The aim of this blog is to serve as a meeting point to those who study or have studied English philology and, more broadly, to all those who love literature and language.

5 Oct 2008

PRESCRIPTIVE GRAMMAR

Cinema and language: scene 2


This well-known scene from Life of Brian brings us back to the traditional methods of learning Latin at school. It can also make us think and discuss about the importance or not of grammatical correctness. The Roman soldier understands the intended meaning but, anyhow, he makes Brian produce the accurate form. In these times of relaxation towards rules in language and economical expression through SMS and quick email, I still think that clinging to the standardized forms makes communication easier (teaching methods can be more civil, of course).

2 comments:

  1. I am a fan of John Cleese so I´ve been looking for my favourite series when I was living in England, FAULTY TOWERS.
    Here it is a very good one about Basil and Manuel, the waiter from Barcelona, trying to understand each other.

    http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=o8DngrgIpS0

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  2. Yes, this sketch is also useful for linguistic analysis. I’d say that it contains two instances of more or less genuine homophones in different languages (the English/Spanish ‘On those trays’ and ‘un, dos, tres’ and the Italian/Spanish ‘burro’) and the funny misunderstandings that attributing the wrong meanings may produce.

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