Wednesday, June 10, 2009

English Language and all its idiosyncrasies

I love the blog, The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotations. It's amusing to see what people put in quotes. And what running commentary people will make up for those unnecessary quotations.

I have my own copy (I think this one was published in the 1960s) of Strunk & White's Elements of Style. I hadn't read through it, it's not one of those read from cover to cover books. But now that I'm published, I am about half-way through it. Just a refresher course, can't hurt.

At the ungodly hour of 7am on Sunday mornings on History International they run a program called Adventures in English where the host (I don't know his name) takes us through the many evolutions of the English language and why there are more than one name for different things. Like jail and gaol and prison. Saxon, Celtic, and Norman. (I may have that mixed up but did try to check the origins before posting this blog.)

I just started the new book, Origins of the Specious: Myths and Misconceptions of the English Language. It's a great book on the origin of words in the English language. Like fiery: makes no sense since fire is spelled, well, f-i-r-e. Apparently, it's a hold over from the 13th century when fire was spelled f-i-e-r.

I never considered myself SUCH a grammar person until I realized how often I gravitated toward these shows/books. OK, not such a...I am a stickler, and I do judge when you use poor grammar, but not SUCH A stickler...

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