GrammarBlog

Monday, 13 August 2007

It's not easy being a grammar wizard.

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I was recently reminded of this cartoon from the hilarious but ever-so-wrong Perry Bible Fellowship (safe for work but avoid if you are easily offended).
Grammar Wizard sets rod for own backI've previously hinted at my dislike for the preposition rule by paraphrasing one of Winston Churchill's famous quotes (probably misattributed). Nonetheless the cartoon is a funny reminder that if you live by the grammar sword, you die by the grammar sword.

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10 Comments:
Blogger Barry Leiba said...

I recently was in a plane, waiting to disembark (not, please, "de-plane"!), when I overheard a young woman behind me talking on her mobile phone. She appeared to be trying to establish an ETA for her ride. She shouted into her phone, in exasperation, "I axed you where you at!"

And that, I've always thought, is the reason we tell people not to use terminal prepositions.

13 August 2007 at 20:43  
Blogger Gez said...

Terminal prepositions! Nice pun, Barry. I think in the young lady's dialect, "at" was used as a form of the verb "to be". Incorrect I know but not, in this case, a terminal preposition.
Although I think I prefer terminal prepositions to "verbed" words.

14 August 2007 at 11:24  
Blogger Gez said...

De-plane for example.

14 August 2007 at 11:25  
Blogger Ben said...

Hey, new time reader, and loving the blog. Anyway I'm to the point that I'd be happy if people can just understand each other. After all I feel that spelling/grammar Nazis are only insuring that grammar dies or stays dead. If I'm wrong I'll accept that a lot better if your not trying to jump down my throat or deny my existence and indeed I might even learn something.

16 August 2007 at 23:31  
Blogger Gez said...

We're glad that you're a reader, Ben. No-one here will deny your existence. I understand your point regarding grammar Nazism and to some extent I concur. I do feel however, that the only way to ensure clarity among all speakers of a common language is to maintain standards of "good" grammar.

You might like this post from The Red Pen on insure vs ensure. Historically, your use of the word "insure" is not incorrect but nowadays the word has a specific meaning, separate to "ensure".

17 August 2007 at 09:58  
Blogger Scotty said...

Looking for help on something that should be easy.
I was working with a child on
grammar and this is what puzzled me.
Sentence:
Ben and Dad are going camping.
What are the parts of the sentence
here?



We know "are"is a linking verb or
helping verb working with going.
What is "camping"? Is the verb
construction a type of future
tense hence
"are going camping"
I ran across a rule that says
you can make a future tense
by constructing to be plus to go plus an infinitive but that would be for example:
He is going to swim.
So is "Ben and Dad are going camping"....
the same kind of construction even though we don't have "to camp"
but rather "camping? What else could it be other than part of the verb construction?
Thanks for the help grammar bloggers.

13 December 2007 at 03:28  
Blogger laura said...

I think it's a gerund.

14 December 2007 at 15:27  
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