7 Responses

    • I agree Robyn. Had to stop watching because it was giving me a migraine. I enjoyed listening though ;)

  1. A professor with presumably an in-depth knowledge of other languages posting this? Really?

    Would the author of the video have
    ?Boustrophedon in write us

    Or maybe we just as most European languages do, simply like Yoda talking start could and all of our verbs at the end of our sentences put. Hell, like the Germans all of our verbs at the end of the sentence on we could start to pile, and also the preposition could go an odd place in. Lets not just eliminate apostrophes but definite article too.

    Or maybe we Roman as and verbs the poets could do and sentences our words jumble in because syntax our decided we have it allows do.

    Yeah, I like that idea for effective communication, because goodness no’s their’s not enough miss communication in the whirled. Let’s just have spell check correct everything because it’s so good at grammar and spelling, as the previous sentence illustrates.

    Look, I’m no language Ludite or Grammar Nazi. I know Shakespeare invented plenty of neologisms, hate all the “that/which” pedantry, love how dynamic language can be, and violate plenty of its rules.

    But the man sounds like a linguistic version of the modern GOP: a stark linguistic libertarian who doesn’t want guvmint telling him which side of the road on which to drive. Both are Anarchists.

    This wouldn’t be an attempt on your part Juan, would it, to justify an abdication of the need to take your red pen to undergraduate essays? If so it would be fully understandable: the Goddess grammar has been driven from the Earth by the usurping demon Text and its diabolical twin Twitter! Correcting undergrad papers has become a task worthy of Sisyphus.

    But there is a more serious reality here: for all the humor and cleverness of the video, for better or worse, people need to learn to communicate effectively – it gives one a leg up both socially and economically. Recall how much derision in which Bush was held for not having mastered some basic rules; of course, there were and are some elements that hold such misuse as a badge of honor.

    Do we want them ruling our planet?


    Humorless without Coffee

  2. Thanks for all your very informative posts. As an ESL teacher, I appreciate all of your information about the culture and history of many of my students, but as a descriptive grammarian who works with many prescriptive grammarians, I really appreciate this video. Thanks for all your work!

  3. So does Fry mean that we should accept your for you’re and their or there for they’re? I confess I remain somewhat of a Grammar Nazi, and I have not repented after watching the video.

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