Literal Irony

Lately, I’ve been seeing many more blog posts and articles from people who openly express their concerns, disappointments and disdain for the abuse the English language gets in every possible medium. I don’t know if this is real or selective perception since I tend to gravitate toward and immerse myself in this issue on a daily basis.

I found it interesting that the editor of a magazine used his entire space to talk about this. I feel badly for him, though, when he talks about having English “literally pounded” into his head.

I know he meant well.

Happy October and have a great weekend!



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2 responses to “Literal Irony

  1. Kathryn

    Well, actually. . .given his apparent age, and the fact that corporal punishment was tolerated, even actively encouraged, in public schools 50 or so years ago. . .

    There is a scene in Kipling’s “Stalky & Co.” (I think that’s where it is) where one schoolboy thwacks another on the head with a Latin dictionary while reciting a passage of Latin poetry they were expected to learn by heart, the thwacking being intended to reinforce the rhythm. (I may have some details wrong, but I remember the book-thwacking to reinforce rhythm–have to go find that passage. Bother!)

    And as the daughter and sister of engineers, living in a city stuffed full of engineers (with several of whom I am personally acquainted) I take real exception to his claim that they are notorious for their ignorance of English. Quite the contrary, in my experience!

    • Yes, I suppose one could take issue with his sweeping stereotype of engineers. I know a few myself.

      I think it’s more generational than educational discipline.

      I am pleased to report, however, that my 6th grader is actually getting instruction in parts of speech in her English class. They just completed a unit on subjects and predicates (yay!), However, whether it was the teacher’s lack of understanding of the subject, or simply a desire to connect at the kids’ level, they watched the Schoolhouse Rock vignette on predicates, “The Tale of Mr. Morton.”

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