Monday, July 28, 2014


Sarah Palin has asked the Washington Post to regain its credibility.

Isn't this like Messalina asking Catherine the Great to regain her virginity?

By the way, Sarah Palin has her own teevee channel now, which she says will go "beyond the sound bites." It's for people who consider Fox News too cerebral. Some of the comments here are pretty amusing:
Will it have English subtitles?
Every time someone mentions her TV show I have to say this. Sara was canceled after the first season; Here Come Honey Boo Boo was renewed.
She says "Together, we'll go beyond the sound bites" which is hilarious because her entire vocabulary literally consists of sound bites.
This image appears on the front page of her TV channel site. The phrase should be "Me neither."

The rule is this: One should use the word "either" if the preceding statement contains a negation. Thus, if someone says "I don't recall when that happened" and you wish to express agreement, you would say: "Me either." But if the preceding statement does not contain a negation ("Remember when that happened?"), your response should use "neither," a word which is itself a negation.

Can you think of a way to phrase the preceding paragraph in terms that Sarah Palin would understand? Me neither.
Remember when a colonist went on a killing spree with a magazine-fed fully automatic musket?

Nor do I.

Neither of those are entirely relevant, I suppose. Either way.

I don't believe in grammar, either. Language must be comprehensible, but need not adhere to a set of formal rules engineered to impose the usage of an elite social class and geographical area onto the mass of the people.

John McCain's gift to America that just keeps giving.
Steve, I'm not a stickler for all of the rules of grammar, but I do advise observing those rules which increase comprehensibility and -- dare I ask for it? -- elegance. Grammar is what separates us from Koko the gorilla, who understands words but not grammar.

And let's not bring class into it. Most people speak grammatically correct sentences most of the time.
FWIW, "me either" isn't British English for anything! :-)

In BrE, "Nor I, either" and "me neither" mean the same thing, but the former sounds hypercorrect to many and the latter 'common' to some.

@Stephen - does your 'don't believe in grammar' position leave room for differentiating between hypercorrectness and correctness? Or is insisting on "nor I, either" rather than "me neither" (or "it was I" in place of "it was me") equivalent to insisting on "brought" instead of "brung" or "bringed"?

I am not convinced that Koko doesn't use and understand grammar. I mean syntax of some kind; she might not be too into morphology.
There are some schoolteachers, but few parents, who baulk at correcting a child's "he didn't do nothing" to "he didn't do anything", for fear of interfering with the child's "ethnicity" - an approach I found shocking when I first encountered it. "They genuinely think this is anti-racist and anti-classist?", I wondered.

Which approach smells more like the operation of class power - correcting the child's speech and thereby teaching grammar, or thinking what boils down to 'the poor will always be with us (so let's make sure they are)'?
I love it just an milker of her true believers for everything they have left.

This is not different than the demdogs or repugs.
b, I think you're right. It is classist to presume that one cannot teach the basics of grammar to a poor child. And it is racist to presume that one cannot teach the basics of grammar to a black child. Grammar is inherent. Grammar is wired into our brains. Grammar is our birthright.

As for hyper-correctness: I can live with "It was me." But "He brung the beer" (commonly heard where I live) gives me the heebie-jeebies.
But will Palin's channel go beyond the sounds that bite?
@b: Brung is correct. Sting, stung. Dig, dug. Bring, brung. It is certainly classist to insist on rules of grammar and than intentionally make them inconsistent so that you can take the opportunity for a "gotcha!" moment when the lower classes use the consistent and widely accepted rules with which they are familiar.

Certainly Joe is notoriously disdainful towards his local natives, it's hardly surprising he accepts contrived reasons to disdain their speech.

"It was I"/"It was me" should be "it were me". You know, if we're each going to assert that our own mode of speech is the one true language.

Now if you just want to use good grammar because it sounds better, then all good and well, but then you must abandon such formal rules as serve no aesthetic purpose, such as the ban on split infinitives, and the use of prepositions at the end of sentences, and double negatives, and neither either nor neither should be used as you state in your post, Joe. You should, in fact, cultivate a diversity of speech, rather than the single most bland form favoured by the elite. You are fond of painting and yet here is the equivalent position in language to forbidding all forms of painting other than photo-realism, and some of us are into impressionism.

Sometimes vernacular speech is superior, for instance the creation of the plural pronoun "youse" to distinguish it from the singular "you". Very useful.
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