320 GrammarArticle_Daily Universe

320 GrammarArticle_Daily Universe - ‘11 5 The Daily...

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Unformatted text preview: ‘11,. 5 The Daily Universe. Tuesday, DecemberS, 2006 Grammar rules ,may 9 out of style By CHRISTA SKIOGSEN Students stress over grades andprimp communication sk1lls v- - all in hOpes of preparing for the future, but staying up- -to- date on grammar rules as they evolve , 1fficult task. Christopher Rogers, a junior ‘ grammar proficiency is impor- tant, but it continues to be a chal- lenge forhim ' “I may not agree with die-hard grammarians, but I do believe that knowing how to speak and write according to grammatical rules is important for success,” he said. ' But articulate speech isn’t just a concern for students. There is -a demand for grammar publica- tions worldwide. Yet a grammar book to day may look somewhat different from the copy sitting on your grandmoth- er’s shelf. English is an evolv- ing language, and many experts ‘ agree it is high time to toss a few old rules out the window. “I think ‘whom’ is on the way out, and I say good riddance,” said Bill Walsh, a copy chief for the Washington Post. “Except in something like ‘for whom the bell tolls,’ ‘who’ works just fine.” Walsh said he is also rooting for the singularization of the sex- less plural pronoun. Currently the phrase “everyone should do their homewor ” isn’t grammati- cally correct. In this particular instance, “his" would be the tra- ditional answer, but a greater awareness of sexism has rendered that not such a good option. “‘His or her’ is clunky. ‘Her’ is patronizing. ‘Their’ is the only sensible solution, but I’m duty- bound not to use it —— yet,” he said. Kristine Hansen, a professor in the BYU English Department, _ from ..:Springville majoring in; .Middl,.'Eastern studies, Ara- ‘ bio and editing, said he realizes 1 said- via e-mail that she thinks people can disregard silly rules about not splitting an infinitive ‘. or ending a sentence with a prep- osition. People have often thought it is incorrect to put an adverb between “to” and the; verb that follows, she said. For example, instead of writing “to boldly go where no man has gone before,” some people would insist on “to go boldly where no man has gone before” or “boldly to go where no man has gone before.” ‘ She said people also still think it 15 wrong to end a sentence with apreposition. , “It 5 OK to ask, ‘who are you go- ing with?’ It’s okay to say, ‘where does he come from?’ It’s okay to say, ‘I’m going to throw the gar- bage out.’ In fact, many words that people think are prepositions are actually part of a phrasal verb,” she said. Knowing which rules to follow and which to disregard is no easy task. Although their brains are hard-wired to acquire language skills at a young age, people are not innately familiar with gram- mar rules. Grammar rules were not even a part of the English language ' until the beginning of the 16th century, said Bill Eg‘gington, a professor in the BYU Linguistics Department. The well-educated set about informing the masses Some rules that. may be dying out: ' j “I Always put the subject of a sentence before a verb ‘ I Don't start a sentenceyirith “and" or “but" I None is always singular? - Say “it is I," not “it is me" ,j I Never use a double negative ” I Don’tstart a sentence With‘ them" Source: Patricia I O’Conner’s grammar boo/r, ”Woe ls /" what they thought were the cor- rect “rules” of language. ' The educated studied Latin and thought it was appropriate to transfer the rules of Latin gram- mar ontor English. Where Latin didn’t fit, they attempted to make it fit by creating prescriptive rules, Eggington Said. English today looks signifi- cantly different from English. 100 years ago, and it will look even more, different 100 years from now. As language changes, grammar rules also adapt. There are several rules that recent gen- erations knew that have already become outdated. Eggington said there used to be a rule that prescribed a differ- ence between “shall” and “will,” but today they can be used inter- changeably. “The laws of grammar come and go,” said Patricia T. O’Conner in her grammar book, “Woe Is I.” _ “We make up rules when we need . them and disregard them when we don’t.” Grammar can be difficult be- ' cause there' is an exception to ev- ery rule. Walsh said most gram- mar rules can be and should be broken. “It’s important to look. at writ: ing as' a living thing and not a lump of clay that needs to be stuffed into a mold,” Walsh said. “‘Almost every rule is breakable under the right circumstances.” ' 1311”" ...
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