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Dennis Baron's go-to site for language and technology in the news

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  • To those who want more grammar in school: Get off my lawn!

Comments Jul 7, 2015 8:23 am

I agree that many of the grammatical rules taught in school are arbitrary. Missing from your analysis, though, is the fact that, rightly or wrongly, socio-economic class and "proper" grammar have always been linked. An aspiring lawyer won't be successful with a statement such as "me and him are working on the case." Those in power (or more accurately, those who teach the children of those in power) set standards. That said, teaching "the naming of parts" (flat-earth) and prescriptive grammar do tend to drain the life out of language. In my teaching, I tried to show (and critique) both approaches, but I also emphasized that breaking the rules carries risk.

Reply to at 8:23 am