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Friday, October 12, 2007

Comments

Mark

As I understand it, the Cockney pronunciation of words starting with "h" usually dropped the h-sound. Thus in spoken English they usually had a vowel sound and were preceded by "an". The Cockney speech patterns were absorbed by the British upper social classes eventually. Now the US media, who swoon over British royalty, hear them saying "an 'istoric" and think it's proper English to use "an" in front of "historic" without dropping the h-sound. I assume that ignorant custom is spreading to other words that start with "h". So in my view they are stupid errors, but eventually I suppose that they will become correct through usage in the US.

arthist99

Don't even get me started on the state of grammar in the U.S.

Ken

One of my pet peeves, grammar-wise, is apostrophe abuse, i.e., "Video's For Sale", "Pizza's", etc. I don't know if it's more common here in Knuckledrag, Texas or not.
About Al Gore... I think he knows that as soon as he announced, the media would swarm again like they did in 2000. Who needs it.

Queen

With respect to the "an" issue - it is a phonetic question. You might say "add an herb for flavor". It is not exclusively a spelling issue. And, yes, sometimes we drop the "h" after "an" when we would otherwise pronounce it. More art, less science. For what it's worth from a former english teacher.

If you can stand to listen to "W" sometime, notice that he cannot bring himself to say "a" with a short vowel sound (as in "cup"), he always pronounces a long "a" (as in "hate") which sounds, as usual, just plain stupid.

The way I see it, if Al's Nobel Prize helps the Democrats, that's great. Yes, Al would be a fine president, but I'll take Hillary as well. If both Al and Bill campaign for her, that's pretty sweet. I don't think he'll run. His work on climate change is probably more impactful on a global scale, which is more important in the long run.

D. Sidhe

True, but we're the biggest producer of greenhouse gasses last I looked, and it might be useful to have a president who cared about that. Hillary would, but I still can't imagine she can win. The GOP voters think she's Satan, for pity's sake. Hillary's a one woman GOTV for the other side.

Mark, I hope to all gods your housemate doesn't suck as bad as mine has. Set up rules ahead of time. No, really. Really really. It's amazing how fast people who think they're reasonable start acting like they live alone. My partner and I are now to the point where any of our unemployed homeless friends is going to get help Scotch Guarding the cardboard box, and that's it.

thepoliticalcat

It's sheer idiocy, is what it is. The basic rules of grammar haven't changed much since I was in school, and idiots who tack an "an" in front of every word willy-nilly should be beaten severely with a day-old baguette. It's right up there with language sins like "you're" instead of "your," or "it's" used as a possessive instead of a contraction. And don't even get me started on "the proof is in the pudding." If there's proof in the goddamn pudding, then you're making the pudding all wrong.

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