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.

2 comments:

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.