Language Matters: Does Grammar Matter?

Let’s talk about grammar.

I remember learning grammar rules in school, diagramming sentences, memorizing parts of speech, and identifying tenses.  Sometimes it was frustrating.  I thought, “I know what I want to say, and other people get my meaning, so why do I need to know all these rules?

As it turns out, more and more educators think that students don’t need grammar and spelling lessons in our age of technology.

Is techspeak ruining English, or improving it?

These teachers look at “techspeak” used by young people online and, rather than seeing the breakdown of the English language, they see it evolving into a new, more creative and flexible language.

After all, with spellcheck correcting spelling errors and developments toward a “grammarcheck” that corrects grammar, what’s the point of memorizing out-of-date linguistic rules?

Other teachers see things differently, arguing that a basic knowledge of grammar rules will actually help students be more creative.  An understanding of grammar is necessary for people to organize their thoughts and express them clearly.

Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I think it’s important to know proper grammar and when to use it.  After all, when a university professor receives the following email from a prospective student, it’s hard to ignore the fact that techspeak is not always appropriate:

“hi, can u pls clarify smthng 4 me? say i wnt to take intnl devt study w ur prgm. do i apply to bth prgms or just 1 n which 1 would it B. evry help is appresh8d. thk u.”

What do you think?  Is grammar outdated?

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