What’s happened to grammar these days?

Are you like me, do you cringe whenever you see a misspelled or improperly placed word on television graphics? There seems to be a lot of that going around. Doesn’t anybody spell or fact check any more?

I wonder how the English language is taught these days. Proper vocabulary and grammar were drilled into me and my contemporaries all during high school ‘way back in the early ’70s. I learned that proper oral and written language skills represented me well when I entered the workforce, and I took a certain amount of pride in expressing myself intelligently. Coarse words and poor grammar don’t belong; think of how they make you look to your reader or your listener.

The collapse of civility in language reflects the collapse of civility in everyday life. We don’t care enough to take the time to spell check or fact check; the speed with which we get those words on the screen or on the page matters most. Just like every other aspect of modern life. Beat the other guy to the traffic light, do whatever it takes to win or keep that client. I know I’m living in la la land, but can’t we just slow down, take a deep breath and pay attention? The world needs some gentility.

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2 Responses to What’s happened to grammar these days?

  1. Theresa Lugo says:

    I found your blog on Writes Digest and read several of your articles. Your blog has caught my interest enough to reply. First, I have to admit that my grammar skills lack finesse but completely agree about the collapse of our language. I try to recognize when my children my make excellent word choices and it has now become a game. Each of them tries to have the best word of the day.
    My point is that “good” language starts at home. There is time when my house of six is completely quiet. Everyone is home but the kids are texting or on the computer.
    The art of speaking has deteriorated with the inception of social networks. We (Americans) are more involved in each other’s business electronically that we no longer partake in physical relationships.
    There needs to be less technology standing in the way of articulate and personal communication.

  2. Elizabeth Maginnis says:

    I agree wholeheartedly that good language skills begin at home. Love your “best word of the day” game and would like to borrow the idea to use with my granddaughters when they’re old enough (both are still infants at the moment).

    I also wonder how English is taught in school these days. Even though I hated the exercise at the time, sentence diagramming in elementary school really prepared me well for a writing career.

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