CONGRATULATIONS to Jimmie Macgregor (Letters, October 7) for his gathering of grammatical gaffes. He certainly nailed some of the most commonly heard culprits which are wince-producing and seem to emanate from the lips of those who ought to know better. Or, should it now be “to better know” if the increasing use of the split infinitive continues to insert itself unwelcomely into our everyday language? Children, of course, pick up those incorrect usages but discernment usually comes with growing maturity and an environment where they are not present. Also, it's long been recognised that youngsters have a playground discourse and vocabulary that differ from the way they speak at home. At a young age children can grapple logically with our quirky language, following linguistic rules until they come up against inconsistencies - for example, some past tenses of irregular verbs such as “to buy” saying “buyed” instead of “bought'”or “to swim” saying “swimmed” instead of “swam/swum”. These are natural mistakes in language development which adjust in due course as they hear the correct forms in everyday speech, unlike the unwelcome omnipresent howlers they may hear relentlessly from a host of sources.

I thought, mistakenly, that the letters to your pages concerning faulty grammar and the slow creep of its invasively pernicious forms into everyday language had dwindled, until Jimmie touched a nerve with his timely observations. You could have devoted a whole Macgregor's Gathering to the subject, Jimmie.

Craig Wishart,

Brackenrig Crescent, Eaglesham.

ANENT Jimmie Macgregor’s amusing letter on grammar, between you and me, I enjoyed it very much.

Alan M Morris,

20 Kirkhouse Road, Blanefield, Glasgow.