When did I go wrong?
When was the moment when an acceptable grammatical form became an unacceptable one?
I'm talking, as I have before, about as if.
I used to be able to describe the world as if I were an elf. Now I have to describe the world like I was an elf.
Say two large and respected English publishers.
The latest instance involved, admittedly, a speech by a troll, so on the whole I think that's probably fair enough. Trolls are, as you'll know, notoriously lax about their personal hygiene, the source of their protein intake, and their grammar.
The other example, though, was part of a blurb on the back cover of a book. It said like, I suggested a change to as if, but apparently as if was too formal.
So when did I go wrong? Will someone soon be going through Austen and Wodehouse, and updating their grammar..? Will we end up with: Jeeves lugged my purple socks out of my drawer like he was a vegetarian fishing a caterpillar out of his salad?
...actually, I'd better keep quiet about that idea - or some idiot will.
Word To Use Today...one that was right once. My grandmother used to speak of receipts when the rest of us said recipe. I rather liked it.
Photo by MorrisBarPeru