It depends on the specific issue.  And it depends on whether the view
comes from linguistics (which tends to assume oral usage is all) or literary
scholars (who are generally more likely to see writing as distinct).  And it
depends on the specific source.  For example, the OED now accepts split
infinitives, and I am told by scholars of language that there is no reason in
English (as opposed to Latin) grammar not to split it because it derives
from a Latin rule that does not fit English word forms.  And the general
rejection of "hopefully" to modify a whole clause ignores the fact that we
use other words in exactly that way--like "frankly," for example.

On the other hand some things are agreed on.  I doubt anyone would
accept faulty agreement or mixed constructions or dangling modifiers or
many other patterns that confuse the meaning or are overtly clumsy
because they distort the relations of phrases and clauses and sentences.

Date sent:              Tue, 8 Apr 2003 21:48:30 -0400
Send reply to:          "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
From:                   Robert Summers <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:                Re: Grammar:  Authoritative Sources
To:                     [log in to unmask]

I have been involved in many arguments regarding the proper use of
grammar; there seems to be no consensus even among English
professors.  Is
there an authoritative source that, if not putting an end to a
disagreement, at least would substantiate an alternative view?

Bob Summers

Tired of spam? Get advanced junk mail protection with MSN 8.