Thursday, April 18, 2013

American English

Every time I hear someone say, "The proof is in the pudding," I sigh. Not a happy sigh, not a longing sigh, but a weary one. You and I may know it, but so many others do not. The proof is NOT in the pudding, and the correct phrase is, "The proof of the pudding is in the eating." You don't know how good the pudding tastes until you eat it. You don't know how good something is until it is tested out, proven.

And how many times have you heard "myself" incorrectly used? These are not street urchins who misuse the pronoun; there are college educated folks who actually say, "Myself and Gerald Ames turned in the reports yesterday." They have forgotten their English lessons from years ago, it seems; they do not say "Gerald Ames and I..." Why? What happened to correct grammar in the United States?

I have some thoughts on why.

Why? Because very correct and precise English and heaven forbid, conversations that lilt and trip smoothly over the tongue have no value among the vast majority of people.

Because we are the country that has rejected elitism, and impeccable use of the language is one aspect of elitism.

Because we celebrate the average Joe in the street. "Myself and Cindy are going to move in together."

Because rules were made to be broken.

Because we're not snobs.

I'm going to stop now and read the new ebook that I downloaded from Barnes and Noble: In the Woods by Tana French. Her English is beautiful. Sometime soon I am going to write a post about reading all of my novels on my old first generation iPod Touch but right now I am going to finish this post. Right. Now.


Shelly said...

I am sighing with you. Enjoy your book~

A Lady's Life said...

I also am appalled when I see how kids write today and psychologists show that spelling is not important because the mind can read misspelled words.
Hand writing is another issue.
I used to love beautiful hand writing. It's an art form in itself. Today machines do it for you.

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