Saturday, December 13, 2014


Why is it every time an expert is consulted about the rules of grammar or spelling, they almost always follow their explanations with a disclaimer along the lines of: “Language is constantly changing so it's perfectly all right to say whatever you like and spell any old way.” If this is an effort to save people embarrassment, it’s painfully misguided because it only fosters ignorance and confusion.

Yes, language is a living thing and does evolve as we can easily see in constantly changing swearing and slang, but everybody wants to communicate eloquently and effectively, whether we’re rappers, used car sellers, teachers, inspirational speakers or best-selling writers. And to do this we
not only need talent and inspiration but a solid knowledge of good grammar and, for writers and taggers, correct spelling. 

We know we’re all judged by how we speak and write, by our accents, our choice of words and the expressions we use. Bad grammar and spelling is dangerous, it can cause bosses not to hire us, potential friends to take us for illiterate ignoramuses
and grandmothers to be eaten. And often this judgment happens without our knowledge because it’s considered offensive to correct someone’s grammar. Frankly I’m offended if my grammar and spelling aren’t corrected.

Grammar and spelling are supposedly taught in schools but so many people are confused or ignorant of the rules by the time they need them in real life we wonder what the hell they do teach in schools. If grammar can be got consistently wrong it can be corrected and got consistently right. The same mistakes are so prevalent that it seems they are what are being taught in schools: 

If I HAD done it not If I WOULD HAVE done it.
I feel BAD not badly 
I LIE on the floor now not  I LAY on the floor now. 
ANY MORE is used only with a negative: I don't do that any more.
The difference between TAKE and BRING (Bring it to me then take it away.) 
WHO usually refers to people, THAT to things.

There are rules and we need to know them before we can flout them. So, grammaticists, grammaticians, grammarians, just give us the rules already so we can choose for ourselves when and how to deliberately misuse language for fun.


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