Blog #30   THE ROUTE TO CLARITY

The subject of grammar is not a sexy one. However it is vitally important to the success of our interfacing with others of our species. We are fortunate to have such a field manual of the “rules of the road” for our usage of language.  If ignored or violated, the result can be blurry messaging and predictable misunderstandings.

The grammatical code   contains in effect, directional traffic signs created to successfully lead the compliant speaker or writer to his important and desired destination, the intended meaning. Misinterpretation, occasioned by carelessly constructed statements, inevitably leads  to complications and problems; ask any experienced business person or lawyer.

The sentence, the juxtaposition of (hopefully, carefully selected) words to express an idea, sentiment or information, should always be thoughtfully constructed, with the other person in mind, so as to insure understanding; it must not vague or equivocal. The strictures concerning double negatives, the avoidance of parallelism, appropriate plural or singular nouns with plural or singular verbs,  and the many important other rules need be faithfully  observed for successful  results.

Sadly and alarmingly, there appears to have developed, a casual or dismissive approach to these grammatical rules of the road, a downplaying of their necessity too numerous and varied to delineate here. Nevertheless, one instance of this unfortunate trend has been selected because of the simplicity of its demonstration and because it is representative of this all- pervasive trend. The selected example is the lazy and irresponsible conflation of noun and verb. Such conversion of nouns to bogus verbs, it should be noted, however, is far from the most egregious violation of the mandated rules.t

Despite the common understanding that a noun expresses an object, e.g., a person, a sentiment, an object, and by comparison, a verb denotes action, e.g., run, swim write, the proper function of the two has been bypassed, and the two have been carelessly and irresponsibly conflated. Three such examples are:

Noun                                                   Bogus Verb

Impact                                                Impacting, impacted

Party                                                    Partied, Let’s party

Microwave                                         Microwaved

Are there not enough words in our vocabulary?

In order for a society to exist and prosper there must be interaction between its members; such interaction should be useful and without confusion of message.   We need only follow the rules.

p.

 

 

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plinyblogcom

Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Literature Student and enthusiast.

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