Opinion – Rules: They

O

pinion: a view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter. So, all who read the following should, please, believe what I have written is just that – opinion.

F

act: the quality of being actual. What I write below is in fact just my opinion.
Convinced of my prediction? Read on to make up your mind.

R

ules are for those who follow them. Following the rules in most ventures will bring the follower success. Or will it? This is a personal case in point. Bill Bryson talks about grammar and spelling rules in his The Mother Tongue: English and How it Got that Way . Diana Hacker’s Rules for Writers: A Concise Handbook Second Edition has nearly 500 pages of rules for writing and examples for following them. The Chicago Manual of Style says…

P

revious readers will probably know or at perhaps have the opinion that I get off track in my blogs. Some might believe I do so on purpose. Opinion or Fact?

Now back to where I was going with this. I’ve been meaning to say something about news presentations for some time. This morning, I decided now is the time. A TV reporter said, “Police identified one victim. They are expected to recover.” Who is expected to recover: the police or…? Perhaps there was more than one victim and the police expect multiples to recover. But the report (or was it the reporter) said one victim. In the olden days didn’t the pronoun they represent more than one? Were the police misrepresenting the fact(s) by not using a pronoun for a single person? Or was the reporter trying to make their statement more politically correct.
OK! I’m not that naïve. It’s my opinion that the police and/or reporter do not want a carrier risk by not being gender neutral without having the facts as might be defined by different opinions.

I suggest reporting, “Police identified one victim who is expected to recover.” But, one or more could question my correction with, ‘were there other victims who were not expected to recover; or other victims were not identified; or…’
Then there was the newspaper statement, “The pilot was the only one on board and ‘they’ are still missing.”

O

pinion x 2: Our grammar rules are going to hades in a handbasket and we had to buy the basket from a third world country to reduce the cost.
Another of my pets is, “The driver was killed after the crash.” Did ‘they’ survive the crash and ‘was’ killed after? If so, by whom?
END OF RANT

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.