Thursday, August 21, 2008

I understand that language evolves over time.

But that doesn't mean that we have to hasten it. It certainly doesn't mean that I have to do anything to hasten it, and I'd like to think that my (most likely insignificant) efforts to retard the speed of the evolution are important in a minor way to keep the coherence of language intact.

Also via First Things is a note about the possibility of the demise of the semi-colon and the efforts of the French to avoid this. Laudable as this goal is, I think the French go about the preservation of their language in the wrong way. Not surprising for a bunch of effeminate continentals who live in a perpetual fog of nostalgia for the 18th century. Instead of setting up government commissions (as the Frogs do) to dictate which words are acceptable and which are not, arguing in schools for the importance of Standard English and teaching basic grammar will do more than efforts to ban words like "blog" ever will.

Returning to the semi-colon, my opinion on the matter, contra-Vonnegut, is that people who denigrate the semi-colon do so to cover their own inability to use one correctly.

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