A few days ago I was reading an academic paper on the art of reviewing literary works. It was in the public library collection. Then I visited a website and read some of the reviews written by the reviewers to correct the aspiring writers.Then and there I wrote the paper which follows:
My Reviewer Friend
By Raja sir
What I have generally observed is that the native speakers of a particular language take it for granted that they have a better right over their language than the non native speakers. They forget that there may be many other places where the same language is spoken and written in a very different style. The native speakers believe that their use of language is correct but actually it is not so. They say so because the prescriptive grammar teaches them to do so and they never pay attention to the descriptive use of language which falls into the study area of linguistics. In schools they are taught that commas should be placed at this point and that point, articles should be used in this way or that way, the spacing should be provided here and there and so on. What I have observed in past 30 years is that most of the Nobel Prizes in literature have gone to the outsiders, if I may say so.
Last week a learned friend of mine came to meet me. He has the dubious honor of being the author of some books which are sold $10 or 15 a copy. He was discussing with some people about the proper use of language. He is a good writer of stories but has hardly ever read the English giants. There is one more friend who is a kind of teasing clown. He came with a piece of printed paper and requested my learned friend to review the following lines:
Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability. Their chief use for delight, is in privateness and retiring; for ornament, is in discourse; and for ability, is in the judgment, and disposition of business. For expert men can execute, and perhaps judge of particulars, one by one; but the general counsels, and the plots and marshalling of affairs, come best, from those that are learned.
The review was like this: improper and excessive use of commas, spacing not proper, and semicolons not required.....................
My clown friend simply said, “Sir, this is the opening paragraph of the essay “Of Studies” by Francis Bacon...”
( I hope my learned friends must have got a very clear message that I want to convey through this humorous episode. If commas and spaces could win the laurel, all the grammarians would be the winners of Nobels, Bookers and Pulitzers.)