Wednesday, 4 July 2007

An Apology?

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After looking at my previous post I began to wonder whether all this vitriol is justified. Do a few misplaced apostophes, missing capital letters or wrong tenses really signify that our language is rotting from the inside? And even if it does should we just roll over and let it happen?

I was reminded of this clip from room 101:

I get a bit uncomfortable when watching this video as I can identify with the "nerds" and "bullies". I was certainly very disappointed by the outcome. Should we be a bit more lenient or is the answer to be more light-hearted and less elitist with regards other people's spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes?

Maybe I'm getting soft in my old age, or maybe I should cut down on the "magic Es".

Speaking of old age, I'd like to wish a happy birthday to two of our GrammarBloggers, Tom and Andy.

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Blogger Tom said...

Now hang on. I quite like Marcus Brigstocke; despite making a career out of 'appearances' on panel shows and Room 101, he's actually very good at making massively offensive jokes which belie his soft, nerdy persona.

His argument here, however, is paper-thin and discoloured by esoteric, out-of-context circumstances.

Clearly dyslexia is an affliction/disability/ailment and clearly his was appallingly overlooked and badly handled during his education. But using dyslexia as some sort of lever to attack correct grammar is like saying that "2+3=8" is perfectly acceptable because some people suffered oxygen starvation at birth and thus can't do maths very well. It's crass, it's ignorant, it screams of a large chip on one's shoulder, it's insulting to the massive number of dyslexic people who don't consider their condition an excuse, and it's all the more laughable because one of our patron saints is dyslexic.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mr AA Gill.

5 July 2007 at 00:25  
Blogger Tom said...

PS Thanks for the birthday wishes - in the midst of my red mist I somehow forgot to acknowledge them.

5 July 2007 at 00:25  
Blogger Paul said...

Can't really add anything to Tom's comment, but I'll try. I do think the vitriol is justified; in my view most grammatical errors occur because people are lazy and cannot be bothered to check what they're writing.

The rules of grammar, particularly those pertaining to commas, apostrophes and full stops, are very easy to grasp.

To be honest if someone can just get those basics correct, they will be (pretty much) back on track and I will no longer feel the need to throttle them.

5 July 2007 at 08:16  
Blogger Dan said...

I once appeared on stage with Marcus Brigstocke, having been volunteered by my then-girlfriend, who was fat. I had to give a name to my penis and then walk through a giant rubber vagina.

I was only there because he was outside giving free tickets away.

Another one of those tomorrow.

Oh, like that bloke Jesus in some novel or other, I'm with Thomas and Paul here.

5 July 2007 at 13:18  
Blogger Gez said...

Thank you, dear contributors for reaffirming my faith in the righteousness of grammar.

5 July 2007 at 18:17  
Blogger Emma-Louise said...

Erm, how does one "do" an apostrophe and what is "lightheated"? Did you sit under a bulb for 20 minutes, or was the gas turned low? ;)
PS. Why don't your names have capital letters on this comment page?

6 July 2007 at 16:15  
Blogger Gez said...

You're trouble, you are. Typos are not the same as errors resulting from ignorance. Thanks for pointing them out though. As for the capital letter issue - speak to Google.

6 July 2007 at 18:06  
Blogger Gez said...

Also, "Do a few misplaced apostrophes...?" was the beginning of a question - not a command.

So ner!

6 July 2007 at 18:09  
Blogger Emma-Louise said...

Haa ha, I can't help myself. I think this site is really funny. I can picture you all with steam coming from your head!

9 July 2007 at 14:43  

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