Oh, I forgot: on Monday I took the grammar quiz that's doing the rounds at the moment. I was going to write it up here, with reference to Ford's Law of blogging—in the absence of a cat, I thought I'd get all LiveJournalesque on you and put up a Stupid Quiz Result. But I was at work at the time, and like I said, I forgot. Until just now anyway, when I was chasing another link from Ford's site and was reminded of it by this rather satisfying decomposition.
The quiz confirmed my long-held suspicions: I am indeed a Grammar God. I have a picture to prove it somewhere... Ah, here it is.
It seems that grammatical divinity comes pretty cheap, to be honest. Kelly had a shot, and in spite of answering at least five questions differently to me, she was also adjudged a heavenly grammarian. In fact I've yet to hear of anyone not blitzing the test—is this the author's secret intention, to reveal the organic flexibility of the language? I will presume that isn't their intention, because as profound as the point might be, the test would still kinda suck.
Anyway, my first edict as newly enthroned deity is to command the author of the quiz to read Strunk and White. Therein they will find that most of the questions have multiple valid answers, both within and without the choices one is offered. In fact, for most of the questions, one would be far better off rephrasing the whole sentence. Some of them are truly ugly.
A few specific objections:
As you can see, the quiz raised my hackles a bit. But I got through it, and at the end, I was rewarded with my divine crown of thorns, and this little exhortation:
If your mission in life is not already to preserve the English tongue, it should be. Congratulations and thank you!
Oh dear. This is even funnier if you've read the wallowsong. I do think my mission in life is thoroughly tied up in the English tongue. But not preserving it—I've got better things to do than swim against tidal waves.
I think my mission is to loosen it.
Joseph | 7 Apr 2004