Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The algebra of grammar

If only it were so easy.


Rev. Paul said...

If American English grammar was logical, we wouldn't need the math.

It's a situation up with which we should not put.

Dave H said...

Grammar makes about as much sense as imaginary numbers and differential equations. Nobody really understands any of them; people just learned what to say to avoid getting rapped with a ruler.

Old NFO said...

LOL, way too much time on your hands BP...

Goober said...

Rev. Paul;

I heard something interesting the other day.

The whole "don't end a sentence with a preposition" thing was created by a dude who just wanted English, which was considered a sort of "low" language back in the day, to be more like Latin (and therefore mooch off of it's prestige).

Essentially, it isn't really a rule of the English language, just something sumdood added back in the day that doesn't really work for English that well, with the stated goal being entirely irrelevant in today's world.


I say this not be a semantic busy-body, but because I honestly did not know that the rule about ending sentences with prepositions was a total myth that has perpetuated itself for some damn reason and will not go away.

Also, splitting infinitives is totally cool, too.

That, and starting sentences with "but" and "and" being verboten, which was another thing that was drummed into my brain in grammar school, is totally false.

Dave H said...

Goober: There are two camps of English professors: descriptivist and prescriptivist. Descriptivists seek to document how English worked in the past, how it works today, and where it's headed in the future in the future.

Prescriptivists, on the other hand, think they're the keepers of the flame. They assign the rules of how it shall be used, and makes judgments of what is and isn't proper usage.

I'm with the descriptivists. As long as you can make yourself understood clearly, split all the infinitives you want. We'll make more.

Windy Wilson said...

Heck, splitting the infinitives makes more of them.