In Good Grammer: Them's the Rules on August 2, 2014 at 10:47 pm
“I have no inclination what he meant,”
said a local politician on my car radio, critiquing a rival politician’s recent speech.
I had no inclination, either. What I had was an inkling.
Look these two words up in a good dictionary, if you want to check the differences in their meanings.
Right now, I’m not really concerned about their meanings. I’m just pointing out the similarity of sound between these two words, “inclination” and “inkling.”
My guess is that the politician, like many Americans today, was not much of a reader.He had only heard these words, either in casual conversation or on electric media. Going only by verbal context, he didn’t know their spellings or true meanings.
Nor did he care, probably…Most of his audience didn’t know or care, either.
What worries me is this: Someday some duly elected fool like this may be signing-on to laws and treaties he (or she)never read. Wait a minute…Is that day here already?
In Good Grammer: Them's the Rules on July 5, 2014 at 12:24 am
Let us go, then, you and I
When the evening is spread out against the sky…
-from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
Nobel Prize-winning poet, T.S. Eliot was educated at Harvard, Oxford and the Sorbonne. Whatever we may thnk of his poetry, he certainly should have known the rules of English grammar.
In spite of his impeccable credentials, however, Eliot got the first line of his famous Prufrock poem quite wrong. Any sharp freshman English student could tell you that the line should read, Let us go then, you and ME.
Okay, T.S., “I” rhymes with “sky.” We get that. But couldn’t you have changed “I” to “me”and “sky” to “sea?”
One Nobel Prize and you can get away with anything.
In Good Grammer: Them's the Rules on June 11, 2014 at 4:43 pm
No man putteth old wine into new bottles… New wine must be put into new bottles.
No man also having drunk old wine straightaway desireth new, for he saith, “The old is better.”
-St. Luke 5:37-39
As always, Jesus had it right.
Just as old wine should not get new bottles, old saws should not get new teeth. Consider the following classic aphorisms recently misquoted (and obviously misunderstood) by today’s media,
politicos and celebrities…
At the same token
The Truth is in the pudding
Every stone went unturned
That’s untrue in the face of it