Saturday, May 15, 2010

National Elections in the Philippines

Despite their bruising news coverage of the recently concluded national elections in the Philippines, the four major Metro Manila broadsheets had admirably kept themselves as vigilant with their English as with the evolving numbers of the election results. Their problems with English grammar and usage were thus few and far between; in fact, I found only four grammatical and semantic fumbles serious and instructive enough to be critiqued in My Media English Watch—mixed up tenses, faulty sentence construction, verb phrase misuse, and highly convoluted, almost unfathomable feature writing.  

Also in this week's edition of Jose Carillo's English Forum, I'm sharing a pet theory of mine on why many nonnative English speakers can't speak or write the language well enough even if they become quite good at constructing grammar-perfect single sentences. This, to my mind, is due to their very limited repertoire of the connectives—the coordinating conjunctions, the conjunctive adverbs, the subordinating conjunctions, and, of course, the prepositions, which many people find such pesky and elusive things to learn. Some of us may not be even aware of it, but these connectives are absolute musts for flagging the contours and detours of our thoughts each time we write or talk. - Jose Carillo