Saturday, April 4, 2015

Grammar Snobs RULE

Erik Loomis, you are WRONG. Correct grammar is the only thing standing between us and the end of human civilization.  It is entirely possible that a return to the strict grammar rules that nourished and sustained our ancestors would reverse the course of global warming and save us all.

Not. Even. Kidding.

It’s time to declare war on grammar snobs. They are both annoying and wrong:
The grammatical rules invoked by pedants aren’t real rules of grammar at all. They are, at best, just stylistic conventions: An example would be the use of a double negative (I can’t get no satisfaction). It makes complete grammatical sense, as an intensifier. It’s just a convention that we don’t use double negatives of that form in Standard English. [So is saying please and thank you a convention. Must we rid ourselves of all polite conventions?]
Some other pedantic stipulations are destructive pieces of folklore, like the belief that it is wrong to split an infinitive or to end a sentence with a preposition. We should be entirely relaxed about that sort of choice. Why worry, as some pedants do, about whether to write “firstly” or “first” when you begin a list of points? Either is correct. [No, they are not both correct.]
The range of legitimate variation is wider than you would imagine. Yes, you may use “hopefully” as an adverb modifying an entire sentence [NO, you may NOT];  and you may use “they” as a singular generic pronoun [NO, you may NOT]; and you may say “between you and I.” [NO, you may NOT] The pedants’ prohibitions on constructions like these are not supported by the evidence of general usage. [General usage is proof of nothing but general usage; is the fact that every driver speeds proof that speeding should be legal?]
Pedantry is poor manners, certainly, but also poor scholarship. If someone tells you that you “can’t” write something, ask them why not. [Grammarians never say "can't." We say "literate, educated people don't.] Rarely will they have an answer that makes grammatical sense; it is probably just a superstition that they have carried around with them for years.[Grammar is not superstition; the idea that popular illiteracy should govern speech is superstition.]
This is followed with a history of grammar snobbery that should make any grammar snob think twice about the “rules” they believe in.
 I "believe" in fuck all, Erik. I follow grammar rules because they make sense and hold the English language together. Shame on you; from your own writing I know you know better.

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