Saturday, February 12, 2011
The Rules of Grammar: What Purpose Do They Really Serve?
Every day in classrooms across America, children and adults alike are instructed in the fine art of grammar, the speaking, usage, and writing of the English language in its "proper" form. "Between him and me is what you really meant to say," you can hear an instructor of Standardized American English (SAE) saying, " . . . not "he and I." But, what makes one word choice "correct" while another is not? In a word, PRESCRIPTION. And whether you label it "tradition," "standards," or just "the way of educated people," it boils down to one group of people establishing the "proper" way to communicate for another. And from the anthropological perspective, it’s just another means of establishing societal dominance and class distinctions, and most often results in accomplishing little more than erasing cultural identity. Read more . . .