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  1. 02 May '14 18:48 / 2 edits
    After some recent disputes among several writers here about grammatical
    errors in English, I thought this (often humourous) article may be of interest:

    http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2014/may/02/bad-grammar-award-judge-hadley-freeman

    "Humanity's future depends upon good grammar: the Bad Grammar award
    has been charged with sneering misanthropy, but as a judge I say our
    children's lives are at stake"
    --Hadley Freeman (2 May 2014)

    "...it's (good grammar) about speaking clearly and plainly and cutting through
    obfustication. But even aside from that, and most importantly of all,
    *good grammar will help you get laid*."
    --Hadley Freeman

    Really? With whom? An English teacher? Hadley Freeman now explains.

    "When we were about 16...went off on a German exchange and my (British)
    friend, with her superior grammar skills, pulled not one, not two, but THREE
    German boys. I'm telling you, Munich has yet to recover from her visit, and
    grammar lessons were never so popular as when the German exchange trip
    returned to London."
    --Hadley Freeman

    When some young male native speakers of German paid me some excessive
    compliments about my German, how little did I suspect their deeper motives!
    I suspect that Hadley Freeman's friend's attractiveness and desirability to
    males might depend more upon her 'superior *non-grammatical* skills'.

    "...in the pitiless world of internet dating, it is simple human instinct to rule
    someone out on such grounds (grammatical errors). I've had friends cancel
    dates due to a simple rogue apostrophe....*The perpetuation of the human
    race depends upon good grammar.*"
    --Hadley Freeman

    I don't follow internet dating, yet I have to say that I would be turned off
    by someone's personal profile with too many errors in grammar and usage.
    I seem to be less fastidious than Hadley Freeman's friends. So far, I never
    have called off a date 'due to a simple rogue apostrophe'. (What an original
    excuse! "Sorry, I can't go out with you until you improve your grammar." )
    In any intimate moment that might lead to 'the perpetutation of the human
    race', however, I insist that my date must use correct grammar at all times!

    If I had named this thread (quoting Hadley Freeman), "Good grammar will
    help you get laid", then wouldn't you have been more eager to read it?
  2. 02 May '14 20:38
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    After some recent disputes among several writers here about grammatical
    errors in English, I thought this (often humourous) article may be of interest:

    http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2014/may/02/bad-grammar-award-judge-hadley-freeman

    "Humanity's future depends upon good grammar: the Bad Grammar award
    has been charged with sneering misan ...[text shortened]... man), "Good grammar will
    help you get laid", then wouldn't you have been more eager to read it?
    It probably depends on where the lad is trying to get laid. In most inner city American schools good grammar isn't a factor at all.
  3. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    02 May '14 21:07
    Originally posted by normbenign
    It probably depends on where the lad is trying to get laid. In most inner city American schools good grammar isn't a factor at all.
    Apart from only you enjoying your own little sneer at inner city America, on what do you base this proposition? I imagine if good grammar were a necessary condition then the birth rate would reduce sharply very soon in every part of America, never mind inner cities. Come to think of it, that is indeed happening and maybe proves the point. But if I correctly read your mind to suggest that there is not much good grammar in inner city America, it may still be the case that for those special few attaining high standards, they will have their pick of the herd.
  4. 02 May '14 21:50
    Originally posted by finnegan to normbenign
    Apart from only you enjoying your own little sneer at inner city America, on what do you base this proposition? I imagine if good grammar were a necessary condition then the birth rate would reduce sharply very soon in every part of America, never mind inner cities. Come to think of it, that is indeed happening and maybe proves the point. Bu ...[text shortened]... case that for those special few attaining high standards, they will have their pick of the herd.
    "Apart from only you enjoying your own little sneer at inner city America..."
    --Finnegan (writing to Normbenign)

    I suspect some other right-wing white Americans also may enjoy his sneer.

    I would point out again that Normbenign, a white American native speaker
    of English, often has terrible grammar in his English writing. It happens far
    too often for me to excuse it as mere carelessness. My conclusion is that
    Normbenign's very ignorant of many, if not most, basic rules of grammar.

    "I imagine if good grammar were a necessary condition then the birth
    rate would reduce sharply very soon in every part of America..."
    --Finnegan

    'If good grammar were a necessary condition', how could Normbenign ever
    hope 'to get laid'? Would he go after non-English-speaking women?

    "...for those special few attaining high standards, they will have the pick
    of the herd."
    --Finnegan

    In her article, Hadley Freeman described how her 16 year old British female
    friend apparently became intimate with three young German men during one
    brief visit to Munich. Insofar as 'getting laid' is concerned, however, a
    16 year old girl of (at least) average attractiveness should have no problem.
    And I suspect that some of her male admirers would prefer her to stay mute
    during the act rather than enjoy her display of superior grammatical skills.

    Hadley Freeman's more serious point about internet dating is well-taken.
    I find it hard to avoid thinking less of someone whose internet profile has
    many errors in grammar in usage, particularly when one has the time to edit.
  5. Subscriber FreakyKBH
    Acquired Taste...
    03 May '14 18:46
    Originally posted by finnegan
    Apart from only you enjoying your own little sneer at inner city America, on what do you base this proposition? I imagine if good grammar were a necessary condition then the birth rate would reduce sharply very soon in every part of America, never mind inner cities. Come to think of it, that is indeed happening and maybe proves the point. But if I correct ...[text shortened]... case that for those special few attaining high standards, they will have their pick of the herd.
    Grammar for a more urban setting has its own rules.
    The one who employs a semi-colon or adheres to other rules of mainstream syntax is very unlikely to receive wide-spread acceptance.
  6. 04 May '14 18:59
    Originally posted by finnegan
    Apart from only you enjoying your own little sneer at inner city America, on what do you base this proposition? I imagine if good grammar were a necessary condition then the birth rate would reduce sharply very soon in every part of America, never mind inner cities. Come to think of it, that is indeed happening and maybe proves the point. But if I correct ...[text shortened]... case that for those special few attaining high standards, they will have their pick of the herd.
    You sound quite pompous by jumping on Normbenign stating what he sees as reality - which you admit as probably correct.

    You pontificate on every subject discussed in this forum as if only you know the truth. No, I have no proxy from Normbenign, and in fact I tend to agree with the Duchess' (here you have a learned person!) assessment of him - it's just that your pomposity rattles me...
  7. 04 May '14 19:06
    Originally posted by ptriple42
    You sound quite pompous by jumping on Normbenign stating what he sees as reality - which you admit as probably correct.

    You pontificate on every subject discussed in this forum as if only you know the truth. No, I have no proxy from Normbenign, and in fact I tend to agree with the Duchess' (here you have a learned person!) assessment of him - it's just that your pomposity rattles me...
    I find it strange that you object to finnigan's pomposity, and seemingly find Duchess64's "learned".

    If finnigan is a pompous, Duchess64 is wordily pompous, and to some extent unbelievable.

    I neither claim high intelligence, nor education. I do offer reasoned arguments, from a differing perspective, which obviously offends both finnigan and Duchess64.
  8. 10 May '14 12:55
    I find it "strange" that some people here think that they are intellectually superior because they have good grammar, and to say (if tongue in cheek ) "Humanity's future depends upon good Grammar" is an elitist snob .
    I think if your car has broken down at the side of the motor way and a car break down service man appears you wouldn't be bothered about his "there, their or there's" .
    So, I would like to give the old "two fingered salute" to those concerned .
  9. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    10 May '14 13:57
    Originally posted by phil3000
    I find it "strange" that some people here think that they are intellectually superior because they have good grammar, and to say (if tongue in cheek ) "Humanity's future depends upon good Grammar" is an elitist snob .
    I think if your car has broken down at the side of the motor way and a car break down service man appears you wouldn't be bothered about hi ...[text shortened]... their or there's" .
    So, I would like to give the old "two fingered salute" to those concerned .
    If your car broke down you might want an assurance the mechanic was qualified. I'm guessing. In the absence of that, you might make a quick judgement of the mechanic's intelligence before trusting any advice given.

    In a democracy we all have a right to an opinion but that does not make every opinion of equal value. Again we rightly make a judgement of the credibility of any opinion. For many people, evidence from spelling and grammar will be seen to indicate literacy and hence credibility, depending on the topic of course.

    There is a connection between grammar and logic that also matters. With all respect, a poorly communicated opinion will suffer.
  10. 10 May '14 21:00
    Originally posted by Finnegan to phil3000
    If your car broke down you might want an assurance the mechanic was qualified. I'm guessing. In the absence of that, you might make a quick judgement of the mechanic's intelligence before trusting any advice given.

    In a democracy we all have a right to an opinion but that does not make every opinion of equal value. Again we rightly make a jud ...[text shortened]... rammar and logic that also matters. With all respect, a poorly communicated opinion will suffer.
    While I grew up in a family of non-English-speaking people, my father
    (who preferred to avoid using English for cultural and political reasons)
    always insisted that when I used English, my grammar should be flawless.
    I never asked for or received more tolerance for not being a native speaker.
    So I find it hard to have sympathy for native speakers of English who like to
    complain that it's unreasonably difficult for them to learn English grammar.

    If I had chosen not to learn English at all, I would have had fewer
    opportunities and a different, though still a useful, life.
  11. 10 May '14 21:01
    Originally posted by phil3000
    I find it "strange" that some people here think that they are intellectually superior because they have good grammar, and to say (if tongue in cheek ) "Humanity's future depends upon good Grammar" is an elitist snob .
    I think if your car has broken down at the side of the motor way and a car break down service man appears you wouldn't be bothered about hi ...[text shortened]... their or there's" .
    So, I would like to give the old "two fingered salute" to those concerned .
    "... is an elitist snob."
    --Phil3000

    From what I know of her through her writing, Hadley Freeman's not 'an elitist snob'.
  12. 10 May '14 23:24
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    "... is an elitist snob."
    --Phil3000

    From what I know of her through her writing, Hadley Freeman's not 'an elitist snob'.
    http://cambridge.tab.co.uk/2012/11/04/hadley-freeman-interview/

    "...I swanned off to Florence and pretended to be Lucy Honeychurch for a year."
    --Hadley Freeman

    (Lucy Honeychurch is a main character in E.M. Forster's novel _A Room With a View_.)
    While she clearly enjoyed a privileged background, Hadley Freeman seems
    not to be 'an elitist snob' to me.
  13. 11 May '14 09:15
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    While I grew up in a family of non-English-speaking people, my father
    (who preferred to avoid using English for cultural and political reasons)
    always insisted that when I used English, my grammar should be flawless.
    I never asked for or received more tolerance for not being a native speaker.
    So I find it hard to have sympathy for native speakers of E ...[text shortened]... ish at all, I would have had fewer
    opportunities and a different, though still a useful, life.
    It's not as you say, " So I find it hard to have sympathy for native speakers of English who like to complain that it's unreasonably difficult for them to learn English grammar ".
    Who is asking you for Sympathy ? ,that's a pretty strong word for a trivial matter of spelling and grammar but I would doubt you and others here would think so . Because you probably have to use good grammar in your work doesn't mean "Joe Bloggs do's" .
    If a plumber says " here's my tools fix your leaking pipe " ,then you say I can't " would you expect him to have "sympathy" for you ? .
    It's over thirty years since I left college ,and as it's been pointed out by several people like yourself my grammar is bad , I just don't use it in my work ,I have no need . who is "complaining? "as you say it's not me, it's elitist snobs picking on the likes of me .
  14. 11 May '14 17:25
    Originally posted by phil3000
    It's not as you say, " So I find it hard to have sympathy for native speakers of English who like to complain that it's unreasonably difficult for them to learn English grammar ".
    Who is asking you for Sympathy ? ,that's a pretty strong word for a trivial matter of spelling and grammar but I would doubt you and others here would think so . Because you prob ...[text shortened]... . who is "complaining? "as you say it's not me, it's elitist snobs picking on the likes of me .
    Phil, you sound like a practical gent. Language's primary purpose is communications, so grammar, punctuation, spelling and pronunciation are minor factors if one is successfully communicating. Most of that is verbal, so written language often takes a back seat to spoken slang.

    In the parts of Canada I've visited, French speakers have a dialect of pigeon French which blends a lot of English words, and even syntax. Same is true of Louisiana.

    Is anyone better for using perfect grammar, syntax, spelling and pronunciation? Depends to whom they are talking.
  15. 11 May '14 21:12 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by phil3000
    It's not as you say, " So I find it hard to have sympathy for native speakers of English who like to complain that it's unreasonably difficult for them to learn English grammar ".
    Who is asking you for Sympathy ? ,that's a pretty strong word for a trivial matter of spelling and grammar but I would doubt you and others here would think so . Because you prob ...[text shortened]... . who is "complaining? "as you say it's not me, it's elitist snobs picking on the likes of me .
    "Who is asking you for Sympathy?"
    --Phil3000

    Why did you (Phil3000) apparently assume that I thought you were asking
    me for sympathy? *If* I aim to criticize you, then I shall be direct.

    "...for a trivial matter of spelling and grammar..."
    --Phil3000

    If correct 'spelling and grammar' were always so 'trivial', then English
    instructors would not have to spend so much time teaching it, often in vain.

    "Because you probably have to use good grammar in your work..."
    --Phil3000

    When not at work, I like to use good grammar in English because it
    makes communication clearer and reduces the risks of misunderstanding.
    And, for someone of my background, using better English grammar makes
    it harder, though not impossible, for prejudiced people to use 'your English
    is too bad' as a pretext to discriminate against me at school or work.

    "...elitist snobs picking on the likes of me."
    --Phil3000

    You (Phil3000) seem to have wrongly jumped to the conclusion that Hadley
    Freeman is an 'elitist snob'. You also seem to assume that proper grammar
    belongs to the province of 'elitist' (born into a privileged class) English users.

    I can assure you that many people in my family come from backgrounds
    that would be considered quite disadvantaged by Western bourgeois standards.
    Even though most of us (except for the youngest who were born in Anglophone
    societies) are not native speakers of English, there's a general insistence
    that good grammar should always be used whenever we do use English.
    My father, whose grasp of English grammar was dubious, harshly scolded
    me whenever he perceived (correctly or not) me making any error in grammar.