English for Luddites. Plus: Slamming Rathergate. Democrats have a nice day. Washington botch.
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, 1992. With all due respect to Mr. Orlet, Fowler's
Modern English Usage
is not a grammar; it is merely a style book, so also Strunk and White.
p>Where does a high-school or college student go to look up uses of the subjunctive, conditional sentences, predicate nominatives, and examples of the archaic second-person forms of verb and pronoun inflection? The best place to learn English grammar remains the Latin 101 course. Grammar purists have been whining about the deterioration of American English for most of my life (I'm 64), and yet no one has attempted to put the whine into a new bottle. Here's a great opportunity for scholarship, and a chance to collect royalties for years. The Smyth book is still in print after 85 years.
Stuart W. Settle, Jr., J.D.
p>At the moment I am reading
by David McCullough and I am struck by the beauty of the language spoken by John and Abigail Adams and also by the level of learning as John Quincy's schooling is described. I am also very saddened by what is being taught (or, actually, not) in our public schools. If our citizens cannot communicate using the full range of our language how can we read the classics or understand our own history? Reclaiming our language must be our goal!
Mrs. Deane Pradzinski
p>Language is about communication (i.e., what is said and how it is said). Much of what is communicated is nonverbal, such as facial expressions and hand gestures, most of which are subconscious. Should there also be national standards for expressions, gestures, and the subconscious? Do not the relatively frozen faces and paralyzed arms of speakers of American English communicate less than, say, the faces and arms of Italians? Just asking.