View Full Version : For the language police

29th Nov 2013, 21:42
Just found this by Tom Freeman,

Brilliant (But I think I see some of myself in here)

I am the very model of an amateur grammarian
I have a little knowledge and I am authoritarian
But I make no apology for being doctrinarian
We must not plummet to the verbal depths of the barbarian

I’d sooner break my heart in two than sunder an infinitive
And I’d disown my closest family within a minute if
They dared to place a preposition at a sentence terminus
Or sully the Queen’s English with neologisms verminous

I know that ‘soon’ and not ‘right now’ is the true sense of ‘presently’
I’m happy to correct you and I do it oh so pleasantly
I’m not a grammar Nazi; I’m just a linguistic Aryan
I am the very model of an amateur grammarian

I’m sure people appreciate my pointing out their grammar gaffes
And sorting out their sentences and crossing out their paragraphs
When you crusade for good English, it’s not all doom and gloom you sow
The secret of success is: it’s not who you know; it’s whom you know

The standards of our language are declining almost every day
Down from a peak in 18– or 19– I think – well, anyway
Pop music, TV, blogs and texting are inflicting ravages
Upon English and unchecked, this will turn us into savages

I fear that sloppy language is a sign of immorality
For breaking rules of grammar is akin to criminality
So curse those trendy linguists, lexicographers and anyone
Who shuns the model English of the amateur grammarian

Conjunctions at the openings of sentences are sickening
I wish that the decline of the subjunctive were not quickening
And that more people knew the proper meaning of ‘anticipate’
Of ‘fulsome’ and ‘enormity’, ‘fortuitous’ and ‘decimate’

I learned these rules at school and of correctness they’re my surety
I cling to them for safety despite having reached maturity
Some say that language changes, but good English is immutable
And so much common usage now is deeply disreputable

My pedantry’s demanding but I try not to feel bitter at
The fact that everyone I meet is borderline illiterate
When all around are wrong then I am proud to be contrarian
I am the very model of an amateur grammarian

After an excellent landing etc...

tony draper
29th Nov 2013, 21:57
I've heard it as a song, sung to some Gilbert and Sullivan number I believe,no idea of the title though so youtube is a bust.

29th Nov 2013, 22:03

I am the very model of a modern Major General!

Pirates of Penzance.

After an excellent landing etc...

29th Nov 2013, 22:08
Which came from "The Pirates of Penzance."

And some of the productions were superb.

G&T ice n slice
29th Nov 2013, 22:09
Tom Lehrer surely?

oh I'm thinking of...

There's antimony, arsenic, aluminum, selenium,
And hydrogen and oxygen and nitrogen and rhenium,
And nickel, neodymium, neptunium, germanium,
And iron, americium, ruthenium, uranium,
Europium, zirconium, lutetium, vanadium,
And lanthanum and osmium and astatine and radium,
And gold and protactinium and indium and gallium,

And iodine and thorium and thulium and thallium.

There's yttrium, ytterbium, actinium, rubidium,
And boron, gadolinium, niobium, iridium,
And strontium and silicon and silver and samarium,
And bismuth, bromine, lithium, beryllium, and barium.

I hope you're all taking notes, because there's going to be a short quiz next period.

There's holmium and helium and hafnium and erbium,
And phosphorus and francium and fluorine and terbium,
And manganese and mercury, molybdenum, magnesium,
Dysprosium and scandium and cerium and cesium.
And lead, praseodymium, and platinum, plutonium,
Palladium, promethium, potassium, polonium,
And tantalum, technetium, titanium, tellurium,

And cadmium and calcium and chromium and curium.

There's sulfur, californium, and fermium, berkelium,
And also mendelevium, einsteinium, nobelium,
And argon, krypton, neon, radon, xenon, zinc, and rhodium,
And chlorine, carbon, cobalt, copper, tungsten, tin, and sodium.

These are the only ones of which the news has come to ha'vard,
And there may be many others, but they haven't been discavard.

tony draper
29th Nov 2013, 22:09
I am not about to do a search for Gilbert and Sullivan on youtube, one never knows who is watching and one has one's reputation to think about.

29th Nov 2013, 22:19
What reputation ? ;) :O

DX Wombat
29th Nov 2013, 22:27
Ooer! I better dig out the First Aid box, somebody's going to need treating after Mr D sees that. :ooh:

29th Nov 2013, 22:37

OK, so send him a dose of HTFU :O

DX Wombat
29th Nov 2013, 22:45
It might be better if you sent him a year's supply of his favourite munchies - roast beef & trimmings, strawberries, double cream etc. I'm sure he will be happy to supply you with a suitable list.

29th Nov 2013, 22:50
I am expecting some "incoming" so beter put my tin foil hat on :rolleyes:

tony draper
29th Nov 2013, 23:00
Nah! one dined on fish n chips earlier, a rare expensive treat these days so one is feeling rather mellow and full of the milk of human kindness
I shall not therefore send one of my Imps from the outer circle to gnaw upon your vitals as you sleep,the astral plain is not a safe place for you civilians.

29th Nov 2013, 23:05
Had F&C myself last night :ok:

DX Wombat
29th Nov 2013, 23:33
Oh that's good, all I need to do now is check the contents before putting the box back in its usual place. :)

30th Nov 2013, 11:09
Er, shouldn't that be aluminium? :ok:

30th Nov 2013, 11:31
Depends when it was written and which country. Both are correct.
Aluminium only really became "standardised" as the name recently
(1990's - I had to check). Both are now classed as correct, some use
one, some the other.

tony draper
30th Nov 2013, 11:43
It was originally called Alumium by Humphrey Davy in 1818.:rolleyes:

wings folded
30th Nov 2013, 14:07
But he was writing in the dim glow of a pretty ineffective lamp, and could not see what he was writing.

DX Wombat
30th Nov 2013, 14:24
Aluminium only really became "standardised" as the name recently
(1990's - I had to check).Well that may be the case in the USA but I have known it as Aluminium all my life and it has been referred to as such over here for as long as I can remember.

Windy Militant
30th Nov 2013, 16:03
Or as I was asked the other day.
"Are you copper-bottoming, my man?" "No, I'm aluminiuming 'em, Mum"

tony draper
30th Nov 2013, 16:27
It used to be a very precious metal, frinstance Napoleon had solid gold cutlery for his lesser guests at dinner, he and the posh folks at the top table had Aluminium cutlery like the Naafi.
Read that in a book,puzzled me greatly,always though the French ate with their fingers.

30th Nov 2013, 16:46
Read that in a book,puzzled me greatly,always though the French ate with their fingers.

Some did it with their toes but got the chop in Hartlepool.

Prolly why their feet also smell of cheese.

30th Nov 2013, 17:34
'Sir Humphrey Davy
Abominated gravy
He lived in the odium
Of having discovered sodium'

- a clerihew (after E Clerihew Bentley)

A clerihew is a kind of English haiku...

30th Nov 2013, 18:55

Likewise, I have always known it as Aluminium but have heard it
called the other. I did say "standardised" !