Some of my closest friends will tell you that even as a young child I was correcting their grammar. In fact, I recall being 4 and sitting at the table eating lunch with my neighbor (6 mos young than me) and telling her to stop saying “ain’t” and to close her mouth while she ate. I also remember being irritated when she said she had to “pee” and told her she should try saying “go to the bathroom.”
It’s not my fault I’m this way… I am the youngest of 5 children and have been influenced by well spoken adults my whole life. I do not claim to be a grammatical genius by any means. I am very self-conscious of my writing and spend a great deal of time reviewing anything I publish. I can’t spell and in the past have actually deferred to my 5th grade son for help… seriously. So when I write, I make sure I have someone else review my work, after I’ve spell checked and used a dictionary or a thesaurus.
This said, I must tell you that I am deeply disturbed by the deplorable basic grammar we as a society use today. Do people truly not understand how they sound when they are speaking and writing? Simple things like misusing your tenses, dropping the “g” in words that end in “ing”, using “was” instead of “were” as in “Was you comin down?” In addition; FYI the following are not words… Liberry, Suposably, Chimley, and Flustrated. Also, “alot” is two words (a lot) not one as well as “noone” (no one). “Two” means the number not “to” go or “too” much. Well we’re on it, let’s talk double negatives… “I ain’t got none.” or “Don’t noone no what there talkin about” are more than just excruciatingly painful to read or hear, they are blatantly ignorant sentences.
I cringed the other day when reading a poorly written political diatribe on Facebook. This person’s message was lost in bad grammar and misspellings. Much of what I’ve used as examples above are taken from his statement. Word of advice, feel free to spout your opinion but spell check and make sure you at least have the basics of grammar down. I have another friend that frequently pontificates his political ideas on Facebook. Although his posts can at times be a tad pompous, they are also intelligent, articulate, and well written. A big difference from “And ain’t noone understands where we was comin from. Alot of people think this… blah, blah, blah.”
Sad to say, but it seems this is truly the way a majority speak and write today including educated, intelligent people. “He come down and we went to the store.” or “move that chair over here, fer I can stand on it.” Ah, and one of my favorites “he’s my cousint.”
What has happened to basic 5th grade English? That’s great that we are introducing Mandarin Chinese in kindergarten, but don’t you think maybe we should focus on speaking and writing our own language first? I think people from other countries have better English grammar.
The influence of ridiculous reality TV shows like “Here Comes Honey Boo, Boo” (I still can’t wrap my mind around that one) and “Keeping up with the Kardashians” showcase rednecks and people who can’t complete a sentence without saying “like” six times… are not helping. How are these people famous?
Please understand I’m not saying we should all sound or read like we’re holding court with the King. However, let’s clean it up a little people. If you’re struggling, try asking a 5th grader for their English book. Shut off Snookie and brush up on some basics.