Saturday, January 29, 2011

"Bring" and "Take": Perspective and Point of View...

One of the most misused pair of verbs in our language is "bring" and "take." During my years of teaching, I was constantly baffled by the constant abuse of these two words by students and colleagues alike. Often, I'd hear a teacher instruct a student to "bring the attendance sheet down to the office." That would be perfectly correct IF the teacher were in the office and talking to the student who was in another part of the building. Later, the teacher might announce: "Be sure to bring your book home tonight to review for tomorrow's test." Again, had the teacher been issuing this friendly reminder from the students' homes, he/she would be absolutely correct.

It has always seemed clear to me that the distinction between "bring" and "take" lies in the perspective or POINT OF VIEW of the speaker. If one remembers that "take" is associated with "going" and "bring" is associated with "coming," there really shouldn't be so many misuses of the pair. Of course, I was an English teacher and more tuned in to these kinds of things, but I never quite understood--and still can't--why more speakers and writers of English are so cavalier in their approach to the rules of language. And there's the world of texting and communicating over the Internet, that has seemed to make traditional rules of language usage, punctuation, and spelling things of the past. Call me a dinosaur, but I believe there is still a place for doing it the right way--spoken or written! Perhaps that's the main theme of this blog. 

If something is worth writing, it's worth writing it correctly! Our journey down the road of language usage--and "mis"-usage will continue...MLA

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