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  1. #1
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    Question The both of them have gone missing!!!

    OK I just used two phrases that drive me crazy when I hear them! Why, all of a sudden, is it acceptable to say, "the both" instead of "the two of them" and they've "gone missing" instead of "disappeared"? Both phrases sound wrong to me and I'm hearing them over and over in TV shows, even on the news and also on the radio. Do real people use these phrases? Are they correct usage or not?
    I feel like grammar has just fallen by the wayside in the last generation and nobody seems to care anymore about proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling. I have known many very intelligent people whose grammar is horrendous and they can't spell and don't care! What are the schools teaching our children?

  2. #2
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    Re: The both of them have gone missing!!!

    "Went missing" describes "a sudden and suspicious disappearance."

    "The both, as in I like the both of them, is sometimes objected to and seldom used at other than Conversational levels of speech." The Columbia Guide to Standard American English

  3. #3
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    Re: The both of them have gone missing!!!

    Your response was not at all helpful. I know what both items mean...I'm just asking why suddenly these improper uses of our language are accepted and suddenly in such wide use! We don't sound very intelligent when we use these phrases. Another new one that sounds stupid is "my bad".


    I am a proponent of the "no tolerance" for bad grammar and these things annoy me no end. I am a 57 year old American, who graduated from high school with honors and I don't need definitions. For that I have a dictionary and a pretty darn good memory.

  4. #4
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
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    Re: The both of them have gone missing!!!

    Not long ago, the word "OK" was considered low-class [Negro] dialect. Today, you started your diatribe about the deterioriation of the English language with that same word. In fact, if you read essays on language written since the seventeenth century, you'll see that grammarians have had the same concerns about language degradation that you've expressed.

    I'm irritated by many of the same things that bother you, (I'm having my 57th birthday in November) but I acknowledge that language will change of its own accord regardless of what you and I say or do.

    As Shakespeare said:

    "Let Hercules himself do what he may,
    cat will mew and dog will have his day."

  5. #5
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    DavyBCN is offline Member
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    Re: The both of them have gone missing!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by GrannyJules View Post
    Your response was not at all helpful. I know what both items mean...I'm just asking why suddenly these improper uses of our language are accepted and suddenly in such wide use! We don't sound very intelligent when we use these phrases. Another new one that sounds stupid is "my bad".
    I am a proponent of the "no tolerance" for bad grammar and these things annoy me no end. I am a 57 year old American, who graduated from high school with honors and I don't need definitions. For that I have a dictionary and a pretty darn good memory.
    If you look again at your original post it includes a number of questions. Perhaps this is why you have received very helpful and polite replies from other contributors. Perhaps you intended them to be rhetorical questions, but this was not made clear.

    As a relatively new user of this forum may I just point out that we are all here to help each other and debate things in a civilised way. There are often strong differences of view, but these are normally expressed in way which is not offensive to the other contributors. Unlike your second posting.
    Last edited by DavyBCN; 25-Aug-2006 at 23:31. Reason: spelling

  6. #6
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    Re: The both of them have gone missing!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by GrannyJules View Post
    OK I just used two phrases that drive me crazy when I hear them! Why, all of a sudden, is it acceptable to say, "the both" instead of "the two of them" and they've "gone missing" instead of "disappeared"? Both phrases sound wrong to me and I'm hearing them over and over in TV shows, even on the news and also on the radio. Do real people use these phrases? Are they correct usage or not?
    I feel like grammar has just fallen by the wayside in the last generation and nobody seems to care anymore about proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling. I have known many very intelligent people whose grammar is horrendous and they can't spell and don't care! What are the schools teaching our children?
    Do real people use these phrases? Yes, they do. Newspaper editors especially like the idiomatic phrase "went missing." And "A sudden and suspicious disappearance" is not the same as "disappear" or "missing." "Went missing" is more dramatic --more like "vanish.". Are they correct usage or not? "Went missing" is no more ungrammatical than "The milk went sour" or "It'll go bad by morning." "The both," as pointed out earlier, is dialectical (which is not the same thing as wrong) and generally reserved for conversation. That said, you are free not to use either of these phrases..[/QUOTE]

  7. #7
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Re: The both of them have gone missing!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by GrannyJules View Post
    I feel like grammar has just fallen by the wayside in the last generation and nobody seems to care anymore about proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling. I have known many very intelligent people whose grammar is horrendous and they can't spell and don't care! What are the schools teaching our children?
    Actually, Granny Jules, many schools are still teaching the same bad grammar that you were taught years ago. Read the following. It'll help you see what others in this thread mean.

    +++++++++++++++++

    HOW GRAMMARS OF ENGLISH HAVE MISSED THE BOAT

    THERE'S BEEN MORE FLUMMOXING THAN MEETS THE EYE


    Charles-James N. Bailey


    Consider the possibility that English grammar has been misanalysed for centuries because of grammarians’ accepting fundamentally flawed assumptions about grammar and, not least, because of a flawed view of the history of English; and that these failings have resulted in a huge disconnect between English grammars and the genius of the English that really exists among educated native-speakers.

    The development of the information age and of English as a world language means that such lapses have even greater negative import than formerly. But what is available on the shelves has fallen into sufficient discredit for grammar to have forfeited its place in the curriculum, unrespected and little heeded by the brighter students.

    http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:...d=1&lr=lang_en

    +++++++++++++++++++++

  8. #8
    Philly is offline Senior Member
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    Re: The both of them have gone missing!!!

    .
    Didn't go missing used to be considered "chiefly British?" Looks like we Yanks must have finally come around.
    .

  9. #9
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Re: The both of them have gone missing!!!

    Here's another short quote from Professor Bailey which points up how badly the prescriptive/traditional approach to grammar has failed.


    +++++++++++++++

    "Before proceeding, let me take note of the reason why grammar mystifies ordinary people and teachers of English: There is a great chasm or disconnect between what grammars say and what educated speakers of English do; it's unreal."

    http://www.orlapubs.com/AL/L9.html

    ++++++++++++++++++++

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