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Sunday, 14 September 2014

Right and Wrong and the Queen's English


Right and wrong. Why the w at the beginning of wrong? It's a funny thing the English language, in my opinion. And I know I am risking the full fury of the grammar police here, but such is life.

I can see why there is right and write, two different words with two different meanings so lets spell them differently. But then we can have one word spelt the same with two different meanings. Spelt for example. And spell (am I allowed to begin a sentence with and?).

Why the k at the beginning of knee? Why have letters at the beginning of words that we don't pronounce. Would the world end if we nelt instead of knelt? Why run and not wrun?

A friend recently suggested that the reason is without correct grammar and punctuation we are unable to understand correctly what is meant, and dire consequences would ensue. And of course the way our grammar rules are constructed that can certainly be the case. Yet I have read many posts on social media, etc, (not necessarily the best place to look for correct grammar and punctuation I know) that have the most awful spelling and grammar, but I know exactly what is meant. And I can communicate quite clearly with them without feeling the need to correct them or belittle them in any way. I have also read pages and pages and pages and pages and pages and pages and pages (that's a lot of pages) of correct grammar and spelling and punctuation; essays, books, articles, blogs etc and can honestly say I haven't a clue what that person was trying to say. I wonder if there isn't more literate nonsense out there then well meant and heartfelt honest communication, albeit spelt wrong.

I think, or rather suspect, that when these grammar rules were first introduced the vast majority of the population were illiterate and this was done to further exclude and create barriers, rather than to include and bring people closer together. After all it is the Queen's English (was it ever the King's?). Keep the common woman and man in their place (not there place, heaven forbid), and allow those who knew (not new) the rules to feel superior. And I see that still going on. More so now (not know) than ever before.

For instance, there has been another appalling spate of vile, inhuman beheadings, and I notice a few angry responses here and there (not their). Yet get an apostrophe wrong or miss it out altogether and the world and her wife are outraged and will happily post the offending sign or article and declare the world is ending and death to all ignoramuses.

I think the apostrophe rule is a bit like the offside rule in football, most people don't get it but some do. It's kind of an elite club that the members can have 'discussions' (arguments) about amongst themselves and use as a stick to beat the rest of us over the head with. And boy do they love it.

I fully admit that I don't understand all the rules. You only have to read through my blogs to see that. I never did. And I have tried. Honest guv. They were 'taught' while I was at school, but never explained. And I'm not certain I have the inclination to even want to bother now.

I can still communicate just as effektively.

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