Date: Sat, 17 Feb 1996 21:00:06 -0800
From: SETH SKLAREY crissiet[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]IX.NETCOM.COM
Subject: Re: silly rules of grammar
I have a British friend who gets especially upset watching American newscasts.
The tendency is for newscasters to speak in the present tense for past events.
"Gunman gets shot as police open fire. Film at 11." (It happened yesterday.)
How common is this around the country, and why is it so prevalent on the news?
Coconut Grove, FL
crissiet[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ix.netcom.com
Those concerned that the use of _they, their, them_ as gender- and
number-free pronouns will somehow destroy the English language should do some
reading of contemporary British fiction and journalism, in which they will
find that this use is almost universal. Even so, it seems that English is
still alive. It might also be useful to examine the history of English to
observe how pronoun use has tended to simplify in general.