Thursday, May 26, 2005

Grammar Police!

Frank Gray weighs in today with a column on every newspaper reader's favorite subject: grammar.
Occasionally I also get copies of my column in the mail, submitted by retired English teachers, with corrections written in the margin. I don’t take umbrage at the corrections, though.
That's just part of the preface; the point is that Frank is mad people are using the word "an" in front of words that start with a the letter H.

We're not kidding.

The only thing we can think of is that Frank didn't find out about any new local injustices this week, so he didn't have anything to write about. Hence, a boring column on grammar.

And a word on grammar. Yes, their are rules, but language rules are and forever will be fluid. No one likes to hear that (at least not newspaper copy editors), but what makes a word a word is if people use it (and we all know what it means), not whether it appears in the dictionary. At Media Notes, we want to be out on the cutting edge of the language curve. We're not afraid to make up a word, or alter a real one, or even break a grammar rule (some are fair game, but not all), as long as doing so is helping us get our point across more clearly to our readers.

That's really what it's about here, and we think what it's about in the local papers -- writers communicating with readers. And not allowing a grammar teacher to get in the way.



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