The Really Cool (And Sometimes Ignored) Thing About English

Perhaps this idea came to me because I stumbled across The Daily Press or whatever it’s called.

Anywho, it’s so amusing when uneducated or improperly educacated people (though not entirely their fault) talk about what they call “correct English.”

It’s funny because usually when I tell someone that I’m an English major or English Education major, the response I get is, “Oh, I better watch my grammar/language!”

Basically, if someone drops the occasional “ain’t” or knocks the g off of any given word, I’m obligated to sit them down and give them a little grammar lesson and call them ignorant. And the issue is that very many people (educators, English majors, and non-English majors alike) have this mentality.

But really, what is “correct English?”

Does the usage of “ain’t” or dropping the g really make language “incorrect English?”

For those who are wondering, the answer is no.

It may be hard to believe, and you may have been taught otherwise, but using “ain’t” instead of “I don’t” is completely valid.  Does “I don’t” sound better? Of course.  But correct English doesn’t set the standard for how people should speak and write. Using “ain’t” and other forms of grammar and syntax that people use every day is correct English, and it’s acceptable. Why? Because it’s historically authentic.

You can see throughout history that people have used these words and done these things for literally centuries. When you think about the English language in this sense, it becomes clear that there really is no “incorrect English.” Is there proper grammar or spelling? Of course. But one can never take the English language and point out what’s right and wrong within it, because everything that we say is entirely valid.


~ by musingsofaboredteenager on August 24, 2012.

4 Responses to “The Really Cool (And Sometimes Ignored) Thing About English”

  1. English is a dynamic language – which is probably one of the main reasons it’s now THE international language not French, which was once regarded as the language of culture, diplomacy etc.
    Changes in the French language have to be officially sanctioned – we just react to what’s going on… technology, youth culture, foreign input etc. But that’s what makes English such fun.
    And also why it’s such a bugger for non-native speakers to earn – it’s so illogical and it’s made up of bits and pieces stolen from all kinds of other languages!

  2. You can use any words you want to. Just keep in mind that you will be judged by your ability to speak and write what others consider to be correct and proper English.

    • Well, yes. Of course you’ll be judged accordingly by the things that you choose to say. But saying that using one word versus another makes the difference between correct and incorrect English is both ignorant and illogical.

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