“And so, to bed! For tomorrow we rise at 8.30 for 9.”

This week’s post in the Guardian’s Mind Your Language blog supports my view that while the rules of English usage are important (we do need to be able to understand each other), we can’t be too inflexible about them. Our language changes all the time; limitless creations and variations are one of its marvels.

The article concludes that the development of English is democratic rather than logical, and that the battle to preserve a particular view of ‘correct’ usage is ultimately a losing one, although those of us that care should at least try.

It’s also interesting to learn that everybody has one incorrect usage that really gets their goat. For me, it’s the difference between ‘less’ and ‘fewer’ (see the Starbucks napkin), even though that’ll probably disappear in a couple of generations.

Advertisements