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  #91  
Old 03-17-2024, 03:17 PM
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I used "grammar" in the sense that many understand: a set of strict rules that govern how language should be structured, with somethings being "correct" and others not. See, even when discussing the word "grammar" itself, we can go 'round and 'round about common meaning vs. dictionary definitions.

[...]

Anyway, whether or not I'm correct or anyone else thinks I am, my point is that I don't think you can say that certain phrases are "gramatically incorrect" based on some arbitrary rules. That's not to say those phrases still can't bother the heck out of you personally!
I have thoughts on many of the things mentioned in this thread. I'll express some of them. Just for context, I'm not an expert in grammar per se, though I do have two advanced degrees in English, and am a professor of writing and rhetoric at a major university.

The first thought is that language is, and has always been, a living thing, evolving and changing to meet our needs in particular settings. Less so in regards to French as has been mentioned (because of the Academie). This evolution is not new, as evidenced by the Great Vowel Shift. I don't see anybody here arguing that we should be writing like Chaucer.

Written and spoken language are never and have never been the same. Attempting to apply the grammatical rules of written language to spoken language doesn't make much sense. Spoken language is primarily organized logically in time, and written language is largely organized and experienced in space (though we can leverage our use of time to shape and correct mistakes that we've made in our original drafting, the text itself when circulating is a spatial artifact). These two controlling parameters change the needs and expectations of the two different media. Though of course they influence one another.

Correct grammar is only correct in particular contexts. The discussion of the grammatical differences between "normal use" versus within mathematics points to this problem. Language use and expectations shift based on different rhetorical situations: who is the audience, what is our purpose, what technologies are we using to engage in the rhetorical act, etc.

Many of the "rules" that we have for correct grammar come from Strunk and White's Elements of Style.. Strunk and White repeatedly break their own rules within that text.

The notion that there is one right way of doing language has been used as a gate-keeping mechanism, and is part of a long standing hegemony that has intentionally drawn divisions between the center and the margins.

Recognizing the importance of the rhetorical situation, and that I'm writing for AGF, not an academic journal (and knowing myself), I'm quite sure that there are a number of typos here as well as some grammatical errors (at least one split-infinitive). This is an informal writing situation, I'm not too worried about that (though I'll probably proofread it a few more times).

As to the original post, "to do," "do," "doing," are generalized verb forms that can be used to refer to any activity. It's a "light verb" that is semantically weak, it's the verbal equivalent of "thing." I don't know when this construction first emerged, but I've been hearing it for decades. I mean, it's not that far of a departure from "let's do lunch," which emerged in the 80s.
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  #92  
Old 03-17-2024, 03:39 PM
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Oh... another thing, for what it's worth. We have decades of research showing that "teaching grammar" is a really ineffective way to teach writing.
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  #93  
Old 03-17-2024, 06:13 PM
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Oh... another thing, for what it's worth. We have decades of research showing that "teaching grammar" is a really ineffective way to teach writing.
I wouldn't have thought that needed to be researched. Did anyone really think otherwise?
Seems to me that teaching grammar to teach writing is like teaching the metric system to teach architecture.
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Old 03-17-2024, 06:44 PM
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...As to the original post, "to do," "do," "doing," are generalized verb forms that can be used to refer to any activity. It's a "light verb" that is semantically weak, it's the verbal equivalent of "thing." I don't know when this construction first emerged, but I've been hearing it for decades. I mean, it's not that far of a departure from "let's do lunch," which emerged in the 80s.
Interesting. Never thought that's where it came from, but that makes sense...
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Old 03-17-2024, 08:41 PM
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I wouldn't have thought that needed to be researched. Did anyone really think otherwise?
Seems to me that teaching grammar to teach writing is like teaching the metric system to teach architecture.
Oh yes, and we still fight this battle constantly.
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  #96  
Old 03-17-2024, 08:46 PM
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Interesting. Never thought that's where it came from, but that makes sense...
Oh, I didn't mean to suggest that that's where it originated from (though I see how my comment could have been interpreted this way)... it's certainly possible. I really just meant to point out the similarities of construction, and that they've been around for a while.
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  #97  
Old 03-19-2024, 03:08 PM
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Oh, I didn't mean to suggest that that's where it originated from (though I see how my comment could have been interpreted this way)... it's certainly possible...
And that makes sense that "Let's do lunch" could give rise to "Let's do the pepperoni pizza." So now the question is from whence did "Let's do lunch" come...
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  #98  
Old 03-19-2024, 03:25 PM
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It's a dog-eat-dog world. And sometimes it's the other way around.
That's a great line. I've heard people refer to "doggy dog world." I have a friend who once said to me, "I was wrong once. I thought I'd made a mistake, but I hadn't."

Jack
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