A Trivial Comedy for serious people archives

I've decided definitively that people who make a fuss about language and grammar are people not worth knowing. By language and grammar, I include (but do not limit myself) to the following (mostly relating to written language):

- Rants about the misuse of words that had a specific technical meaning, that a word has lost its original meaning (take complaints about "awesome" or "wonderful" - people sit around bemoaning that these words have lost their Elizabethan connotations).
- Complaints about mispellings, misuse of punctuation.
- Arguments that antiquated forms of English should remain in use, particularly that damned split infinitive directive.
- Complaints about typos.

This includes, oh, all of you. Including myself. As I am an uncompromising individual we all know I am, so long!

It's not that I don't like to see well formed written English, I just tire of hearing complaints about it. I don't really care anymore about - dear lord - someone's grammatical faux pas. Also, spelling isn't very sacred. At all. It can be reformed, and change - look at the very deliberate drop of the u's from American spelling of words like colour and humour. Even though I work in a library, and it's annoying to have to deal with typos, I can't really bring myself to care very much them. I just don't care.

I also think that it's entirely likely that these kinds of angry diatribes do more harm than good. My father's insistent correction of me every time I said "I did good on that test" to "I did well" means that I now hypercorrect myself. When someone asks me how I'm doing, I say that "I'm well," which is incorrect. I always get that fluttery feeling, too, which is a sure sign that something isn't quite right with what I'm saying.

Also, a lot of things that are ungrammatical, say, in the speech of children, are the overactive application of rules that grown-ups occasionally use. I'm going to say "don't giggle me" all the time now.

You're all goners.

2003-04-03, Grammarschmammar

before / after

archives / website / hello book / diaryland