Tamsin Constable

Go and do something useful

I enjoyed Motivated Grammar, a blog by linguistics researcher Gabe Doyle that ‘ corrects misinformed grammatical pedantry and looks into why we say what we say’. I often hear my children referring to groups of items as ‘them’ rather than ‘those’ – as in ‘them bricks’, ‘them people’ and ‘them apples’. They’re entirely  Yorkshire born and bred, and I’m entirely not, so I notice this. I know that they’ll learn to use ‘those’ and ‘them’ correctly in formal writing. But colloquially? I agree with Gabe: ‘Ask yourself if disobeying the grammatical “rule” you hold so dear really has a calamitous effect. If it does, go ahead and say something.  If not, go put your energy toward something useful.’