Terminology Quotes

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Bill Bryson - English grammar is so complex and confusing for the one very simple reason that its rules and terminology are based on Latin -- a language with which it has precious little in common. In Latin, to take one example, it is not possible to split an infinitive. So in English, the early authorities decided, it should not be possible to split an infinitive either. But there is no reason why we shouldn't, any more than we should forsake instant coffee and air travel because they weren't available to the Romans. Making English grammar conform to Latin rules is like asking people to play baseball using the rules of football. It is a patent absurdity. But once this insane notion became established, grammarians found themselves having to draw up ever more complicated and circular arguments to accommodate the inconsistencies.

English grammar is so complex and confusing for the one very simple reason that its rules and terminology are based on Latin -- a language with which it has precious little in common. In Latin, to take one example, it is not possible to split an infinitive. So in English, the early authorities decided, it should not be possible to split an infinitive either. But there is no reason why we shouldn't, any more than we should forsake instant coffee and air travel because they weren't available to the Romans. Making English grammar conform to Latin rules is like asking people to play baseball using the rules of football. It is a patent absurdity. But once this insane notion became established, grammarians found themselves having to draw up ever more complicated and circular arguments to accommodate the inconsistencies.

Bill Bryson American Writer
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Josh Sonnenfeld  - We do not understand why we, who engage in peaceful protests, are considered to be 'credible threats.' Such terminology is effectively calling us terrorists. The initial reaction is to wonder how peaceful protesters can be considered 'credible threats.' However, it is also important to consider that the Pentagon may view us as a threat to military recruitment, and therefore, some sort of threat to the country. Of course, by that flawed logic, since the majority of Americans are opposed to the war, the Pentagon can see most Americans as a 'threat to the country'.

We do not understand why we, who engage in peaceful protests, are considered to be 'credible threats.' Such terminology is effectively calling us terrorists. The initial reaction is to wonder how peaceful protesters can be considered 'credible threats.' However, it is also important to consider that the Pentagon may view us as a threat to military recruitment, and therefore, some sort of threat to the country. Of course, by that flawed logic, since the majority of Americans are opposed to the war, the Pentagon can see most Americans as a 'threat to the country'.

Josh Sonnenfeld
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