Posted by Word Camel on February 15, 2002
In Reply to: Archy speaks up posted by r berg on February 15, 2002
: : : : : Lindsay, I'm not trying to make you feel bad. It's just that bad English bothers me more than the sight of mismatched socks, and being in a position where you're setting an example for children, you have a responsibility that not everyone has. Your post is in a style that became popular among teenagers in recent years, a style that ventures far from standard English. Children look to teachers to find out how adults should do things, including speaking and writing. -- rb
: : : : Hmmm. Now it's very rare that I find myself in two minds about anything, but here I do. My instinctive Brit gallantry and sense of manners puts me firmly in the ESC camp, where the point that the poster has no ability to correct the errors is very well made. However, my equally instinctive Brit anal retentivism, combined with an unjustifiably arrogant sense of "holier than thou" when it comes to being correct in all matters linguistic makes me side with R. Berg. Now here's a tough call to make...
: : : : Looking at the original post, and presuming it was *really* posted by an elementary school teacher - so sue me, I'm a cynic - I can overlook almost everything, either putting it down to typo's or to today's inelegant yet widespread usage of heavily abbreviated computer-ese. HOWEVER, the use of "were" for the word "where" is just too much to swallow. That's neither a typo nor an abbreviation, and just grates horribly.
: : : : Another relevant cautionary tale, this time from the UK. I heard this on talk radio, as told by the grandmother of the child in question. Her 10 year old grandson returned from school one day clutching an English essay which he'd written. In this, his usage of the phrase "...should have done..." had been marked wrong and replaced with "...should of done..."!!!! Following a few frustrating calls to the school, the admirably belligerent grandma, who was clearly both a well-spoken and well-educated woman, marched up to the school to confront the English teacher. After 20 solid minutes of heated discussion, all she could get as an admission was that, although "...should have done..." MIGHT have been more correct "many years ago" (!!!), these days, "...should OF done.." was more correct, because of its widespread contemporary usage.
: : : : Sometimes I truly despair...
: : : I was waiting on a line at my local Verizon cell phone service center recently and I spot a sign detailing the various charges for service, one of which reads "75$ per hour per occurance".
: : :
: : : What the....?
: : : This was a sign that was not hand
written. This sign was from corporate.
: : : ( Verizon is a very large telecommunications company located in the USA. )
: : : So I turn to the woman with whom I was
having a conversation and point out the error and she states that I was incorrect
and that "occurance" IS the correct way to spell occurrence. She confirmed her
knowledge of the subject by stating that she was a teacher of Language Arts in
the NYC schools.
: : : Talk about despair.
: : Talk about irony.
: : Here I am making an error also.
: : The above price should have read "$75", not "75$".
: : Duh!!
: what a night boss I just got back from that little
: tavern around the corner where I was visiting
: relatives it s not a bad place the pretzels are
: free and the barmaid knows me by name
: anyway boss this place draws a high toned
: literary crowd at least if you believe what they
: say about themselves and when I got there some
: of the regulars were arguing loudly about matters
: of style it seems that style is very important to
: these people although you wouldn t know it to
: look at them I listened carefully from my perch
: among the pretzels where I heard lots of tsk
: tasking about the state of language nowadays
: as I said they take style very seriously they were
: trading stories about incorrect this and misspelled
: that until finally one fellow pounded the table and
: said what difference does it make we re not writing
: the divine comedy here and I thought well i don t
: have a better name for it do you by then it was almost
: closing time so I left quietly pausing only to sample a
: puddle of spilled stout mixed with something or other
: by the way boss thanks for the apple pie it came just
: in time I had been thinking of taking another job
: don t laugh boss I had a good offer of a domestic
: position the family said they d treat me like one
: of their own they seemed like swell people and
: i may take them up on it in my next life I know
: that sounds absurd their name is samsa
Mixed with the stout I mean. :)