Det pågår en krig.

Forrige uke gikk The Awl til angrep på The Paris Review fordi de brukte snuck i stedet for sneaked da de omtalte spillet til n+1-gjengen i en softballkamp. The Awl hevder de står på barrikadene for korrekt grammatikk.

Men The Paris Review slo tilbake:

I suppose there’s no pausing to get basic prepositions correct when you’re on your way to obsessing over arcane questions of the irregular preterit. But let’s not be pedantic.

Actually, let’s be pedantic as hell.

I’m not an antiprescriptivist. Trying to keep your mother tongue honest is noble and even necessary. But a person needs to be objecting to a word on some grounds—that it’s inexact or obscure, that it’s confusing or unbeautiful. What is The Awl’s problem with snuck? As far as one can tell, somebody told them at some point that it was preferable to use sneaked. Why, though?

Så var det game on. The Awl gikk videre til runde to:

Yes, my literary dears, someone «told me» it wasn’t a word. That is called «an education.»

The Paris review svarer med et åpent brev:

Snuck is a beautiful, almost onomatopoeic word. We’ve asked you for a good reason not to use it. In return you’ve given us the opinions of a long-ago ass-person (enjoyable term in itself—your coinage?). That person has been oppressing you. Set yourself free.

Som vanlig stiller jeg meg bak The Paris Review. Språket er ikke statisk, og grammatikkpedanter bør roe seg litt. Verden går ikke over ende om vi slutter å ha et skille mellom «ennå» og «enda» eller dersom vi slutter å bruke objektsformen «ham». Språket endrer seg hele tiden, så hvorfor skal vi kjempe imot det?

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