QUOTE(freda_bloogs @ Jul 3 2012, 01:41 PM)
QUOTE(BerkshireMum @ Jul 3 2012, 11:33 AM)
Language is a living thing, and at some point we have to accept that common usage is in the end correct usage.
Very often the question of correct/incorrect comes down to the written form, I find. It would be food to remind people once in a while that the written form of a language is only a mere approximation of the spoken language. As far as I'm concerned, if it sounds right, it is right.
I would disagree with both points of view.
The English language is misused by many sectors of society today. I cannot accept that 'doing it the wrong way' for long enough makes anything right. Innit! LOL
Even BBC Presenters, who at one time provided a benchmark for the correct use of English, now seem to be sinking into the mire of dropped t's and h's, and I suspect have never been taught how to pronounce the word 'either' correctly.
There is also a big difference between spoken and written English, and equally, there are big differences between writing a formal letter, a memo, a book, a magazine article or a newspaper column.
Some of the worst examples of written English that I have seen were authored by individuals who wrote exactly as they spoke, and who could not understand that written and spoken English are different. I am sure that most of us are naturally tolerant of local phrases, (a popular phrase in this area, for example, is 'aam getting wrong' rather than 'I am being being told off'), but such phrases appear out of place in writing; except perhaps in Geordie novels.
I suppose us 'oldies' have an advantage in that we were taught to write letters before there were other means of long distance communication. Long distance telephone calls were very expensive, so it was not unusual to write to somebody we didn't know, and had never spoken to. Letters were therefore very formal, and grammar was usually the best that one could muster. Furthermore, mistakes could not be corrected, and there were no spelling checkers (other than a paper Dictionary), so it was not uncommon to draft important letters on scrap paper several times before writing them out properly on bonded paper.
Oddly enough, whilst I spend much of my time writing on the computer, I find that I am far more likely to miss mistakes on the computer screen than on the printed page. Consequently, I always proof read a printed copy before submitting any report or manuscript.
(Before anyone asks; no, I haven't proof read this post!)