed copy) [Available: Knowledge Center, UNR Archives: PE 1585 .L3 1957]

Unit 1001: The Nature of Meaning in Language (curriculum guide). Minneapolis: Minnesota Univ., Ctr. for Curriculum Development in English, 1968. [Available: Knowledge Center Research, ERIC Microfilm: ED 028174].

Walter Van Tilburg Clark. Reno: Black Rock Press, 1972. (150 copies printed for the Walter Van Tilburg Clark Memorial Committee, University of Nevada, Reno, May 1972)

Walter van Tilburg Clark, Critiques. Reno, NV: Univ. of Nevada Press, 1983. [Available: Knowledge Center: PS 3505 .L376 Z94 1983; and also at: Great Basin College, Elko; Western Nevada Community College, Carson City and Fallon campuses]

Weathercasting. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1955. Co-author: Ruth Laird. [Available: Knowledge Center, Special Collections: QC 995 L3]

Webster's New World Dictionary and Thesaurus. 1st & 2nd eds. Cleveland, OH:  Webster's New World, 1996, 2002. (Michael Agnes, ed. in chief). [Available: Knowledge Center: PE 1628 .W56314 1996; Research: 2002 ed.]

Webster's New World Pocket Thesaurus. NY: Macmillan, 1997. Co-author: Michael Agnes.

Webster's New World Roget's A-Z Thesaurus.  New York: Macmillan USA, 1999. (Michael Agnes, ed. in chief; rev. ed. of: Webster's New World Thesaurus,  1997)  [Available: Knowledge Center, Research: PE 1591 .L27 1999]

Webster's New World Thesaurus. NY: World Pub. Co., 1971. (bound with Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language) (other editions: 1974, 1983) [Available: Knowledge Center, Special Collections: PE 1625 W33 1971b; also at Great Basin College, Elko, Reference]

Webster's New World Thesaurus. rev. ed. NY: Simon & Schuster, 1985. (updated by William D. Lutz)

Webster's New World Thesaurus: Revised and Updated for the 1990's. rev. ed. NY: Warner Books, 1990. [Available: Knowledge Center, Research: PE 1591 .L27 1990]

Webster's New World Thesaurus. 3rd ed. New York: Macmillan USA, 1999. (Michael Agnes, ed. in chief). [Available: Knowledge Center: PE 1591 .L27 1997]

The Word: A Look at the Vocabulary of English. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1981. [Available: Knowledge Center: PE 1449 .L28]

"Words and Their Waywardness in Present-Day Speech" in College Composition and Communication. (Oct. 1971), Vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 221-228. [Available: Knowledge Center: PE1001 .C6 1971 and online via JSTOR on the Library web site]

Words, Words, Words. NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1972. [Available: Knowledge Center, University Archives: PE 1449 .L3]

The World Through Literature. NY: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1951. (Series: National Council of Teachers of English. English monograph, no. 18)

A Writer's Handbook. Boston: Ginn, 1964.

Writing Modern English. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1973. (Co-author: Robert M. Gorrell) [Available: Knowledge Center, Special Collections: PE 1408 G67]

You and Your Language. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1973. (Series: A Spectrum book S-312). [Available: Knowledge Center: PE 1075 L29 and at Great Basin College, Elko]

Musical Plays & Song Lyrics

"Carmencita." (1948). Papers of Max Urban. [Available: Knowledge Center, Special Collections: 96-46 and University Archives: Charlton Grant Laird Papers, AC 0076]

"Cowboy Cave." musical play. Papers of Max Urban. [Available: Knowledge Center, Special Collections: 96-46]

"Once Upon a Rainy Day." musical play. Papers of Max Urban. [Available: Knowledge Center, Special Collections: 96-46]

Biographical Sources & Critical Response:

Autobiographical Collection, 1982-1983. (an unpublished autobiography, I'd Rather Write, with correspondence, etc.) [Available: Knowledge Center, UNR Archives: AC 0151]

Boardman, Phillip C., ed. The Legacy of Language: A Tribute to Charlton LairdReno: Univ. of Nevada Press, 1987. (Preface by Robert Gorrell) [Available: Knowledge Center: P 26 .L29 L44 1987; Great Basin College, Elko; and Western NV Community College, Fallon]

"Book Review Is Feature Of Meeting." Nevada State Journal (December 12, 1954), p. 18.

Chapman, Robert L. "Language in America" (review) in The Nation. (1971), Vol. 213, p. 89. [Available: Knowledge Center, Research Microforms: Microfiche S29 1971; and online in The Nation Digital Archive via the Library web site]

Contemporary Authors. 1st rev. Detroit: GaleResearch, 1975. Vols. 13-16. [Available: Knowledge Center: Ref Z 1224 .C6 and online via the Library web site's Gale Literature Resource Center database]

Fleischmann, Wolfgang B. "The World Through Literature" (review) in Comparative Literature (Winter 1954), Vol. 6, no. 1 , p. 84. [Available: Knowledge Center: PN 851 .C595 1954; and online in the JSTOR database via the Library web site]

"Hilliard Bequest Will Fund Humanities Program." Nevada State Journal (June 22, 1972), p. 5.

"History of the Brushfire." Sagebrush (August 31, 1973), p. 6.

Kille, J. Dee. Academic Freedom Imperiled: The McCarthy Era at the University of Nevada. Reno: University of Nevada Press, 2004. [Available: Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center and its Special Collections: LD 3763 .K55 2004]

Lee, L. L. Walter Van Tilburg Clark: Critiques (review) in Western Humanities Review (1984) Vol. 38, pp. 296-297. [Available: Knowledge Center: AS 30 .W46 1984]

Liu, Chun-Jo. "The World through Literature" (review) in Literature East & West (1955), Vol. 2, p. 32. [Available: Knowledge Center, Research Microforms: Microfilm S313]

Milton, John. Walter Van Tilburg Clark: Critiques (review) in Western American Literature. (1985), Vol. 20, pp. 183-184. [Available: Knowledge Center: PS271 .W46 1985]

The Miracle of Language (reviews) in:

  • Books Abroad: An International Literary Quarterly (1955-56), Vol. 30, p. 231. [Available: Knowledge Center: Z1007 .B717 1955-56]
  • Canadian Forum (1954), Vol. 34, p. 70.
  • Journalism Quarterly (1954), Vol. 31, p. 116. [Available: Knowledge Center: PN 4700 .J7 1954]
  • Modern Language Journal (1954), Vol. 38, p. 156. [Available: Knowledge Center, MARS]
  • New York Herald Tribune Book Review (Dec. 13, 1953), Vol. 30, p. 3. [Available: Knowledge Center:  805 qN411 1953]

Moreno, Richard. A Short History of Reno. 2nd ed. Reno: University of Nevada Press, 2015. [Available: Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center and its Special Collections, and at Western Nevada College-Carson City: F 849 .R4 L35 2015]

"Nevada Authors Meet the Public." Nevada State Journal (Oct. 6, 1954), p. 2.

Papers, 1927-1982.  University of Nevada, Reno Libraries, Special Collections & Archives: AC 0284. (Includes correspondence from Walter Van Tilburg Clark)

Papers, 1936-1980.  University of Nevada, Reno Libraries, Special Collections & Archives: AC 0076.

Rosen, Karl. "You and Your Language" (review) in Modern Language Journal (Sep.-Oct., 1974), Vol. 58, no. 5/6, p. 269. [Available: Knowledge Center, MARS, and online in the JSTOR database via the Library web site]

Scharnhorst, Gary. Walter Van Tilburg Clark: Critiques (review) in Modern Fiction Studies (1984), Vol. 30, pp. 805-806.[Available: Knowledge Center: PS 379 .M55 1984]

Thunder on the River (reviews) in:

  • Bulletin from Virginia Kirkus' Bookshop Service (Nov. 15, 1948), Vol. 16, p. 604.
  • Christian Science Monitor (Feb. 3, 1949), p. 11. [Available: Knowledge Center, Research Microfilm N 553, 1949]
  • Forum and Century (1949), Vol. 111, p. 216.
  • Library Journal. (Dec. 1, 1948), Vol. 73, p. 1743. [Available: Knowledge Center: Z 671 .L7 1948]
  • New York Times (Feb. 6, 1949), p. 25. [Available: Knowledge Center, Research Microfilm N5 1949]
  • Saturday Review of Literature (Feb. 19, 1949), Vol. 32, p. 37. [Available: Knowledge Center, Research Microforms: Microfilm S19; and in MARS]

"The Tree of Language" (review) in Times Literary Supplement (London), (Oct. 14, 1960), p. 664. [Available: Knowledge Center, Research Microfilm S29]

"Walter Van Tilburg Clark Will Replace Laird as U.N. Lecturer in English Here." Nevada State Journal (May 16, 1952).

Who Was Who in Journalism, 1925-1928. (Gale Composite Biographical Dictionary Series, No. 4) Detroit: Gale Research, 1978. [Available: Knowledge Center, Special Collections: Laird's archival materials]

Willard, Oliver M. "Footnote 3" in College English (May 1958), Vol. 19, no. 8, pp. 353-354. [Available: Knowledge Center, MARS, and online via JSTOR on the Library web site]

Willard, Oliver M. "A Footnote to Laird's 'Parts'" in College English (May 1958), Vol. 19, no. 8, pp. 353-354. [Available: Knowledge Center, MARS, and online via JSTOR on the Library web site]

Williams, Mentor L. Laird's Promptory: A Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms and Specific Equivalents (review) in College English (Nov. 1949), Vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 110-111. [Available: Knowledge Center, MARS, and online via JSTOR on the Library web site]

Wilson, Harris W. "English As Language" (review) in College English (Feb. 1965), Vol. 26, no. 5, p. 414. [Available: Knowledge Center, MARS, and online via JSTOR on the Library web site]

Please direct questions about this bibliography to Betty Glass.