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Did teaching grammar make us stupid?


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Socialist wrote: Thankfully grammar is on the way out.

GostHacked replied: How do you expect to communicate properly without spelling and grammar? The English language is complex.

...

If you cannot teach proper ways of effective communication through spelling and grammar, I don't want you near a classroom. I fear it will be very problematic to communicate with the youth if they are not taught proper language skills. Unless you prefer a discovery method here as well. Which is doing the children a complete disservice.

From,

http://www.mapleleafweb.com/forums/topic/23417-bc-teachers-getting-screwedagain/page-10

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I agree with both Socialist and GostHacked. Language is indeed, exceptionally complicated. And it's a grand thing that grammar is on its way out.

Contradictory statements? Not at all! English grammar has never been taught in schools in the English speaking world for a good long time.

Everyone has to remember being taught a rule by Miss Higginbotham, to which they hadn't a clue as to what she meant. Don't feel bad - Miss Higginbotham didn't have the foggiest either.

All the "rules", that some of you dutifully memorized and likely passed on to your kids, were not rules at all. They were bits of folklore that were invented in centuries past and thereafter pounded into students' brains. They failed to stick generation after generation precisely because they were not part of the grammar of the English language.

Language, (and its grammar), is an incredibly complicated process, but the notion that we learned it from our parents or at school or at university is just another old canard, albeit a very popular one.

I'm pleased to hear that it has been chucked, is being chucked from school systems. It was an enormous waste of time, as it always is, teaching and trying to learn falsehoods. Imagine what we might have learned had we not had our time wasted with these pieces of fiction.

Most people can't even remember being "taught" these rules. The more anal retentive among us constantly berate others use of English with these silly notions.

Anyone remember their ole favorite grammar rule?

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Anyone remember their ole favorite grammar rule?

My favourite "rules" were learning about all the derivations of English words - the history behind why our language was so "complex". The fact that the roots of our language come from a blending others - French, Greek, Saxon, Old English. Fascinating stuff that is barely referenced anymore, let alone taught. But there is a reason why so many countries speak English and why newcomers are able to pick it up - it's easier to learn but difficult to "learn well". Funnily enough, I have noticed that many Europeans speak English more effectively than many native-born Canadians.

Doing away with grammar? Lazy, lazy, lazy. Might as well teach all ebonics.

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My favourite "rules" were learning about all the derivations of English words - the history behind why our language was so "complex". The fact that the roots of our language come from a blending others - French, Greek, Saxon, Old English. Fascinating stuff that is barely referenced anymore, let alone taught.

Omar: The origins of words is fascinating but I would say that it's less than useless for learning English. I'm not sure what "rules" or rules might come from such a study.

KIS: But there is a reason why so many countries speak English and why newcomers are able to pick it up - it's easier to learn but difficult to "learn well". Funnily enough, I have noticed that many Europeans speak English more effectively than many native-born Canadians.

Doing away with grammar? Lazy, lazy, lazy. Might as well teach all ebonics.

I didn't suggest we do away with grammar. I said we should, and seemingly have done away with all the nonsense of the last few hundred years that passed as grammar.

But why have teachers who don't know about English grammar teach children who know all the rules of English grammar before they arrive at school.

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Almost everyone's grammar is actually very wrong. Including mine. I took a class on grammar once. It blew my mind how complex "correct" grammar is. But as long as can all communicate well, as most of us do on these board, that's what really matters. Basic grammar is important, but drilling "proper" grammar would take far, far too much time.

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Almost everyone's grammar is actually very wrong. Including mine. I took a class on grammar once. It blew my mind how complex "correct" grammar is. But as long as can all communicate well, as most of us do on these board, that's what really matters. Basic grammar is important, but drilling "proper" grammar would take far, far too much time.

That you came away from that course with "correct" and "proper" grammar,

"Almost everyone's grammar is actually very wrong; Basic grammar is important", is a good indication that that course was full of the very nonsense that has passed as grammar for a few centuries.

"basic grammar", "good grammar" and "correct grammar", only exist in books, not in real life.

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That you came away from that course with "correct" and "proper" grammar,

"Almost everyone's grammar is actually very wrong; Basic grammar is important", is a good indication that that course was full of the very nonsense that has passed as grammar for a few centuries.

"basic grammar", "good grammar" and "correct grammar", only exist in books, not in real life.

Thats unfortunate because people with bad grammar have trouble getting a point across. Language is and always will be very important. As we descend into such garbage as saying things by way of LMAO, LOL, etc., communication is becoming shallow. Next thing you know nobody will know how to write a book.

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Thats unfortunate because people with bad grammar have trouble getting a point across.

Omar: patently false, but par for YOUR course, OGFT. You have read Huckleberry Finn, I imagine. Huck's grammar would be considered bad. Did you need a translator?

OGFT: Language is and always will be very important.

Omar: No doubt, but WTF does that have to do with the "grammar" that has been long taught being nonsense?

OGFT: As we descend into such garbage as saying things by way of LMAO, LOL, etc., communication is becoming shallow.

Omar: Have you had trouble understanding them? Little kids don't.

OGFT: Next thing you know nobody will know how to write a book.

Omar: "The sky is falling, the sky is falling!"

Do try to focus, OGFT.

Edited by Je suis Omar
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Doesn't matter, soon we will prolly all be talking in text, IMHO, FWIW.

Omar: what doesn't matter, Wilber?

Wilber: Shakespeare wrote in the language of his time.

Omar: Which was English.

Wilber: Anyone think people will be speaking of our language with the same kind of reverence in 500 years?

Of course. Do you foresee a language apocalypse?

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Of course. Do you foresee a language apocalypse?

Well it depends what you mean by apocalypse but if the language we use is going to be determined by trying to abbreviate everything to make texting a message easier, or restricting it to 140 characters or less for a tweet, I don't see future generations admiring it for its beauty.

Technology is great in so many ways but I hope books continue to exist because I don't see technology doing much for language.

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Is there a point to be made, BM?

How come no one can recall any of those oh so important grammar rules they learned in high school/university/life as a reporter,editor, ... ?

What does it matter if you remember them if you just use them without thinking. That is why you learn rules.

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Well it depends what you mean by apocalypse but if the language we use is going to be determined by trying to abbreviate everything to make texting a message easier, or restricting it to 140 characters or less for a tweet, I don't see future generations admiring it for its beauty.

Technology is great in so many ways but I hope books continue to exist because I don't see technology doing much for language.

These are issues that have great potential for discussion and debate, but they don't focus on the point of the thread - the "grammar" that all English native language students have been taught for a few centuries never described English in the past and does not to this day.

Shakespeare never followed these artificial rules, nor did any other well known writers. Even lesser mortals like you and me never followed/follow them, Wilber.

Edited by Je suis Omar
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What does it matter if you remember them if you just use them without thinking. That is why you learn rules.

That's the point, Wilber. The real rules of English, the ones you never actively or consciously learned, you follow perfectly. The ones that you were actively taught in school or learned from parents etc, the false rules, you don't remember and you don't use them in natural language situations.

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That's the point, Wilber. The real rules of English, the ones you never actively or consciously learned, you follow perfectly. The ones that you were actively taught in school or learned from parents etc, the false rules, you don't remember and you don't use them in natural language situations.

What is it you refer to as false rules. Apparently you dont know much of Shakespeare.

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Maybe go back and try to focus on your wtc nonsense. Im sure grammar, or anything of an intellectual nature is required there. Probably why we all left.

No need to get your knickers in a twist, OGFT. Don't be POed by me using WTF. It was only to illustrate that these are small non issues. They have zero to do with grammar other than they actually follow the rules of grammar.

If they didn't then people would not understand them.

AMLO doesn't work, nor does MALO. Why? Because they don't follow syntactic patterns for English. LMAO does.

What I'm talking about is the real rules of grammar versus phoney, made up rules. It's the latter that has been taught, the ones that, thankfully, seem to have gotten the heave ho.

The phoney ones will still be with us for a bit until the dinosaurs die off. Kids in future generations will laugh and say, "Do you know what nonsense was taught to people back in the dark ages?"

Nobody remembers any of the old canards?? All you have to do is remember being told by someone that you made a language boo boo and you'll have an example. This has happened to everyone at least once in their lives.

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What is it you refer to as false rules.

Omar: I've described them six ways from Sunday, OGFT. Still you can't remember one??!!!

Apparently you dont know much of Shakespeare.

I know enough to know that he never followed these false rules of English. It simply wasn't possible for him to do so.

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No need to get your knickers in a twist, OGFT. Don't be POed by me using WTF. It was only to illustrate that these are small non issues. They have zero to do with grammar other than they actually follow the rules of grammar.

If they didn't then people would not understand them.

AMLO doesn't work, nor does MALO. Why? Because they don't follow syntactic patterns for English. LMAO does.

What I'm talking about is the real rules of grammar versus phoney, made up rules. It's the latter that has been taught, the ones that, thankfully, seem to have gotten the heave ho.

The phoney ones will still be with us for a bit until the dinosaurs die off. Kids in future generations will laugh and say, "Do you know what nonsense was taught to people back in the dark ages?"

Nobody remembers any of the old canards?? All you have to do is remember being told by someone that you made a language boo boo and you'll have an example. This has happened to everyone at least once in their lives.

Hey bad grammar works for me. I make a few bucks re writing posts that people send to a certain site where the want to relay perhaps some technical information but they want the actual writing cleaned up for both grammar and spelling. Its quite interesting how some apparently knowledgeable trades people for example, have such lousy grammatic and basic spelling skills.

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These are issues that have great potential for discussion and debate, but they don't focus on the point of the thread - the "grammar" that all English native language students have been taught for a few centuries never described English in the past and does not to this day.

Shakespeare never followed these artificial rules, nor did any other well known writers. Even lesser mortals like you and me never followed/follow them, Wilber.

Actually, you do follow many of them but you do it without thinking.

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Hey bad grammar works for me. I make a few bucks re writing posts that people send to a certain site where the want to relay perhaps some technical information but they want the actual writing cleaned up for both grammar and spelling. Its quite interesting how some apparently knowledgeable trades people for example, have such lousy grammatic and basic spelling skills.

Then you should have no problem coming up with some of the examples I asked for.

What was with your big song and dance about "What rules, what rules?"

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Actually, you do follow many of them but you do it without thinking.

We all follow the real rules of our language, Wilber, because we can't do anything else. Little children do so.

You're still confused as to what constitutes a rule of English grammar. Tell us any that you have been actively taught and we'll almost certainly have a phoney one.

OGFT is likely coming up with some as we speak.

Or not.

Edited by Je suis Omar
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