Monday, November 7, 2011


I'm going to have a little grumble about the general decline in the standard of grammar in our language. I know we all speak our English in subtly different ways depending where in the world we live, but there are some basic rules which seem to have gone overboard since I went to school.
My pet grouches:
1) A plural subject with a singular verb eg There's five teams in the competition. Aaaahghghgh.
2) Incorrect past participle eg I should of asked him. (This is more in spoken language than written but no doubt it's coming to print soon.)
3) Incorrect preposition eg I borrowed it off him
4) Noun used as adverb eg She did good. What happened to she did well???? This seems to be more a  US usage than Aussie. Does it grate on US ears as well? I don't think people are always talking about someone like Mother Theresa and her charitable doings.
5) A general decline in spelling. eg there, their, they're, your, you're etc
6) My Dad used to grumble when as a child I said something was 'real good'. It's really good, he'd say. And he was right.

Am I being a grumpy old lady? Having just collected my senior's card I feel entitled to be. Anyone else concerned about our language losing its nuance and richness through lack of knowledge and laziness?


Jean C. Gordon said...

I'll grump right along with you.

Elisabeth Rose said...

Oh, good on you Jean!
Another one I've just thought of is the useless addition of extra prepositions. Sports commentators do it all the time eg Nadal is changing up his shots. Why not just be changing his shots??

Sandy Cody said...

I'll grump too. Commericials, at least in the US, are the worst. The advertising powers-that-be seem to think it's cute to use language that grates on the ear.

Carolyn Brown said...

Don't get my retired English teacher started. Grump won't even cover it!

Beate Boeker said...

I always do a double-take when I hear Americans say "I'm good" in answer to "How are you?"

I learned at school that the correct answer is "I'm fine", as "I'm good" has a totally different meaning - like "I'm a good girl". Obviously, this rule does not apply anymore.

I've not yet managed to say it myself, though - it sounds way too odd.

Rahul Bhatia said...

Writing good English should not boil down to using SMS vocubalry! Quite agree with your sentiment.