This study is concerned with determining the minimum epicentral distance for which it is permissible to obtain the value of the polarization angle of the S wave by measuring the angle between the great circle path at the station and the direction of the horizontal component of the S wave particle motion obtained from the seismograms. This critical distance can be determined by the fact that at smaller distances the particle motion of the earth's surface due to the incidence of S will be nonlinear (the SH and the horizontal and vertical components of SV will be out of phase with respect to one another) while at larger distances the particle motion will be linear. An analysis of the S motion recorded by the Galitzin-Wilip seismographs at Florissant indicates that the critical distance is 42 degrees. The periods of these S waves are of the order of 10 second. The analysis also shows that the effective P wave velocity of teleseismic waves at the earth's free surface is 7.74 km/sec, and the effective value of Poisson's ratio and the effective S wave velocity at the earth's surface are 0.25 and 4.46 km/sec, respectively. By effective values are meant the values of the velocities and Poisson's ratio that govern the angle of incidence of the waves at the earth's surface.