nineveh_uk (nineveh_uk) wrote,
nineveh_uk
nineveh_uk

The sort of nonsense up with which I will not put

While there may be disadvantages to the lack of any central body with responsibility for English As She Is Spoke*, there is a decided plus side, which is that no-one can come along and say "We've decided that [word] is spelt differently now" or "we've re-written all the rules about commas."** There is something to be said for the free and easy approach of owning a copy of Fowler in order to argue why you choose to ignore it against the alternative approach, which might be epitomised**** by the following extract from Wikipedia, brought to you by looking up further my German teacher's comments on whether to write du or Du:

In der Schriftsprache werden das Pronomen „Sie“ und die davon abgeleiteten Formen großgeschrieben. Bis zur Rechtschreibreform 1996 gab es auch eine Höflichkeitsform für „Du“ in der Schriftsprache, in der dieses Wort großgeschrieben wurde. Von 1996 bis 2006 wurde „du“ in neuer Rechtschreibung ausschließlich kleingeschrieben. Seit der neuesten, inzwischen vierten Revision der Rechtschreibreform kann „Du“ bei persönlicher Anrede wieder großgeschrieben werden.

Google translate does it for us. Only the culture that produced Nietzsche could produce a sentence like 'Since the latest, now the fourth revision of the spelling reform'. One can just hear the existential despair that rolls off it.

*Would that there had been a committee in 1400 or so to consider whether the Great Vowel Shift should be allowed. Also, I would vote for re-introducing "æ".

**Danish, which I see has since managed to change the comma rules that were new when I learnt*** them.

***Or should that be learned? I think I can choose.

**** The English version is epitomised by the fact that I can choose not to write epitomized. Of course, English is nothing in comparison to Norwegian, in which it would probably be entirely correct to write epyttomised as long as you came from the particular valley in which that was correct and all your other spelling matched it.

This entry was originally posted at http://nineveh-uk.dreamwidth.org/207362.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
Tags: language, real life
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic
    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 2 comments