Jose Carillo's Forum


For those who wish to do a deeper study of the English language as well as enjoy some of its classic studies and exemplary contemporary applications, Jose Carillo’s English Forum is presenting a selection of major outstanding works that are linkable on the web in their complete form, from contemporary English-language journalism to H.W. Fowler’s The King’s English, H. L. Mencken’s The American Language, and all the way back to the complete plays of William Shakespeare.

This section will also periodically feature articles and primers on practical applications of English such as school paper preparation and writing, creative writing, business writing, public speaking, and various other forms of exposition.

Its overall objective is to help members of Jose Carillo’s English forum acquire a much stronger, well-rounded grasp and appreciation of the English language.

Joe Carillo

Fighting the good fight against bad English

I am truly delighted to report that Jose Carillo’s English Forum is far from alone in its crusade against bad English. In other parts of the world, the war is being waged on two major fronts—the eradication of the most irritating phrases in English in the mass media, and the elimination of bad English grammar and bad spelling particularly on the Internet.

Writing in the National Post in Toronto, Canada, Robert Fulford says that such empty banalities as “at the end of the day” spoken by TV anchors today induce in him feelings of nostalgia for his youth in the middle of the last century, when that phrase “was already marked as laughable and those who used it were suspected of pretension.” He then makes a quick review of Jeremy Butterfield’s Damp Squid: The English Language Laid Bare (Oxford University Press), which puts “at the end of the day” right at the head of the “Top 10 Most Irritating Expressions in the English Language,” along with what he calls expressions of omnipresent hatefulness like “at this moment in time” and “with all due respect.” To him, he says, their total eradication is the only option.

Also in Canada, Shannon Proudfoot of the Canwest News Service looks into the possibility that electronic communication might in fact be destroying our collective literacy, and pays tribute to a small but devoted community of online wordsmiths doing battle with English grammar gaffes and bad spelling on the web. She specifically cites some grammar websites and blogs in Canada, the United States, and Australia that, largely for the love of the language, tell off linguistically bankrupt postings and haggle over grammatical issues over many a discussion thread. “Whenever you write about grammar,” she quotes Martha Brockenbrough, founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar, “people do crawl out of the woodwork brandishing their pet peeves.”

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