When I began as a high school English teacher many “moons” ago, I loved teaching grammar: subject, predicate, verbs, etc. I even taught kids to diagram sentences. One of my teaching principles was that students could always ask me, “Why are we doing this?” When confronted about diagramming, I compared it to a scaffold on a building that is being erected. When the edifice is completed, the scaffolding comes down. Diagramming is a language scaffold and something you do away with once you have acquired a good understanding of the structure of language. In many of today’s public schools, grammar is not being taught, and I see the dumbing down of the English language. Rather than doing away with formal English, we should teach that there are levels of language appropriate for different occasions. At a football game, the English used to cheer the team on does not have to be “proper.” However, when one interviews for a job, his/her English should be as accurate and proper as necessary. I love language. I believe in a proper respect for the rules of language. Let’s not give up on keeping our language the incredible vehicle for communicating that it is.