It’s a linguist’s first reblog!
I’m working on some new content to go up (hopefully) this week. In the meantime, however, did y’all really think I’d ignore National Grammar Day? Please enjoy this blog post from Motivated Grammar about grammar myths that should just go away.
Except the one about comma splices. That’s according to me, though. Sorry, couldn’t help myself. (Clearly, I’m okay with sentence fragments, though.)
It’s National Grammar Day 2013, which has really snuck up on me. If you’ve been here in previous years, you know that I like to do three things on March 4th: have a rambling speculative discussion about the nature of grammar and/or linguistics, link to some people’s posts I’ve liked, and link to some of my posts. Unfortunately, I’ve been so busy with dissertation work lately that I’m a bit worn out on discussion and haven’t been adequately keeping up with everyone’s blogs. So I hope you’ll forgive my breach of etiquette in making this year’s NGD post all Motivated Grammar posts.
Well, not entirely. Everyone in our little community gets in on National Grammar Day, so let me mention a few good posts I’ve seen so far. Kory Stamper discusses her mixed feelings on the day, as well as on correcting people’s language in general. Dennis Baron looks at…
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Well, you had your say …. my quibble is over ‘uninterested’ vs. ‘disinterested’. I don’t think they’re interchangeable. So I’m looking forward to your own content now.
I find it very interesting to see what pieces of language bother people. Even descriptive linguists who are supposedly objective and accepting of language as it is (not as it should be) have strong eye-twitchy reactions to certain patterns or constructions. For example, the word conversate is heard a lot among younger speakers in urban settings here in the States. I know that it actually reveals a quite normal linguistic process we use in English called back formation. We would normally take a word as a base and then add suffixes or prefixes to create new words or into different parts of speech. Sometimes, though, we’ve been known to take a word and remove the suffix to do the same thing. To bartend as a verb came about that way. The action was to tend bar and so the person was called the bartender (good ole Germanic compounding!) and eventually the -er was dropped to form the verb bartend that co-exists with to tend bar. We have lots of words from this process. I’ve got no issue with that. Theoretically then, conversate (from conversation) shouldn’t bother me, but oh dear lord, it makes my ears bleed when I hear it!