Language Superiority and Grammar

I love grammar. I love the mathematical, quantitative ability it has to completely turn a pile of garbage sentence into something legible and worth reading. This isn’t to say I’m necessarily good at it, or even enjoy the task of editing the work I have written, but I understand and appreciate the art that is grammar.

In a Huffington Post article by author and grammar freak Willam B. Bradshaw, the necessity of grammar is explored in a universal context. English is the official language of the United Nations, and is spoken relatively predominately around the world. In Bradshaw’s eyes, the stronger a set of grammatical rules are in a language, the easier it is to learn and practice. 

I agree with Bronté’s blog post analysis of the teaching of grammar, in that the primary education system did not prepare me for the shitstorm that was Peter Roccia’s introductory grammar class. I never learned how to effectively polish my own work, and as a result, I am an anxious writer who fears making mistakes in my first draft at the risk of having to edit the hell out of — and sometimes rewrite altogether — large chunks of text (I’ve already done this three times in the composition of this blog post).

But I get the emphasis that is placed on grammar, especially in communications-related fields. As communicators, we are looked up to as authority figures for our language, as gatekeepers who either publish good writing or trash. We set the standard for good English and we hold this standard because it is a universal language, and we want to always strengthen it so our messages are received clearly and correctly. We slave over chunks of text because we know that what we say should match how we say it. Like Marshall MacLuhan said, our media is our message. Grammar is still important in the age of social media because we have the ability to connect with the world. Our superior worldwide communication gives us this responsibility.

– Shaleigh


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