Tuesday, February 26, 2008

On fashionable ideology and mangling the English language
I’m a moderate on some of these — firefighter is fine for example but not African-American for black — but agree with this main point:
...in everyday prose... puffed-up words... a word with useless syllables or a sentence with useless words is a house fancied-up with fake dormers and chimneys. It is ugly and boring and cheap, and impossible to take seriously.
Slashing these with my blue pen or delete key is one of the joys of my job, making sure they never appear in print.
How can I (how can any teacher) get students to take the prime rule seriously when virtually the whole educational establishment teaches the opposite?
The prime rule has been undermined by ‘the Academic-Industrial Complex’, the middle class as described by Paul Fussell (who called corporatespeak ‘cornball elegance’), more or less these people, often as in other things with good intentions (the road to hell and all that).
Unsatisfied with having rammed their 80-ton 16-wheeler into the nimble sports-car of English style, they proceeded to shoot the legs out from under grammar — which collapsed in a heap after agreement between subject and pronoun was declared to be optional.
From LRC.

No comments:

Post a comment

Leave comment