by Dave Segal
on Tue, Mar 11, 2014 at 3:29 PM
This article in The Guardian by David Shariatmadari outlines how mispronunciations and other gaffes have led to today's version of the English language. He offers more proof that our language (and every tongue?) is an ever-evolving organism, how "today's mistake could be tomorrow's vigorously defended norm." All of which is lovely in theory, but headache-inducing if your job demands firm standards—like, say, journalist or editor.
Did you know that bird used to be brid, or that horse once trafficked as the inelegant hros? And when's the last time you pronounced the "l" in walk? Shariatmadari provides eight examples of how English has mutated over the centuries. As someone whose job it is to ensure grammatical propriety, this is I find this to be an unnerving read. Yes, go ahead and morph, English language, knock yourself out. Accrue acres of exciting slang terms, lose vowels, contract, expand, take on emoticons, emojis, bitcoins, and other thingamajigs. But I'm still going to cringe and correct every ~!@#$%^&* botched usage of it's that I see. And stop putting year before anniversary already! (Godspeed, posterity's proofreaders...)