When grammar goes too far.

I am as much of a pedantic ass as the next guy (you don’t have to agree with me when I say things like this), but Ambrose Bierce took things An Adverb Too Far. In this fine article about grammar, the following example explains Bierce’s fierceness in such matters:

Take the sentence, “Since I made no money last year, I had to live in a dilapidated shack with a dirt floor with 10 other people.” By Bierce’s lights, it contains five errors. You should say “earn money,” not “make money”; “last year” should be “the previous year”; “dilapidated” shouldn’t be used for a wood structure since it comes from the Latin word for stone; “dirt” shouldn’t be used to mean earth; and you shouldn’t use “people” with a specific number — it should be “10 other persons.”


One Response to When grammar goes too far.

  1. Bpaul says:

    I am a huge fan of Bierce. The Enlarged Devil’s Dictionary is a plethora of quotable quotes. Such as his definition for dice:

    “small, dotted cubes of ivory constructed, like a lawyer, to lie on any side, but most commonly the wrong one.”

    Obviously, that’s not his punctuation LOL.

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