Skip to main content

View Diary: Stephen Colbert destroys Romney's tax plan with one simple question (235 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Grammar thread gruntles me well. Answer (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Knockbally, AllanTBG, JanetT in MD, tb92

    was given me by senior year Enlish prof.  as a history nugget re. dumb grammar rules. (I learned I'm a functional grammarian."  

    A group of Oxford dons were upset that English grammar & spelling were like our wild west.  They coveted the more "orderly" Latin.  A flaw was that Latin was a dead language -- no longer evolving through daily use by any populace.  They imposed Latin grammar rules on English.  This ignored the fact that English is a word order language while Latin used endings attached to the words.

    There is no reason why English should not split an infinitive.  There is no need to torture children teaching that a "gerund" is a verb "used as a noun."

    Functional grammarians say that a word IS what it is used for in a sentence -- how it "functions" -- because we communicate in sentences --- rather than one word at a time.   If it is a verb in a sentence -- name it a "verbal."  If it is a noun --- call it a "nominal."  Etc.    

    I should not have had to wait so long to learn why I'd always felt "grammar" rules were fuzzy & confusing. Children grasp most of our basic rules by about age 3 --- their cutesy errors are mostly insances of them applying the "rules" properly to cases which are exceptions to those rules.  

    Guess the overly concerned prideful folk at Oxford had an attack of severe conservative longing for the tidy uniformiy of their former conquering masters in the Roman army.      

    Chaucer & Shakespeare squeaked in their brilliant writings before the new language laws took effect.    

    I love DKos sometimes just because it is the rare place I can actually share some of my costly education's little known trivia.  

    De fund + de bunk = de EXIT--->>>>>

    by Neon Mama on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 08:17:57 AM PDT

    •  Glad you shared it (0+ / 0-)

      Makes things even more interesting.  Plus, it's history, and helps us put things in perspective.  I can be a grammar conservative, but when I remember the history you've just nicely laid out, I realize that our language is changing all the time & things aren't necessarily turning into Newspeak.

      A comic yet realistic dignity is an extraordinary defense against life's cruel setbacks - David Rakoff

      by Knockbally on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 08:25:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site