Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Past, present and future melting together

For those of you who may be linguistically inclined, or who have a basic understanding of grammar and enjoy humor, I present this piece of brilliance, written by Michael Kinsley. Originally titled "TV News Killing Our Precious Verbs", I think it was first published as a op/ed piece in The Washington Post in 2001. As soon as I saw it back then, I knew I had struck gold, so I copyright-infringed it onto my hard drive for posterity. But fortunately Slate has it in their archives, so I don't have to further infringe on any copyrights by re-posting in its entirety.

It is worth noting here my basic stance on grammar, spelling, usage, form, etc: While I believe that proper grammar and spelling are important (especially when using words to call someone else an idiot), and are generally a reliable indicator of the intelligence and/or level of education of the speaker or writer, and while I am a linguistic nit-picker by training and profession, I dearly love to invent words, use words incorrectly on purpose, play with crazy sentence structures, and such-like, and I believe language is something to be experimented with, improved upon, and enjoyed in its infinite variety. I also occasionally enjoy drinking to excess and babbling incoherently, at loud volume. So there.


bgirl said...

That genius.

Gleemonex said...

As Mrs. Blagg taught us in first grade, you have to know the rules before you can break them. Wise words from a lady who almost literally scared the piss out of me on a regular basis.