Wednesday, February 12th, 2014
This morning it was pointed out to me that somewhere I’ve written the phrase “for all intensive purposes” instead of “for all intents and purposes.” A fair enough comment had it not been a personal attack over a private matter. Hey, I write rapid unedited blog posts and rant on Twitter. My journalism qualifications are hardly in evidence.
First, let’s deal with the phrase “for all intensive purposes” being considered an idiotic error that pushes me into the unfathomable bowels of illiteracy (in a country where around half the population are functionally illiterate and/or innumerate).
So, while it’s not the grammatically correct “for all intents and purposes” that you learned in High School this comes down to the evolution of language over time. Remember, dictionaries follow language use and not the other way around. There aren’t a set of rules that are immutable or we’d be talking and writing in a Middle Ages dialect. Only a few centuries ago the English language was vastly different to the ear from our current understanding.
So (a) I don’t really give a shit about pedants (b) let alone pedants with a personal motivation (c) or pedants who couldn’t be fucked reading a book to be sure they were on firm ground.