Asked • 07/29/19

Is the expression 'too much, too young' grammatically acceptable?

I'm happy to see that grammar is being seen as important enough to be taught in English schools ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22403731 ) again. I think. At least it might improve some people's dating prospects, according to the article.In the above article appears:> The Idler magazine's Bad Grammar Awards recently named and shamed a> letter by academics for saying that the national curriculum demanded> "too much, too young" - thus confusing an adjective and an adverb.There is a reasonable amount of evidence online that the expression is acceptable, however, and one could argue that "too much, too young" could be considered a shortened (and punchier) form of "[they are (being) expected to do] too much [(-/,) while they are still] too young". 'They married young' is quite widely used and sounds acceptable to me - of course, this expression can fairly be analysed as 'link-like verb + adjective' without having to consider *young* as a flat adverb.When expressions achieve idiomatic status, of course, traditional grammar is no longer a controlling factor - *by and large* coordinates a preposition and an adjective.Is the *Idler*'s criticism justified here?

1 Expert Answer

By:

Michael B. answered • 08/12/19

Tutor
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Adjunct Professor of English, Over a Decade of Tutoring Experiance

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