Between changes in educational laws, curriculum, technology, and coursework, it can be argued that grammar is becoming less and less important. Or rather, less taught. Between all the standardized tests that must bet met and growing sources of electronics, teachers (and their students) have little time to think about whether or not the Oxford is the only comma. After all, there are grants at stake and texts to be sent. Who has time to consider spelling and sentence structure when school years are lengthened along with requirements?
Somewhere in the past few years, English courses took a strict turn, where aspects such as cursive writing, sentence structure, and grammar saw a great trim down within public schools. Other aspects, such as texting – which is often done with improper spelling and numbers – auto-correct, and spell check also take away from proper English.
As for public signs, menus, and social media – it’s as though grammar never even existed. Apostrophes have gotten a serious promotion – they’re used twice as often as they should be, as are quotation marks, double and single, and ellipses – synonyms are often confused, and does no one read their posts out loud? It’s enough to make grammar enthusiasts scream.
It’s even been suggested that certain grammar rules should be ignored altogether. By everyone except the Brits.
Why is Everyone so Aloof?
These rule breakers, whether or not they know what they’re doing, are putting a serious damper on the English language. Sure our rules are sometimes irrational and downright hard to follow. But they’re still ours and they make the written word make sense. So why does everyone want to throw them out the window? (Whether or not it’s a conscious decision.)
Perhaps it’s because they can’t seem to keep track of them after grade school, they break them because everyone else does, or maybe they just don’t care. But for whatever reason, in today’s standards frequent grammar errors seem to be the norm.
Other grammar lovers and myself can only hope folks will see the error in their ways, soon running toward proper grammar with open arms. Where correct spelling is as celebrated as the hashtag and emoticon. But even if that doesn’t happen, we just can’t let grammar die from our schools, our education, or even our mindsets. It’s far too important.