Yes, it's been three months. I haven't really found any new things to complain about. I remember one of my teachers complaining that it wasn't fair that he had to set new exams every year when the pupils made the same mistakes, and I feel a bit like that myself.
Wherever I go, I hear people explaining things that have happened to John and I, and on Sunday I had to put up with someone talking about the mana from heaven.
So, have I reached the end of the line for the Grammarian's Pages? Probably not quite yet, but there's not much inspiring me at the moment. The same old issues are there regarding their/there/they're and your/you're and it's/its and the use of apostrophes in general. I'm not the only show in town as far as grammar is concerned - there are many other sites offering advice on good and bad grammar.
I could take the easy way out and invite you to contribute ideas, but I'm not sure how great the response would be. I still have a couple of ideas, but they are more to do with words and rumours than with grammar. Is it true that the New Zealand education system completely stopped teaching grammar some years ago? If that is true, it goes a long way towards explaining why the state of the nation is so dire.
I may have mentuioned this before, but I believe that spelling and grammar are important because without them, the content of the passage is seriously undermined. In my mind, I hear a voice saying that the author can't have a decent point to put forward because the grammar and spelling are poor, so the arghument must be poor. I'm distracted, even though I shouldn't be. Yes, it's a prejudice. I've tried to overlook it, but it's proving impossible to do.
However, I do draw a distintinction between typographical errors and spelling mistakes. They are not the same. If someone makes a spelling mistake, it can almost always be distinguished from a typo. There are some words I can spell, but can't type. You'll also see a lack of spaces between words sometimes too. When I type 'network', it sometimes comes out as 'newtwrok' while 'yesterday' seemed to be rendered too frequently as 'yeatersat'. Finally, the fair city of 'Dunedin' usually comes out as 'Dundein'. These are typos, along with the ever-popular 'teh' for 'the'. But what if someone tells me its to late to do something? That's not a typo - that's a mistake. Most of the time, if I challenge the author, I will hear a claim that it's a typo. It isn't. Ghandi isn't a typo, nor is Isreal.
This is the bit where I say I might add to this article later. If I do say that, don't believe me. Treat me with scepticism even if I say I'll be writing another article for next month. Happy Easter.