Home > Blogging, Geeky > The importance of grammar

The importance of grammar

March 21, 2006

Being able to spot too many grammatical errors in my own writing, I was particularly amused by this story:

A village blacksmith found an apprentice willing to work hard at low pay. The smith immediately began his instructions to the lad: “When I take the metal out of the fire, I’ll lay it on the anvil; and when I nod my head you hit it with the hammer.” The apprentice did precisely what he thought he was told. Next day he was the village blacksmith.
- Zen Parable

Categories: Blogging, Geeky
  1. March 21, 2006 at 20:07 | #1

    This is a fascinating area for me.  My wife’s nephew (he’s 13 but his maturity level, in many ways, is about 8 to 11) is constantly saying “tooken” instead of taken, and he makes a few grammatical errors as well.

    When we correct him regarding tooken, his response is “What difference does it make if you know what I mean?”

    He has a good point, but we point out that there’s also the aspect of how you are perceived by others.  But there’s something more, which I haven’t mentioned to him because it wouldn’t make sense to him.

    As grammer and language “slip”, precise, clear communication suffer, even if imperceptibly.  I feel like it’s death by a thousand tiny cuts, but I know that language is a dynamic, living thing, which is why I don’t understande old English, etc.

  2. March 21, 2006 at 20:08 | #2

    posted too quickly …

    But I can’t help but believe that lack of clear communication can lead to unwanted consequences, as the proverb points out so well.

  3. March 21, 2006 at 20:32 | #3

    Was it Thurber, or some other wit that pointed out that there’s a world of difference between,

    “What’s for dinner mother?” and
    “What’s for dinner, mother?”

  4. abhilasha
    March 23, 2006 at 11:48 | #4

    We always joked about how merely translating words from one language to another could cause serious problems ..specially, since hindi(my mother tongue) and english’s grammer is so different

    Too tempted to copy paste an email someone had sent me some time back…this was one of our family friend’s talking about his daughter’s marriage…to quote – “As I am marrying my daughter, things are getting hectic here…”

    just plain old funny…


Comments are closed.