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The E-Sylum:  Volume 10, Number 19, May 13, 2007, Article 18

PENCE VS PENNY: LANGUAGE SHIFT UNDERWAY?

Kerry Rodgers writes: "I was interested in Ted Buttery's comment
concerning "pence" vs "penny".  I suspect we are keen observers of
a language shift happening before our eyes.

"I am very aware of the pedantic grammar that is allegedly involved,
but I noted that that bastion (on one side of the Atlantic) of
English-as-she-is-spoke, the BBC, referred to "one pence" at least
in its report.

"Try Googling "one pence".  You will get over 29,000 hits. These are
not all illiterate casual bloggers; far from it.  I suspect a shift
in usage is occurring.  I have seen the same in my lifetime in "data
is", now accepted in common parlance.  And poor old "disinterest" has
undergone a complete change in meaning over the last three decades.
This is English, an ever-growing vibrant language, not frozen Latin-like
in the past, or hide-bound by bureaucrats as is French.

"A Professor of English Language once pointed out to me that the only
correct English is that in current usage - whatever that might be."

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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