Re: spoken & written usage

Subject: Re: spoken & written usage
From: "Virginia L. Krenn" <asdxvlk -at- OKWAY -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU>
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 1994 13:46:56 -0600

In one of my Educational Psychology classes (required for a Teaching
Certificate), we were taught that a child's language pattern is set by the
age of three and that it is, therefore, extremely important to speak
properly to young children (no babytalk, either). So, if people do want to
use poor grammar in their spoken conversations, I hope that they won't do
so around youngsters.

Just as bad writing detracts from understanding written communication, poor
speech patterns detract from understanding oral communication. When I hear
something that doesn't sound right, I stumble over it and then have to
catch up with what the speaker is trying to say.

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________
Author: Ronald Lee Stone <ston0030 -at- gold -dot- tc -dot- umn -dot- edu> at SMTP

Vicki Rosenzweig writes about certain usages:

> I'll edit them
> out in print, but I don't worry
> if I hear someone say them.

I agree with Vicki here, although when I find myself saying something that
I would edit in writing, I will sometimes be concerned.

For example, I will change

< The student _that_ writes the best essay gets < published in the


< The student _who_ writes the best essay gets < published in the

This may not even be as much of a grammatical issue
as a stylistic one, because the relative pronoun 'that' _can_ be used for a
person or persons. Yet the use of 'who' for a person or persons can be more
informative, and sometimes even grammatically necessary.

Anyway, in a recent conversation I found myself say 'that' as a relative
pronoun for a person and wondered how that might happen, especially after
suggesting the use of 'who' in such a case as a teacher. I chalked it to a
usage difference between speaking and writing.

Until later,


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