A new look for English grammar:

The U.S. Grammar Guild Monday announced that no more will traditional grammar rules English follow. Instead there will a new form of organizing sentences be.

U.S. Grammar Guild according to, the new structure loosely on an obscure 800-year-old, pre-medieval Anglo-Saxon syntax is based. The syntax primarily verbs, verb clauses and adjectives at the end of sentences placing involves. Results this often, to ears American, a sentence backward appearing.

“Operating under we are, one major rule,” said Joyce Watters, president of the U.S. Grammar Guild. “Make English, want we, more archaic and dignified sounding to be, as if every word coming from the tongue of a centuries-old, mystical wizard, is.”

I this supporting am. Language change must!

(Link this plep via is.)


  1. SOV! SOV! SOV!
    It’s been years since I looked at the rules about prepositions and post-positions with relation to dominant word order in sentences… but some of the above looks kinda wrong to me, somehow. Would modals really move like that?

  2. Mark Twain on The Awful German Language:
    “The trunks being now ready, he DE- after kissing his mother and sisters, and once more pressing to his bosom his adored Gretchen, who, dressed in simple white muslin, with a single tuberose in the ample folds of her rich brown hair, had tottered feebly down the stairs, still pale from the terror and excitement of the past evening, but longing to lay her poor aching head yet once again upon the breast of him whom she loved more dearly than life itself, PARTED.”
    And from a past Hat:
    which includes The Society for Strengthening Verbs:
    (Some examples by me: “He dang his fender yesterday, but nobody core.” “He had corne for his aged mother for many years”. “I have never chorne a meeting before”.)
    Now, if we worked this out to book-length, and then translated one of Jane Austen’s novels, for example, into correctly-Teutonic English, we’d have a real weapon to use in the battle against multiculturalism.

  3. Weapon? You mean a big heavy book with razor-sharp unthumbed pages?

  4. Going Dotty in Kansas says

    What ho! So be am I that we all nobly speak as wizards to-ken now heartened! About time it is.

  5. Dotty — the past tense of “talk” is “tolkien”.

  6. You tolkien to me? Huh? You tolkien to me?

  7. This all sounds a lot like Yoda-speak to me.

  8. German again sounding like it does, na ja?
    Go figure, English being Germanic.

  9. Thank goodness Canadian I am, and this so-called US Grammar Guild ignore I can.

  10. Sounds like a tolkein effort to me.

  11. Hey this reminds me to ask, shamelessly hijacking the thread, if any of you have read “House of Shadows and Fog” — the narrative voice of the Persian character constructs his sentences in a nonstandard way in order to demonstrate that he is not fluent in English; some of his statements sound like they came from the U.S. Grammar Guild. It seems pretty stilted to me and I was wondering how accurately it represents a native Farsi speaker’s accent. The only Iranian expatriates I have known were quite fluent in English so I don’t really have a good base for comparison.

  12. s/b “House of Sand and Fog”

  13. So, if we all start talking like this, we” find it easier to learn Turkish?

  14. I think this is wrong, and just made up to sound funny. It’s inconsistent. Just one example is that sometimes prepositions are made into postpositions (“U.S. Grammar Guild is Watters president of”) but most of the time they’re not (“many Americans about the new plan upset are”).
    Also, just look at this sentence: “Brief pause Watters made then a.” If this is supposed to be SOV, then it should obviously be something like “Watters a brief pause made.” Why on earth would the object NP be first, but with its determiner at the end of the sentence? The author just took the English sentence and scrambled it with no thought about constituency or what they just said the syntax was like.

  15. Oops, I copied the wrong sentence from the article; I should have copied the one immediately before it. My first quote should be “Announces to reporters Joyce Watters grammar rules new English for.”
    I should not be up at 2 in the morning.

  16. Me you tolkien to? Me you tolkien to?
    … I say old chap, is it me you’re talking to?

  17. Uh, Rachel, it’s the Onion! Now, get some sleep, OK?

  18. I’m reminded of my Pennsylvania Dutch great-grandparents, who used to come up with delightful Teutonic constructions like “Throw your daddy down the stairs his coat.”

  19. I thought this syntax would be familiar to all readers of Time magazine: “Backward ran sentences until reeled the mind.”

  20. This has been going around for years and has gotten old. I don’t want LanguageHat to essentially be the blog equivalent of a chain-mail forwarding teenager. Please stick to fresh content.

  21. Your money will be refunded upon request.

  22. scarabaeus stercus says

    go for the whole hog: no half measures then we can have esperanto si
    this I supportingami. Languagethe changemustit!

  23. Makes me think of Wolcott Gibbs’s great profile of Henry Luce: “Backward ran sentences until reeled the mind.”

  24. Duplication. Sorry.

  25. Blinger, I once deeply offended a Star Wars-worshipping retail clerk by quoting the old saw, “If Yoda so smart is, why can he not words in the right order put?” You’ve got to be careful with those people.

  26. It’s your language, so do your worst, US-ers! Just leave us toffee-nosed Brits out of it. We treat our prepositions as we do the lower classes – we expect them to know their rightful place. And stay there.

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