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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

"Actions lie louder than words." - Carolyn Wells


Many of the 'mistakes' people point out in English are really personal quirks and preferences.

One example is that people claim that humans perspire, whereas animals sweat. Which is especially curious given that "sweat" is used in a human context in many works of classic literature.

To say nothing of things like the split infinitive.

"English is a messy language. Unlike French, we don’t have a council to decide how we should write or speak. We only have a multitude of competing college handbooks, dictionaries, and usage and style guides, such as The Chicago Manual of Style and The Associated Press Stylebook, which frequently disagree. Space is tight in this book, and I like to keep things simple, but wherever possible I point out when something is a style rather than a rule. Too many people go around believing the way they learned to do things is the only way to do things, when really it’s just one of the acceptable choices."

--- Grammar Devotional by Mignon Fogarty
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