How far is too far for you in using "perfect" grammar?

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  1. kallini2010 profile image80
    kallini2010posted 9 years ago

    How far is too far for you in using "perfect" grammar?

    After having taken a course in linguistics, I realized that perfect writing always legs behind the development of a language itself. Linguists describe the language, the society language guardians prescribe how to write. I am not asking to abandon grammar altogether, but some rules seem like sheer nitpicking. "Buyer's Guide"; "Buyers Guide"; "Buyers' Guide"; "Buyer Guide". It sounds quite cumbersome, especially when you hear the words vs. read them. Do you feel the same? Maybe only some times?

  2. Billie Kelpin profile image86
    Billie Kelpinposted 9 years ago

    In terms of acceptability of written or spoken word, I want to bring out my grammar badge, gun, taser, night stick, and all the outrage that goes with using it when I hear, "Me and him went to Target."  That's my line in the sand!  I can take ANYTHING, anything mind you (for example: "I graduated college" instead of "I graduated FROM college") because I understand that language evolves through time and usage mainly because the flow of speech and language is fluid.  However, the objective pronoun used as the subject is too much for my little heart to bear. I can't take it anymore, I tell you, I can't take it Andy Samberg, or you, my college educated kids, et al.

    1. kallini2010 profile image80
      kallini2010posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I would not argue about the fluids such as "me & him" (who knows how all the pronouns will turn out in the future), but I never paid attention that WE, Russians say "We with the wife"... meaning "My wife and I" and it is correct. Illogical, but..

  3. Kathleen Cochran profile image78
    Kathleen Cochranposted 9 years ago

    I go with the rule I used with my reporters when I was a newspaper editor.  Even if it is correct grammar, if it makes the sentence difficult for the reader, then write a simpler sentence.  What purpose is served by being correct but hard to read?

    1. lupine profile image68
      lupineposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Proper grammar doesn't have to be difficult. It is only difficult if the reader lacks spelling and grammar skills. My first summer job was typesetting and proofreading for a local newspaper when I was 16 years old.

  4. Twilight Lawns profile image75
    Twilight Lawnsposted 9 years ago

    Buyers' Guide, obviously (says he pedantically).
    I love the English Language, as you do also, Svetlana. And (starting a sentence with a conjunction) there are very few on HubPages who use & understand the language better than you.
    Bad grammar & poor pronunciation are the bane of my life, I'd recoil in horror when I was teaching when woolly minded muesli eating, carpet knitting liberals who maintained that to correct a child's grammar & spelling in written work or to correct children's grammar in oral expression would be to "stop the flow".
    There is a person who has written for HubPages who argued with me that there is absolutely no difference between its & it's; staunchly defended 'til as he believed it was an abbreviation of untill (Yes! Horrors). He could not; neither would he not believe that there were two words till & until.
    I am sure that he would have signed off a letter with "Your's faithfully".
    Or start a letter with "It give's me the gratest pleasure to..."
    And "Greengrocers' Apostrophes"... Don't they make one wish that garrotting would be a too kind & brief way to end these persons' stay on earth?
    And while we’re at it, how many writers on HubPages know that there is a difference between your & you’re?
    One of my favourite radio presenters in the UK is James O’Brien. He has a three hours slot on LBC, 97.3 FM & what a stickler for correct pronunciation he is. I love listening to him because, even when he has a serious subject under discussion, if a caller uses the US pronunciations of “schedule” with the “ch” pronounced as a “k”, he will automatically correct them in passing & say the word with the UK pronunciation, as “shedule”. But of course this is not what you are referring to Svetlana; it is the proper use of grammar. “as she is spoke”.
    And finally (starting my sentence with yet another conjunction) when I saw ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ (US spelling) I so wanted to jump up onto the little ledge below the cinema screen & reassure the audience gathered there, that no mistake had been made. I wanted to cry out, “The spelling is really ‘The Time Traveller’s Wife’ but it isn’t a mistake. The “United States English” has differences of spellings because it is frequently an older form of the English Language than ours in the UK, because much of their language arrived in the Americas with the Pilgrim Fathers, & is a truer form whereas ours, over here, is a developing language.”
    But perhaps the cinema audience wouldn’t have been so disturbed as I.

    1. kallini2010 profile image80
      kallini2010posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      There is no space to express how funny it was. It's a hub! Did you know that words "daughter, slaughter, laughter" rhymed before? That is my new knowledge of linguistics!

    2. Twilight Lawns profile image75
      Twilight Lawnsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I no longer write hubs, Svetlana, my dear friend.  My last "novel" in fourteen (Yes, 14) parts was an unimaginable disaster.  I think about three or four people followed it through to the end. 
      But I enjoyed writing it, and that's what matters.

  5. BuffaloGal1960 profile image68
    BuffaloGal1960posted 9 years ago

    I have to say my limits are double negatives.  Ain't got the worst! lol.   .I don't gotta.....probably comes in second for my least favorite phrase.

    I'm not a grammar policewoman by any means.  Many people do not know

    their, there,  they're
    your  you're

    I tend to overlook those a lot more.

    What is interesting though is I feel I am more confident in the article's persuasion, influence, facts, etc when it is written with good grammar.  Am I judgmental? 

    Of course, bad grammar has it's place depending on the setting of a book you are reading.  smile

    1. kallini2010 profile image80
      kallini2010posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I was less tolerant to imperfect writing in Russian, a snob of sorts, but when I learned English, I realized - this is my punishment, my writing will never be perfect.  As much as it hurts, double negatives is the norm in most languages.

    2. Insane Mundane profile image57
      Insane Mundaneposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Pictograms and Hieroglyphics are cool; less problems this way...

  6. lupine profile image68
    lupineposted 9 years ago

    There is a time and place for everything. Proper grammar is essential in our lives, so that we may convey the correct message; such as in business, legal documents, and contracts. However, there are times when we can be more at ease with our friends and family when we speak, or write a quick note. You are correct, many people don't have the proper grammar, or spelling skills to identify the correct word usage. You made a good choice in educating yourself in linguistics.

    1. kallini2010 profile image80
      kallini2010posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      For all the people who check the comments as well, I found this clip very entertaining: … re=mh_lolz

  7. Insane Mundane profile image57
    Insane Mundaneposted 9 years ago

    It depends on the comprehension skills of the reader or listener, evidently.  After reading all of this, I had no problem understanding the verbiage on this page.
    For example, this page is littered with mistakes, even though most people here claim to be a grammatical guru of some sort.  I wonder if the cavemen had this much trouble with language?
    : /

    1. kallini2010 profile image80
      kallini2010posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Cavemen had no problems with grammar - they did not write. They probably prescribed linguistic rules in some other ways.

    2. Insane Mundane profile image57
      Insane Mundaneposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Language is still language. Oh, I guess the aliens wrote inside of the caves, too.


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