Parsing Fest Continues or Richard Armitage Makes Grammar Fun

Wow. I’m digging this discussion of typos, and I may never recover from the thrill of understanding the nuances of the apostrophe (see comments as well)……………. Sorry, my head almost came off.

Who knew grammar could ever be like this?

Oh Richard!

You are the bomb. First it was housekeeping you made me enjoy, and now grammar?! I can’t stand this much bliss. I may expire if you send any more missives. But no, no, no, don’t let that stop you. I love them, and thank you for obliging the anal-retentive aspect of the fandom.

One of your crazy fans who’s having a blast with you and your fans. :D

P.S. I only have one fear — that Armitage Protection Mode (APM) may not be in remission among RA Universe. Yikes!

P.P.S It’s that damn phone. Typing a note is rough enough; try blogging sometime. :roll:


  1. So long as EVERYONE is only joking…I’ll enjoy it!

    :) :) :)

  2. ;)

  3. What?! it’s not over the top enough to be obvious?! Uh oh. That means APM forces may be out in droves. :D

  4. Richard,
    I think those typos of yours serve to remind us you are one of the mere mortals–even if you seem a dream come true. *sigh*

    Honestly, though, don’t get any more sweet, down to earth, modest, and good-humored–you are already impossibly delightful and delovely.

  5. I wasn’t meaning your comment, Frenz…yes, it’s wonderfully OTT and I loved it! I just find it rather hypocritical and somewhat offensive if certain nationalities issue serious criticism of Richard’s non-so-perfect written English when theirs often leaves much to be desired.

  6. He surely knows how to disarm everyone in a totally non-violent manner.

  7. “Theirs” is referring to their written English so the verb should be singular.


  8. why aren’t the smilies showing up?

  9. Thanks, Kathryn. I do hope you know that most of this is in good fun, and I”m talking about Servetus as well.

    I disabled the smilies. Personally, I hate them. I use them, but I hate them. :D

    Jane, wish I’d said that!

  10. Oh, sorry…I’ve only just become used to using them on a couple of other blogs so I’m not really going to miss them!

    I have a really warped sense of humour myself but it took me a little time to realize that most of the comments I read are meant in a humourous way! Bit slow sometimes!

  11. As a non-native English speaker (with all my misssspellings ??Uh oh!!) I better stay away from the typos discussion!! But I have to confess it feels quite comfy nearby Richard!!
    Frenzy you are in a real writing mania recently….. Love it !!!

  12. BTW, Jane your comment nailed it!! (in a non-violent manner of course…BIG GRIN)

  13. Frenzy, you are killing me. LOL….he has you now enjoying housecleaning and grammar……you too are brilliant writer.because even as a newbie, I am getting the irony.

  14. I’m still smiling :) grammar & pronunciation was a HUGE thing growing up – language shows where you’re from and in the old countries it shows your class level & often level of education – these days local languages & accents are something cool again. It obviously is something he has had to apply over the years – and is good at too!

  15. Linda and Gracie,

    I’m merely here to serve.

    Iz, it shows level of education in the “new country” as well. :D

  16. To be well served can be splendid and spoiling…. :D

  17. and the man housekeeps?! Woohooo. Talk about a dream come true. Oh wait. I’ll bet you were being sarcastic/snarky.

    But just think. By the time we’re done, we will know evrything there is know about apostrophes. And double adjective thingys. I can hardly wait!!!!!!

  18. Love it, Frenz!

  19. You two are killing me here…LOL!

  20. Agree w/Fanny. It’s really a different issue in Germany than it is in the US, anyway. I’m not sure why that should be, really.

    Thanks for the link love. Always happy when I make you happy :)

  21. I’m not sure I quite under the differences.

  22. Let me do that again: I’m not sure I quite understand the differences.

  23. […] POSTS Parsing Fest Continues or Richard Armitage Makes Grammar FunMerry ChristmasRA's Christmas MessageRA LexiconWhere Were You?cooked turkey.jpgNot So Dreaded […]

  24. LOL! RAFrenzy!
    You have to be right,becouse I remain on guard in full riot gear.;)
    APM- holds on tight…….Spooky!…..

  25. LOL! I now have a page dedicated to the disease, and I think it’s especially important to be on guard against it in ourselves considering the new fans who are not here yet.

  26. I think anything we’d say would be conditioned on our individual experiences. I know that one reason many British academics seek employment in the U.S. is that they are taken more seriously here because we don’t hear and see the subtle gradations in class associated with their speech in the way that their fellow Brits do. Maybe it’s that class is perceived as a much less flexible thing in much of western Europe than it is in the U.S. (And class in England was always relatively rigid, in comparison to much of continental Europe.) Are there certain accents in the U.S. that I hear and have to reign back my prejudices about? Certainly. But the tolerance in the U.S. is broader than (e.g.) in Germany. W/r/t RA, you can hear when he reads that he didn’t grow up speaking RP, and I wonder sometimes when I listen to him whether that has made a difference in his career.

  27. I’m confident it’s had some effect since he’s stayed in the U.K. for the most part. One has only to remember Michael Caine to know that lack of RP has no bearing here. But as one who has a decided accent, I know that there are still definite prejudices in the U.S. The Southern drawl has frequently been portrayed as the voice of the ignorant. I only wish I had a real Southern drawl. I have the Texas Twang which is offensive to the ears of many and not nearly so elegant as the Southern drawl. One nice thing about it though is you learn to live with being underestimated and using that to advantage. My college professors were always pleasantly surprised that I actually was not an idiot. :D

  28. I mean, on getting roles in the UK. But I’d be totally speculating. I agree that his variety of British accent doesn’t matter to American audiences, who can’t really tell the difference. Re class: agree that some accents are considered ignorant (the “yats” of E Texas, Louisiana come to mind), but it’s possible to overcome that in the US in ways that would be more difficult in Europe. I.e., I still think there’s a subtle difference. For instance, I went to grad school with someone who had the most unbelievably nasal South Dakota twang. She knew about it, and she tried to change her speech, but she just couldn’t. In the end she went on to a double PhD and got a job offer from Harvard. It’s a bit harder to see that sort of social mobility in much of western Europe, partially because of the effect of informal networks on class, which are heavily focused on insider / outsider behaviors and vocabularies (think of the discussion of Kate Middleton’s inappropriate class vocabulary about five years ago). I was reading about Margaret Thatcher the other day that although she went to Oxford she never got invitations to anything — for class reasons she wasn’t considered a member of the power broker groups. She built her entire political career as an outsider, but even once she was prime minister, the other leaders of European countries looked down their noses at her as “the grocer’s daughter” and often refused to cooperate or socialize with her. The problem is more complex than that (i.e., no one is going to refuse to socialize with the POTUS), but I still think there’s a difference.

  29. I understood you meant the U.K. roles. Having traveled in Europe and U.K. on more than one occasion and having some close friends and co-workers from those places, this is the impression I’ve gotten about class consciousness. Much more prevalent in those places than in the U.S.

    One of the ‘hickiest’ people I ever met but also one of the most brilliant was an investment banker from Chase Manhattan. From West Texas originally, he had fluoride stains on his teeth, which is not an uncommon mark of West Texans. He was phenomenal with people and with money and also had an ivy league degree in his pedigree. So yeah, I certainly understand what you’re talking about.

  30. Hi Servetus…please explain “RP” and “POTUS”.

    I’m afraid I’m a little snobbish and hope that Richard maintains he’s current way of speaking because it’s easy to understand and sounds good (ie. reasonably well-educated!).

    I’m not too fond of some of the regional English accents…you know the ones who say “it were” but then go on to say “they was”!!!

    I know that some actors have managed to carve out splendid careers for themselves almost in spite of their accents but I have to confess that some of those accents grate on my ears!

    There, I told you I was a snob, didn’t I? I don’t make any apologies BTW…

  31. RP=received pronunciation, the “standard” speech of the upper classes of the UK. He’s pretty good but at least in Sylvester he makes noticeable (regular) mistakes. He has a consistent problem with forgetting to pronounce t in Auslaut, for example, when it proceeds a vowel. This is an observation, not a criticism.

    Part of my point was that people in Britain probably perceive class distinctions via accent that are lost on us in the United States. (and potentially vice versa, when you think about how some British actors do US regional accents)

    POTUS=President of the United States.

  32. Thank you.

    I’m guessing RP must be what we used to call “the Queen’s English? I’m afraid I’m a bit partial to that kind of speech as it’s easier for me to understand!

    I knew you weren’t criticizing RA ;) I get a giggle about his forgetting the occasional “t”, too – one of my main beefs about so many English people!

    I always say “No one can massacre the English language quite the way the English can”!!!

    Just kidding…but it does amaze me why that “t” on the end of a word is so hard for so many English people to pronounce!!!!


  33. There’s been some disagreement on my blog about this, but apparently RP is what the southern upper classes speak and “Queen’s English” is what’s taught in elocution lessons. There are slight differences.

    If it’s any consolation, he is pronouncing those t’s — just as a glottal stop in his throat than the alveolar t. It’s just a bit odd because he consistently avoids the alveolar flap in a really ostentious way (he pronounces both the t’s in little, better, etc. )

  34. The thing is…depending on what kind of writing…like if it’s research…or a journalistic piece…or a term paper..every case seems to call for a different “expert guide”. In high school we lived by the “Plain English” handbook. My college reserach paper required the APA guide. Two years ago when we were working on newsletter for another fandom, the MLA was THE WORD. And all of them differ on junk like commas, quotes, etc. It’s very tempting to junk it all and tawk/write like ya wanna. *ducking and running to corner*

    I too was a grocer’s daughter. THAT’S why I was always drawn to Margaret Thatcher!!!? What a woman!

  35. Kind of. The style manuals differ on some comma issues, like the serial (Oxford) comma, for example, but they all share some rules; the rule on not joining independent clauses with commas is pretty well standard in all of them. As far as I know every style manual or grammar book I’ve ever read insists on subject / verb agreement. Saying that the main guides differ on some issues is not the same as saying it’s okay to do whatever you want because they don’t agree on anything. The confusing thing is that a style manual like APA / MLA / Chicago (the one historians use, just to horrify you further) is really a list of rules for print publication — these guides will give you some grammatical advice, and there’s some overlap between that and something like Strunk and White or Fowler, which are books which discuss commas inter alia, but also give strong recommendations on how to structure sentences optimally. The question of how to write a great sentence is a different one from where to put your commas.

  36. Serv…your last sentence…right on, right on. Or write on write on. *I crack myself up!* To be honest, it all gives me a headache. I’m not sure I’ve been EVER been so aggravated working on that newsletter. The whole experience assured my career in cake decorating and grandmothering was solid! No chance of the NY Times spiriting me away from the farm. ;)

    Frenz, imagine my dismay as a kid from our church up here commented to me after I had done a solo for church, “wow you even sing in Texas!” arggggh!

  37. typo alert…Texas=Texan.

  38. I understood. :D

    BTW, I have no accent when I sing. I’ve traveled with SO to various parts of the U.S. and sung in several places, and people heard me sing before I spoke, and they were shocked I had an accent. If I could just make myself speak that way… What’s funny is people in Texas think I’ve lost my accent, and theirs is so pronounced to me that I can barely listen to it sometimes. I find myself wanting to say, “Hurry up!” Years ago SO and I were traveling through West Texas and stopped to get burgers. The girl at the drive-thru said, Wooooooooooooooooooould yooooooooou laeik summmm fryyyyy sossssss wiiiiith yewerrrr frenchhhh friessss? I figured she was an anomaly until we stopped at the next place. I could never hear that until I moved away from Texas.

  39. Well I didn’t think I had an aceent either. Either the kid was:
    a. trying to be funny
    b. trying to aggravate me
    c. flirting…iccckkk
    d. just stupid
    e. all of the above…big iccck

    because my voice teacher literally beat the twang of us. I’m headed south in a few days. Just wait till I get back to Yankee Land. They’ll have another good laugh.

  40. You don’t have much accent left. Mine is much stronger.

  41. You don’t know bad accents until you travel to LA (lower Alabama). Try teaching grammar and how to correctly pronounce more words than you can imagine. Many of my third graders were shocked when we had “chimney” on a spelling list, and they discovered it wasn’t “chimley” like they had been saying it for the past 8 years!!

  42. Welcome, Kate! I’ve been to LA. It does have its share. I’m from East Texas originally, so I’ve heard chimley a couple of times. LOL! I’ve also heard mirrows for mirrors.

    Are you an RA fan or are you checking him out? :D

  43. […] saw it as a capital, or it jarred you that it wasn’t. No, this isn’t a piece about the grammatical odyssey of being a Richard Armitage fan. But I am going to talk about something that hits me from […]

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