Thursday, June 8, 2017

Pat's Schoolhouse keeps getting its grammar wrong

Those who follow my blog will recall that Pat's Schoolhouse sent me an ad just last month and I wrote about its flawed grammar here: Pat's Schoolhouse Again! I stressed 'again' in the title because in 2016, the school shoved a badly written advertising flyer into my letter box and I blogged about it in this post: An Ad by Pat's Schoolhouse. A couple of weeks ago, the school did it again - it got someone to stuff yet another promotional flyer into my letter box. And Pat's Schoolhouse which got its grammar wrong in two previous ads did it again. This is what it wrote in the ad:

There are only two sentences in the above excerpt. The first sentence is fairly long and obviously, whoever wrote it could not come to grips with the grammatical structure of such a sentence. There is no dispute among linguists past and present that the first sentence is grammatically wrong. The only difference lies in the language used to criticise this error. Older grammarians are more forthright while modern linguists are incredibly namby-pamby in their approach. One grammarian of the old school writes that this is the kind of error that has the potential of giving readers 'acute pain'.  Modern linguists merely describe this error as 'a fairly common slip'. Nothing can be more insipid than that. No wonder you can't get kids these days to sit down and read a book on grammar and usage. Gone is the fire-and-brimstone language of grammarians of old. Gone is the spirited name-calling - in one instance, a highly reputed world-renowned grammarian dismissed the use of a word as 'feminine' or 'childish' and if you were to protest that Jane Austen was known to have used it, I suppose he would have reminded you of Jane Austen's gender.

If what that grammarian says is right, I expect my readers who have read the above excerpt to be writhing in agony on the floor nursing their 'acute pain'. If you are a child and you don't know how Pat's Schoolhouse got its grammar wrong yet again, just wait for your parents to recover from their acute pain and ask them. I can't be sitting in front of the computer explaining everything. I've already wasted so much of my time pointing out the mountain of grammatical errors made by the infamous Speak Good English Movement and besides, I'm now in a cottage close to the Arctic circle and my internet connection is poor. I have better things to do in my life than to bother about the grammar in school ads. That's not my job. If schools which are paid to teach children grammar can't even get their grammar right (in three separate ads) and parents don't seem to mind this one bit, why should I care? I have a mountain to climb tomorrow and I need my rest.

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