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Ahem, ahem…memememememememe…

Stroppy Editor

(With apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan)

I am the very model of an amateur grammarian
I have a little knowledge and I am authoritarian
But I make no apology for being doctrinarian
We must not plummet to the verbal depths of the barbarian

I’d sooner break my heart in two than sunder an infinitive
And I’d disown my closest family within a minute if
They dared to place a preposition at a sentence terminus
Or sully the Queen’s English with neologisms verminous

I know that ‘soon’ and not ‘right now’ is the true sense of ‘presently’
I’m happy to correct you and I do it oh so pleasantly
I’m not a grammar Nazi; I’m just a linguistic Aryan
I am the very model of an amateur grammarian

I’m sure people appreciate my pointing out their grammar gaffes
And sorting out their sentences and crossing out their paragraphs
When you…

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Writer, Walker, Entrepreneur, baby-boomer

One thought on “

  1. I consider linguistics a pasttime, and I’ve noticed a couple of things that probably apply here. One is that there’s a difference between spoken language, and written language. The spoken language is very vibrant, dynamic, in flux. The written language is more static, formal, due to rules imposed by an influential or ruling social group.

    I’m reminded of someone I knew who worked at the university computer labs, a hacker sort of guy who was quiet pleasant and soft-spoken. It was 1998, 1999 or so. He believed that the growing presence of the Internet would influence people to improve their writing skills, that frequent text communication would encourage this.

    Ha ha ha ha ha… I know, right? I was skeptical then and I’m generally skeptical now. You can probably guess what I’m referring to– the pervasive use of textspeak abbreviations and invented spellings, and the anecdotes of teachers finding it influencing school work. Anyways, even as the “amateur grammarians” correct everyone’s text online, well, hehe, there’s plenty of long dissertations about why the flexibility should or should not continue. Sorry for going on and on, but this alone is one I could go for pages on!

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