Oct 27, 2007

Comment of the Week, Saturday Edition

Well, it was inevitable. The comment that I selected for this week's 'Comment of the Week' was one of my own. Somebody registered a complaint on our A Black Belt in What!?! post.. The impact, or 'punch' of his comment was unfortunately somewhat diminished by the 5th-grade level of his command of English grammar. People who write using ignorant grammar sound, well, just plain ignorant.

Here 'tis.

-Gus

_____________________________________________________

We definitely understand that we are not CNN.

But, we do have certain spelling and grammar usage standards. For example, 'their', vs. 'they're', as demonstrated by your comment.

Their:

he1 /hi; unstressed i/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[hee; unstressed ee] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation pronoun, nominative he, possessive his, objective him; plural nominative they, possessive their or theirs, objective them; noun, plural hes; adjective
–pronoun
1. the male person or animal being discussed or last mentioned; that male.
2. anyone (without reference to sex); that person: He who hesitates is lost.
–noun
3. any male person or animal; a man: hes and shes.
–adjective
4. male (usually used in combination): a he-goat.
[Origin: bef. 900; ME, OE hé (masc. nom. sing.); c. D hij, OS hé, OHG her he; see his, him, she, her, it1]

—Usage note Traditionally, the masculine singular pronouns he1, his, and him have been used generically to refer to indefinite pronouns like anyone, everyone, and someone (Everyone who agrees should raise his right hand) and to singular nouns that can be applied to either sex (painter, parent, person, teacher, writer, etc.): Every writer knows that his first book is not likely to be a bestseller. This generic use is often criticized as sexist, although many speakers and writers continue the practice.
Those who object to the generic use of he have developed various ways of avoiding it. One is to use he/she or she/he (or he or she or she or he) or the appropriate case forms of these pairs: Everyone who agrees should raise his or her (or her or his or his/her or her/his) right hand. Forms blending the feminine and masculine pronouns, as s/he, have not been widely adopted, probably because of confusion over how to say them.
Another solution is to change the antecedent pronoun or noun from singular to plural so that the plural pronouns they, their, and them can be used: All who agree should raise their right hands. All writers know that their first books are not likely to be bestsellers. See also they.

They're:

they're /ðɛər; unstressed ðər/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[thair; unstressed ther] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
contraction of they are.
—Usage note See contraction.

There (third usage form; note), do you see the difference? You used 'their' when you should have used 'they're' in your criticism of this blog. Grammatically incorrect, and sub-standard quality for our posting standards. Please clean up your grammar, or cease posting to this blog.

--Gussie


7 comments:

Pinky and The Brain said...

CNN? Don't they know we're The World's Greatest Blog Protecting America?

Anonymous said...

Slow week on the blog, boys? The "comment of the week" is a jab at improper English.

Pinky and The Brain said...

Got anything we could publish? Maybe about ventilation in PF4?

Gussie Fink-Nottle said...

Pet peeve of mine, 11:17. The use of grade-school level English here is inexcusable, but none the less a too-common occurrence. "Your" vs. "you're", "their" vs. "they're" vs. "there", etc.

I see no need to tolerate postings that are made to sound even more ignorant than their content makes them by clumsy 5th-grade level grammar.

-Gus

Anonymous said...

Youve gotta b jokeing, u terd!

(Sorry)

Anonymous said...

Then moderate them away, as in never post them. Unless you like to try to show everyone how smart you think you are by poking fun.

Gussie Fink-Nottle said...

I shall, 8:26. Except for those special occasions when I feel like poking fun at an especially ripe, ludicrous, illiterate contribution.

Thanks for the advice...

-Gus