Dumbing Down

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.

About bobosbest

I am an 80-year-old retired English teacher whose writing goals are fulfilled by publishing these blogs. I have a wonderful married partner, Dimitris Tsitsiras, who is from Greece. Life is good and still an adventure.
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2 Responses to Dumbing Down

  1. Bob says:

    Tru dat, yo!

  2. Issa says:

    Read and enjoyed all your entries just cannot sit and spend too much time on the computer. Hope you are doing well. Have not forgotten you.

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