Monday, July 25, 2005

Grammar

Grammar, n. A system of pitfalls thoughtfully prepared for the feet of the self-made man, along the path by which he advances to distinction.

2005 Update: A system for the organization and selection of words empowering followers to baffle like royalty.

31 comments:

Minka said...

Ok, I will give it a shot...
Grammar: noun; A system of rules governing the unnatural flow of our speech.
See...I am not good at this, but at least I was first :)

karma said...

the one sure way of getting your knickers in a knot

a4g said...

Grammer,n. The mother of one's father or mother, to those who have no familiarity with the more common definition.

a4g said...

I was about to delete and re-do my comment, but it's just too funny that I spelled grammar wrong. I'll let it stand as my definition for last's weeks ego.

Doug said...

Monika, that was worthy of Bierce. Don't be humble after I gave you the title of in-house linguist!

Karma, I love that phrase. Much cuter than "panties in a wad."

a4g, I think that's a fine twofer. I struggled with adding ", ain't it?" to the post.

Tom & Icy said...

A smart way to hide ignorance.

Jamie Dawn said...

Grammar: Stupid is as stupid does.

actonbell said...

grammar-something that's invisible until its rules are broken.
bad grammar-a distraction that can ruin the best content.

Doug said...

Tom, blogging and making up your own word definitions are also good methods.

Now, technically, Jamie Dawn, Stupid is an adjective and you're using it as a noun. Please revise and resubmit.

Actonbell, even bad grammar wouldn't have ruined your post from Sunday.

Alice: In Wonderland or Not said...

Grammar, n. A set of rules which have changed, to the chagrin of many, over time and due to which the US and Great Britain may again find themselves pitted against each other in battle that will rival Revolutionary War.

Goa'uld said...

Grammar: A system used in writing and speaking that, in the educational system, is repeatedly taught for too many years and not taught when most needed.

Doug said...

Ain't it, Alice?

Goa'uld! To cool that you left a comment! (Does your mother know you're over here?) I agree with you, too. When I was your age, grammar was always the class where I tried to keep my eyes open and head up and take a nap at the same time.

dddragon said...

Grammar: n. When all else fails, the thing that your mother is most likely to find fault with.

AP3 said...

dddragon -- You ended your definition with a preposition! Tan Lucy Pez will be so upset.

;-P

I doubt it.

I like Tom & Icy's definition...

Doug said...

Dddragon, somehow it never came to that with my mom.

Hahahaha, Aral! I agree about Tom and Icy's definition. Insofar as language may be used to cover either meaning or its absence through regimentation and expression, so does Icy's definition apply. (Gotta be one ignorant redneck to use a sentence like that.)

John Litzenberg said...

Grammar, n.

A system of elitist language by which certain rules are used to insult the unknowing without their knowledge, or

The basis by which those who are merely uneducated are separated from those who are truly ignorant, or

The rules of a language which are given to its users after they have sufficient use of it to develop patterns of usage generally antithetical to either the rules themselves, or any known method of instruction in their application.

Sreekesh Menon said...

someone who tells you that what sounds right is not always right.

karma said...

the expression is English, and we follow the Queen's. that's supposed to be good grammar

GABRIEL C. ZOLMAN said...

Grammar, n. The howling of monkeys as arranged by their descendants; the skeleton on which the meat of malice clings.

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LeesahEm. said...

grammar-the only way to ensure that bitter teachers will have their revenge against the representations of the youth they squandered year after year after year.
also-rules that include the use of a comma that I have dismissed as an unnecessary due to the drag it created on my typing speed.

LeesahEm. said...

and I also tend to ignore the whole proofreading thing...

Doug said...

Hey, John, Welcome back! I especially like the second definition and I think the third is accurate, too. Excuse me, we're talking over here. (Did that sound Bostony? I tried)

Karma, I had an Indian religion professor at Emory, Dr. Thomas Tangaraj. Whenever anyone would refer to his Indian English he would indignantly say "Indian English is more English than American English" and he was right, because an American would have ended with "Goddamit!" which the Queen never would.

Sreekesh, listen anyway ;)

Gabriel, you outdid yourself (and me) this time. Nice one!

Lisa, can you imagine what it'll be like when teenage bloggers grow up to be English Teachers? "I'm sorry, we say U R, not UR!"

And, I hadn't noticed. I couldn't get away with that.

The Gnat's Trumpet said...

A set of contrived laws that attempt to make logical the irrational.

weirsdo said...

Nonsense up with which one must put.

Masil Neurath: I represent that remark!

Tan Lucy Pez said...

I dunno, but his first name is Kelsey. And you spelled his last name wrong.

dddragon, I thought we brought you up knowing that a preposition was not a good thing with which to end a sentence. Now, rewrite your sentence. (You realize that you will lose one grade point of course.)

Doug said...

Gnat, contrived language?

I love it, Weirsdo. Don't be sensitive, no-one makes fun of home-schoolers, I'm sure.

TLP, I love it but "of course" is parenthetical, I believe, and you are no Masil. A comma, please.

Jamie Dawn said...

Please revise and submit? You are so mean! You don't badger anyone else like this.
I was quoting my hero, Forest Gump. He is a little slow, but his words carry deep meaning.
I stand by his words, "Stupid is as stupid does."
I will interpret the meaning:
Stupid people do stupid things because they are stupid.
Bad grammar is not a reflection of wisdom. It is a reflection of good education. Forest Gump is not smart, but he is wise. Wise is as wise does.

Doug said...

Jamie Dawn, I do so badger all my blog friends and look forward to their badgering me. I love "Bad grammar is not a reflection of wisdom. It is a reflection of good education." It seems unanimous, grammar is the tool's tool.

Minka said...

Noam Chomsky would be proud were he to read this discussion. He had a whole thing about the distinction between prescriptive and descriptive language!

Doug said...

That's why you're the in-house linguist. Would Noam Chomsky read this site only to find that that descriptive language was being used against prescriptive language? *bows*

GABRIEL C. ZOLMAN said...

But what would he say about Wittgenstein's "Game rules"? Would Noam call the whole thing a virus and shuffle off to the Anti-war rally?

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