Some things I agree with
(or not as the case may be)
Monday, December 1 The most sense I've read all month
Hello, I'm not dead yet! Been superSUPER busy recently but I'm keen to get back into the blogging (just as soon as this latest batch of brain-zapping coursework is over and done with).
In the meantime, this, from the latest Zen customer newsletter, made me smile:
GRAMMAR SCHOOL Even the most educated readers and writers can fail to get a complete grasp of English grammar. The book: 'Eats, Shoots and Leaves' has evidence that a surprising number of people struggle to define parts of speech and few have any idea about, say, passive and active verbs. Why the book's peculiar title? It's from a joke: A panda walked into a cafe. He ordered a sandwich, ate it, then pulled out a gun and shot the waiter in the foot. "Why?" groaned the injured man. The panda shrugged, tossed him a badly punctuated wildlife manual and walked out. When the waiter consulted the book, he found an entry that read: "The Panda is a large black and white mammal native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves". We see signs in shops every day for "Banana's" and even "Gateaux's". Competition rules remind us: "The judges decision is final".
There are many punctuation guides explaining the principles of the apostrophe; the comma; the semi-colon. These books do their job, but somehow punctuation abuse does not diminish. Why? Because people who can't punctuate don't read those books! 'Eats, Shoots and Leaves' adopts a more militant approach and attempts to recruit an army of punctuation vigilantes, telling them: Send letters back with the punctuation corrected. Do not accept sloppy e-mails. Climb ladders at dead of night with a pot of paint to remove the redundant apostrophe in "Video's sold here".
Now, I'll avoid pointing out the glaringly obvious mistakes in the paragraphs above (I quoted them verbatim from the newsletter, so don't blame me!) but I cannot believe the depths to which Britons' grasp of their OWN language have sunk - often peoples' poor language skills verge on the abhorrent! (And there's a new word for you.)