To ‘E’ or Not to ‘E’

punctuation colorful BBC


A silly title, yes.

I get pleasure from reflecting on minutiae of language — syntax, spelling, grammar, etymology, what have you. Language is part of “what makes us us,” to borrow Jacinda Ardern’s clarion phrase. It’s worth talking about. If I question a particular usage, it’s in a spirit of friendly inquiry, not derision.

Nevertheless, against all odds, the real heart of a college education — the bond borne of shared intellectual exploration between teachers and curious students, between curious students and each other — remains intact, if only in pockets of campus life, at every state university I know.

(Margaret Renkl, “Let’s Hear It for State U.,” NYTimes, 3-25-19)

“Born” instead of “borne,” perhaps?

If I had the pleasure of meeting Margaret Renkl, a distinguished columnist whose work I read frequently, I would simply thank her (or her editor) for the opportunity to ponder a possible slip that’s inspiringly minute.

(c) 2019 JMN.

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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