This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Critical grammar: a rant.

But does grammar matter?

I mean, what is standard English, anyway? As long as we know what's meant, then (snobbery aside) is there any real and tangible downside to the odd mistake?

Will it cost actual money?

Yes it will - and this is how it happened to me.

I recently got an email purporting to be from my very large, very international, and reassuringly dull bank. There was a link involved. The message began:

Dear Mrs Prue,
There is a correspondence relating to account ending **** available for you to view in My documents through Online Banking.

Note the misuse of the word correspondence to mean message, and the missing definite article (the) before account.

Well, only a fool would fall for that, so I ignored it.

Reader, how can I tell you? It was genuine. Genuinely from a genuine senior official (Head of Digital) at the genuine bank. Ignoring it meant losing genuine money.

I am, honestly, in despair.

How on earth can I be expected to identify criminals if it's not through their ignorance of grammar?

Word To Use Today: correspondence. This word comes from the Latin corrēspondēre, from respondēre, to respond.

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