Sunday, June 24, 2012

Grammar in the 21st Century

The Wall Street Journal, on June 20, 2012, ran an article entitled, "This Embarrasses You and I," by Sue Shellenbarger.  This article appears on the internet here:  The article describes the decline of correct grammar as more young people join the work force.

The public schools have been abandoning skills.  Grammar skills are declining.  Math skills are declining.  Cursive penmanship is disappearing.  There is a tendency to blame Facebook and Twitter for the decline in good grammar, but the public schools have abandoned their duty to educate our children.  The young people are not entirely to blame.

In this new century, parents have the added responsibility to watch over their children's education in grammar.  For example, I recently pulled some grammar textbooks off the book shelves to give my son a lesson on dangling participles, and on dangling modifiers in general.  We cannot rely on the schools.

Being a resident of the Dallas metroplex, I was pleased to hear that Bryan Garner, president of a Dallas training and consulting firm, has written a book on the effective use of the English language:  Garner's Modern American Usage.

Whether you are a parent or an employer, you cannot count on the public schools providing young people with the grammar skills expected of educated people.  This means that employers will need to administer tests to prospective employees to ensure they have the skills needed to succeed in the workplace.  Writing a grammatically correct essay is a skill that can set you apart in the 21st century.

Robert Canright