Worry about fluency. And if you already have it, then stop worrying about language and get on with it. Well, yes.
He split an infinitive. To me, writing should be invisible. I am trying to communicate a very specific message, and anything that undermines my communication is defeating my object.
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So I try to avoid them. Just as I try to avoid showing off in a way that might impress and so interrupt the flow of another 10 percent. Of course, none of this works for a readership that comprises professional writers, because everyone in that group will scrutinize every word. No, Marc. I should have said that I recommend that good writers—like good chefs—should focus on their goals to turn on readers or diners rather than to show off too obviously their technical skills.
Wow, you literally cut poeple up — including myself — chewed them, and and then spat them out! Truth is, I hate the man or woman who makes these mistakes, too. Are they an hillbilly or something? Just so everyone knows, this post has made me paranoid. See how flexible I am? It just drives me crazy literally! Chimps abound, apparently.
Could it concern something other than simply just ignorance? That it shows up in writing demonstrates the way in which grammar is shaped. Oh Johnny… you had me. I was literally ha going to start telling all that would listen about your brilliance, your beauty surely all grammar snobs are beautiful , your… hmmm, what is the word? Your rightness.
And then, much to my chagrin, you committed one of my own pet peeves in comment You cannot come up with a better choice of words? Just tell me that you spontaneously developed a 23rd chromosome and all will be right in the world. Wait, wait, wait. Hold on. I write both in French and in English, and, like Johnny B. There are writers who are as dangerous as bad drivers.
But there is another side to that coin. I try to write as well as I know how. Which may be why I never try to humiliate anyone else when they do. The chances of my ever successfully constructing a bookcase are minimal. The chances of my ever returning a tennis serve are similar. Pointing and laughing are bad ways to foster talent. Those who are interested in writing will quickly discover the basic rules, and will — like the rest of us — embark on a lifetime of learning.
Great post, One really easy tip to add to them is this: Make sure you check a post or comment before hitting the send button. I think we can finally consider that a correct meaning.
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Meanings change. But after a while even the most pedantic just have to let go. And I think nearly three centuries is long enough. You are not crazy. It sounds better. That is all it takes — how does it sound best. Of course, the words have to be pronounced correctly, something most Americans seem incapable of.
This is how you would manage to read a history book to learn about an historical event, and be correct. It is a rather outdated rule that continues to change over time as we continue to pronounce things differently. Language shifts, but at this point in time, it is still acceptable.
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People will get angry at you for it, but people will always be there to defend you for it as well because technically both are correct. Give it another couple of decades, and it may be gone forever. Do you think this is an example of language constantly changing, which I suppose could reasonably be claimed given the number of times I hear it in a week? Or are they getting it wrong and therefore should be corrected? However, they are the source of language change and, when adopted by enough people especially people with power they are considered legitimate language changes.
Can you tell me where this is? Should you correct them? At the very least, they should know the more standard meaning of the word lend. People should have access to that so that they can be best understood by others outside their immediate social groups, and also so that they have more opportunities for social advancement. But explain to them, too, that in school it has a different meaning and you want them to use that meaning for practice.
Of course, whether your correcting has much effect is another matter entirely. Peers have more influence on our speech than teachers or even parents.
Alistair Keep up the good work and continue correcting. I recently came to the conclusion that language is an evolving thing but there are some words, quite a lot of them, that are exempt from this theory.
I agree, Christine. And that really makes me sad. Cassie How funny. A very good friend of mine, an English teacher, used to tell me that there was no such thing as correct spelling, for precisely the same reason — that language is constantly evolving. I told him this is completely ridiculous. I have also been told that as a Science teacher, I should ignore misspellings and grammatical errors as we should be focusing solely on the Science.
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However, my argument is that being able to communicate effectively is part of being a scientist, and if pupils are unable to do that then they are not being good scientists. The British Government had a great idea in the 60s; they decided the best way of teaching English was to encourage pupils to write phonetically. Unfortunately, it was much more difficult to read because of all of the possible phonetic variations and led, ultimately, to a generation that struggled — and still struggles — with literacy. However, we have to aim to uphold the standards so that people can communicate effectively.
By the way, I have a feeling that the reference to chimps was probably made in humour and not intended to cause offence. They may sound very different to you, but to a complete outsider there will probably be far more similarities than differences.
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The fact that it is that widespread actually points to there being more going on than just a few ignorant kids. Where are they getting it from? Other than being young, are there any other similarities between the kids socially? Are they of a similar social class, for example?