Readings on Writing
"Good English and Bad" by Bill Bryson
In "Good English and Bad," Bill Bryson attempts to explain the ways of the English language in relation to how we use grammar. Bryson argues that in English we can use several tenses of a word to express similar, or different, meanings. Bryson also argues that the English language is so complicated (so complicated that experts have trouble defining its terms) because it is based off of Latin- and English is not closely related to Latin at all. He gives several examples of how even professionals abuse the "rules" of English, and he contests some of the rules, such as splitting an infinitive. Also, he goes into how some words are both nouns and verbs in English. Bryson claims that some grammar rules are based off of prejudice only. Bryson goes on to detail the lack of a grammatical guide. Overall, Bryson questions several aspects of the difficulty of the English language.