i really am trying to be more of a descriptivist and/or a "laissez-faire linguist," like one of my bruddies is. cause it's nicer and it's more laid-back and less uptight and critical. nobody likes the grammar police (except the other members of the grammar police).
BUT i still have to note, in my smarty-pants style, that jonathan safran foer (who gave a wonderful talk last night at bowdoin which i enjoyed immensely, and who overall is much, much smarter than i am) misused the phrase "beg the question" twice.
I noticed! Aren't you proud...
i AM proud!!!
How did he misuse it?
i can't remember exactly what he said, but it was in the sense of "...which raises the question..." as in, "eating meat begs the question, 'how does the cow feel about being eaten?'"
I've never used the phrase "begs the question" in all my years of speaking and writing, and now I'm glad I have skipped that little turn of phrase!
it's not actually one that comes up all that often (i think it comes up more often if you use it the wrong way).
can i just add that aside from people generally being afraid to use the word "me" for some reason (preferring "i" or "myself"), there is a also a widespread misunderstanding of "lie" vs. "lay" these days...
mama d, fellow grammar mafiosa, i know you will sympathize.
Sign me up for the grammar police! Have you heard about the man who goes around with without and markers and paint correcting the grammar, spelling, and puctuation on signs? His way of making the world a more beautiful place.
Oops--I meant whiteout!
yes! i find that so tempting...
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