Ask Me a Question

If you have a writing, grammar, style or punctuation question, send an e-mail message to curiouscase at sign hotmail dot com.

Add Your Own Criminal Sentence!

If you find a particularly terrible sentence somewhere, post it for all to see (go here and put it in the Comments section).

Monday, January 12, 2009

Poll Results 18

This was the question:

Should incorrect usage that is used by the masses (such as “lay down” instead of “lie down”) be considered correct if used enough?

Yes, the majority has spoken. 7 (11%)

No, rules are rules, and we all should learn them. 30 (47%)

Sometimes, but it depends on which incorrect usage it is. 26 (41%)

Those of you who said sometimes, which incorrect usages(s) do you think should be allowed to proliferate?

2 comments:

Doug and Amanda said...

I think that using "their" in place of "his/her" should be allowed. It is less cumbersome.

Fennel Giraffe said...

I missed the chance to vote, but I would have voted for "some". I think language and grammar evolves. Some usages our grandparents deemed incorrect will be standard to our grandchildren.

That said, I believe in insisting on each rule until it's overwhelmingly obvious the battle has been lost. Incorrect usages should succeed in becoming acceptable only if they have enough strength to persist in spite of strong opposition.