On Monday, I read a post in which the words “a couple things” appeared several times. The post was well written and I agreed with many of the points made by it’s author. However those few words “a couple things” set my teeth on edge. Surely the correct way to demonstrate that one is speaking of several things as opposed to a single object is to say “a couple of things” rather than “a couple things”? Apart from “a couple things” being grammatically incorrect, it strikes me as being somewhat lazy to omit one word “of” when writing “a couple things”. The amount of time saved by not including “of” is, surely so insignificant as to be unworthy of the effort entailed in so doing?
I have also seen the words “couple things” rendered with both the “a” and the “of” omitted. I struggle to understand why literate individuals would indulge in such lazy behaviour, but perhaps I am being unreasonable in my criticism?
I have no wish to single out either the individual or the article in question, hence no link is provided. I have, however come across the following discussion concerning “couple things”, https://painintheenglish.com/case/267/), in which some adhere to my view while others disagree. As always I would welcome my reader’s views.
I have read a number of articles dealing with personal attacks on authors. However I had not, until recently been subjected to such an attack. Before proceeding further I want to define clearly what I mean by the term “personal attack”. By personal attack I do not mean someone saying that they do not like my work when such views are expressed in a reasoned and measured manner. I don’t like all the books which pass through my hands. I have, however never criticised and/or insulted the author. The comments accompanying the below post do, in my view cross a line, http://newauthoronline.com/2013/10/12/bemused/#comments.
What I find particularly galling about the views expressed is the implied criticism of my books by a person who has not bothered to read them. If a reader dislikes my work after having read it then I must, of course respect their opinion even if I disagree with the assessment of the reviewer. The reviewer has taken the trouble to read my work rather than making sweeping statements about my “pretentsions to literary merit” without having opened my books.
Freedom of expression is vitally important, however I can not respect the views of a commenter who comments on my ability as a writer without having read any of the books written by me.