An English In Kentucky


















Saturday June 29th 2019Tim Candler9


    Gun nuts have this thing about knowing the difference between a round and bullet, and it goes on to the little bits and pieces that make guns go bang, or bang, bang bang, bang, bang. There's an argument which might suggest that the gun nut has a passion for precision, but if you don't know the difference between a gas block and a dust cover, you couldn't care less, not in the least persuaded that it's sacred knowledge, it's kind of like you suddenly become a moron in the appraisal of a gun nut, and you're not one of those nice morons, you're obviously some kind of dangerous moron, possibly a communist, hell bent on destroying the world as gun nuts define it. Not a particularly happy band of people, and easy to think there might be something very seriously wrong with them.  Have to suspect a similar set of mental process pass through the mind of a spelling or grammar nut at the sight of some such woe as "I dun stove masel in the beens, its them been beatle what dun it, an they stollen ma zen."



    It's also true that your correspondent who is an absolutely appalling speller and wouldn't really know the difference between past participle and an adverb, does on occasion feel frightfully superior when he does spot a spelling error from someone else. And here there's not even the smallest sense of camaraderie should the fellow poor speller be something like a Republican  All very well pretending that language has some kind of potential for precision for us, but reflecting as it does what goes on inside a person's head, thinking in terms of precision is just so much flotsam in my view. The thing about the assumption of precision is that if you happen to be upright and decent, call it innocent if your prefer, you generally speaking tend to just assume that what you hear or read or see in a photograph or film strip is accurate, rather than being the product of a human mind which isn't really interested in precision for precision sake, or anything like accuracy, it's interested in something else.


Previous       Next