FOR ALL THOSE WHO NOTICE APOSTROPHES …

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25 thoughts on “FOR ALL THOSE WHO NOTICE APOSTROPHES …

  1. At the risk of being labeled ‘lacking humor’, I have to stand with the opposition here. I think grammar is the bodyguard of the language… and as for Nazis, their sin was somewhat greater than insisting on the proper way to express things. No, I’ve never met a grammar Nazi.

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    1. Shimon, I did wonder whether to use this, because of the title. The word Nazi, like the word fascist, is used very loosely in the west now, but of course it resonates very differently with you. It was not very sensitive of me to use it and for that I apologise.

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      1. Really, there is no need to apologise. I think I just look at the issue differently… both of grammar, and the subject of Nazis, of course. But I so not believe in being politically correct. I don’t insist that others consider my sensitivities.

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      2. I understand exactly where Shimon is coming from. The son of Jewish friends described their local refuse policing organisation as Nazis. ‘Surely not’, I commented with more than a little surprise. He was vehement about them and what they do, and for him, these guys, (they usually are men) are paid to harrass. Being one generation closer to the holocaust than their son, his parents were quiet, it was a discussion they were not going to get into, there were issues that they would choose to discuss in private with him.

        My main concern is that loose use of terminology dilutes. I should also say that I concur with Shimon’s view about sensitivities, particularly in this discussion. I think a judgement call would have to be made within the context of a discussion or if it arises in other circumstances.

        The French are proud of their guardianship of their language, through The Academie Francaise. Caring about language does not mean it has to be preserved in aspic, it does mean, however, that its basic structure and the rules of grammar are maintained as core elements.

        Discounting the cartoon title of Charlie Brown’s action, (a ‘Grammar Fiend’ would have worked just as well) it is an amusing cartoon, which demonstrates the complexity of the English Language.

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      3. I agree, that using terminology loosely dilutes its impact. I consider that laughing at something has a similar effect. Sometimes this is helpful, and sometimes it is simply a way of avoiding thinking about a topic because it is funnier to laugh at it.

        Our own grammarians seem to take the line that English is always evolving and therefore what people say in general becomes the rule. I don’t like it – it seems slapdash to me and we are more and more inclined to adopt Americanisms, which also dilute ‘essential English’. If there is such a thing any more!

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