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p. 1297. Why do we care?locked

  • Simon Horobin

Abstract

Why do we care about grammar and spelling to the extent that minor errors trigger paroxysms of despondency and gloom concerning the future of our society and its language? Since most people recognize the inevitability of linguistic change, we might wonder why they are unwilling to allow the language to continue to change today. ‘Why do we care?’ suggests one answer to this question lies in the fact that, as users of English, it is impossible for us to take an external stance from which to observe current usage. Another reason for our concern with such pedantry is bound up with the social cachet that surrounds the concept of ‘good grammar’.

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