Since this site isn’t my Aftertaste, I am not “obliged” to sound so conventional and sweet. I only have to say what I NEED to say right now.
In this modern world, it is such an apparent fact that we are already surrounded by the countless gifts technology and modernization offer. We now have touch pads, touch screens, self-operating gadgets, censored faucets and glass doors and most especially, the most scene-stealing skyscrapers and infrastructures a man could imagine. However, amidst the technological and industrial success the world is experiencing now, there are still some people who are left behind, expired and out-of-date. Vague? Let’s just put it this way: Some people just don’t get it ANYMORE.
Why? It is because they are pathetically holding on to the traditional ways and views of life and everything in between that they forget to embrace the beauty of change and neglect the essence of transformation in all aspects. I know modernization isn’t such a good thing in all of life’s respects, but there’s honestly nothing we can possibly do to stop it from happening.
One of the many things that change rapidly is the English language. Over the years, the English language has changed in many ways. Through travel and colonization, the language spread like wildfire. From country to country, the dialect changed and formed different English. Of all these, American English is one of the most understood. Dominating the United States, American English has changed majorly in meaning. Three main areas of change are hyperboles and understatements, elevation and degradation, and generalization and specification. Moreover, communication itself has been fast-changing that it has drawn a certain line between Traditional English Grammar and Modern English Grammar. In fact, in Cambridge University, there have been certain case studies on the English Language and Linguistics focusing on grammar change. The truth is that most of the traditional rules in grammar are no longer embraced in this present-day situation.
Here is an article written by Dr. Goodword, also known as Robert Beard, PhD Linguistics, and President of the The Lexiteria.
Bad Grammar or Langauge Change?
What is happening to the English language— NBC Nightly News recently aired a criticism of English speakers, accusing us of misusing the grammar of the language. This is a criticism we have heard from editors, publishers, and readers for at least 300 years. But is it fair? Are we battering English grammar or is English grammar simply changing, as all languages do, over time? Linguists have been struggling with this question for ages.
Take, for example, the plural number in English. English traditionally distinguishes one or more objects by a distinct form, the plural, e.g. one table, two tables, many tables. Lately, however, a series of problems has arisen in the language that suggests this distinction is in trouble.
For example, have you heard people say things like this:
A large amount of pigeons flew by
We found less pigeons than we expected
English once distinguished nouns referring to substances that are always in the singular by using amount for singular substances and number for countable objects in the plural:
A large amount of Kool-Aid, ambition, coffee, or crawfish gumbo
A large number of pigeons, bullwhips, armadillos, or blueberry pies
The same distinction was made by less and fewer. Less was used only if the noun were uncountable: less Kool-Aid, less coffee, fewer crawfish but less crawfish gumbo.Fewer was applied to countable objects: fewer bullwhips, fewer armadillos, and fewer blueberry pies. This distinction, too, seems to be swooshing out the window these days. Is that a natural or unnatural process?
One final bit of evidence. Kay Bock, one of the nation’s leading psycholinguists, has been researching the plurals of nouns and finding that we are confusing singular and plural more and more.
In English, the noun that is the subject of a sentence agrees with its verb. Roughly, if the noun has an the plural -s on it, the verb doesn’t (The pigs run) but if the noun doesn’t have one (is singular), the verb does (The pig runs).
What Professor Bock is finding is that agreement is not always between the subject noun and the verb, as grammar dictates, but between the noun nearest the verb, whatever its function in the sentence. For example:
A rootery of pigs were running through the barnyard.
As the problem of rooting pigs grow, we have to address them.
In these sentences, the subject nouns are group and problem, so the verb should contain the -s:
A rootery of pigs was running through the barnyard.
As the problem of rooting pigs grows, we have to address it.
What Bock is finding, is that agreement is often between the verb and the nearest noun to it, which is not necessarily the subject of the sentence.
By the way, this has nothing to do with the difference between British and US English, where the British use the plural with what linguists call ‘collective nouns’ (as opposed to our use of rootery above): nouns that are singular in form but refer to a plurality of objects:
The Parliament are in session
The crew are on alert
The team play well together.
The British are consistent in this usage. In the US it seems that our grasp of the sense of plurality is diminishing and, if that is the case, we could see the plural disappear from the language in a relative short linguistic period—perhaps, fewer than 200 years!
Before summing up, let me alert you of one final symptom that seems to fit the pattern of the other three. To understand it, you have to be aware of another loss in English: the number of suffixes for marking grammatical functions like number, person, tense, are disappearing faster than frogs. Suffixes like -dom, -ery, -ess and many others are no longer being added to new words.
The result of this is that the suffixes we are left with have to serve more and more functions. For example, the suffix -s is used to mark the following:
The plural: ant-s, launching-s, door-s
The 3rd singular Present tense of verbs: He/she/it run-s, smell-s, plunge-s
Making nouns out of adjectives: linguistic-s, acrobatic-s, mathematic-s
Possessive: George’s, Bush’s, the anaconda’s (ignore the apostrophe since you can’t hear it)
This brings us to the fourth bit of evidence that at least US English-speakers are losing their grasp of the plural: plural number is often confused with nonplural uses. You have probably heard things like these:
Boscov’s are having a big sale this week.
Logistics are not my forte.
These would be just speech errors if they didn’t fit the pattern created by the first three bits of evidence: we are losing our grip on the plural of words.
So, how will we be able to communicate if the plural disappears? Would you believe that many languages get away without the singular-plural distinction today and have been doing so for millennia?
Oriental languages like Vietnamese and Chinese have no singular-plural distinction at all. The reason these languages do without plural number suggests that it might be redundant in English: we generally use the plural with some modifier that makes plural obvious:
|Many Cadillacs||Many Cadillac|
|Five toads||Five toad|
|A few warts||A few wart|
Do we really need -s when we already have many, five, few in the sentence? The Chinese and Vietnamese have built advanced civilizations on languages limited to phrases like those in the second column above. English could be getting more like Chinese!
If the plural is abandoning English, it is too early to be sure. However, if the process has begun, there is no stopping it, so tormenting your kids with constant grammatical corrections will not work. Only time will tell and, as we all know, time takes its time.
The entire point of the article is that EVERYTHING CHANGES. Even rules and traditions.
The only thing more shocking than the truth are the lies people tell to cover it up.
I know someone who thinks the above statement is WRONG. Okay, let me guess.
To whom it may concern,
Did you type this sentence in Microsoft Word and find out in the suggestions that it’s “wrong”? Great. LOL. As if Microsoft Word is such a reliable source of good grammar. Oh, and let me guess some more. Did you ask some of your friends and maybe your pet dog if it’s correct or not? Great. As if they’ve actually analyzed the sentence. Whoever said that the above statement is WRONG may either be a.) feeling sorry for you that he just wants to make you feel like you’re smart enough even when you’re not or b.) nonchalant enough about you and your ancient beliefs and ways that he just says “yes” to make you shut the hell up.
Either way, you’re still a loser.
These links will lead you to pages which show that the given statement has been featured in Gossip Girl, season 1, episode 16, “All About My Brother”.
Now tell me how, using ACTUALLY valid theories other than your own (which are LAME, by the way), the given statement is WRONG when it has been featured in an international television series? Do you want to make your life easier? Simple. Just admit you’re wrong. But if you’re really that stupid, just make yourself believe that you’re right. HAHA. As if that’ll make you any less of a liar to yourself. Just tell me and everyone else you’ve crashed in this issue that I AM RIGHT and that you are so SORRY for getting in my way… and that you are SO HUMILIATED that you will just lock yourself in your room for a week and never eat anything at all, except for the reality that THINGS CHANGE. Yes. Eat that. Tastes good. Especially for someone who is REALITY-DEPRIVED like you.
Face it, dear. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me– just IRRITATE ME… to the point that I am willing to KILL.
your worst nightmare.