On e-formality

SATURDAY, 14 JUNE 2014
Reposted from David Crystal’s blog ‘DC blog’
On e-formality
A correspondent writes to ask about the register to be used in emails. He wonders if a formal style is possible, such as (in applying for a job) beginning with ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ and ending with ‘Yours faithfully’, or the like. He says he has never encountered such an email. Continue reading

English Has a New Preposition, Because Internet

English Has a New Preposition, Because Internet
Linguists are recognizing the delightful evolution of the word “because.”
MEGAN GARBERNOV 19 2013, 7:30 AM ET

152
inShare
More

Skreened.com
Let’s start with the dull stuff, because pragmatism.

The word “because,” in standard English usage, is a subordinating conjunction, which means that it connects two parts of a sentence in which one (the subordinate) explains the other. In that capacity, “because” has two distinct forms. It can be followed either by a finite clause (I’m reading this because [I saw it on the web]) or by a prepositional phrase (I’m reading this because [of the web]). These two forms are, traditionally, the only ones to which “because” lends itself.

I mention all that … because language. Because evolution. Because there is another way to use “because.” Linguists are calling it the “prepositional-because.” Or the “because-noun.”

You probably know it better, however, as explanation by way of Internet—explanation that maximizes efficiency and irony in equal measure. I’m late because YouTube. You’re reading this because procrastination. As the language writer Stan Carey delightfully sums it up: “‘Because’ has become a preposition, because grammar.” Continue reading

The world’s doomed in anyone’s language

The world’s doomed in anyone’s language as English is broken

Alice Clarke•
Herald Sun•
September 02, 201312:00
LANGUAGE is a funny, pliable thing. For centuries it was influenced by the best scholars, who found new and inventive ways to advance it and make it more accessible and useful for everyone. Today, it’s more influenced by the idiots who comment on YouTube.
Continue reading