dory wrote:I do want to make it clear to non-native speakers of English that at least for me, grammatical errors made by people whose first language is other than English are not an irritant at all.
I am 99.9% with you, but I draw the line at "more better" and its only slightly less grating brothers and sisters like "more darker, more bigger".
Here in Singapore, we must have a linguist's paradise in which several Chinese languages (Mandarin, Cantonese,Hokkien, Hakka...), Malay, Tamil and English have been stewing together for centuries. The upside is that many native Singaporeans have a remarkable ability to communicate in very different languages. The downside is that many of those people speak no language well. As a result, year after year I encounter bright undergraduates who have studied and socialized in English all their lives and yet use phrases like "more better". (On the other hand, I just now realize that I have never heard one of these students use "incentivize", for which they must be congratulated!)
Over a semester-long course, I always manage to sneak in 10 minutes on English usage. This is a dangerous endeavour as I realize that I could easily come across as a snob at best, and a colonialist at worst. But I try to deliver it with good humour, and I must say that the students are always very gracious. We all have a good laugh, and some even ask me for copies of my little list of common errors in English usage. I think it helps that I begin my little spiel with an acknowledgement that my grasp of Asian languages ranges from non-existent to barely existent. I hope I also note that I have been studying/using French for years and continue to make very basic errors. My plans for retirement, which now seems dangerously close, include improving (a) my classical guitar playing, and (b) my French.