The grammar nazi came out to play...

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October 24th 2010
Published: October 24th 2010
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Teaching English is quite a task. If you've ever thought about it, English has a HELL of a lot of words! For instance, how many words are there in English that equate to "very good"?


...and those are just off the top of my head!!

English has more words than any other language; tipping the scales at 500,000 it more than DOUBLES the amount of words in the next language on the list: Germany, with almost 250,000.

Despite the surplus of verbiage at our disposal, this not the most daunting explanation of why English is so difficult. There is a slew of other reasons which account for its complexity and pose obstacles to learning.

Oh where to start? The grammar in English is something that one could pore over for years, and still not know certain idiosyncratic nuances this wonderful language of our offers.
There IS a lot of people. “Is”, here, modifies “lot”, not “people”. Just as one would say “there is a murder of crows” or “there is a gaggle of geese” or “there is a (insert synonym for ‘great number’ here) of (things) here.” One cannot say “there are a great number of stars in the sky”; it would be incorrect.
She and I. Mom and me. Observe: “She and I went to the store.” “This is a photo of Mom and me.” In order to ascertain which is correct, take out the first subject in the sentence, e.g. “This is a photo of Mom and me.”(This is a photo of NOT “This is a photo of Karen and I.” Does this make sense, “This is a photo of.... I”??? It does not.

I know this is tricky, but if you passed the third grade, you should possess the ability to differentiate between “you’re” and “your.”
“You’re so cool, you can use proper English!”
“Your mom is cooler than you are.”
Colons and semi-colons, I’m not even going to address. Their situation is so muddled, I could write a thesis on it! (As I wrote this, Microsoft Word suggested that I put a semi-colon in place of the comma after “muddled”.)
Plural and possessive. “These are Jane’s photos.” Please DO NOT say “These are Jane’s photo’s.”

Ah spelling.

Once you were a friend of mine, now a friend of mine no more;
I once enjoyed your company, but your absence has become a chore;
Reading, without you, is hazy;
People have become so lazy;
Trying to understand what they write has driven me almost crazy!

I can’t really say more than that about spelling. It’s a skill that Word cannot be used in lieu of.


24th October 2010

a gaggle of geese being grounded of course when they are in the air, they are no longer a gaggle, they are a skein of geese hows that for more idiosyncratic idiocies of English!
24th October 2010

a limerick
Long ago, my mother would faint, If I ever uttered an “ain’t.” Every error was felled As the rules she upheld, But today that position is quaint
25th October 2010

Good grief! That's Pandora's box. Don't go there. Teach them to speak, not to spell. Children always learn to speak long before they learn to spell. What about all the sound-alike words? Write, rite, right; no, know, now; tuff and tough, ruff and rough; lay and lie. What about little, and small; a little bit and enough, large and a lot, big and bigger and much and many. Oh, what a mess this language can be.
26th October 2010

Is it a terrible thing if im still having trouble with using the apostrophe correctly??? I mean there are certin things' that I do well but grammer was never one of them.

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