Prevalence of Poor Grammar Reflects Illuminati Agenda to Dumb Down America
[Editor's Note: The "Utopians" referred to in the book title given below are the Zionist World Conquerors who are engaged in a century-old satanic plot to destroy Christian America in order to clear the decks for their one-world government, Zionist-controlled "utopia" using fifth columnist infiltraitors and masonic minions to undermine, subvert, and render impotent every vector of national unity, morality, and constitutional guarantees. In order to have any hope of resisting this degree of societal subversion, you must be able to read and write English competently in order to express your thoughts with clarity and conviction. If you are still embarrassing yourself with 6th grade grammar, it's time to go online and learn how to use the English language properly. It's not that hard once you set your mind to the task. The benefits you will accrue to the growth of your intellect and mental acumen may surprise you.]
By Henry Makow, Ph.D. (From Nov 27, 2013)
December 13, 2015
There are two models of society. The Christian model is to attempt to uplift humanity. The Satanic Jewish model is to reduce the masses to the level of cattle, and exploit them. The education system reflects the latter.
A disturbing sign of cultural decline is that more people cannot write a proper sentence.
A sentence is the basic unit of written communication. If we learn only one thing in school, it should be to write a sentence.
A sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with a period. It must contain a noun and a verb, a subject and a predicate. See here.
"The dog (noun) chases (verb) the cat." "The dog" is the subject. "Chases the cat" is the predicate.
Yet I have an acquaintance who somehow attained a Master's Degree in Social Work and cannot write a sentence.
In a custody battle, he is writing his own affidavits. "Your inability to write a sentence discredits you," I tell him.
He just laughs and acts like I am an old pedant defending his obsolete turf. "You sound like one of my old professors," he says.
"I would have flunked you," I say.
He wouldn't appear in court wearing pajamas but thinks nothing of submitting documents that discredit him.
His children's welfare is at stake. He cannot defend them effectively. Everyone who is semi literate is similarly handicapped for life.
GRAMMAR BECOMING AN ANACHRONISM?
Just as our grip on culture is more tenuous, increasingly English grammar is treated like an anachronism. The popularity of texting may be a factor. People think they can write like they talk, in a stream of consciousness.
But this doesn't explain why schools don't require English proficiency as a condition of graduation. What is an education for?
Being able to write a sentence is the equivalent of two plus two equals four. I suspect that a subversive force is behind this cultural disintegration. Flouting the rules of grammar is treated like another form of liberation and revolt.
At the same time, the rules for plagiarism are being relaxed and the objectivity of Math is being challenged and fudged.
Ours is a satanic era where the laws of God and nature are distorted and inverted. Why would grammar be exempt?
I posted a powerful article by "Duran" about how young men are being psychologically destroyed in school.
In that article, Duran's periods were originally all commas and there was little to no capitalization. This talented young man transferred to an all-male private school and graduated with flying colors. Yet, he still cannot write a sentence, and like my social work friend doesn't think he needs to. The same applies to some other valued contributors.
I was lucky to attend public high school in Ottawa in the 1960's when the rules of writing were drummed into our heads, and we were expected to master a wide range of knowledge: history, geography, sciences, languages, math. My teachers were young, smart and dedicated.
But clearly the education system today is more concerned with grooming youth for gay sex than equipping them with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed.
We are witnessing a return to mass illiteracy. The culture is moving away from text and becoming verbal and visual. The hidden agenda is to dumb down the new generation, and to make them ineffectual and easier to control.
Sheep don't need to write. They just need to bleat.
I rarely post a Letter to the Editor exactly as received because the grammar is usually so bad, I don't want to embarrass the writer or detract from the importance of his message, so I'll add the capital letter at the beginning of each sentence and the period at the end. I'll insert my name in the salutation and add their name at the end. I'll add the missing punctuation, the missing apostrophes for contractions (there's a BIG difference between "it's" and "its" and 95% of people who write to me, have no idea what that difference is), the missing semicolons, the missing quotations marks, the misspelled words, etc. Good grammar is a sign of an orderly and logical mind that can analyze and discern fact from fiction and think critically. It's also the sign of an educated person. Sloppy grammar is synonymous with a poor education that produces a sloppy, lazy non-thinker (the intended goal) who stumbles through life in confusion, indecisiveness, and uncertainty because he can't think worth a damn. The person who suffers the most and loses the most is the person who fails to educate himself in the proper use of the English language. I learned the basics of English grammar and composition in a good high school that had teachers and staff who cared about a quality education. I became absorbed in the books of Ernest Hemingway when I went into the military following high school. I told myself I was going to learn to write as clearly and cleanly as he wrote. I bought a bunch of books on how to write well and began to read and read. On Writing Well by William Zinsser (who died in May of this year at 92) was one of the best tutors I've ever encountered for about $8. Writing well is enormous fun, with unending creative possibilities in theme and variation; meaning and impact. Writing well is an art and nothing gives you more satisfaction than a well written exposition of your own creation. None of this is possible unless you first learn how to use the English language correctly. You can't fly a plane without leaning the correct procedures. You can't write English without leaning the correct procedures. It's as simple as that.
Comments for "Decline of Literacy Reflects Plan for World Tyranny"
HB said (December 14, 2015):
This is a topic that really resonates with me. I worked at a prominent law firm a few years back, and often had to rewrite memorandums and briefs composed by young associates. When graduates from highly respected law schools are unable to write a 2 or 3 page memorandum without multiple spelling and grammatical errors, you know something is amiss.
The worst offenders were African-Americans brought in to satisfy the diversity committee, some of whom were honest-to-God functionally illiterate, but the general decline in standards was evident across the board. Looking beyond the office environment, I see that neither my nephew or niece (aged 16 and 17 respectively) can read or write beyond a sixth grade level.
The eldest will be heading for college next year and I predict that in spite of her deficient language skills, she will graduate with an above-average GPA simply because most colleges are more concerned with boosting enrolment and looking good themselves than imparting actual skills to their hapless students.
Hans said (December 14, 2015):
The decline of literacy is a universal phenomenon in the "West." Most bigger "civilized" language areas are suffering from the same illness: French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch (though not in Belgium), even Italian and German. Russian so far has escaped the process. It has to do with the destruction of the curriculum and unqualified teachers.
I suspect it may also have deeper causes, such as the disappearance of classical languages as a requirement for higher educational levels. Once you have been schooled in Latin and Greek, you just cannot make stupid mistakes in contemporary languages, whether your own or any other spoken language. Like fish rots from the head, so modern civilized language began rotting with the disappearance of Latin and Greek. From that moment on, standards have been consistently adapted (lowered) leading to the present-day universal fallacy that it is wrong to demand any effort on the part of the pupil ("student"). And without effort, learning becomes a futile exercise. Thus today, the rotting process has reached the lower echelons of the system: primary education.
When people cannot construct a sentence, they cannot think and argue. I agree it must also be a government or business project to create a mass of stupid, gullible consumers who will buy anything and believe anything.
Surely we are living in a Brave New World.
AA (South Africa) said (December 14, 2015):
I am a non-English-speaking person, yet i have been horrified at the language (grammar and spelling errors and the generous use of vulgarity) used by American and British “comments on the Internet.”
If you are born an American or a British, and the English Standard Worldwide is US or UK, then it behoves the English Citizen to honour his mother tongue and not shred it to bits. Hence, if the current abuse or misuse of the English Language is so rampant, then it alerts us that this is simply a symptom of a disease: this disease is called illiteracy and ignorance.
It is more deadly to human thinking than any known human virus and it has spread rapidly as an epidemic which is now a Global Pandemic. Human Thinking is in serious threat of extinction among the masses (which produces compliant, non-thinking malleable masses of organic protoplasm). You have correctly spelled out that this has set the world stage ready for Tyranny by a minority Elite that controls 80% of the Worlds wealth, land, ideas, thoughts, strategy and power.
Chetsy said (December 13, 2015):
Thank you, Henry--I see you hit a nerve with many people--including me.
I agree with you that the biggest problem is the inability to construct a proper sentence. It kills meaning and in fact I don't know how anyone can even think logically without that knowledge.
Fought many battles with the school. You'd go to the Board of Ed. meetings and they would be touting "phonics," but actually inspecting the curriculum content, you see that it much of it was actually "whole language." It was bizarre how they'd close ranks against you. I tried to be nice about it, but no one wanted to be on that skinny branch and say the emperor has no clothes.
Then there were the readings assigned. Omigosh--appealed to the lowest common denominator and pretty prurient.
Anyway, I did some volunteer religious teaching at my church and was appalled by how many were barely literate.
As for not teaching cursive: I have a theory that it's really about disabling your in your ability to take notes on critical quotes. You don't always have a recording device handy.
I remember about 10 years ago, a man in a city council in NJ (?) was fired for racism for using the word "niggardly."
I think we are heading for another cultural revolution a la China/Cambodia where anyone who wore glasses was killed. Idiocracy is upon us.
We each have to think for ourselves and not rely on the increasingly stupid things we're asked to believe/accept as truth by our "betters" even if it means being at odds with whomever. Try to help others, but look to God only.
Susan said (December 13, 2015):
I enjoyed your re-post of the article on grammar!
I loathe hearing people talking these days. It's a common rule for the English language that an indefinite article appearing before a vowel becomes 'an' instead of 'a'. That's not what most people say though! Every indefinite article is now 'a'. A organisation. A orange. A egg. I hate it! When I hear someone say that I think to myself how stupid they are and how they are letting themselves become stupid.
I also have a friend who can't seem to speak in the past tense. If she's relating a story about something that happened in the past she uses the present tense. I find it confusing and hard to understand what indeed she is trying to tell me.
Gary Corseri said (November 29, 2013):
Thanks for this nifty essay, Henry.
Grammatical rules can help us to think better. That's the whole point.
People can "think" in various ways--with pictures, with music, with various memes and tropes they've taken from pop culture, the mainstream media, alternative media, Facebook, twittering, etc. But grammar can help us sharpen our word-thinking--how ideas relate to one another, how they can build on one another. Grammar is a kind of architecture.
Take clauses. Independent clauses, dependent clauses, subordinate (and, one might say there are "insubordinate" ones, too!) How a writer structures his sentences and paragraphs reveals the way his/her mind works. A good structure clarifies matters for the reader, attracts attention. Poor structure is a house divided against itself.
Of course, there are different kinds of writing. The essay, where grammar is of more importance, is certainly in decline. So are other genres of literature, as the culture teeters and totters on a twittering abyss. Once one of the glories of the world, our educational system is now a world-class joke.
"Writing poetry without meter is like playing tennis without a net," poet Robert Frost wrote decades ago. We've have a lot of net-less poetry and net-less thinking since he made that observation. In our techno-oblivion, our neo-matrix, I wonder how we can get back to basics?
Kristine said (November 29, 2013):
The perversion of language has to do with stripping existence of meaning for human beings. First the death cult likes to invert meaning - "peace and security" actually means "war and suffering" for example. Now they are "reforming" language, as they have done in Germany, in such a way that anyone can write anyway they want to - there are no rules. This gesture has the feeling of freedom but if you cannot make yourself clear and cannot think straight you are in bondage to those who will someday do the talking for you. In German they call that: mundtot.
I´m always reminded of the passage in John when it comes to language - in the beginning was the word … God spoke and the world came into existence. Luciferians know that and are corrupting language (which God did to them at Babel) in a last ditch effort to vaunt themselves against God and the Way, the Truth and the Life, Jesus Christ, Yeshua. Where the word is not, there is no life. This is what the death cult is after: since they cannot create, they destroy and deem that their ultimate creation because they are twisted souls, enamored of degradation.
Antonia said (November 29, 2013):
My grandson's teacher correct his homework. The boy had written, "Mary should have done her homework, but the teacher corrected the," should have", to, "should of". True. He also advised the children to add up on their fingers instead of doing mental arithmetic.
The good news is that the teacher has left the school; the bad news is that he's been promoted.
Peter G said (November 28, 2013):
The first thing to spark in my memory when I read this article was the parallel to 1984 by George Orwell and the "beauty" of destroying language.
The destruction of grammar dovetails nicely with many emergent facets of life in this controlled age. The prevalence of vaccine induced
autism and the rise of conditions like Dyslexia all point to a future where the population have their cognitive skills reduced to a level
where constructive reasoning is seen as too much of a chore to be bothered with.
Hence the intransigence of many to perceive or evaluate new information or ideas The programmed psychological response of "If it sounds like conspiracy file 13 it" that operates within the neural cavities of these poor lost souls and the general detachment of many from their "moral compasses" not being able to distinguish Right from Wrong.
All of these problems are encompassed or have direct relation to the subject of this article.
Its clearly not by accident and educators are fully complicit in the roll out of this major piece of cultural vandalism. Thanks Henry. Bang
On again as usual.
Kurt said (November 28, 2013):
My wife does clerical work in a busy medical office that uses EMR (Electronic Medical Records). She has to review insurance fillings and sees a lot of the communications between the doctors and the nursing staff since these texts could end up in a court of law.
Many of the younger nurses use the clipped English used in texting. She saw one exchange where the doctor sent a message back to the nurse that said “Please use capitalization and punctuation. You’re giving me a headache.”
Dan said (November 27, 2013):
In Orwell's 'Nineteen Eighty Four', Chapter 5, Winston is eating lunch in the prison-like mess hall in the Research Department. He's sitting with 'comrades' assigned to edit the next edition of the Newspeak Dictionary. One them says proudly: "You think, I dare say, that our chief job is inventing new words. But not a bit of it! We’re destroying words — scores of them, hundreds of them, every day. We’re cutting the language down to the bone. "
"Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?"
Way back when I started public school in 1960, "New Reading" had just replaced grammar. I had to pick grammar up "on the street". It noteworthy that cursive writing and grammar aren't considered necessary for 'education', but learning how homosexuals have sex is CRUCIAL.
That's what they mean by "No child left behind"
Henrique said (November 27, 2013):
Even worse when it's government-backed language degeneration and newspeak. DO YOU GOT INSURANCE, BRO? ( Obamacare propaganda ).
Here in Brazil Grammar has been dismissed in the educational system since the supposedly "conservative" ( actually self-proclaimed "pragmatic" and "ideologically neutral" ) military dictatorship years ( 64-85 ). According to the wonderful plans of the generals and their ministers, too much emphasis on Grammar stifles creativity and what Brazil needed were more poets and writers to consolidate our culture, with their "artistic" license to disrespect the norms once in a while. It didn't raise a generation of poets of course, rather one of illiterate hyper-emotional sub-humans who can't identify not only with the national culture, but with ANY culture at all but this anti-culture called "multiculturalism" and it's Magna Carta, political correctness.
Besides being absolute suckers for all sorts of propaganda, in an atmosphere more and more visual-centric by the day. Written culture is DEFINITELY a tremendous obstacle for their plans, for it generates an atmosphere where mature, rational human beings can debate with decency, where no emoticons and ROFLMAOs enter, so it's being dismantled
My excuse for writing horrible English is that it's not my first language and even still I'm embarrassed when spot errors.
Richard said (November 27, 2013):
I wholeheartedly agree with the spirit and content of your article on grammar. I too think it is a sign of decline and decadence in society. It is quite disconcerting to see how poorly people communicate in writing these days. The contemporary disrespect for the rule of law extends even to our educational system. Not only is this so in written expression, but in spelling as well. I see so many instances of horrible spelling errors that it makes me wince.
If someone doesn't know how to spell a word on an internet forum, they could always consult an online dictionary, but people don't even make the effort to do that anymore. The errors are so ridiculous at times that they are comical. It's just "plane" listlessness and nothing more if you know what I mean. A sad state of affairs indeed. Thanks for the read.
Scottie said (November 27, 2013):
Hi Mr.Makow, today's article was once again very intriguing. It reminded me of something that has now bedazzled me for the past few weeks. I have talked to numerous young mothers, including my sister, and they all have told me their children are no longer being taught to write cursive handwriting. I believe the reason why is exactly what you said in the article posted today. The decision of not teaching cursive to children is taking place in both private and public schools here in the state of Ohio. I thought you would like to know that.
Ron said (November 27, 2013):
The English professors at my former university, where I was a professor of economics, used to pass back papers to students by putting them in a cardboard box outside their office doors. BIG mistake. Me, nosy to the max, looked at a bunch of them when no one was around. Appalling, it was. The profs often did not lower grades for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. The papers seemed to be graded according to how well the students picked up on the Illuminati agenda--politically correct Cultural Marxism. To call most of the student writings bad would be an understatement, yet most of the grades were As and Bs.
Recently, a UCLA professor, Val Rust, was accused of racism by the students for correcting grammar and punctuation mistakes on his students' papers. The students called it a racist "micro-aggression" ( a popular term these days with the PC crowd) against minorities. My opinion is that we should give Professor Rust a pat on the back for doing his job. Let's see how far these "empowered" protestors get in the job market as graduates. Unless government hires them, they're up the creek without a paddle. The link is to an article that tells the whole story of Professor Rust's travails.
The English language has been trashed because well-educated people cannot be controlled as easily as the ignorant. In my experience, I had a friend of mine who had a masters degree in international marketing, but I had to correct his business letters. I'm a college dropout but I always tried to stay on top of the language.
My younger son was in public school in 5th grade and we had a parents -teacher conference. I was presented with my son's writings from his class. It had no capital letters, no punctuation; not even periods after the sentence. I got completely pissed off and pulled him out of school the next day and we schooled them at home until the end of high school. I got a tutor for my son to remedy the damage the school had done to his language skills, and he was able to go way above his grade level (though that's probably wasn't saying much). This little kid once told me despondently: "I can't read; I must be stupid, Dad." Now, he's the only member of the family with a college degree. The whole education system should be flushed down the toilet. I know, I know, some of you may say: "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater!" to which I would reply: "Unless it is Rosemary's baby." The purpose of most education is to pervert and abuse the mind of the student and this is why I couldn't tolerate college. I wasn't going to listen to the trash presented as facts.
If a student doesn't have good language skills, then he's probably going to be doomed to poor paying jobs. Good language skills makes everything a lot easier and productive. Remember, the skills pay the bills. Good language skills will always serve those who have them.
This issue bothers me as well. However, I completely blame professors and teachers for this problem. I graduated a few years ago from a well-respected Canadian university. Imagine my horror when I had to work on group projects with these kinds of people. Many of them could not write a proper sentence to save their life. I had to spend hours and hours editing their assignments; my own grade was at stake.
In fact, many were newcomers to Canada and had the level of writing you would see in a first grader. I was completely flabbergasted. Why are these people in the same classes as me....and passing??? Every single one graduated with their degrees. I do not understand it. Do the professors just overlook their work and shut their eyes? It does not make sense.
Jeffrey said (November 27, 2013):
Another spot-on article, one that I'm glad to see hit home with others.
One thing that amazes me is that so many functionally illiterate people would NEVER be so careless with numbers, like those on their tax forms. The language they speak and write is another story.
There their they're. Three different words, three different uses.
Descent and decent. Are you of European decent? Are you dressed descently?
Satan likes to invert things. Maybe that's it.
For some reason, everyone confuses singular and plural, especially "woman" vs. "women."
Reading commentary on the internet has actually dumbed me down and makes me question my own judgment when I'm actually correct.
Thanks for letting me vent.
Cliff said (November 15, 2011):
Thank you for your article on grammar. It amazes me that anything gets done in our culture given that the generation of the last 20 or 30 years lack the basic skills of communication;
reading, writing, speaking and the use of math in their everyday lives. I've worked with young engineers who wield great authority in their fields of expertise who are absolutely unable to write a simple sentence.
Recently I read that handwriting skills in one State are being removed from the required training in elementary schools. How sad that few ponder, or at least that's the way it appears to me, whether this will be an even more serious problem in the future. The advancement of humankind is the result of their ability to communicate with one another. I have yet to see creatures in the animal kingdom cultivate the advancements that humans have.
Interesting though is the fact that while the animal world makes no such profound advancements, neither do they wage massive strategic wars against like species and otherwise; unlike the human race!
Ed said (October 19, 2011):
Many years ago, when I was in the Army, I got into a certain amount of trouble, and my security clearance was pulled. After some effort on my part, the clearance was reinstated by the relevant authorities in Seventh Army (in Germany, during the Cold War). There was a certain officer who had it in for me, however, and my clearance was again pulled, this time by a higher headquarters Stateside. They were going to change my job description, and put me in a job that would have essentially consisted of doing dirty work for the rest of my time in the Army. I was, however, given the opportunity to write a rebuttal to the charges against me. The justification for pulling the clearance this second time was so flimsy as to be grotesque, so it was a simple matter for me to haul out my Olympia portable and type up my rebuttal, which consisted of about a half-page of serviceable prose. (I didn't write as well thirty-five years ago as I do today; I've been learning.) I presented my rebuttal to the young lieutenant at the Judge Advocate General office on my post, and his comment was "What does that word mean?" I got my clearance back. I dare say that most of my peers would have lost a case like mine, simply because most of them could not write a sentence.
This of course is deliberate on the part of the system. My suspicion is that the power elite have nostalgia for the medieval days, when the people in charge knew what was going on and the serfs were superstitious and ignorant, and are working through the "education" system to bring back this state of affairs.
Debra said (October 18, 2011):
Does false grammar signify decadence? Absolutely, yes. I agree with you Henry and, would add, the N.W.O. is bent on confusion and misunderstanding.
As you know, I am for reinstating God's Laws, but the Bible is read not in a true, proper historical context, but as one-liner axioms. Too often, intelligent people refuse to take time to properly fault facts; instead lash out or most often turn away from productive conversation or argument of facts. The same is true for grammar or distinct subtleties of languages used to persuade and influence. Similar to principles of reason found in 2+2 = 4, the use of language should join not divide people.
The new generation has trouble counting, as well. Counting-out of change in the markets is rare without the use of a register thinking for people instead of an effort of people thinking themselves.
Here in Brazil the Ministry of Education (the same that produced gay movies for school children) issued a grammar book that stated that grammar was a bourgeois tool for domination of the masses and that saying "we gets the fishes" is just as correct.
This is all done by design. It is Marxist strategy.
Conservatives have a hard time understanding how Marxists easily say and do things that are apparently contradictory. The Ministry of Education says they want to improve the condition of the poor by education, but also say that education is not important. How come ?
Marxist discourse is based on Hegelian dialectics. Conservative need things to make sense, but for the Marxist, only the end (power) is what matters. They give money to the poor and at the same time follow the instructions of the bankers. It doesn't matter, as long as they:
1) create cognitive dissonance in the minds of people, who eventually stop thinking from pure despair,
2) link all their actions, however contradictory, to a feel good, demagogic superficial reason that makes them look like saints,
3) destroy all institutions, common sense, logical thinking, old values, so the only alternative is to follow the directives they impose.
Conservatives see these things and react grouchy old men, calling Marxists fools who lost their minds, when the opposite is true.
It is time for Conservatives to start studying seriously the strategy of Marxists, or we will be blaming their actions on "the dissolution of morals", "the evil times of today", etc. Never take for truth what they say, observe what they do. Read their books. Connect the dots. And always remember that nothing happens by chance.
John said (October 18, 2011):
The slick Masonic/Luciferian corporate media feature nearly flawless grammar, of course---some people point to that fact and rationalize that “it’s the only trustworthy source of news”---after all, they often think, how can a blogger/independent source of information be believed with so many glaring errors of spelling and punctuation?
Extremely frustrating---there have been numerous times when I’ve been ready to send someone a link to an article with good info, only to cancel the idea due to a wincingly bad turn of phrase. It just seems to take a lot away from the impact of the message. The satanists surely smirk at this illiterate state of affairs.
Alan said (October 18, 2011):
My kids homework is getting more and more confusing, as the traditional teaching techniques are being changed, so that parents are less able to help their kids; because new methods change the whole approach to subjects including English.
Further, even the subject names are being changed, as an example Science was Biology, Chemistry and Physics; but they have to change to words like Environmental Science, Earth Science, etc. I went to school in Scotland in the 60's and 70's and we were still allowed to read the King James Bible, which has a lot of useful grammar built into the comprehension. The older classic dictionaries had a lot of true meaning of words and explanations, unfortunately the newer ones have been watered down to dumb us down. People continue the problem by watching TV instead of reading a good old fashioned book.
Lois said (October 17, 2011):
Thanks, I knew I wasn't the only one to notice! The change in spoken and written grammar is a constant irritant to me. I began to notice that words were being dropped from the language about ten years ago. This seems to be a coordinated effort. For example, news anchors older than I, began using phrases like "I graduated college in 1963", etc. Now, I graduated from high school in 1970 and I know these people never used to use poor English. They all started together. Did they get some sort of mandate? How hard would it be to change your speaking style after all those years? The other thing obviously missing are the adverbs. If I point this out, I get treated like an old crank. "Drive safe", "run quick", "I want that bad". It's becoming strange to the ear to hear "run quickly", "drive safely", "I want that badly". I'm no grammarian, but this drives me nuts on a daily basis. Thank you so much for this article!
Joseph said (October 17, 2011):
It was with great interest that I read your recent article concerning the lack of grammar skills in our current society. I have been repeatedly amazed at the generally poor writing ability of graduates from our nation's graduate programs. As an attorney, who has practiced for almost twenty-five years, I have witnessed the continual decline in the quality of written advocacy. Recently, an attorney, from a large, respected firm, commended me for my "incite" on an issue. This lack of proficiency with the language is becoming more prevalent every day. Sadly our reliance upon email and texting only makes the problem worse.
The appalling use of language is not only present in legal writing. I serve on a ministerial candidacy committee which evaluates individuals for rostered leadership within the church. As part of the process, we are required to evaluate written essays at several points in the candidacy journey. Sadly, much of the written work is of substandard quality. My understanding is that many of the seminaries are required to have remedial writing workshops to assist their students with their deficient writing skills. How one can reach graduate level programs with deficient writing ability is a tragic mystery.
I have always believed that the ability to express one's self is crucial for ordered society. Clarity of thought and expression is a goal to which we should all aspire. Sadly, our educational institutions have seemed to abandon this most basic element of classical education. Perhaps, your suggestion that this deficiency is by design should merit further investigation.
Sheska said (October 17, 2011):
I couldn't agree more that our cultural decline is apparent through the demise of correct grammar and spelling. Cultivation of stupidity involves the rewarding of the lazy, non-analytical, average student/person. "No Child Left Behind" is right... No child left behind as we enter into Idiocracy. No not the film, but the real scenario in which the film rubbed our nose. I'd classify that movie as a horror film. I was sure terrified when I saw that the people in that movie were just a step away from where we are now.
I am in my early 30's and thank my lucky stars that the tenets of proper grammar, spelling, excellent writing and creativity were still upheld. Only a couple years later and that all started sliding downhill very quickly. Parents must take the power back. The schools only aim to spit your kid out the other side of the conveyor belt, as a more stupid version of themselves.
Anna said (October 17, 2011):
Hear, hear! I completely agree; the amount of ostensibly educated people that do not know how to - or do not care to know how to - construct a sentence is horrifying.
Not only is it indicative of how stunningly dumbed-down our educational standards have become over the last few decades, but of how we have lost our manners. Sending someone a document full of spelling, grammatical and punctuational errors is rude, and it's arrogant - it signifies you didn't think they were important enough to bother getting it right for, because - such is the majestic splendour of what you have to say - it doesn't matter how clumsily or inarticulately you say it.
Most incriminating of all, perhaps, is the fact that English schools no longer teach English grammar. It is quite possible to achieve straight As in English Language throughout your secondary education without ever identifying a single verb, noun, or adjective. Indeed, most English people under the age of 35 can't - as I learned to my cost when I enrolled on a 'Teaching English as a Foreign Language' course. Having always considered myself 'good at English', I was appalled to learn that I knew almost nothing about the rules that held the language together - and certainly couldn't teach them. The same applied to every other 20-something British-born person in the class.
The fact is that non-native speakers, who have been taught English as a second (or even third) language at school, where they've had the grammar rules drummed into them, now have a sounder grasp of the language than those who speak it as a mother tongue. On my language course, these non-natives not only ended up teaching it to their students - but to us, their classmates, too! And this disparity is well known amongst our educators - when I was at University, the first thing one lecturer did one morning was ask: "Is anyone here not English?" When a smattering of hands went up, he exhaled an audible sigh of relief. "Thank God," He said. "You'll actually be able to write a decent essay then."
Mohammet, Durban SA said (October 17, 2011):
i think its all because people(esp kids) dont read much anymore before the internet, video games/consoles and smartphones etc, reading was more common.
nowadays, with the dumbing down of the educational system, technology seems to
be having an adverse effect on society
it was initially the sign of an intelligent, smart person -who could use technology
now its mostly the sign of brain dead zombies.
people who work in offices all day staring at a computer screen are also similar- cos they go home and then stare at the TV screen for a good number of hours.
i notice this with my nieces and nephews- they are intelligent and can understand lots of things but ask them to read n write.
not that they cant do it at all- but they are definitely NOT at the level youd expect them to be at.
Dawn said (October 17, 2011):
My biggest gripe is "it's" vs. "its". How difficult is that? What boggles my mind is that, in the same passage, people will use "its" where it should be "it's" and then use "it's" where it should be "its". Methinks it is a failure of LOGIC! This is structurally profound...and deep.
Dave said (October 17, 2011):
My mum was a sub-editor working on magazines and later became a history teacher. The grammar mistakes she encounters in the classroom upset her. I sent her your grammar article. Her reply:
'Love the article. It is true that grammar and spelling are not seen as important in secondary schools. I was told not to mark more than three mistakes on a page in case i upset their egos. However, private schools make sure their pupils have high standards.
I think it is a way to ensure all the best jobs go to children of the richer parents who can afford the private school fees. I should have pushed to send you to Princethorpe. I think you would have been happier.'
Kevin said (October 17, 2011):
Teacher's and school's routinely send out note's and paper's to the parent's written with apostrophe's identical to the one's in this very sentence. The vast majority of Americans 40 and under have no understanding of the 's and do not know that it is used either to show ownership or express a contraction of a word. Consequently, we are awash in 's. Sentences need to be read a number of times in hope of extracting their meaning.
An inability to communicate one's thoughts is simply a way of enacting Orwell's '1984'. As truth disappears down the memory hole, so does communication.
One day soon us serfs will be reduced to drawing stick figures on walls in hopes of making ourselves understood to one another. I hope I'm dead and buried by then. I can't draw worth a damn!
Fez said (October 17, 2011):
I have a son of 8 and a daughter of 4. Through the continued vigilance of my wife and I, my son is in the top reading and writing class in his year and my daughter is already well-advanced in being able to write her name and will follow suit when she begins "big" school in February.
We must all contribute to the improvement of the numeracy and literacy of our loved-ones, and we can do so by minimising our collective dependency on television and by encouraging our children to find fascination in the written word.
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