Jose Carillo's Forum


If a long-time Forum member, go to the lessons now

If a new member, read on for an orientation to the grammar lessons here.

Take a look at these two passages:

From an interoffice memo:

“Dear Personnel Department:          

“I had received a news regarding Home Office is requesting to pull out one of my marketing assistants: Dina Reyes by August and be replacing by another one. I just like to ask if this personnel movement is authorise by your division. Never did someone had an ethical gesture to ask me on this matter…

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And this archetypal recommendation written by an anonymous technical consultant:

“Insofar as manifestations of functional deficiencies are agreed by any and all concerned parties to be imperceivable, and are so stipulated, it is incumbent upon said heretofore mentioned parties to exercise the deferment of otherwise pertinent maintenance procedures.”                                              

Click here for quick grammar critique... 

The big question, of course, is this: Why are people prone to writing such grammatically problematic English sentences and forbidding statements?

Here, to my mind, are some of the major reasons:
1. Rudimentary knowledge of the behavior of English verbs
2. Inadequate understanding of how the English pronouns work
3. Inadequate understanding of the three English cases: nominative (or subjective), objective, and possessive case
4. Tendency to make the subjects of their sentences too longwinded
5. A strong tendency to use legalese or bureaucratese as their default language register

These are no doubt due to inadequate formal English instruction in school, or perhaps to having had very little opportunity to practice speaking and writing—not to mention thinking—in English. This obviously forces people to make do and get by with the limited stock of English expressions they have accumulated in their heads—expressions that will never suffice for communicating effectively in English.

To help plug these gaps in their English, this section will make a thorough review of English grammar and usage every week on a continuing basis.

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Page last modified: 25 September, 2009, 10:50 p.m.