Monday, November 05, 2007

Me good word learning make happens

Andrew Adonis, schools minister, has this to say on the subject of raising literacy standards:

Initiatives like Every Child a Reader is designed to provide these important interventions.

Yeah, I know: it’s a cheap shot. Let me make it a tad less cheap by saying that there are two grammatical errors in that sentence. What’s the other one?

(And yeah, I also know that smugness is never attractive. Good job I’m a looker, too.)


Tom Freeman said...

Nobody cares, right? It’s the ‘like’. ‘Like’ is properly used to indicate similarity; ‘such as’ is appropriate when giving an example.

Bet you’re glad you gave up ten seconds of your life to read this, eh?

Ario said...

Very :)

Still, it is common to replace 'such as' with 'like' in spoken English. Whether this is correct or not it doesn't really matter - the people appear to have decided otherwise.

Although I agree that since the quote comes from a written article 'such as' would have been - at least stylistically more appropriate.

Sorry for sounding so incredibly snotty...

Tom Freeman said...

Don't worry - snottiness doesn't get up my nose!

(Sorry. That was awful.)

You're completely right, though. I talk a lot less grammatically than I write. And, frankly, I often blog less grammatically than I write for work, say.

'Such as' does sounds a bit formal. And there are so few contexts in which confusion of meaning is at all likely. It's almost as if it doesn't really matter...