Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Stephen King (author of "The Shining") in his book "On Writing", writes:

American grammar doesn`t have the sturdiness of British grammar (a British advertising man with a proper education can make magazine copy for ribbed condoms sound like the Magna goddam Carta), but it has its own scruffy charm

I'm interested to know what King means by "sturdiness" here. Can anyone give some examples or more insight into what exactly King is talking about?

share|improve this question
1  
Wherever the quote is from, does he elaborate with further context? –  ShreevatsaR Sep 1 '10 at 4:40
    
@ShreevatsaR: I've added the source of the quote. –  delete Sep 1 '10 at 5:56
    
Thanks. I've taken the liberty of adding a link to the book. I was hoping the context may help understand what he meant, but there isn't much. Maybe it will help someone else, though. –  ShreevatsaR Sep 1 '10 at 6:35
    
The link doesn't work, you might need to be logged in or something. –  delete Sep 1 '10 at 9:04
1  
The link to p. 112 of the book, where the quote is from. It works for me, logged in or not. –  ShreevatsaR Sep 1 '10 at 12:39
show 3 more comments

1 Answer

Sturdy here is more about style, I think. He is saying that the British style sounds more formal to American ears so even simple ad copy seems important, like a piece of a legal document. King is also being a bit ironic by adding the mild swearword his example, as if to prove his point that American writers, like himself, are "scruffy" and "charming" because we don't take ourselves too seriously.

share|improve this answer
    
I don't think that is what he's talking about but I'll leave that open for debate. –  delete Sep 1 '10 at 10:35
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.