May 11, 2006

I've Got Your Dangling Modifier Right Here

Find the errors in these sentences:

I have been tasked to champion the project.
Thank you for gifting me on my birthday.
We will be lunching at The Brown Derby.
Would you be willing to office from home?

Far be it from me to claim flawless grammar, but I know the difference between a noun (person, place, or thing) and a verb (action word). Elementary grammar has escaped the English language. One doesn’t lunch, one eats lunch. One isn’t tasked, one is given the task. I’m sick to death of people turning nouns into verbs in an attempt to speak quickly and efficiently, or worse yet, to appear vogue. It’s doesn’t appear vogue, it just plain sounds stupid.

I feel like Lionel Twain in Murder By Death when he tells Sidney Wang to “say your articles and prepositions.” Who in the world ever decided it was okay to use a noun as a verb, and why has it become so acceptable? In a society tripping over itself to be politically correct, I can’t help but wonder what happened to the eloquence and grace of a properly formed sentence?

In my disappointment at the demise of the English language, I will task myself with couching this evening. Hopefully, while wining from a crystal goblet, I’ll solution the dissonance between proper grammar and corporate speak.

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