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Friday, April 20, 2012

STERN: The grammarian’s manifesto | Scott Stern, Yale Daily News

Stern, a first-year student at Branford College, writes that "the complete deterioration of our ability to write well" is a national emergency. So he provides some advice, writing with tongue in cheek:
When writing a proper article or essay, make sure not a have a spelling errore, a punctuation error; or an stylistic error. Spell-check has been the law of the land for decades, so I truly don’t understand how people still make typos. It is awful, bad, terrible and horrible to be redundant. If I was using the imperfect subjunctive correctly, this sentence would not be here.
Later, he writes:
At this point, many of you — fed up by my sad attempt to be both funny and educational — will ask, “What’s the point? Who cares? Does this really matter?”

In a word: yes. The argument can be made that we need grammar to be able to understand everyone around us, and a deterioration of grammar will start us down the truly slippery slope to idiolectal anarchy. Grammar governs the way we speak, so we couldn’t communicate without it. And that’s absolutely true.
For links to other websites that provide writing advice, check out Garbl's Online Grammar Guides. You also may find Garbl's Editorial Style Manual useful. It also provides grammar advice.

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