• The very model of an amateur grammarian


    The very model of

    an amateur grammarian

    (With apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan)


    I am the very model of an amateur grammarian
    I have a little knowledge and I am authoritarian
    But I make no apology for being doctrinarian
    We must not plummet to the verbal depths of the barbarian

    I’d sooner break my heart in two than sunder an infinitive
    And I’d disown my closest family within a minute if
    They dared to place a preposition at a sentence terminus
    Or sully the Queen’s English with neologisms verminous

    I know that ‘soon’ and not ‘right now’ is the true sense of ‘presently’
    I’m happy to correct you and I do it oh so pleasantly
    I’m not a grammar Nazi; I’m just a linguistic Aryan
    I am the very model of an amateur grammarian

    I’m sure people appreciate my pointing out their grammar gaffes
    And sorting out their sentences and crossing out their paragraphs
    When you crusade for good English, it’s not all doom and gloom you sow
    The secret of success is: it’s not who you know; it’s whom you know

    The standards of our language are declining almost every day
    Down from a peak in 18– or 19– I think – well, anyway
    Pop music, TV, blogs and texting are inflicting ravages
    Upon English and unchecked, this will turn us into savages

    I fear that sloppy language is a sign of immorality
    For breaking rules of grammar is akin to criminality
    So curse those trendy linguists, lexicographers and anyone
    Who shuns the model English of the amateur grammarian

    Conjunctions at the openings of sentences are sickening
    I wish that the decline of the subjunctive were not quickening
    And that more people knew the proper meaning of ‘anticipate’
    Of ‘fulsome’ and ‘enormity’, ‘fortuitous’ and ‘decimate’

    I learned these rules at school and of correctness they’re my surety
    I cling to them for safety despite having reached maturity
    Some say that language changes, but good English is immutable
    And so much common usage now is deeply disreputable

    My pedantry’s demanding but I try not to feel bitter at
    The fact that everyone I meet is borderline illiterate
    When all around are wrong then I am proud to be contrarian
    I am the very model of an amateur grammarian

    Souce: http://stroppyeditor.wordpress.com/

    Categories: Volume 5