Know Your Enemy: THE ANTI BRIGADE


The new enemy of the English language: the Brigade of people who speak English well but fail to use this knowledge as a mallet with which to badger others and join self-important organisations! (In summary: the QES are complaining about being complained about.)

Every ying has its yang, and the positive noble complaining of the language czars the Queen’s English Society has sadly been cancelled out by a larger group of negative complainers called the “Anti Brigade”!   This brigade consists of a few angry, alienated peasants: authors, teachers, language professors and columnists stroke comedians who for no apparent reason dislike the Queen’s English Society even though the QES is only trying to help!    But the Anti Brigade will never make any impact – the Queen’s English Society have dedicated their home-page to making sure that everyone knows how little impact they'll make.


The ‘anti brigade’, are a strange group of people, often quite well educated themselves, but appear to be against others who strive to achieve. They seemingly have no knowledge of why the QES exists and what we seek to do.” (QES homepage)

I bet the anti-brigade would point out the typo in that sentence too!   So, this is who we must oppose: those people who stifle knowledge by 
not even agreeing with the QES!   If you find the Queens English Society snobbish or uninformed or bad at English, there is a reason for this: youre a fool.  They are on an higher intellectual plane that doesnt require knowledge of linguistics; you simply have to feel” the correctness of your argument, and invent grammatical rules as you go along.   One such innovation is the superfluous comma, which is now a QES Rule and not an error as previously stated!  So, what is the QES?


The QES is by nature a prescriptivist organisation, because to adopt a wholly descriptivist approach, would render our existence to be meaningless. Put very simply, we refuse as a nation to adopt the word ‘sidewalk’ when there is already a perfectly good word – pavement, nicely settled in our language.” (QES homepage)

This changes everything!    Until now I hadn
t realised that this was the QESs sole cause, as they hadnt put it clearly.  But this badly-written explanation makes it clear: THEY OPPOSE THE WORD SIDEWALK... and that is all!  It isnt an example.  All they believe is that Brits should not say sidewalk.  If this had been the main focus of their campaign last year, maybe they wouldn
t have had to shut down their English Academy due to criticism and mockery from Brits.  (And some Americans, for some reason.)

I dare say most English men and -wimyn could support this campaign: the Anti-Sidewalk Society? No, that acronyms too American. Id prefer the Arsociation to Rebuff Sidewalk in England.  At any rate, none of us say sidewalk, so... victory to the Queens English Society!  Its over, the QES have achieved their aim!  Please disband.

Thats an example of freezing” a language.   Because we know our word pavement is superior, the QES heroically intervened to stop the language from changing.  They also want schools to be more 50s-like, and they dislike most new words. Freezing time as it was in 1953 is a great pursuit, one very close to the hearts of QESsers, who know that a word can only become Standard English when it is accepted by the Educated People; that is, the QES, who will never accept it!  Get it out of my sight!

The Anti Brigade, on the other hand...

They appear to actually believe that anyone can simply freeze the language at a given time and leave it in that state indefinitely.” (QES homepage)

Yes!  This is the king of all accusations.  Accuse your accuser of the thing he accuses YOU of!   Like when you (a man) have caught another man in your bed, bonking your wife.  You shout, “He’s bonking my wife!”, and he gives the logical response, “No, YOU are bonking MY wife!”
It’s a great response, albeit nonsensical: no Anti Brigade members that I met at the Anti Brigade AGM wanted to freeze anything, while the QES have had to fend off the accusation constantly, as they appear to actually believe that they can split infinitives and freeze the language in time – by, say, rallying against “sidewalk”.

Here the Queen’s English Society have written themselves into something of a cul-de-sac, but there is a way out!  If they want to prove that THEY aren’t the Anti Brigade, they will have to support linguistic change, and support SIDEWALK!  All things considered, it’s a pretty logical word: side, walk, etc.  It existed in 1739, before America gained independence, making it a British word.  Furthermore, if I may use a meaningless platitude, it is so much more elegant than “pavement”, which is the word used by Cockneys!  Urgh.

Sidewalk is therefore the only word suitable for the refined speaker of The English.   And, until the Queen’s English Society realise this, I’m afraid I’ll have to believe that the Anti Brigade is them.



Related links

Sergei Eisenstein was wrong: some actions do not cause an equal reaction, but a reaction that is really great.  Like the Anti Queen’s English Society, which opposes the QES’s agenda. How silly! Since they got rid of their English Academy due to its being awful, the QES haven’t really got a raison d’être, or even a modus operandi!  How can this Anti-QES be against something that is barely even there?!
Also, Stan Carey’s deconstruction of the QES was probably the strongest statement against it in 2010, and certainly the most linguistically-informed. Then, in a follow-up article this month, he risked handing legitimacy to the Anti-QES and the Proper English Foundation by calling us “enjoyable”, which was very kind of him but it’s not meant to be enjoyable, dear boy! Patronising people is a serious business. We’ve got Stan Carey’s blog if we want to enjoy language...


Now on to the HEROES! >
Full enemies list

See also:

The Anti Brigade spray not water, but reasoned arguments.  It will take more than that to silence my langua-rage!  [pd]

































This is what a British sidewalk looks like. [pd]
 

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