I am not the Grammar Police. I am not an expert in all things grammatical. What I am, is an English and Drama Major from a reputable University. I love words. I love the way they can paint a picture. I love their relationship with each other. I love when they are used well. And I hate it when they are perverted.
Just a heads up . . . I am going to have a little rant and I do not wish to offend anyone. If anybody wishes to move on, I promise not to talk about you behind your back. However . . . .
The boat is about to sink. The boat sank. The boat was sunk. That wasn’t too difficult. So why is it that too many newscasters are now saying ‘sunk’ when they mean ‘sank’? Aaaahhhh! It irks me. It truly irks me.
When I was growing up I was taught that they were three tenses: past, present and future. (Yes, I know, even that gets more complicated) Now anyone that comes to English as a second language realizes that it is not an easy one to learn. It contradicts itself, it misrepresents and it is basically confusing. I have always felt that the newscasters were the ones who should get it right. After all, they expect us to listen.
Now language is well and truly alive. It is in a constant state of evolution. And that is a good thing. I’m quite pleased I no longer have to say ‘thou’ and ‘thy’, ‘forsooth’, and ‘by your leave’. I even welcome some of the slang that has entered into the mainstream. English is definitely a colourful language. But, why oh why are you cutting out a tense?
I realize how difficult it is to actually speak correctly. You have to open your mouth to a certain diameter, your lips must be pursed in the appropriate shape and you must vibrate those vocal cords with control. And the control seems to be slipping.
“It seems another boat sunk off the coast of . . .” Me: It sank you idiot! It sank! And that’s not the only case. It’s not just boats that can’t figure out when they’re entering the deep, dark depths. Drink, drank, drunk. Sing, sang, sung. Swim, swam, swum.
I know that the English language is changing. I can’t say I like all the changes but as usual I will adapt. But it’s really nice to every now and then have a little rant. Please don’t hate me as I sink slowly into the quagmire that is the English language. And I was born into it! Whew! Oh, and in the spirit of full disclosure: not all writers follow the rules exactly. They can’t, it can mess up the spirit of what they’re writing. I am guilty as charged.