Friday, July 29, 2011

English Only

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Blogger Enbrethiliel said...


It doesn't get more embarrassing than this. =P I should know . . .

There was a time a teacher blogger had a post about grammar mistakes her students made that drove her crazy. The combox was soon full of people sharing their own pet peeves. I joined in, of course . . . only to have someone point out, a few comments later, that I had actually made a grammatical error of my own in my comment! The worst part (or depending on how you see these things, the best part) was that I hadn't even known it was wrong. I'd been using that construction since childhood! =P

The experience made me a bit more tolerant (at least outside the classroom) of people who flub language. They can still be very funny, of course.

3:16 AM  
Blogger Pints in NYC said...

I just watched this and thought of you. You might want to make a blog post about it if you haven't already.

Elvis Costello's "Oliver's Army"

I think you'll appreciate its anti-imperialist message.

(btw - I owe you a few pints when you get to NY!)

10:10 AM  
Blogger love the girls said...

Spelling is a convention. It's only embarrasing to those who mistake conventions for culture.

Leaving asside the entire issue of whether or not America should be cohesive, speaking a uniform language is required for a society to be a cohesive whole.

5:42 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Enbrethiliel, I've been in that situation, too.

Pints, pints!

love, you have a point.

2:14 PM  
Blogger Enbrethiliel said...


LTG, this isn't about convention or culture, but about context. So, yes, it is embarrassing. Imagine finishing a lecture on style and elegance in fashion only to learn that your skirt had been very visibly tucked into your pantyhose the whole time. (If it helps, first imagine wearing pantyhose. =P)

If someone wrote "excetions" in any other context, nobody would look twice, but the irony is just precious here.

2:50 PM  
Blogger love the girls said...

Enbrethiliel writes :"this isn't about convention or culture, but about context."

It can be. But that's not why those and similar gaffs are circulated. They're function is to disprove the assertions made by the placards.

Unfortunately, in a sound byte culture where trite gotchas such as "where's the beef", or "I knew Jack Kennedy and you're no Jack Kennedy" of which these photographs are part and parcel of the same type, these photographs are taken knockout debate winning blows.

The photophraphs are nothing more than the common sneering of the intelligencia looking down on their benighted lessers.

The same intelligencia who mistake book learning for common sense no matter how incompetent the book writer to recognize reality. Which is fitting, because finally the arguments are ad hominems which are by nature a change of subject mistaking accidents for substance.

12:23 AM  
Blogger Enbrethiliel said...


While I can see how they could be used that way, I confess the full political context behind this collection of gaffes didn't occur to me until I read your last comment. There's a blog called The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks which has pictures like this every day--but for poking gentle fun improper use of quotation marks rather than spelling mistakes, obviously.

3:36 AM  
Blogger Enbrethiliel said...


And now I have the creeping suspicion that I wrote "question" instead of "quotation" in my last comment.

3:37 AM  

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