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Who Decides Who Makes English Grammar Rules?
Who decides who makes all the rules of English grammar and when to change them? I scoured the internet for any whiff of a National Grammar Rules Agency or a Government Grammar Department, or a National Language Regulatory Commission or Federal Grammar Board.
So who decides? Does anyone send out a survey every ten years? do they Ask questions like, “How many members of your household are grammatically correct?” or “What words do you no longer use?” or “How many times have you used it in the last year adoxography or what ever“(Yes, they are real, look them up).
Yes they I sent a survey, I didn’t receive one.
I would like to know who “they” were We have the dictionary people. Then there are the linguistics people whose job it is to dabble in language stuff all day long. Is they they? Then there are the language arts gurus in our universities. Or maybe it’s those lexicographers or those soft-spoken etymologists who play with our words and slide them in and out of our dictionaries and word stores. they are they “they”? Or what about textbook people? They they have to keep writing new editions of their books to sell school boards on the idea that the current version is better than the one the school boards bought a few years ago. Because? Why do the rules keep changing?
No. The rules don’t change. My favorite grammar book is one my grandfather used called “Grammar, rhetoric and composition” by Richard D. Mallery, The New Home Library, copyright 1944 by Garden City Publishing Co. Did you catch that copyright date? The book says that adjectives are still descriptive, limiting, or adequate. This is a comparison of adjectives. positive, comparative or superlative. The definition of a complex sentence is (and once was) a sentence that consists of an independent clause and at least one dependent clause. Comma splices occurred then as they do today. Writers of my grandfather’s time even hung some participles from time to time. The book warns students not to end a sentence with a preposition or start a sentence with conjunctions I or But.
But now (I know. I broke the rule, not just with a sentence, but with a whole paragraph. So, report me. Who will you report me to? If I follow you, I might find out who they are.) some language expert bloggers and some other wordsmiths tell us they they are kicking out some of the good guys. Rules they say that they are no longer considered useful or necessary.
They have identified seven rules they say we don’t have to go on anymore. The English language has a million rules. How did he do it? they come with these seven? And why seven and not ten or 17 or 27? who does it they to think they are they I don’t know who they they are But I know what they they are arbitrary and capricious. This is they they are
Here are the seven rules they chosen to go to the gallows:
1. Never split an infinitive. Who would want to do that anyway?
2. Active voice verbs are preferable to passive voice verbs. I will never part with this one. This rule has been encrypted on the hard drive of my memory. The passive voice will forever be removed from my writing.
3. Never start a sentence with I or But. well I can part with this one.
4. Never start a sentence with “There is” or “There are.” I’m sorry, whoever it is they that is, it sticks like glue. There is nothing more confusing to a reader than having to look up a sentence trying to figure out what the writer is saying when they start their sentence with “There is” or “There are.”
Is here? Of course not. This one stays.
5. Never end a sentence with a preposition. Now that’s a rule they can do without
6. Always use “more than” instead of “finished” with numbers well Whatever. Math is not my job.
7. The data are plural, so the verb must always be plural. So data is what data does? Or is data what data does? Yes they say it
So I guess they we are told that it is now okay to split infinitives sometimes and start sentences with I or But, and we finish our sentences with prepositions. I wonder if they have real jobs. Or he did they just get up one day and go to the office and agree to throw a bunch of grammar rules out the window?
I can’t find anyone who knows for sure. However, some pretty smart people claim that these rule changes are real, such as the folks below Elements of Style by Strunk & White, 3rd editing; the Chicago Manual of Style, 14th editingand the Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual.
But who told them?
Does anyone know who? they are they really? We better be on guard. first they Start by quietly crucifying seemingly insignificant rules without too much media hype. Some language lovers have already noticed. But then what if they start playing with our pronunciation or our syntax? Very soon they it could infiltrate our speech and perhaps even our written language.
We have to find out who they are and stop this subtle sabotage now!
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