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#206249 - 06/27/12 06:50 AM Re: Why our language is changing for the better [Re: BranShea]
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
It seems to me that what Pullum is doing here is not saying that the punctuation is intrinsically involved with grammar; what he's saying is that the QES claim that it is, but they themselves are not following the rules that they themselves promote. He's hoisting the QES on their own petard.

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#206251 - 06/27/12 11:52 AM Re: Why they peeve [Re: Faldage]
zmjezhd Offline
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Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
what he's saying is that the QES claim that it is, but they themselves are not following the rules that they themselves promote.

Yes, I agree. He's saying by their own fussy rules they've made mistakes and are thereby leading English down the garden path to be shot in the back of the head. He also points out that style-wise their prose leaves a lot to be desired.
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#206252 - 06/27/12 12:48 PM Re: Why they peeve [Re: zmjezhd]
gooofy Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/19/12
Posts: 37
I'm not so sure. Pullum says "But even if you ignore all the stupid stuff, the last two sentences really are genuinely ungrammatical for perfectly clear reasons." He's referring to sentences 7 and 8, which he says are ungrammatical because of punctuation. It seems to me that for Pullum, punctuation is grammar.

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#206253 - 06/27/12 01:02 PM Re: Why they peeve [Re: gooofy]
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Originally Posted By: gooofy
I'm not so sure. Pullum says "But even if you ignore all the stupid stuff, the last two sentences really are genuinely ungrammatical for perfectly clear reasons." He's referring to sentences 7 and 8, which he says are ungrammatical because of punctuation. It seems to me that for Pullum, punctuation is grammar.


I dunno. He says:

Originally Posted By: Pullum
First, let's look at the seven sentences of the letter above in the light of the usual kind of judgmental prescriptivism that the members of QES always purported to care about (and keep in mind here that in some cases I am applying what prescriptive authorities generally say, not endorsing it):


and then goes on to list the reasons why orthodox prescriptivists would condemn them. Only then does he say that the last two are "genuinely ungrammatical for perfectly clear reasons" but he doesn't say what the perfectly clear reasons are. I don't see what they are but I don't see any reason to believe that they are the reasons of punctuation that he had already outlined.

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#206254 - 06/27/12 02:27 PM Re: Why they peeve [Re: zmjezhd]
gooofy Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/19/12
Posts: 37
I see your point. But then why doesn't he say what the reasons are?

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#206255 - 06/27/12 03:24 PM Re: Why they peeve [Re: gooofy]
BranShea Offline
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Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5282
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
As I see none of you seems to have read the other thread, "The Queen English is dead" etc., I transcript my post here.
Yes, Mr. Pullum explicitely says he applies but not endorses what the prescriptive authorities generally say.

I've read (not skimmed) the article. Agreed, a fair comment.
The Society can retire.
I'm no prescriptivist as long as I can understand what's written. I definitely do think our young ones are not well instructed in the usage of the native written language. Could be there is no other way. Large amounts of immigrants, devaluation of respect towards teachers, low wages etc. I have a son who came into my household at the age of 5 speaking only lingala, the river dialect in Congo. His yourney into learning Dutch was really an exciting experience, but I'm happy we usually talk and need no communication through letters.

Back to QES:

Even in Mr.Pullum's carefull comments I've found a sentence that confused me because it did not read well:

"It's extraordinarily bad when judged by the sort of standards that one might expect an organization of educated professional people devoted to the protection of Standard English and education in its use."

I've had to read it twice and suspect he forgot 'of ' before 'an organisation'. No big deal but it hinders the train of thought while reading. I.e nobody's perfect.


Edited by BranShea (06/27/12 03:29 PM)

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#206257 - 06/27/12 03:47 PM Re: Why they peeve [Re: Faldage]
BranShea Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5282
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
Be honest. In many comments Mr.Pullum connects punctuation, comma and clause with the word 'grammatical' or 'ungrammatical'.
I fully entrust you your own (to me incomprehensible) idea of what grammar žs, but there's no need to mystify what everyone can plainly read in this article.


Edited by BranShea (06/27/12 04:20 PM)

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#206258 - 06/27/12 04:20 PM Re: Why they peeve [Re: gooofy]
Rhubarb Commando Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/13/11
Posts: 1074
Loc: Lancaster, UK
Preumably because he thinks, "they are perfectly obvious."

I must say, I tend to agree they are 'ungrammatical', but I'm not so sure the reasons are quite as 'obvious' as he claims.
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#206260 - 06/27/12 05:22 PM Re: Why they peeve [Re: BranShea]
gooofy Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/19/12
Posts: 37
BranShea, are you talking about me? What exactly is incomprehensible? In what way have I mystified?

As for Pullum, it's possible that he has different ideas about what grammar is than I do.


Edited by gooofy (06/27/12 05:23 PM)

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#206261 - 06/27/12 05:32 PM Re: Why they peeve [Re: gooofy]
BranShea Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5282
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
No Gooofy. smile You can see. After the re:. My last post was to Faldage.

Pullum may have a different idea about what grammar is from you for sure and I don't understand this thing about " grammar is not in written languages ".
To me that seems like a peeve of a different order.

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