Date: Wed, 18.07.12 11:04
AH> Hi, Roy! Recently you wrote in a message to Ardith Hinton:
AH>> When you & I went to school it was frowned upon to begin
AH>> a sentence with a co-ordinating conjunction such as "and"
AH>> or "but" although the writers of magazine ads did.
RW>> It was noted in my 9th grade English class that newspapers
RW>> were the foremost offender of conjunction syndrome in their
AH> Heh. I used newspaper articles as examples of biased
AH> reporting in my English classes... placing two different accounts of
AH> the same event side by side.
We weren't allowed to use newspaper articles in 9th grade, but they were
allowed later on in my 10th, 11th and 12th grade classes.
AH> As for the grammar in newspaper articles, which I didn't really go
AH> into because I'd found so many wonderful examples elsewhere, it seems
AH> to be getting worse.
What was her neme? Mary Katherine Hamm! A gal that appears on the Fox News
Network as a political consultant. She used some bad grammar to describe
an event that she reported on. I emailed her at the studio and actually
got a reply thanking me for the lesson in English grammar.
AH> When I finish my second installment here you'll see what I mean.
AH>> It was frowned upon to say "It's me" although other kids
AH>> our own age did. It was frowned upon to say "Where are
AH>> you from?" although you may have recognized it as a pickup
AH>> line at the local tavern shortly thereafter.
RW>> I remember those days.
AH> I figured you would. I suspect you may also remember
AH> that certain older textbooks... and older teachers... tended to say
AH> things like "that dress looks well on you".
I do recall textbooks like that, but never heard a teacher say 'well' when
she meant 'very nice'...
AH> Fortunately for me, I had an English teacher in grade ten who
AH> (although she was in her mid-fifties) was able to explain linking
AH> verbs to my satisfaction.
That would have been a blessing, in my case. I didn't have any teachers
that wanted to take time out for a personal lesson.
AH> I'm not sure whether times had changed or whether some folks were
AH> overcorrecting. But I'm grateful to "Miss Langwidge" for inspiring
AH> me to learn about grammar, which until then seemed rather boring to
Speaking of boring. I had to take English Speach 3 times before I got the
theatrical drama teacher that also taught speach. Unlike the one who
flunked me twice for my non-participation after he embarrased me before
the class over my grammatical mistakes. I was a shy and easily upset
youngster in those days. 13yo and would burst into tears when someone in
authority spoke an angry word to me.
AH> The problem was that I have a knack for it... i.e. as far as
AH> English is concerned. I take no personal credit for that. We all
AH> have our talents & I had more opportunity than others, growing up as
AH> I did in an ex-Brit setting close to the US border. For the first
AH> time somebody introduced questions I couldn't easily answer. If it
AH> takes me awhile to respond to questions in this echo, I'm probably
AH> enjoying myself verifying that a number of acknowledged experts see
AH> things my way. ;-)
That's a smart thing to do. Too many of us blurt out what we think is
right, even if it's wrong. 8^)
AH>> Chances are these students knew how to speak colloquial
AH>> English before entering school, however, and it was the
AH>> teacher's duty to drag them kicking & screaming to the
AH>> next level by modelling formal usage. That was the
AH>> situation in Canada, at any rate... as seen from the
AH>> other side of the desk later. ;-)
RW>> That was also the case in the states, although it has
RW>> gone the way of the dodo bird in more recent times.
AH> Yes. But as I often say (in effect) to the Russians
AH> here, knowing how to wear a suit & tie comes in handy at times.
AH> While it's nice to know you can get away with jeans & a t-shirt if
AH> the situation calls for them, it's also nice to know you have a
AH> choice. AFAIC dropping back to a less formal level is easier than
AH> going the other way... particularly if you're not used to it.
And no one bothers to call up the spelling or grammar police when you do.
RW>> I also got the reprimand from my father when I began to
RW>> use what he termed as "Chicagoisms" suchas dis, dat and
RW>> many other words.
AH> In our neighbourhood, other folks had "dinner" at 6:00 PM
AH> while we had "supper" at 5:00 PM. My parents came from Someplace
AH> Else. (I am who I am ... take it or leave it!
My mom came from the other side of the tracks and when dinner was ready,
she'd yell out "come and get it!" or "slops on the table", not saying one
way or the other whether the 'it' was supper or dinner.
AH> I gather you're the sort of person who can relate to what I'm trying
AH> to say). I learned to talk one way at school & another way at home.
Lol! When mom was around, we were allowed to use any form that suited
us...when dad got home, that was a different story. Even though he never
made it past 11th grade, I think he had a good grasp of the language
because he was a very shrewd and good-to-know-ya businessman.
AH> I didn't like it when I had to go home before everybody else did &
AH> they weren't available for some time after I had finished eating.
AH> OTOH, when I was expected to teach PYGMALION/MY FAIR LADY I found it
AH> right up my alley....
Heh...I never made it into the theater until the summer after I graduated
from high school. I wouldn't have made it then, had I not been dating the
daughter of the producer of a play I was interested in; Mr Roberts. I got
the part of Stefanowski, one of the crew scrubbing the deck who tapped out
an SOS signal when the 'ole man' came on deck.
RW>> Cool. I'm always up for another session of English 101.
AH> Glad to hear it! You ask, I'll answer... or at least try
Nancy does that for me too. My grammar has improved 200-300% since we met
back in the late 70s.
RW>> (I hope the Russians know what 'cool' means in American
RW>> colloquial English)
AH> The younger ones certainly do... and I think the others
AH> will catch on quickly, if they haven't already. With 300,000,000+
AH> people & a flourishing trade in books, movies, etc. the US takes up a
AH> lot of bandwidth nowadays.
The English language has certainly been spread to all four corners of the
earth as well. I've noted that the CCTV9 news channel on satellites has
Chinese newscasters reporting in perfect English, as if they were taught
in an American environment. They sound more like the Turner News reporters
than Chinese reporters
--- Twit(t) Filter v2.1 (C) 2000-10
* Origin: Roiz Flying \A/ Service * South Texas * USA * (1:387/22)