Engineer & Entertain

Ideas I grapple with

A Bit of Fry & Loquendi

Pushing past my predilection for puns, a problem persists with persnickety, pedantic prose promotion.  In general, it is helpful to know common errors in English (or any language you are speaking) so as to be clear and avoid looking like an ass.

Some go to an extreme to point out errors and flaunt rules of 18th century English, rather than accept language as a living, changing, hilarious being.  Grammar Nazis generally cheer and enjoy Weird Al correcting the grammar of common signs, but what change or purpose does the correction bring?

It could be the Department of Transportation was unable to pass the third grade, or it is just as unlikely they are displaying their knowledge of flat adverbs.  In either case, their message of driving slow is quickly and safely conveyed.

But I digress, my rhetoric and examples pale to Stephen Fry’s discourse on enjoying language for the sake of enjoying language.  If the previous scripts invoked a feeling of TLDNR, then sit back and enjoy the following video with Fry.

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One thought on “A Bit of Fry & Loquendi

  1. Very nice. I’ll admit that I occasionally pick apart signs, newspapers, blog posts, or damn near any form of written word for misspellings, improperly used punctuation, or better yet some other misuse of language. Stuff like Engrish or The “Blog” of “misused” “quotations” are pretty entertaining. There are times as well that poorly chosen words can make communicating an idea more difficult. It has the unfortunate byproduct of sometimes making the speaker/writer look or sound less educated at times, too. That said, I do find humor in it all, and will readily admit that my own writings are far from perfect.

    But in the end I like the phrase “living and changing” to describe language. If everything was laid out cleanly and unambiguously, half of the fun of improv, puns, and other wordplay would disappear.

    As a very smart linguist once told me, “if the person on the other end gets what you were trying to say, then it’s right”, end of story. I’ve used that to try and help steer myself away from Grammar Naziism.

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