HD: English Going To the Dogs
Posted: 18 December 2010 06:19 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Yet another from a venue that should know better.

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Posted: 18 December 2010 10:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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English going to the canines?  Aarf!  There’s a thoughtful, objective discussion of this in Do You Speak American? by Robert MacNeil and William Cran, Doubleday, 2005.  The authors cite and comment on other gnashers of teeth like Roller.  Such complainers often–my view, and not necessarily that of MacNeil and Cran–resemble the faux snooze radio jabberers who want to return us to an arguably non-existent and halcyon past. 

For an example of Roller’s illogic and lack of accuracy: 

So if you know someone who wants to write, and wants to write properly (the two concepts sadly are no longer identical)…

No longer identical?  Let the good Perfesser provide us with evidence of the time and place when writing was identical to proper writing, whatever that may be or have been in his looking-through-the-keyhole-with-both-eyes-at-once view. OUP should indeed know better than to post such claptrap.  Much as I value Fowler (and Fowler), OUP itself publishes some more recent and useful style guides.

A pleasant, curmudgeonly “Harrumph!” to Roller. His use of “sadly” in the quoted snippet is a fair parallel to “hopefully”, so decried by the conservative proscriptivists and prescriptivists.  People who live in glass houses, as they used to say, should use Windex.

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