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 Book: Origin of the Specious

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NoCoPilot

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Posts : 12924
Join date : 2013-01-16
Age : 64
Location : Seattle

PostSubject: Book: Origin of the Specious   Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:39 am

Yeah, I discovered this book after posting that title in the Nonsense thread.  Turns out it's by Patricia O'Conner, who wrote my favorite grammar book, "Woe Is I."  This one is about misconceptions about rules of English and how a lot of what "everyone knows" is wrong.

For instance:

  • The British accent is newer than the American accent.  Pilgrims talked more like Americans today and brought the mother tongue over in its original state
  • Ending a sentence with a preposition was considered just fine until the 18th Century, when some scholars tried to make English more like Latin.  Trouble is, English is a Germanic language, not a Latinate, so the rules don't fit
  • "Ain't" was a perfectly acceptable word until the early 20th Century
  • There's actually historical precedent for the word "ask" being pronounced "axe"

I'm geeking out to this book.
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