Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"I am NOT wrong!"

Did I sound like a know-it-all in yesterday's entry?  Probably.  

One thing I've noticed as I've become more seasoned (I hate that word "older!") is that those who  listen to the other side, who think about other perspectives, who analyze and synthesize with a variety of evidence...are the thinkers I most respect.  On the other hand, those who have one point of view (and you can always predict what it will be), those who will argue their views on and on for days on end, those who don't pay any attention to other sides...they are anti-intellectual and probably not worth listening to.  Yes, I've been in the latter category sometimes, probably when it comes to language and certainly when it comes to politics.  But I don't like that about myself...or about others.

Therefore, I have taken a step back from my adamant post yesterday and have decided that linguistically and grammatically a comment like "My mother she is good" apparently is considered correct.  I've heard that from the experts (and I really don't want to be considered a prescriptivist or peevologist).  I'd never use that kind of phraseology, and I'd correct my kids if they were to use it.  But fair is fair.  It must be just a stylistic form that I despise.  I am not a linguist or language specialist or English teacher.   If they say I am wrong, so be it.

For the record, though, I don't see how the sentence, "my mother she is good" is an apposition.  Isn't it a given that a "mother" is a she?  In the example given in Wikipedia "my friend" and "Alice" are appositions because Alice describes my friend.  But does "she" describe "mother?"  I don't think so.  


Cat said...

Eh, I don't see why we have to agree with the other people who say it's correct. :-)

Kalleh said...

I still would never use it. However, I am not a language expert and must bow to those who are.

zmjezhd said...

Our Kalleh, she's a peach. Now, don't you feel better. ;)

Kalleh said...

z, I was just stating my mind. That is exactly how I feel, and I certainly wasn't intending to say, "How great am I?" In fact, I admitted that I also am the type to never want to be wrong, particularly when it comes to politics, but also look at how long I argued that the "my mother she is good" phrase is grammatically incorrect.

Some days it doesn't even pay to get out of bed, I guess.

zmjezhd said...

I suggest you stick to your gut feeling about the ungrammaticality of the phrase. (I know, deep down, that I'm right, too, about it being OK, and just a matter of style and punctuation.) The web is big enough for two friends to disagree about almost anything. And, please, don't let's start in about politics. I have had enough of that poison recently.

Kalleh said...

Well, I appreciate that, z, and sorry if I had sounded a little crabby above. The fact is, I have been a little crabby recently. Fortunately, I am taking next week off to be with my daughter who is flying in from California, and I know that will energize me.

I do realize that good minds can disagree. Heck, I am married to a Republican! However, I also realize that sometimes I am downright wrong. I believe it to be the case here. Some bigwigs, who know a whole lot more about grammaticality ( word I didn't even know existed!) than I do, have convinced me, with the caveat being that it's considered "archaic" and "informal." I do think it's important for people to change their minds once in awhile, after a healthy debate and as long as it's based on the evidence.

However, I also realize, that, unlike the current political situation, this whole discussion, while academic, isn't all that important.