Are Grammar Rules Optional?

With the advancing of social media networks, text messaging, and shortening of verbal language, daily word and grammar usage are constantly changing. For the millennial generation, these things seem completely normal, although, for the earlier generations, you might as well call it a foreign language. In this sense, are grammar rules optional?

Jack Lynch is an English professor at Rutgers University and author of “The Lexicographer’s Dilemma.” “All the signs point to a fundamentally reconfigured world in which what we now think of as the English-speaking world will eventually lose its effective control of the English language,” he writes in his book.

Another book, “The Glamour of Grammar” by Roy Peter Clark, aims at “members of the crotchety crowd” who “tend to turn their own preferences about grammar and language into useless and unenforceable rules,” Clark tells the New York Times.

With these points of view taken into account, are common English professors too high maintenance with their demands to use a comma correctly? Or are we the ones subjecting the semicolon to savagery? — Elizabeth Felder

Learn more about Jack Lynch’s and Roy Peter Clark’s books.

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One Response to Are Grammar Rules Optional?

  1. laurielboettcher says:

    Elizabeth, this makes me cringe. As a non-trad and social media junkie, I struggle with my need to use proper grammer and punctuation along side my need to use social media. Friends laugh at me because they say I have the most meticulous texts of anyone. Good grammar and punctuation should never go away. 😉

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