Thursday, May 1, 2014

Not set in stone

I used to think that Strunk and White
On grammar, had the rules just right;
In fact, The Elements of Style
Has been like gold, for quite a while.

The book tells you the "what" and "how"
Good language usage should allow,
But living language has a way
Of changing almost every day.

New forms are born, and do their part;
Old forms decline, when new ones start,
And sometimes, we may even see
Old forms regain their currency.

I think that Messieurs Strunk and White
Worked hard to try to do it right.
Like weather, language, rain or shine,
Insists on changing all the time.


  1. With the advances in technology, texting, twittering, there has been an exponential growth in language.

    I love it.


  2. I love SOME of it. Just now, some idiot began his list with "Firstly," Aargh.

  3. S&W is not sacrosanct. I still have my dad's copy with HIS corrections inked in red (take *that,* ye self-proclaimed arbiters of style!). Prescriptive tomes and grammar-checking software notwithstanding, well-crafted prose will always be more art than science.