28 May 2021

And now ...

... the passion for giving singular subjects plural verbs.

I just heard the Beeb's Diplomatic Correspondent say "One of those are ...". 

One does, of course, get irrational attractions in Ancient Greek. But (to return to I's last posting), I don't think this latest nastiness in we's vernacular is a symptom of they spending too many hours studying Abbot and Mansfield.

By the wee: I do not sense any awkwardness in genuinely regional usages. I love the sound of Scouse and of Jameecan. But regional vowels can sound arresting. Scotland's First Minister pronounces the vowel in 'main' as if it were the vowel in 'mean'. So, to I's Essex Ear, she seems to be be seeing things like "We are peeing off ..." and "We need to find the wee  ...".

I expect a real Professor Higgins would be able to detect from this exactly where she's origin is.

I's patria is Colchester in Essex, the Colonia Claudia Victricensis. Could you's linguistic instincts have detected that?


Paul in Melbourne, Australia said...

I had hoped that the command of English grammar would have improved since the days when, as a recruit, the warrant officer in charge of the recruit wing of the camp would address us on the parade ground as "yous people" and "yous."

I find the variety of regional accents in the British Isles refreshing. So, I find the Ayrshire pronunciation of English by the First Minister of one of the Three Kingdoms rather sweet.

I remind myself that a regional dialect played an important part in the Passion of Our Lord. Peter was identified as being a follower of Jesus by speaking in Galilean Aramaic, which was quite different from Judean. Those in Judea regarded it as an inferior form of Aramaic.

I have always admired Our Lady's profound understanding of regional dialects, regional languages and class distinctions.

Fellow readers will recall that she spoke to seers on three occasions in Occitan rather than French. The most famous occasion was to Bernadette.

I am ignorant of Occitan, but at the time people remarked that Our Lady always spoke to Bernadette in the very elegant and polite form of Occitan used by the wealthy among themselves. She did not use the form which they would use in addressing social inferiors, such as a penniless working class girl like Bernadette.

Zephyrinus said...

Wicked, Dear Fr.

Innit ?

Zephyrinus said...

Wicked, Dear Fr.

Innit ?

Scribe said...

On church parade during regimental basic training in the fifties, the drill sergeant would bellow: 'Church of England, stand still. Other dominions, left turn.' Incidentally, the term 'youse' is still widely used here in Liverpool.

GOR said...

I suppose one might say: "the I's have it" - pace the use of the apostrophe!

Grant Milburn said...

Who was the recruit? You or the warrant officer?
Sorry to be picky- I'm now double-checking everything me writes. A few weeks ago, during a busy period, I posted a comment to this blog in haste and then realized later that I'd made an elementary error in subject-verb agreement. And this combox has no Edit option as on YouTube.

As English now accords everyone the polite plural form "you", it is understandable that new plural forms such as "yous" should arise. By 2300 they may be standard English.

Paul in Melbourne, Australia said...

Thank you, Grant. I missed the ambiguity. I had hoped my English was better that what my schoolmasters thought of my parsing of passages from The Aeneid or The Iliad.

Greyman 82 said...

Last Christmas, the alumni newsletter from the Master of my old college at Durham University began "Myself, the College staff .... wish you ...[Merry Christmas/Season's Greetings].."
One would hope that an Anglophone professor at a leading British university, with several papers and books published in the English language, would know the correct use of the reflexive pronoun!

There are one or two examples of poor grammar, as well as weak, limp and uninspiring translation in the English version of the Jerusalem Bible that most Catholics in England have read to them at most Masses. The only example that comes immediately to mind is John 19.5. What the Vulgate renders as "Ecce homo" and the RSV as "Behold the man!", the JB offers us "Here is the man". Pathetic. I'm pleased that the Ordinariate Group whose Masses I attend whenever possible uses the Catholic Edition of the RSV for its readings.

The English version of the Jerusalem Bible has one saving grace, however. It does NOT inaccurately render Hebrew and Greek with a view to placating feminists by using inclusive, gender-neutral language that is not in the original text.

As for "yous" - it's dialect: it's not standard English. Here's another one "It has went wrong [sic]". Are children no longer taught the English language in case it suppresses their "creativity"? Well, Charles Dickens and George Orwell knew English grammar pretty well and they were both very good and creative writers.

Liam Ronan said...

Ah. The gift of tongues. Many understood what was said notwithstanding their educational limits or nationality.