You want “incorrect English”? Here ’tis:

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This scam came through and is so typical of “errors” made by foreigners i.e. people whose native language is not English. Some SLART people distinguish between errors and mistakes, the latter being those goofs any native speaker may make and can self-correct.
The shamans tell us that native speakers who do not speak formal written English (I know, oxymoron, but that is what they want: the sort of English we use in formal writing) speak this sort of gibberish – no rules, etc. The sort of bunk linguists have debunked long ago.
One man found fault with a native speaker of Spanish from Mexico, an Indian. When we tried to tell him that the usage was indeed standard Spanish, he replied that “those people in those little villages are liable to say anything.” (Later he came back and apologized not for the bigoted remark but for being wrong about the usage).
A teacher wedded to concepts of high culture asked me if I was teaching the real (she meant actual, not the Spanish of the Academia Real) or “that gutter Mexican crap”. Yet she prided herself on leading the charge against ethnic prejudice in our school.


  1. 伟思礼 says:

    I once asked a fellow from Spain about “la mar” in a song. The response was that a lot of people in the Americas don’t speak properly. I later discovered the whole line was a direct quote from a 1960 Reina-Valera bible: “como las aguas cubren la mar.”

    1. Pat Barrett says:

      The “proper” i.e. informed response would have been ‘el mar’ is the usual and ‘la mar’ is the poetic. But most people don’t think of their own language is those terms. Sadly, they default to the sort of thing I mentioned in my entry yesterday on saying “those people in those little villages (Indians) are likely to say anything.” I can research for you if you’d like how we got that split in gender. “Proper” covers all sorts of ignorance but used ‘properly’, proper should mean informed and correct. The issue for some people is do you look to science i.e. linguistics in this case, or do you read the creative sorts who feel their prominence allows them to pontificate on things they know nothing about. My favorite ignorant comment is “my language is the most beautiful in the world.” The French of the lovely, cultivated mademoiselle seated in a cafe and the French of a drill sergeant are both French, one lovely and the other ghastly.

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