To Forbid, Or Not To Forbid, There Is No Question: Never From

Filed under:Language Barrier,Need a Good Editor? — posted by Anwyn on March 15, 2008 @ 7:37 pm

Seen frequently on the blogs of incredibly smart people who shall not be linked: “…forbidden from [doing something here … whatever kind of something you wish, be it innocent, salacious, carefree, what have you]”. You can’t forbid people from doing something; you can only forbid them to do it and hope they listen and punish them markedly when they don’t.

Don’t these people remember their childhoods? “Little Jimmy Blogger, I absolutely FORBID YOU TO ride your bike in the irrigation canal … Little Sarah Blogger, I positively FORBID YOU TO unravel all of that doll’s hair … Little Tommy Blogger, your father has FORBIDDEN YOU TO speak to him that way …”

I couldn’t guess how this one got started. But it needs to end before it spreads farther. I forbid you to do it. So there.

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace