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The Convention: an argument for grammar

The Convention: an argument for grammar
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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."

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Celina Ribeiro

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

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