On Descriptive Grammar and Banal Bigotry

blawg

I am forever being told that
prescriptive spelling is a tool of oppression.
And always, the way being defended,
just happens to be fucking American
– Tim

5949761369_ca0f37de6f_b.jpg

Every few months or so a series of memes and critiques run through the social media mill, and they all sing the same refrain: “telling people how to write or speak correctly is authoritarian and bigoted”. The impulse is correct: We’ve all seen ‘proper grammar’ used to shit on a lower class, or justify a racist position. We all know that language is full of traps to figure out ‘who belongs’. But the simplicity of the “there is no such thing as proper English” critique is going to fuel this weekly writing exercise .

Anyone who’s read three of my sentences knows I’m not picky about grammar. I doubt I could be even if I wanted—I don’t have the skills or training. But I…

View original post 638 more words

Advertisements

One thought on “On Descriptive Grammar and Banal Bigotry

  1. Where do you stand on improper use of apostrophes or use of ‘there’ or ‘their’ instead of ‘they’re’? 😄 There are always going to be right and wrong ways based on what you say actually making sense…the question is maybe how far you punish someone for having a poor education or for having a really irritating autocorrect feature on their device…🙂

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s