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Thursday, February 5, 2009

For Free

I’m all for free offers, but I cringe when I hear something is “for free.” The day after the Super Bowl, TV reporters were alerting viewers to Denny’s Grand Slam Breakfast offer. “Between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. today,” they said, “Denny’s is giving Grand Slam Breakfasts for free.”

But TV doesn’t have exclusive rights to the “for free” phrase. A local auto dealer promises if a buyer purchases a new car, he can take a second car (dealer’s choice) “for free.” On and on it goes.

If something is offered without charge, it is free, not “for free.” The word “for” is unnecessary and simply another example of how abuse of the English language is spreading like wildfire. Perhaps we should create a new word, “grammarcide,” to identify the murder of grammar.

The Bible teaches that salvation is free. Romans 6:23 and Ephesians 2:8 and 9 identify it as a divinely bestowed gift. We should share this good news with the whole world, but I hope pastors don’t start telling people God offers salvation “for free.” Let’s not implicate God in the murder of grammar!

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