Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fetch a grammarian!!!

In the onlinecitizen today (which I read from my facebook newsfeed), there is this letter which I have screen-saved:

As I have said many times before in my blog, I get riled up whenever I see self-righteous pedantic morons trying to put down someone else because of what they claim is the person's incorrect grammar. It is much worse when they get it wrong.

While it is true that Miss Zarinah may not be very comfortable with writing long sentences and her unfortunate letter is not without some errors, I take exception to Lee Kin Mun's manner of "correcting" her grammar. "Mr Brown" is the pseudonym of Lee Kin Mun, a Singaporean blogger and comedian.

I have neither the time nor the interest to read the entire letter and Lee Kin Mun's purported corrections but I will just comment on the first "error". According to Lee Kin Mun, "fetch" is a term "used mostly for dogs". This is outrageous. I proceeded to read the comments on facebook and strangely, most of the readers are clueless as to how "fetch" may be used legitimately. Many offer explanations that display their ignorance of the word, which is surprising since "fetch" is a very common word.

Here are some examples of the comments I screen-saved:

The word "fetch" carries the idea of the "fetcher" going somewhere to pick up something or someone (in the case of Miss Zarinah's letter) and returning to the same place. You can tell a dog which happens to be standing next to you to fetch a stick. Similarly, you can fetch a doctor and return with him to your feverish child. You can fetch a stick, a dog or a doctor. "Fetch" is not a class-conscious or species-conscious word.

I'm sure Lee Kin Mun has no intention of humiliating Miss Zarinah with his antics but it's still in bad taste. Lee Kin Mun should get someone to fetch him a grammarian before he attempts to correct anyone else.

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