Cringe-worthy speech

grammarpolice

I excelled in grammar and spelling when I was in school and it took me YEARS to beat the compulsion to correct others’ poor spelling and grammar (I later discovered there is a term for someone who has the urge to correct others in this way but I can’t find it now, other than  grammar Nazi ).

I still inwardly cringe when I hear  “it don’t ” or “me and him”  for example (and don’t get me started on the misuse of your/you’re, there/their/they’re and the like!)  But it seems to me that as languages evolve (or maybe devolve), what was once incorrect becomes acceptable simply due to excessive use.

The English language is spoken in so many ways–different dialects and accents, flavored with ethnicities and cultures from everywhere. It’s like a living entity; constantly growing and changing, and hard as I tried to retain every rule of grammar I learned, I find myself slipping into flawed speech that apparently is becoming acceptable.

Being a lover of both words and history, I have often wondered, “who decides the spelling of words anyway? Who set up these grammatical rules in the first place?” Yes, I am a big nerd.

Sadly, I hear we aren’t teaching children to write in cursive anymore. That’s a sign of the times, I suppose (another nerdy fact I learned was that cursive was used in the days of ink-dripping quill pens, to prevent the ink from making ugly blots on the paper). But are we even trying to teach proper grammar anymore?

It’s just in keeping with the transformation of language through time, I tell myself.

I have to tell myself that and accept it or I’ll drive myself nuts!

 

One thought on “Cringe-worthy speech

  1. In some circles, it is considered elitist and “snobbish” to use correct grammar when speaking. I grew up in such an area. Especially nowadays, fewer and fewer people seem to think it’s important. We are all about focusing on STEM in our schools, and the arts, humanities, and languages have taken a back seat, unfortunately.

    Like

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