Thursday, June 10, 2010

Red Marker Blogathon Update 5

Before I start the update, let’s talk about RMB for a quick minute, shall we? The idea of this blogathon is to educate and amuse but the laughter is not meant to be either personal or malicious. If you make the mistakes listed out by the participants, know that you are not the only one! I have learnt and re-learnt a fair amount in the last ten days and so, I am sure, have many others who are following RMB. Bloggers, I’m happy to see, have been pretty polite in their comment spaces, ranting and explaining with equal fervour. So please, do not take these posts personally. Gayatri, this means you!

Now, Itchy sends in another list and this one covers some words that came into English from other languages. Which reminds me, how do you pronounce Quixote? Apparently there are two acceptable ways: “Kee-yo-tay” and “Quick-zote”… I prefer the first, myself.

Debo has chipped in with this link she found pertinent. It reminds me of something that manages to annoy me every time I read it – ‘naan bread’. It’s ‘naan’. Or ‘bread’. NOT NAAN BREAD. *takes a calming breath*

Rimi quirks a sardonic eyebrow at the degradation of the fine art of insult.

Footloose makes a case against short forms of words – I link to her with great enthu.

Cee Kay sends in another link proposing the ‘modernisation’ of English words. Now, this is a tricky proposition. Spellings tended to differ greatly even a hundred years ago. So it sounds quite presumptuous of declare that I won’t have it (as I want to!) On the other hand, this ‘modernisation’ business sounds like the beginning of a slippery slope to me. Where does it end? Isn’t it just easier to get people to read more? I have never been a very good speller myself, but I would rather refer to a dictionary or a spellcheck programme than learn to spell everything differently all over again. Maybe I'm just being a rigid dinosaur.

K3 reminds you to mind that checker. I couldn’t have put it better myself. The spelling and grammar checks in Word etc are helpers, not teachers. Particularly not the latter, since the grammar checker makes frequent mistakes.

Shyamala ‘pours’ over ‘loosers’ and ‘palettes’.

And Art muses on 'This Queen's English'.

That’s it for now, I think. If you have sent me a link which I have not yet published, please leave me a comment at this post. I’m getting a bit confused and might easily have missed one!


Anonymous said...


there is no end to it.
you can start your own different grammar blog,but i wish people keep it very basic.

last heard,a school in Delhi had to change the word 'gay' in their school anthem,bcoz kids wud smirk everytime...hehehe

also,wud like to think that i own the language and not the other way round.Like humpty-dumpty said " i wud make language to mean what i want it to mean".We all like to take our own creative liberties with language,for language itself is so weird.

madam Sue,cud you pleez present your next post on pronunciation problems?'mama of twins' already presented one of hers...want
one from ya.

keep up!

The Owl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Owl said...

most frequent-"older to me"
Christ's sake - OLDER THAN I.or just plain elder!- and following from this-than me/than him/than her.
"can't able to"
"co-sister/co-brother"(What the hell-educated upper class people here use that term too!!- and it irks me!)
tenses- "I did not got"/ "I had not went"-WHY don't we make kids read, mark and digest the uses of the past participle, the past perfect and the preterite!(or whatever it is called in English)
abuse of the present continuous "I am making out with my wife"???:-)
People who don't understand the passive voice.-the cheque has to cancel-subject-verb-object anyone?
completely innocuous malapropisms with nouns- enter from the backside of this building. (errr...I leave it to your judgement which of the objects here needs to be changed:-))).
Mispronunciation of disk. (10 years back there used to be this joke about computer instructors in Bihar lecturing about hard dicks and floppy dicks, but since floppy DISKS no longer exist.....)

AND ;-> I could ignore all this, because after all everybody doesn't have as much access to books as we did or a conducive environment, but when these selfsame people use wanna, dunno, etc....

I don't have a blog, as you know.

eve's lungs said...

done it - the yobbos vs the snobs !linked you.

Anonymous said...

Here's one more for you, Sue :)

starry eyed said...

I do hope ppl don't take this RMB personally!

You know, after reading so many posts, I realised how I do use a lot of wrong English when I speak (not when I write), and I feel my reason for it is to connect.

I believe if I talk like a textbook all the time, people whose English is 'not that good' just won't be able to talk WITH me :) So over the years, my English has Indianised itself, until some of these wrong usage phrases and words have become a bad habit.

But, hey, I don't make friends based on language-perfection. For me as long as we get our meaning across, a conversation doesn't have to be dictionary-perfect. But when it comes to written work (like for a job or school/college work), it better be close to perfect!

Anonymous said...

You know, the moment you mentioned this was a thing, every single thing that'd annoyed me went right out of my head and hasn't been seen since.

Richa said...

Here are my "two" cents:

Cent 1
Cent 2


The Footloose Doll said...

Hey Sue, some thoughts of language after reading so many posts and articles.

I'm not sure if this qualifies either. :p

PS: Word Verification: LIMPA :D

Anonymous said...

Sue, I finally thought of something and wanted to use the badge but realized the badge doesn't link to anything. Not that it MUST but since you're collecting all the different posts, could you create a label just for the blogathon so I could link the badge to it. ITA it's cute!

Sue said...

Anon -- I wouldn't dream of starting a grammar blog. Too much work and I never really learnt too many of the rules.

Owl -- Do I know you?

Evie, Chinkurli -- Thanks!

Starry -- I know exactly what you mean. On a tangent, I suffer that way in Bengali. I can get by where spoken Bengali is concerned, making educated guesses at words I don't understand, but I'm at a complete loss at reading the language because the people who write it aim for perfection!

Amrita -- LOL

Richa, Footloose -- Next update. Sorry I missed you guys. Am having a hard time keeping track of entries.

Amrita -- You can link to to make life simpler. Thanks for the help, btw.