“ 'Much was said, and much was ate, and all went well.' Clearly this sentence was written by a fourth grader – or at best someone not ushered into acquaintance with 'proper' grammar. Like, say, Jane Austen? That's straight out of her novel 'Mansfield Park.'
“Linguists insist that it's wrong to designate any kind of English 'proper' because language always changes and always has. A common objection is that even so, all people must know which forms of language are acceptable in the public sphere, at the peril of unemployability or, at least, social handicap.
“Fair enough – but there's a middle ground. We can teach people which forms of English are acceptable without thinking of the more colloquial phrases and words as errors. Rather, what is considered proper English is, like so much else, a matter of fashion.
“Those who ignore rules of fashion exercise little influence in society, whether we like it or not. But we wouldn't see someone wearing breeches or petticoats as mentally ungifted, and the same should go for the person who, as millions of English speakers do every day year round, uses they in the singular as in, 'Tell each student that they can hand the paper in until 4.'
“We are taught that a proper language makes perfect logical sense, and that allowing changes willy-nilly threatens chaos. But we get a different perspective with a trip back in time.”
From “A Matter of Fashion” at opinionator.blogs.nytimes .com
What contains the highest-quality food protein known?
“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.” – Hannah Arendt
“With the country moving toward inclusion, the leaders of the Boy Scouts of America have instead sent a message to young people that only some of them are valued. They've chosen to teach division and intolerance.” – Chad Griffin, president of the U.S. gay-rights group Human Rights Campaign, after the Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed its policy of excluding gays.
deflagrate (DEF-luh-greyt). N. – to burn, especially suddenly and violently, as in: “If boredom were an incendiary, the editorial writer's notes of the council meeting would have deflagrated long ago.” From the Latin root flagrare, “to burn.”
On this date in 1873, Jesse James robbed his first train; one of our first evil, murderous villains to become a folk hero.
Bones were one of the most recycled items before the 20th century, according to RandomHistory.com. They were used for making buttons and gelatin, photography, and glue and paper making.