20 September 2007

"It's just his stubbornity."

"It's just his stubbornity."

I heard someone say that on the train last night. I didn't hear the rest of the conversation and it took me a few minutes to process, "Wait... did he really say that?" If I had been quicker I could have replied, "No, actually, it's your stupidity."

Some new words should be created. I love truthiness. But what goes through the head of someone who says "stubbornity"? Is it laziness, the brain not coming up with "stubbornness"? I hope it's not ignorance. If you know enough to make the noun form of a word, you should already know what the correct noun form is. (I double-checked Webster's; there's no stubbornity.)

Back in college I took a History of English Language course. It was an elective for me, an English major, but required for all education majors. Everyone else in the class was an education major, so I was the only person who actually wanted to be there. On the first day of class the teacher thought it would be fun to give us a grammar quiz. Not only did I get a perfect score, I was the only person who passed. I'm not saying that to brag. I'm saying it to ask, "What business to these people have teaching children?" As a result of the poor grammer quiz grades, the professor instituted a weekly grammar lesson, where each student in the class had to prepare a grammar lesson and teach the class. It was a sad waste of time that took away from the better parts of class. I'm certain people only remembered grammar because they had to for that class, and commas went misplaced and suffixes were tacked on where they shouldn't be for every other paper those students wrote.

There are plenty of rants out there about the loss of the English language and I don't want to be one more ranter. Language is fluid and if it never changed over time we might be speaking Old Norse or High German right now. But there are rules to language. If you flaunt them too much, no one will know what you're saying. It starts with a "stubbornity" here and an incorrect object of the preposition there. And don't even get me started on texting and emailing and other forms of typing communications.

1 comment:

Isaac said...

I like stubbernocity

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