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Grammar Apocalypse

versailles
Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
71 of 121

@Mary W wrote:

That was back when I could actually read and speak French.  It was very depressing...


Yes, reading and speaking French is depressing.  

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
colettelewis
Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
72 of 121

@Reinier B wrote:

@Rene K wrote:

Yes, the language is evolving, but there is a difference between a language that evolves and a language that gets defaced by laziness and ignorance of the basic rules that makes it a proper tool for communication.


 Rene makes an excellent point about people defacing languages. 

 

In my case, I have forbidden my children to send me text messages or messages via Whatsapp, simply because I cannot understand the language they use. If they want to talk to me and it cannot be face to face, I insist that they call me so that I have a reasonable opportunity to use the English language as an effective tool for communication.



 I'm old enough to remember telegrams and sending them. This was in the days when making international telephone calls required strategy and funds. I remember sending my parents a telegram (from Switzerland to Zimbabwe) about flight and fetch times. Needless to say, they were not at the  airport to fetch me, because I had mistakenly thought that shortening my words would make for a cheaper telegram.

 

I still have that telegram. It reads: Psd xms cmg hme  arv 8 am 2 Sep pse b thr to clct  Nx

 

Is this so difficult?

jmlaidlaw
Community Guru
Janean L Member Since: Apr 6, 2016
73 of 121

@ Nichola --

 

I read your arrival time just fine!

 

Speaking of telegrams makes me think of the special melancholy (poignancy) that can accompany a certain brevity. My father-in-law has the original telegram that was sent by his grandfather to his own father, upon the death of the grandfather's son during WWI. The son who died, like the recipient of the telegram, was a young cadet in the British Royal Navy. The text of the telegram, still so many years later ineffably sad, goes something like:

 

"David. Mother advises Robert perished yesterday. At sea. A sad day for us all. Father."

colettelewis
Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
74 of 121

@Janean L wrote:

@ Nichola --

 

I read your arrival time just fine!

 

Speaking of telegrams makes me think of the special melancholy (poignancy) that can accompany a certain brevity. My father-in-law has the original telegram that was sent by his grandfather to his own father, upon the death of the grandfather's son during WWI. The son who died, like the recipient of the telegram, was a young cadet in the British Royal Navy. The text of the telegram, still so many years later ineffably sad, goes something like:

 

"David. Mother advises Robert perished yesterday. At sea. A sad day for us all. Father."



You are so right. Those misaligned words on a telegram too often heralded a family's grief. 

 

It is amazing that the telegraph system survived into the 21st century.

sivavranagaro
Community Guru
Vesna M Member Since: May 15, 2012
75 of 121

Can words be very wordy? Smiley Very Happy

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Don't correct my grammar!
datasciencewonk
Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
76 of 121

Government adopted it...I didn't say they created it LOL.

Good thing I hate cigars Smiley Wink

colettelewis
Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
77 of 121

Pronouns:

 

I have just read an article in the SfEP magazine, by an editor who would like to make a case for "they" as a single pronoun.

 

I do agree with him. I get so bored with having to put he/she or worse s/he!, every time I write about a person whose gender is unknown to me.  Some writers alternate gender from page to page -  a device that, for some reason, seems particularly popular with people working in the social services - but which I find utterly confusing!

 

"They" is useful!

 

For example, "Tell your client that they must fund escrow before you start work" - seems to be so much neater than "Tell your client that he or she must fund escrow before you start work."

 

 

 

 

 

 

datasciencewonk
Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
78 of 121

I use "they" instead of he/she.

 

If a grammarian wants to argue about it, I tell them they have too much time on their hands and a little gym time will solve their overactive frontal lobe.

 

::::in a cheeky mood...buyer beware::::

kfarnell
Community Guru
Kim F Member Since: Aug 26, 2015
79 of 121

i use a singular 'they' - and berate anyone who objects for not reading enough Jane Austen.

david_gregory
Community Guru
David G Member Since: Oct 6, 2011
80 of 121

I also use the singular "they",

 

It just sounds much more natural (to me) and the general trend is going towards acceptance of the singular they.

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