Monday, May 12, 2014



PERPLEXING
INFURIATING 
ENGLISH!

Curiosities of the Past Tense

If it’s Drive, Drove, Driven, but Thrive, Throve, Thrived  (or rarely Thriven), why isn’t it Arrived, Arrove, Arriven, instead of  Arrive, Arrived, Arrived? Why too is it Live, Lived, Lived and not Live, Love, Liven

Then there is Dive, Dived, Dived. “Dove” may be popular, but it’s still incorrect, and frankly deplorable. Think how silly it would sound to say “Today I Dive, yesterday I Dove, and I have Diven all my life since the age of three.” 





10 comments:

  1. I love the way toddlers who are learning English automatically use the regular past tense for all verbs, such as "I eated that yesterday," instead of "I ate that yesterday," or "I runned all the way home," instead of "I ran all the way home. Those grammatical bloopers sound charming to us because we understand toddlers are learning the difficulties of irregular verbs , but little ones learning the language automatically choose the intuitive past tense instead of the grammatically correct.

    As my toddler niece once said excitedly when her neighborhood friend received her Holy Communion, "Auntie, Auntie, she made her Holy Community and gots God in her stomach!"

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  2. Yes, indeed, Miss Shaw, such childish errors can be adorable, but that sort of thing loses its appeal once children get to age four. I am glad I grew up in an atmosphere where no one was ever hesitant to correct children. It really was a big help in being able to function well outside the protective environment of the nursery and family circle.

    Such an upbringing used to be considered an advantage, now, I suppose, many "experts" on child rearing and development would deem it "oppressive." (:-o

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  3. It might damage their self esteem FreeThinke. (:-(

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  4. Never hurt mine, Les. In fact it bolstered it.

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    1. Didn't hurt mine either FreeThinke. It's all on the way the adult does it. We were fortunate.

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  5. Meh, there's nothing wrong with enjoying a cute little moment like that.

    I have two children of my own, 8 and 5, and I've always been big on them speaking properly. But with moments like that, correction isn't always necessary.

    My 8 year old has an astounding vocabulary for such a young boy. I don't know where he heard it, but the other day he asked me for the meaning of 'hubris'.

    I haven't had a discussion with him about split infinitives, though. ;-)

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  6. My 8 year old has an astounding vocabulary for such a young boy. I don't know where he heard it, but the other day he asked me for the meaning of 'hubris'.
    ----
    He must have been reading FT's blog ... ba-da-bing.

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  7. As one who taught adult ESL for years, I can vouch for the frustration involved in learning English -- particularly as a second language. I mostly taught Koreans, and, apparently, the Korean language doesn't have nearly as many grammar irregularities as English. Also, there is a lack of progressive tenses in Korean. This lack caused its own set of problems for my students.

    The expressions on the adults' faces when we studied the principal parts of verb were hilarious.

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  8. AOW,

    Interesting, however, that "foreigners" who make the effort to earn English properly, usually speak and write it it far better than the average, garden-variety 'Merkin.

    Low-Class Regional Lingo, in the USA and also in Britain, may have its charms, but most of it is still a dreadful abuse of syntax, grammar and pronunciation.

    Do people have a RIGHT to speak poorly?

    Absolutely!

    BUT, if they wish to get ahead, they SHOULD have a DUTY to learn good STANDARD ENGLISH.

    Standard American English is perfectly acceptable. We don't need to acquire a British accent, but nothing in earth sounds better than the speech of the beautifully trained actors from the British Isles.

    It's idiotic to imagine that cultivating good grammar, acquiring a wide vocabulary, and learning how to speak in well-modulated tones with clear vowels and crisply enunciated consonants is somehow a snobbish affectation.

    We CAME frm a State of Nature -- i.e. The Jingle. It too hundreds of thousands of years to develop Civilization. We do NOT want to return to The Jungle.

    The Jungle was no Garden of Eden.

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