I can’t remember if grammar used to be cool, or if I’ve always been out of touch and grammar was never cool. In any event, the one thing I know for a fact is that, currently, grammar is not cool. Any user of social media can attest to that – grammatically correct Tweets, Facebook statuses, or YouTube comments are basically ‘unicorns’ – after a while, you may begin to doubt whether or not they actually exist. Why is this the case, you ask? I really couldn’t say for certain, but I think it has something to do with culture. Hard work and virtuous self-improvement used to be cool, but you know what’s cool now? Making money easily, living a lifestyle that eliminates the need for work, showing off, having flashy possessions, etc. Where has my country gone, I ask?
The bottom line is, from a young age, Americans are having ingrained in them this idea that working is lame. In order to get a good job, or a decent job, you need to be successful in school, right? And what is part of the scholastic curriculum? *Drum Roll* … Grammar! Let’s lay this out so it’s nice and clear:
-Not working is cool.
-Working is uncool.
-Do well in school to work.
-Grammar is a part of school.
-Disregard grammar: Become cool.
Pretty simple, right? Additionally, young people idolize celebrities who similarly disregard grammar and traditional means of education. Visit the social media accounts of one hundred celebrities and see for yourself how many of them actually know the rules of grammar, care about the rules of grammar, or are even aware that there is something that exists called ‘the rules of grammar’. If someone strives to emulate an uneducated celebrity, it seems pretty unlikely that they themselves would try to become better educated – even though from their perspective, it’s a far more realistic means towards having a functioning life.
So, what do we do about this grammar-neglecting epidemic? Do we allow society to devolve to the point at which the English language is lost to history and we communicate with different sounding grunts and various pitches of shrieks? No! We fight back. As a wise person once said – I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way. We must do a better job of not only educating our children, but of instilling in them a sense of how important grammar is. Therefore, I offer two proposals:
Firstly, let’s do a better job of using grammar checker software and making sure our children use grammar checker software. We’re lucky enough to live in 2016, a time in which programs like WhiteSmoke and Grammarly can help teach us about our grammatical shortcomings and how to improve on them. These aren’t just your basic, misplaced-comma mistakes either – these programs will help make you a better writer across the board. Take advantage of them! Edumuch has a bunch of info about these programs as well as how to use proper grammar.
Secondly, I propose that we glorify only our well-written and educated celebrities. Instead of the Kardashians or LeBron James, please follow Bill Nye the Science Guy, Neil Degrasse Tyson, George R.R. Martin, and J.K. Rowling on Twitter today. Thank you!