The Colin McEnroe Show
11:58 am
Tue March 4, 2014

It's Grammar Day! Is My Exclamation Point Wrong?

Credit Crdotx / Creative Commons

It's National Grammar Day, a time to take stock of the current status of the English language, and possibly get into bitter fights.

I'm old school. I'm the kind of person who will only use "not only" if I intend to follow it with "but also." That's probably a convention that died the quiet death of a feverish sloth many years ago. But I know what's right, and sometimes it feels like I'm helping to hold the language together even as it drifts into chaos.

That's entropy, and plenty of people would tell me that's the wrong analogy. The language isn't leaching out its energy. It's gaining strength, they'd say.

The digital revolution has put a lot more people back at the keyboard. People write more and speak less and in so doing they innovate in ways we can easily track and discuss. I don't believe all that. I'm just telling you it's another way of seeing it.

GUESTS:

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