➸ Accidence Will Happen: A Recovering Pedant's Guide to English Language and Style Free ➮ Author Oliver Kamm – Pimply.info

Accidence Will Happen: A Recovering Pedant's Guide to English Language and Style Even though I was worried about buying a rehash of Steven Pinker s The Sense of Style, I bought it anyway.I m glad I did This is a light, fun, and very informative little book I learned new words, learnedgrammar, and all the while became less of a pedant Highly recommended, but read Pinker first An interesting idea I had expected that this book would explain to me why there are rules in English Grammar and why we should respect them In fact, this was probably the opposite Language is dynamic That which was correct and proper twenty years ago will be different compared with now Pedants are just that being pedantic for the sake of it The second half of the book was a list of grammatical examples, rules that people have used, where they have come from and usually why there real An interesting idea I had expected that this book would explain to me why there are rules in English Grammar and why we should respect them In fact, this was probably the opposite Language is dynamic That which was correct and proper twenty years ago will be different compared with now Pedants are just that being pedantic for the sake of it The second half of the book was a list of grammatical examples, rules that people have used, where they have come from and usually why there really is no right or wrong I read the first half, the second half is really to dip in and out of Interesting but not as revealing or informative as I had hoped Are Standards Of English Alright Or Should That Be All Right To Knowingly Split An Infinitive Or Not To And What About Ending A Sentence With Preposition, Or For That Matter Beginning One With And We Learn Language By Instinct, But Good English, The Pedants Tell Us, Requires Rules Yet, As Oliver Kamm Cleverly Demonstrates In This New Book, Many Of The Purists Prohibitions Are Bogus And Can Be Cheerfully Disregarded Accidence Will Happen Is An Authoritative And Deeply Reassuring Guide To Grammar, Style, And The Linguistic Conundrums We All Face This is the book that we would all like to have in our back pocket when we are confronted by a language pedant It is an eminently readable book.Kamm considers the English language as a living vehicle of expression, and contrasts this with the grammatical rules that people have developed to attempt to describe, and prescribe, its usage He exposes many errors that pedants make, while explaining the likely source of the errors, then goes on to document historical evidence that the usage that is i This is the book that we would all like to have in our back pocket when we are confronted by a language pedant It is an eminently readable book.Kamm considers the English language as a living vehicle of expression, and contrasts this with the grammatical rules that people have developed to attempt to describe, and prescribe, its usage He exposes many errors that pedants make, while explaining the likely source of the errors, then goes on to document historical evidence that the usage that is in question has often been in play for centuries Whether the open question is the use of hopefully as a sentence adverb, or whether the I am good response to How are you is correct, you will find this a useful book largely an extended jeremiad against what he calls the sticklocracy , by which he means the likes of Lynne Truss of Eats, Shoots and Leaves fame, for those with short memories Simon Heffer and John Humphrys, all of whom have written books about how to use English proper He is very non prescriptive,so than I think I am capable of being I cannot accept that between you and I is ever OK in Standard English, though I accept that it may be so in American But he is spot on when he says largely an extended jeremiad against what he calls the sticklocracy , by which he means the likes of Lynne Truss of Eats, Shoots and Leaves fame, for those with short memories Simon Heffer and John Humphrys, all of whom have written books about how to use English proper He is very non prescriptive,so than I think I am capable of being I cannot accept that between you and I is ever OK in Standard English, though I accept that it may be so in American But he is spot on when he says that English is what it is, is how it is used, and also that most of the sticklocracy, most of the time, gets exercised about perceived errors and misuse on the basis of no evidence, and still less on the reading of dictionaries, whose job is to describe the language as it is used at the moment of publication, not to give us rules to follow So, let us work on the evidence An important work for anyone interested in language, and an excellent help for those who try to describe the benefits of good use of English to others Are using flat adverbs, splitting infinitives, starting sentences by And or, spelling all right instead of alright signs of a bad English According to Oliver Kamm, leader writer and columnist for The Times no No and, his stance is not an opinion coming out of the blue like, past manuals about grammar picked at random gnark gnark but, supported by solid evidence coming not only from various linguistic fields e.g the history and evolution of English language itself but, also re Are using flat adverbs, splitting infinitives, starting sentences by And or, spelling all right instead of alright signs of a bad English According to Oliver Kamm, leader writer and columnist for The Times no No and, his stance is not an opinion coming out of the blue like, past manuals about grammar picked at random gnark gnark but, supported by solid evidence coming not only from various linguistic fields e.g the history and evolution of English language itself but, also reinforced by literary examples Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Dickens etcIn fact, and here s why I really loved Accidence will Happen , he not only take the time to debunk all those silly and ungrounded rules about supposed bad grammar, spelling and punctuation He, most importantly to me, stresses how such prescriptivism or superstitious and ignorant pedantry, as he labels it is in fact counter productive when it comes to our use of language Indeed, beyond the fact that sticklers do not know what they are talking about again, he debunks all their rules by relying on solid evidence their attitude towards language is, actually, damaging to literacy In a nutshell Standard English has nothing to do with good English as opposed to bad ones, then and, if you really care about the use of English language then, care about registers of which StandardS are just a part of and stop worrying about shibboleths Will sticklers ever be able to understand that Let s doubt it If the sticklers were interested in language they d read research on to name but a few the grammar of English and other tongues neuroscience and psychology, to illuminate how the brain processes the written word computer science, to understand the use of artificial intelligence in simulating language anthropology, to understand how languages develop across cultures and philosophy, to understand the link between language and logical thought Instead their mental universe is populated with instances of a small phonetic confusion between the word EFFECT and AFFECT, or a purportedly though not actually incorrect use of INFER It s not only the pedants lack of linguistic inquisitiveness that s dispiriting it s the smallness of their world Clear, straightforward, strongly but well argued and, even, reassuring, Accidence will Happen is bold and refreshing Whose who really care about language will love this book Absolute delight of a book Kamm rejects sticklers who insist on outdated English grammar based on Latin syntax and rightly sides with who matters those who use the language He also mentions briefly how grammar is often used simply to separate people from the commoners rejecting language based on grammar, even when it is in common usage, is classism and nothing less Fantastic, informative and even witty at the right moments. I love this book s attitude and approach to unsubstansiated rules of grammar, and the gentle acceptance it shows towards non standard, but regionally used, turns of phrase However, Oliver Kamm s own writing style is somewhat pompous He demonstrates that his vocabularly is extensive, leading me to scribble definition in the margins As much as I enjoy learning new words, I can imagine that for many this would make the bookof an ordeal than desired. This book debunks many pedantic myths about the English language and rules about a number of words, etc For me it ranged from interesting, to laugh out loud funny not that I am a recovering pedant in any way, no, not me, not even close to boring and, no, I don t need a third comma but if you like those, feel free to use them I can t say that I always agreed with him, and one of the book he argues with is one I enjoyed a great deal, but for the most part he is spot on Many of the rules This book debunks many pedantic myths about the English language and rules about a number of words, etc For me it ranged from interesting, to laugh out loud funny not that I am a recovering pedant in any way, no, not me, not even close to boring and, no, I don t need a third comma but if you like those, feel free to use them I can t say that I always agreed with him, and one of the book he argues with is one I enjoyed a great deal, but for the most part he is spot on Many of the rules we have been taught to follow were arbitrarily decided on at various points in time, and some were done because a few scholars thought two things 1 that English should follow Latin syntax rules, and 2, that Latin rules are inherently logical, unlike English as it is actually used from long before thenMost of this book is good as a reference, handy to have if you are asking yourself if it s okay to split an infinitive it is and has a long literary heritage even in top classical authors or if and when you need to use whom not telling Oliver Kamm is my new god At least where the so called rules of grammar are concerned anyway.For a long time, my sole useful guide to grammar and style which sat on my desk was Fowler s I also have the Oxford Manual but find that less helpful Recently I added my beloved Bill Bryson s Mother Tongue as a fascinating tour through the English language Now I ve added Kamm s Accidence Will Happen even though, interestingly, he cites Bryson five times and criticises him each time I am nothi Oliver Kamm is my new god At least where the so called rules of grammar are concerned anyway.For a long time, my sole useful guide to grammar and style which sat on my desk was Fowler s I also have the Oxford Manual but find that less helpful Recently I added my beloved Bill Bryson s Mother Tongue as a fascinating tour through the English language Now I ve added Kamm s Accidence Will Happen even though, interestingly, he cites Bryson five times and criticises him each time I am nothing if not forgiving.His book is a brilliant rebuttal of pretty much everything the grammar nazis and pedants stand for while also giving good solid advice about language issues which matter Kamm s work scores for several reasons He s extremely funny and not in the slightest bit dry making the book a delight to read He s articulate, convincing and provides copious quantities of evidence to back every claim Despite seeming almost anarchical about grammar he s actually a moderate.This last point is actually very important to me and Kamm has been able to put into words the issue I ve struggled with for some time as a writer namely, a great distrust of the old and new gold standards of how to write yet an unwillingness to let go of things important to me.The book is split into two parts The first is Kamm s treatise on why the pedants have got it wrong including a ten point list of where the sticklers , as Kamm calls them, have made errors in their principles the second is a handy dictionary of common grammar sticking points including use of apostrophes, ending sentences with prepositions, the split infinitive, double negatives and pretty much every issue you can imagine.His arguments make great sense and, as I say, articulate what I ve been feeling for some time In essence he says this that grammar changes over time and is controlled by common use and not by the dictate of pedants Effectively his advice is, if it feels right then it s ok to use He argues coherently that almost all rules were invented by individuals for no good reason other than opinion or incorrect understanding of etymology Indeed, he even argues that using etymology at all as an argument for what a word should mean is also incorrect and, again, proves his point repeatedly His arguments are common sense and rooted in historical fact making them all but indisputable Certainly he obliterates the arguments and examples of John Humphrys and Simon Heffer and I feel certain he is off their Christmas card lists now.Does this mean we should no longer teach the rules of grammar in schools and so on Not at all, says Kamm It s horses for courses We still have different styles of writing and knowing the idioms, customs and rules for these are important say if needing to write a formal letter or academic piece of writing But these are cases of using Standard English as opposed to Non standard English They re not right or wrong, says Kamm, just different Kamm loves the English language and cares about its use But he doesn t believe the language is in decline or that it is essential to defend it lest it falls English is what it is, he says, and will continue to change, adapt and evolve not because of the purists and pedants but through the everyday usage of you, me and every other English speaking person

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