Date: Sat, 17 Feb 1996 21:00:06 -0800 From: SETH SKLAREY 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? SETH SKLAREY Coconut Grove, FL crissiet[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] >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. > >