Thursday, September 22, 2005

Here come the Grammar Police

Any votes on what grammatical error this BC comic strip (via Language Log) is referring to?

There are four theories at Language Log:
  1. It should be "We are the people" (copula deletion)
  2. It should be "Us the people"
  3. It should be "We, the people"
  4. It should be "We the persons"
My vote is No. 1 or maybe No. 3. But none of the possibilities are good -- or effective comic-stripping.

Language Log has a good rundown of why none of them work. (And, yes, numerous insults to Strunk and White are made in the process.)


At 4:02 PM, September 26, 2005, Blogger Nicole said...

Pigsaw Blog analyzes some other BC strips and has come up with a pretty good answer:

By now the pattern should be clear. Tracing it from frame to frame, from day to day, it’s abundantly clear that this comic strip isn’t funny. It’s rubbish. It’s what discerning linguists categorise as actually pretty shit.

The artist’s sole job is to produce something that’s funny. He hasn’t bothered to do this. He isn’t close to funny. He isn’t even in the same city. If he hasn’t put the effort into that, what makes you think he’s going to put the effort into his background research on grammar? He didn’t make the effort for you; you’re wasting your time if you put any effort into thinking about it.

So let’s forget it. It’s rubbish. Let’s move on, and spend some time on something worthwhile.


Post a Comment

<< Home