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  1. Traditionalist

    Angry Modern English- Is grammar important ?

    Nowadays, it seems to me that the structures of English grammar have changed. Academically speaking, certain expressions or sentence structures which were considered wrong in the past are now pleasantly accepted as correct by many experts of English. For example, it was wrong to say: " Everybody played their role ( they) in the past, but now it is grammatically acceptable. Even now, the use of " due to " to begin a sentence is widely used ( even in the UK, Australia, N.Z, US, West Indies, Malta, India, Singapore, Ireland, Pakistan ).

    Another obvious structure is the mixture of British and American English structures in written English. e.g. the use of "color", program, " accommodations " ( American English ).

    My concern is : If this mixture were to exist in the next 100 years, I 'm afraid that learners of English might be exposed to confusion to see which structure is better than the other. Furthermore, the grammatically-acceptable sentences may not play a pivotal role in modern writing.I can see this scenario even in academic writing or journal.

    I do not whether there will be a correct English for the world in the future.
    English has undergone three transitional periods : Old English ; Middle English and Modern English. The varied English structures now are the results of science and technology.

    My question is : Is grammar important to the next generation of speakers ?

    Thank you.

  2. Editor,
    English Teacher
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    Re: Modern English- Is grammar important ?

    Grammar is important- it's what binds words together, but it is not static. Nowadays, we live in a world of very fluid communication, so people are exposed to all sorts of varieties simultaneously, and this will have an impact on the langauge. Also, more and more non-native speakers are using it every day and they will also change things. The language isn't going to suffer from 'due to' appearing at the start of a sentence. Throughout the history of English things have changed and often dramtically. This is likely to increase in the coming years. I think there will be a greater simplification of the grammar to enable it to adapt to the globalised information society of today's requirements.

  3. Mister Micawber's Avatar
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    Re: Modern English- Is grammar important ?

    Both. Grammar is important, and grammar changes. (Those 3 'transitional periods' you mention never existed-- they are just convenient ways of getting ahold of the vast and constant changes that English has enjoyed between 700 A.D. and today.)

  4. Fieldmouse's Avatar

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
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    Re: Modern English- Is grammar important ?

    Yes, grammar is still important. Sentence construction, as we know it, relies on grammar to make it comprehensible.

    However, with the growing trend towards text-speak and chat-speak, it is inevitable that English will undergo changes in the next 100 years, just as it has since earliest times.

    "I will see you later on."

    "c u l8r"

    Thank goodness we have records of the works of such writers as Chaucer and Shakespeare, together with the classical poets. Their writing is unsurpassed and has delighted millions of people.

    What the poetry of the future will be like I can't imagine. Maybe if I get to Heaven I'll be able to hear it. I hope so.

    Last edited by Fieldmouse; 24-Jul-2006 at 18:52.

  5. #5

    Re: Modern English- Is grammar important ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fieldmouse
    However, with the growing trend towards text-speak ...
    I like the T9 programme on mobile phones, which enables us to compose messages much faster than before but also punishes incorrect spelling.
    It has helped develop my writing skills in Russian more than any textbook and it should do the same for those who struggle with English.

  6. Fieldmouse's Avatar

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 42

    Re: Modern English- Is grammar important ?

    I didn't know about this feature on mobile phones Vlad. It is an excellent thing if it is helping you with your learning.


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