ERIC Number: ED411534
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Reference Count: N/A
How Grammars of English Have Missed the Boat: There's Been More Flummoxing Than Meets the Eye.
Bailey, Charles-James N.
The possibility should be considered that English grammar has been misanalyzed for centuries because of grammarians' accepting fundamentally flawed assumptions about grammar and, even more so, about the history of English--and that this has resulted in a huge disconnect between English grammars and the genius of English that really exists. The development of the information age and of English as a world language means that such lapses have greater import than formerly. But what is available on the shelves has fallen into sufficient discredit for grammar to have forfeited its place in the curriculum, unrespected and little heeded by the brighter students. An adequate approach might offer some insight as to why "grammar gurus" unwittingly write things contrary to their own prescriptions. Many grammarians "lamely" resort to referring to good English as "standard English," as though there were an English language academy or other body authorized to "standardize" it. It is a vain and losing battle to contend against technically natural processes like making "lay" a contraponent, making "loan" a causative verb, and using "less" for "fewer." (Contains 13 notes.) (RS)
Descriptors: English, Grammar, Grammatical Acceptability, Higher Education, Language Usage, Language Variation
Orchid Land Publications, P.O. Box 1416, Kea'au, HI 96749-1416.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A