Share

The Convention: an argument for grammar

The Convention: an argument for grammar
Blogs

The Convention: an argument for grammar7

Fundraising | Celina Ribeiro | 3 Jul 2009

Celina Ribeiro unleashes her non-conventional fury at the grammatical faux pas of convention...

I had thought this would ease with time, but I was wrong.

I was going to keep quiet, but Jonathon Grapsas' new blog post has unleashed the fury.  Be warned: it is a trivial fury.

Last year I was disoriented in the weeks leading up to the Institute of Fundraising National Convention as people would constantly farewell me with adieus such as "see you at Convention". They would say things like "the lunch queues are very long at Convention", "I met my third husband at Convention" and the like.

Never would they use the word "the". 

Has our time become so sparse that now we have to abandon the word "the" in basic conversation I wondered? But this hip-shortening was omnipresent.  Although it is a convention, noone ever referred to it as the convention. Just convention. Always.

Let me here and now wage a campaign for the word "the".  As far as I can gather, the word 'Convention' is a noun. I have even been so generous in this blog as to make it a proper noun. And, as a noun - proper or otherwise - Convention demands a definite article. It demands "the".

I have now used the word "the" 11 times in this blog, thus proving my point that it is a critical feature of the English language. In our frenzied lead up to three days of seminars, 'Inspiration Shows' and buffet lunches, let us not abandon that which makes our language a thing of beauty. Let us together make a stand for "the".

Raj
6 Jul 2009

Celina i think you need one of these t-shirts http://shop.cafepress.com/grammar

 

Mathew Iredale
6 Jul 2009

I agree wholeheartedly. This sort of thing really gets my goat. It's the same with the Notting Hill Carnival which has, for the last few years, referred to itself simply as Carnival. It's just ostentation, pure and simple. Is the upcoming convention the only one? No. Is it even the only fundaising convention? No. It's just another example of ill-thought out branding/marketing. If anyone asks, I shall be speaking at THE convention - so there!

Vibeka Mair
6 Jul 2009

I disagree. When something becomes very dear and is a tradition for a high number of people it's perfectly acceptable for the definite article to be done away with.

Take church ie. Are you going to church? Not are you going to THE church?

I'm hope you are having fun at Convention, Celina x

 

Peter Andrews
3 Jul 2009

Agreed!!!

Howard Lake
3 Jul 2009

May the definite article rule indefinitely. I should also argue for jussive subjunctives, since I have just used one.

Celina Ribeiro
3 Jul 2009

I thank you for your support.

With support gathering on Twitter, it seems a critical mass may finally return the definite article to its rightful place. Why is it that we have remained silent so long?

Tania Mason
3 Jul 2009

Celina, shouldn't it be: "Why is it that we have remained silent FOR so long?" or did you mean "Why is it that we have remained silent? So long."

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Celina Ribeiro

Celina Ribeiro is the editor of Fundraising magazine and daily contributor to CivilSociety.co.uk.

Follow Celina @Celina_Ribeiro_

Celina Ribeiro (94) Niki May Young (36) Jonathon Grapsas (30) Michael Naidu (23) Kirsty Weakley (21) Adrian Beney (20) Andrew Scadding (20) Andrew Chaggar (17) Vibeka Mair (15) Jonathan Waddingham (15)
Suzie Who (15) David Philpott (14) Robert Ashton (12) Tania Mason (11) Jenna Pudelek (9) David Burrows (8) Alistair McLean (7) Leon Ward (7) Beth Yorath (6) Tobin Aldrich (6) Stephen Pidgeon (5) Reuben Turner (5) Rowena Lewis (5) Mark Astarita (4) Lucy Caldicott (4) Tony Elischer (4) Joe Saxton (4) Tod Norman (4) Ian Clark (4) David Ainsworth (4) Alan Gosschalk (3) Richard Radcliffe (3) Pauline Broomhead (3) Jeremy Swain (3) Gordon Hunter (3) Ingrid Marson (3) Lisa Clavering (3) Adam Rothwell (2) Beth Breeze (2) Matthew Bowcock (2) Cathy Pharoah (2) Ian MacQuillin (2) Tris Lumley (2) John Tate (2) Garreth Spillane (2) Liz Tait (2) Chester Mojay-Sinclare (2) Allan Freeman (2) Claire Routley (2) Alice Sharman (2) Making Good: The Future of the Voluntary Sector (2) Lindsay Boswell (1) Victoria Cook (1) David Davison (1) Bill Lewis (1) Giles Pegram (1) Jo Swinhoe (1) Derek Humphries (1) Alan Clayton (1) Stephen George (1) Andy Taylor (1) Gordon Michie (1) Chris Ingram (1) Martin Farrell (1) Morag Fleming (1) Matt Goody (1) Paul Farthing (1) Jackie Mendoza (1) Max Du Bois (1) Alan Hawkes (1) Ken Burnett (1) Ian Allsop (1) Martin Brookes (1) Tesse Akpeki (1) Anne Moynihan (1) Sara Llewellin (1) Rupert Tappin (1) Julia Unwin (1) Jessica Sklair (1) Scott Gray (1) Stephen Hammersley (1) Keith Collins (1) Joe Jenkins (1) Peter O'Hara (1) Debbie Attwood (1) Joanna Motion (1) Paul Marvell (1) Amanda McLean (1) Jason Suckley (1) Paul Amadi (1) Imogen Ward (1) June O'Sullivan (1) Kath Abrahams (1) Peter Lewis (1) Dan Corry (1) Douglas Rouse (1) Belinda Pratten (1) Jonathan Last (1) Jenni Cahill (1) Paul Emery (1) Marcelle Speller (1) Nick Aldridge (1) Philip Spedding (1) Tom Latchford (1) Sir David Varney (1) Liam Barrington-Bush (1) Lucy Gower (1) Jeff Brooks (1) Vicki Prout (1) Dawn Austwick (1) Dan Thompson (1) Steven George-Hilley (1) Emma-Lynn Houghton (1) Peter Horah (1) Neelam Makhijani (1) George Matafonov (1) Marcus Missen (1) Denise Lillya (1) Jaz Nannar (1) Ali Stunt (1) Robin Fisk (1) Gillian Claugher (1) Lynne McMahon (1) Emma Callagher (1) Angharad McKenzie (1) Raj Rajukumar (1) Eudora Pratt (1)
Less +++ More +++

Regulation rules

3 Dec 2014

NCVO and Acevo are both reviewing the Charity Commission, but there’s no suggestion of one-upmanship,...

Asserting our real value

2 Dec 2014

The sector is selling itself short in allowing money to dominate everything we do, believes Kathy Evans.

'Tescoisation' of the charity sector - take two?

1 Dec 2014

Andrew Hind warns that the the charity sector is not immune from the pressures that have led to disreputable...

Media scrutiny of the charity sector in 2014

12 Dec 2014

Civil Society News is bringing you a festive countdown in the run-up to Christmas. On the seventh day...

Society Diary: Charity cash spent on teeth, troubles over Tony Blair, and being rude to fundraisers

5 Dec 2014

Our weekly round-up of outlandish and interesting information collected from the corners of the charity...

Society Diary: The best loo joke, the typical charity fan, and the Guide Dogs fundraiser sacked for sight problems

21 Nov 2014

Our weekly round-up of outlandish and interesting information collected from the corners of the charity...

Free eNews