Spelling with a c or an s (was Re: A College of Magics)

Caroline Mills carrie at pitofdespair.org
Fri Aug 29 06:07:20 EDT 2003

I am ashamed to admit that, thanks to the state of the education system 
today* and the fact that I dropped English as soon as possible (16), I 
am not very good with grammar.  More accurately, I think my usage of the 
english language is generally fine, but I'm not very hot on the 
terminology.  Does anyone know of a website which gives good 
explanations of grammatical terms?

* I actually think I got a pretty damn good education from the English 
state school system, but it does have occasional holes.  The only 
grammar I remember learning formally was in French and German.  For 
reference, I was in the school system from 1984 to 1998.


On Fri, Aug 29, 2003 at 09:13:13AM +0100, Charles Butler wrote:
> Minnow:
> > This is really difficult to explain, but I am now in a state of mind in
> > which I looked at "difference" there, spelt it "differense" and started to
> > wonder about "defence" and "defense".
> For a long I suffered from hypocricy [sick], but I'm glad to report I'm now
> cured.
> > In fact, briefly contemplating your saying a bit earlier that the rule
> > about the split infinitive has been ditched because it's only from boring
> > old Latin and so no longer counts (a very rough paraphrase, please don't
> be
> > offended)
> No doubt you already know this and were only teasing, but the point about
> Latin isn't that it's boring - with five thrilling declensions to memorize
> no one could call it that - but that it's a different language from a
> different language group and (not surprisingly) has a different grammar. The
> procrustean project of fitting English grammar onto Latin was the equivalent
> of basing human anatomy textbooks on dissections of dogs. Which is exacly
> what Galen did, by the way, leading physicians to spend over a thousand
> years believing there were perforations in the septum of the human heart,
> until Vesalius upped and pointed out that there weren't - and even then,
> with ocular proof, plenty of people refused to believe him, such is the
> power of classical authority.
> I don't feel strongly about split infinitives, or even the pedantry of not
> putting prepositions at the ends of sentences. But I do regret the loss of
> the double comparitive and superlative (the most unkindest cut of all...).
> And I see - well, not red but a pale shade of pink - when people correct
> double negatives like 'I wasn't going nowhere' with a superior 'So you were
> going somewhere were you? Two negatives make a positive'. As if emphatic
> language were indistinguishable from propositional logic, and Lear's 'Never
> never never never never!' were an example of someone changing his mind four
> times.
> > And now I am wondering how one might use the word "memorice".
> Perhaps you strain it in a penseive?
> Charlie
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