Friday, September 16, 2005

The Devil is in the Detail

Our benign dictator is in rather in need of some gentle instruction in the correct use of our exquisite language.

No doubt it is feverishly hot in his kitchen, but that is hardly an excuse for the litany of split infinitives and other unforgiveable transgressions that have required a firm intervention on the part of your doughty Pedant-General.

In fact the consistency with which bloggers insist on mis-spelling this simple word is so staggering that I feel that a P-G tutorial is in order.

Repeat after me:
Nouns usually end in "ant".
Adjectives usually end in "ent".
Very simple.

Thus, the following are adjectives:
  • consistent
  • independent
  • dependent (adjective, as in "dependent upon", not to be confused with "dependant" which is a noun, e.g. your children or wife who lunches or whatever)
  • incoherent
  • insolent
Whilst the following are nouns:
  • claimant
  • defendant (yes, DK, that's you, that is)
  • dependant
  • litigant (bl*mmin lawyers)
  • Pedant (that's me, that is)
Now. Let's have no more of this nonsense. Class dismissed.

1 comment:

Devil's Kitchen said...

As something of a grammar pedant myself, it is rather embarrassing to be picked up for such gross errors. I've just not been myself these last few days...