So I'm like, 'Who Needs This Grammar Stuff?' (Social Attitude toward Grammatical Errors Varies Greatly as the Language Becomes Less Formal)(2000 the Millennium Notebook)(Column)

By Hamilton, Kendall; Rhodes, Steve | Newsweek, October 20, 1997 | Go to article overview

So I'm like, 'Who Needs This Grammar Stuff?' (Social Attitude toward Grammatical Errors Varies Greatly as the Language Becomes Less Formal)(2000 the Millennium Notebook)(Column)


Hamilton, Kendall, Rhodes, Steve, Newsweek


THIS IS A SENTENCE THAT some people would not put up with. Those who take their grammar seriously frown upon sentences that end in prepositions, much as they spring to correct anybody who'd dare to casually split an infinitive. If you're the sort of person who might say "between you and I," look out. Newspaper columnist Mary Newton Bruder, perhaps better known as The Grammar Lady, is currently spearheading a campaign to help stop "personal-pronoun abuse," which may not be as serious a problem as, say, drug abuse, but which has ramifications nevertheless. "The situation has gotten out of hand," she writes on her Web page Stamp Out Bad Grammar. "If we don't stop it now, this travesty will become part of the standard language."

If Bruder and her fellow grammar cops seem a little touchy these days, they've got good reason. People are out to get themor at least ignore them. "Most of the grammar niles are already dead or dying," says Joseph Williams, a professor of English and linguistics at the University of Chicago. Students' language skills in general seem to be on the downswing, he says. "I used to say that every year, but I never really meant it until the last few years." Michael Manson, executive director of the northeast chapter of the Modern Language Association, predicts the demise of the apostrophe within 50 years. Today's students, he says, can't get the rules straight. "It's incomprehensible to them where and when to use them," he says.

Traditionalists will wring their hands, but if standard English mutates beyond recognition in the new millennium, not everyone will mourn it. "A lot of the rules governing good standard English are just folklore," says Williams. Many of today's grammatical conventions are relatively recent inventions, anyway. Shakespeare's name, for instance, used to be spelled a variety of ways with little fuss. After all, language is not like physics--there are no incontrovertible natural laws that govern it. "The Ivy League fretting about misuse of 'hopefully' has more to do with someone's idea of manners than with language and meaning," says Richard Lanham, a retired UCLA English professor. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

So I'm like, 'Who Needs This Grammar Stuff?' (Social Attitude toward Grammatical Errors Varies Greatly as the Language Becomes Less Formal)(2000 the Millennium Notebook)(Column)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.