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4 January 2012

Innate Grammar, How Are You...

If innate grammer actually exists, I think it may have passed me by.

English is my mother tongue, even if the Hiberno version I speak sometimes brings a wicket gream of amusement into the eye of some shopkeepers on what is delightfully known to some as "The Mainland". Enthusiastic declamations of "I will indeed" when "I shall" would suffice, look as if overkill has been achieved. However, since to use "shall" in parts of Ireland is to join the linguistic equivalent of "les precieuses ridicules" I very rarely use it in speech and rarely in writing.

France is always a joy (if the government changes there there might be some chance I'll muster enough courage to visit again) as most people think I speak like a true Britannique and subject me to their enjoyable foibles, depending on how they view our damp little islands... that is, if they manage to see them at all, lost as we are in the linguistic mists beyond La Francophonie.

There has been a certain relief in knowing that the work of James Joyce has been released from copyright bondage at last. I no longer have to think about quoting his work without fear of punishment.
Also some of his bizarre characters who thought that speaking the language of the invader was some foible can now be put into a measured historical perspective, perhaps.

Most people these days write and speak in acronyms. I need a decoder, not a linguist.
br> However, grammarians, an eternal force, not unlike intellectual gardeners, are always welcome...

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