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Grammar Nazi

The local library here stocks something, often in both CD and DVD format, called The Great Courses. It's a bit like the old Open University, with an academic giving a lecture, but there's no degree at the end of it. On the one I was watching last week a linguistics professor was discussing the English language; it's use and misuse. He was lamenting that the second person plural and first person plural are now exactly the same - "you". It wasn't always so. The singular used to be "thou". One of the things the guy was keen to point out is that often what is regarded as slang or dialect is often more "fit for purpose", to use his phrase, than modern standard English. He seemed to applaud the use of "Y'all" in the southern United States and pointed out that many west coast Lowland Scots use "youze" in a similar way. As do many people in New York. Interesting. 'Least I thought so. 


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