Grumpy Grampy’s Grammar Grumbles … “Graduate” …


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… been kicking this idea around in my head for some time now … never mind wondering how someone “kicks something around” in one’s own head … or at least don’t ask me, I have no idea …

… anyway, I have been considering adding some comments here about the all-too-common grammatical mistakes that mar the use of our language … particularly when the mistakes are made by professional communicators, such as TV and radio newscasters, newspaper reporters and columnists, politicians and political pundits, authors, and lawyers …

… as part of that process, I was thinking about what to call myself … or these offerings … I considered calling myself the “Grumpy Grammarian”, in partial homage to the grammar columnist who used to write for the local newspaper and styled herself the “Gracious Grammarian” … and yes, her comments were always very gracious, even when she was discussing what could only be characterized as grammatical idiocy …

… but, it turns out that there are already several “Grumpy Grammarians” populating the blogosphere … and, not wanting to step on their metaphorical toes, I opted to refer to myself by the nickname I had already earned … “Grumpy Grampy” … and my maunderings here as “Grammar Grumbles” …

… I was finally motivated to put fingers to keyboard today by the news reports related to the proposed Arizona legislation discussed in my other blog here …

http://freelegaladvice.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/trashing-the-1st-amendment-in-arizona/

… what set me off were the headlines and news articles which stated that this legislation would require that students recite the proposed oath in order to “graduate high school” …

… this mis-use of the word “graduate” has been peeving me for some time, conjuring up as it does images of students standing at the corners of their high school buildings with rulers, making little tick marks every inch …

… as this is the only way a student can “graduate” a school …

… the reason, of course, is that while schools “graduate” students, students “graduate from” schools …

… it is not entirely clear to me whether this particular misuse of the language — which is increasingly common even among professional communicators who ought to know better … such as the writers of the news reports about the proposed Arizona legislation — is a result of educational deficiency, ignorance or simple laziness …

… whichever might be the case, Grumpy Grampy says get better educated, get smarter or just quit being so lazy and use the language correctly … particularly if you have already graduated from high school, college or even grad school … and most especially if you hold yourself out as a professional communicator …

… you ought to know better.

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For another — and more linguistically technical, but nevertheless entertaining — discussion of this grammatical error, along with any number of comments which confirm that all too many people just don’t get it, see this excellent website:

http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/graduated-from.aspx

Grammar Girl actually does a podcast of her comments, as well, to which you can listen by clicking on the sound bar just below the title “Graduated versus Graduated From”.

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