Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Of Grammatology**

For a long while now I've been wanting to do a series of posts on language usage.

While I sit about and try to make space for all the cows (I thought the first rule about this was do not link the OH, but seems like everyone's done it already.This linkage should free up about two steaks for someone else now. I'm magnanimous like that :P), I've got an issue once again with language and English.

Learn from this, see how it works, ask me if you don't get it and I shall re-explain gladly (all confidentiality held). It's not about being a pretentious language buff, it's all about helping people who seem to have no end to embarassing themselves with these basic errors. And yes, getting these grammar rules correct are requirements on the Jedi list (being the precautionary measures set in place, which should be satisfactorily checked off, before one can consider long term bovine investments).

Please do accept this paltry offering in the spirit that it was intended and so that you may de-idiot before typing up things. This is something which works on my nerves, not only because I'm a grammar nazi by profession, but also because I remember learning this in Standard 1 or 2/Grade 3 or 4 (all credits dude to Apartheid's House of Delegates owned thorough-bugger teachers) and I think that it's easy enough to understand and apply. It's quite a shame when otherwise intelligent human beings screw up their text with some of these errors. Errors which are made mostly due to not understanding the basic premise of word classes.

In English, as in all languages, there are word classes. This means that certain words function as a particular type of word or within a particular context.

There's three types of word classes which seem to confuse the hell out of the lesser mortals of the realm.

Prepositions, pronouns, and contractions.

Prepositions: Split the word into two pre -position, before a position, it denotes a place, a position. It is not to be confused with a pronoun. Examples include; Here, there, above, below, inside, outside, underneath. (PLACES)

Pronouns: Split it into two as well and nouns are people, places, things, tangible stuff unless it's an abstract noun. Examples include; his, her, them, their, our. (PEOPLE)

Thus, there is not the same as their. There shows place, their shows ownership.

Conractions are words which are joined and shortened by an apostrophe (an apostrophe which does not show possession). Consider the sentence: Here's his book, he's going to need it. (WORD(USUALLY PREPOSITION OR PRONOUN)+(USUALLY)AUXILLIARY VERB)

He's is a contraction for he is or he has. It's not the same as his which is a pronoun. Common errors include: "his mad" instead of he's mad.

Are we all clear on this one?

Next up: Concorde, Plurals and Apostrophe.

Class dismissed!
**Bonus points to the reference catcher.

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Blogger Fatima said...

If my kids (the future M&M spawn haha!) mess up on their grammar, I'm sending them to YOU! :P

June 10, 2009 3:53 pm  
Anonymous junaid said...

wait, concorde? going from english lessons to engineering of supersonic passenger planes - now their's a stretch


PLEASE come do a roadshow in lenasia - the people here are in serious need of your assistance.

June 11, 2009 12:23 pm  
Blogger cobain said...

thank you. Most useful for when in doubt. *bookmarks*

June 15, 2009 8:50 pm  

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