When grammar becomes worthless ballast


The word supercilious manifested as I read a column penned by  Manila grammarian Jose A. Carillo. A certain amount of syntax is necessary in any language to yield an acceptable verbal medium of communication. No Jose, verbal does not fail your redundancy test as there are non-verbal(is the hyphen necessary here or should it just be one word?) forms of communication.

Jose was miffed by his assumption that some priests think they are infallible in their English proficiency. His petulance is likely due to the fact that he fancies himself as grammatically superior to men of the cloth.

At stake here is the correctness of the sentence You are invited to attend which ranks right up there with global warning in importance. The sentence was issued in an announcement by a parish priest and was of momentous interest to a Mr. Oliveros.

Carillo logically brands to attend as superfluous since invited certainly intimates attendance. The Pinoy grammarian fails to recognize that language is not always logical and redundancy is sometimes inserted for effect(effect is noun here contrasted with affect as a verb) and to create a less terse and more flowing sentence.

Carillo does deserve to be commended for his attempts teach a lucid writing style, but some of his English Plain and Simple efforts are  chockablock with obfuscatory(let’s not quarrel on whether this is really a word or not) descriptions of proper grammar replete with obscure terminology.

I would love to to know which side of the split the infinitive battle Mr Carillo espouses. Is it to boldly write or to write boldly? Also, this writer believes that English is overloaded with an inordinate(dang, more redundancy)  amount of prepositions.

Manila Grammar pundit sounding off in newspaper
Manila Grammar pundit sounding off in newspaper

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  1. Makulit was uttered to me aggressively by a van driver in mega mall while we were waiting to go to anti polo. We were tired of waiting for the van to fill with denizens of the island nation and even offered to pay for three empty seats so we could leave rather than waiting around in sweltering sun and ever present humidity. The Tagalog word makulit is frequently used in a light-hearted manner to describe someone who is annoying in being repetitive, stubborn, or persistent in their continual questioning or asking for a favor.

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